Author [ES] [CA] [PL] [PT] [IT] [DE] [FR] [NL] [DK] [NO] [GR] [TR] Topic: Triumph Explorer vs. Tiger 800XC  (Read 3839 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline mspeed

  • Explorer Junior
  • *
  • Posts: 7
  • Gender: Male
  • Bike: Tiger 800 XC
  • Country: United States
Triumph Explorer vs. Tiger 800XC
« on: April 08, 2012, 12:49:15 AM »
I bought my 800XC last fall after selling a BMW F800GS.  Both bikes have things to like, I just loved the triple engine and its lack of vibration.  The next day, I learned of the Explorer!  In Colorado, we probably are not going see the Explorer until late May to June.  I ride a 50 mile commute to work once or twice a week, but have plans for longer adventures throughout the Rockies, Pacific Coast highway, etc.  I grew up on a farm dirt biking and love the freedom of being off the pavement.  That said, I am 45 and don't currently have a strong desire to go so off road that I would be continuously challenged to not be dumping the bike in mud, soft sand, etc.  For those that are familiar with both bikes, can you provide a comparison.  This morning I was riding with my lovely wife, and the 800XC felt a little small.  The ex fighter pilot in me can never have too much power (I appreciate handling too), yet I seem to prefer torque that I don't have to wind way-up to get. The Explorer seems to shine there.  Is the Explorer engine as smooth as the XC?  One review said it was a little "gruff" at the top of the rev range.  I plan on outfitting my bike with 39 liter aluminum panniers and doing my long trips solo.  How about seating position differences if there are any while we are at it?  I like to be "in the bike" with some bike in front of me.  Thanks in advance.   
« Last Edit: April 08, 2012, 01:39:49 AM by mspeed »

Offline Bryn

  • Explorer Master
  • ****
  • Posts: 730
  • Gender: Male
  • Bike: Graphite Explorer
  • City / Town: Leicestershire
  • Country: England
Re: Triumph Explorer vs. Tiger 800XC
« Reply #1 on: April 08, 2012, 07:16:11 PM »
Hi there, having just had a 3 hour test ride I can certainly tell you the Explorer's fuelling is as smooth as anything I've ever ridden, and I've had over 65 bikes since 1977  :156:

6th gear at 20mph... just around 1000 rpm... no chugging, and pulled cleanly from there   :018:  Gearbox excellent, and encourages clutchless changes   :009:

Offline Captain Scarlet

  • Explorer Pro
  • ***
  • Posts: 496
  • Gender: Male
  • Bike: Blue SE eXplorer
  • City / Town: Roswell, GA
  • Country: USA
Re: Triumph Explorer vs. Tiger 800XC
« Reply #2 on: April 09, 2012, 02:21:21 AM »
One review said it was a little "gruff" at the top of the rev range
... reputedly only above 6,000 rpm, at which point you're getting into three figure speeds. Just how fast do you want to go with your wife continually punching you in the kidneys?  :001:

Offline mspeed

  • Explorer Junior
  • *
  • Posts: 7
  • Gender: Male
  • Bike: Tiger 800 XC
  • Country: United States
Re: Triumph Explorer vs. Tiger 800XC
« Reply #3 on: April 09, 2012, 06:29:42 AM »
Thanks fellas.  I was beginning to think my very first post was going to disappear into the ether-zone without a response!  Bryn, tell me more...some general impressions after 3 hours?  Since we don't have the bike yet here in Colorado, all I have is statistics and reviews.  Throwing a leg over the seat for the first time might tell me all I need to know.  I am trying to imagine what 100 more pounds more weight (negative) with 42 more horses and gobs more torque (positive) balances out to feel like.  It seems like a pretty good thrust-to-weight bump.  Then again, many have said it is a "BIG" bike.  I am 6'1" and about 205 pounds.  Captain Scarlet, I am honored to have you jump in the discussion.  If I am in the triple digits with the lovely wife on the back, I will have erased all inroads I have made in getting here there at all!  Cheers. 

Offline bogman

  • Explorer Pro
  • ***
  • Posts: 157
  • Gender: Male
  • Bike: FXSTSSE3 & Explorer
  • City / Town: Cork
  • Country: Ireland
Re: Triumph Explorer vs. Tiger 800XC
« Reply #4 on: April 09, 2012, 04:00:40 PM »
Picked mine up Friday, rode up from Cork, didnt go far, just over to a friends in Lucan, crashed out for the night, off to Longford Saturday morning for a few photorally shots and on to the Rooters in Carlow afterwards, took it handy enough for the first 160km which didnt take long, bike is a mile muncher, feels bigger than the 800XC when you are stopped but that doesnt last soon as you take off, might be the smaller 19" front wheel but it feels better on the road, handles brilliantly with oodles of power, think its limited to 140mph but im happier between 90 and 120km/h depending on the road, you might think all that power is wasted on me but its not, very comfortable, the cruise control works very well, the launch edition has a lot of stuff I want, spot lights are awesome on top of what are already brilliant lights, fuel consumption seems to be about the same as the XC, 5.2l per 100km but that rises to 7/ or more if you trash it, tire pressure monitors are handy, traction control & ABS can both be switched off, ill miss the agility of the 800 but this is a better bike overall though its offfