2018 Triumph Tiger 1200 - First Ride Review
- Dec 15, 2017
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With the arrival of the all-new 2018 Triumph Tiger 1200, it is time to ask the important questions again: Which bikemaker offers the best adventure-tourer motorcycle that money can buy right now? Is it the British, the Italians or the Germans? While we wait to get our hands on all three motorcycles for a thorough test, here's how they stack up against each other on paper.
All three motorcycles take completely different approaches when it comes to the powertrain. While they are all built to offer better low- and mid-range performance, the Italian goes for a twin-cylinder layout, the British bike opts for a triple-cylinder layout, while the Germans stick with the flat-twin boxer engine setup.
Powering the 2018 Triumph Tiger 1200 XCx is the same 1215cc, liquid-cooled, three-cylinder engine seen on the older model. This motor produces 141PS of power at 9350rpm and 122Nm of torque at 7600rpm, and is mated to a 6-speed transmission. In our review we found this motor to be very responsive in low- to mid-range while offering a punchy nature that helps you cruise effortlessly on the highway.
The BMW R 1200 GS Adventure uses a 1170cc boxer-twin engine which produces 129PS of power at 7750rpm and 125Nm of torque at 6500rpm, mated to a 6-speed gearbox. Although we haven’t had the chance to take the R 1200 GS Adventure for a ride yet, ze Germans have always offered a premium level of engine refinement on their motorcycles.
At the heart of the new Ducati Multistrada 1260S lies the same 1262cc engine that we’ve seen on the Ducati XDiavel. This liquid-cooled, 90-degree L-twin is mated to a 6-speed transmission and produces 158PS of power at 9500rpm and 129.5Nm of torque at 7500rpm. Sure, you get six additional ponies than before, but the real surprise comes in the form of a slug of torque which is made available at much lower revs. You now get 85 per cent of the torque at just 3500 rpm, to be precise! This should help the bike in negotiating the steepest of climbs without breaking a sweat.
Electronics and Features:
Considering, Adventure-tourer motorcycles are pretty much the torch bearers of a manufacturer's line-up it is only natural that they come loaded with latest of technology, bikemakers can offers. The three bikes in our comparison are no exception to that.
The Triumph Tiger 1200 XCx is no chump when it comes to features. It now comes equipped with LED headlights and LED DRLs that run across the lamp for a unique look. Along with it, you also get adaptive cornering lights and the highly customisable, full-colour TFT console that we’ve seen on the Triumph Street Triple RS. The display is controlled by a backlit five-way joystick through which you can control five different riding modes - Road, Rain, Sport, Off-Road and Off-Road Pro mode, which disables all the rider aid electronics, cornering ABS and cruise control.
Hop on to the saddle and you'll notice Triumph has equipped the Tiger 1200 with heated seats for the rider and pillion along with heated grips. In addition to this, you also get hill hold control, cornering traction control, keyless ignition and a 12V USB power socket so that your smartphone never runs out of juice while on the go. The Tiger also comes with ride-by-wire technology, a bi-directional quickshifter, hill hold control, Triumph Shift Assist and an updated cruise control system. It benefits from an electrically adjustable windscreen too, as opposed to the manual unit found on the Ducati and the BMW.
BMW has also packed the R 1200 GS Adventure with a healthy set of features. This includes LED taillight, semi-digital instrument cluster, two riding modes (rain and road), ABS and Automatic Stability Control on the standard variant. On the higher 'Pro' variant you get full LED headlights, Gear shift assist pro, Hill-start control, ABS Pro, DRLs and Automatic Traction control to name a few. The Pro mode also offers the added benefits of cruise control, heated grips, fully digital instrument console and keyless ignition. However, the BMW motorcycle misses out on cruise control, which is offered on its competition.
The Ducati Multistrada 1260S gets LED headlamps with LED DRLs and an all-new TFT instrument cluster. It also gets an updated software which makes navigating through the menus, which include electronic rider aids and damping characteristics of the suspension, a breeze. You can manage the traction control level, riding modes, cornering ABS, Ducati wheelie control, cornering lights and other safety features using the display. In addition to this, Ducati has developed an app which allows the riders to save the bike's settings on their phones. Every time the phone is paired with the bike, the settings will be updated automatically.
As this is an adventure-tourer at heart, Ducati has made sure that they load the Multistrada 1260S with tons of features. Other than keyless ignition, which can sense the key even if it's some feet away from the bike, you get heated grips to combat cold terrains, ride-by-wire throttle, a bi-directional quickshifter for more seamless gearshifts, a tyre-pressure monitor system and cruise control.
The 2018 Triumph Tiger 1200 XCx utilises a tubular steel trellis frame. Suspension duties are handled by WP 48mm USD forks with 190mm of wheel travel and WP monoshock with rebound damping adjustment and 193mm of wheel travel. Braking duties are taken care of by twin 305mm floating discs at the front and a single 282mm disc at the rear.
When compared to the Ducati, the Triumph has a smaller wheelbase at 1520mm. At 20 litres, the fuel tank capacity is similar to that of the Ducati Multistrada 1260S. The saddle sits between 835mm-855mm off the ground and there is even a low seat height option which further drops it to 790mm to 810mm. The bike tips the scale at 242kg (kerb). The front 120/70 R19 and rear 170/60 R17 wheels are shod with Metzeler tyres.
The BMW R 1200 GS Adventure is built upon a two-section frame, which is suspended upon 37mm Telelver forks at the front and a monoshock unit at the back, the latter adjustable for preload and rebound. BMW uses twin Brembo 305mm discs at the front, similar to the Tiger 1200, and a 276mm single disc at the back.
At 1510mm, the BMW R 1200 GS Adventure gets the shortest wheelbase of the trio. It packs a 30-litre fuel tank, 10 litres more than its competition. The saddle sits pretty high here at 910mm. It can be brought down to 890mm, but that still could be a problem for a lot of Indian riders considering it also weighs the heaviest at 263kg (kerb). It uses Pirelli 120/70 tyres on 19-inch wheels at the front and 170/60 tyres on a 17-inch rear wheel. Unlike its competition, the R 1200 GS does not come with cornering ABS.
The Ducati Multistrada 1260S is held together by a tubular steel trellis frame. Suspension duties here are handled by Sachs 48mm forks with adjustable spring preload travel at the front and Sach rear shock absorbers with adjustable spring preload, with 170mm travel on both sides. Ducati has equipped the new machine with Brembo M50 330mm twin discs at the front, Brembo 265mm two-piston callipers at the rear and ABS as standard.
Thanks to a 48mm longer swingarm, the wheelbase has gone up by 56mm when compared to its predecessor (1529mm). Ducati has made sure you can crunch a good number of miles on the saddle with a 20-litre fuel tank. Speaking of the saddle, the seat height can be adjusted between 825mm and 845mm. The Ducati Multistrada 1260S tips the scale at 235kg (kerb). The Pirelli Scorpion Trail II tyres (front - 120/70 R17 and rear -190/50 R17) and cornering ABS make sure everything is kept in check.
Pricing And Conclusion:
The 2018 Triumph Tiger 1200 XCx has received a pricing of Rs 17 lakh (ex-showroom India), a beprice cut of Rs 1.75 lakh over the older model. Thank the recent CBU custom duty cut for this.
BMW offers the R 1200 GS Adventure in two variants: Standard and Pro. The Standard variant is priced at Rs 17.1 lakh while the more feature-equipped Pro variant retails for Rs 20.8 lakh (both ex-showroom India).
With the new Tiger 1200 making its debut, we’re expecting the new Multistrada follow suit in the next few months. A price tag of around Rs 18 - 19 lakh is expected (ex-showroom Delhi).
On paper, the Multistrada 1260S takes the cake here thanks to its sheer amount of power and the plethora of features it offers. However, we’re still some months away from its launch. The 2018 Tiger 1200 comes in second, putting up a good fight while being priced competitively. The BMW R 1200 GS, on the other hand, is in dire need of a refresh. It puts out the least amount of power and offers less features while being priced similar to the Tiger 1200. While the new Tiger might be tempting, we recommend that you still wait for the Multistrada 1260S.
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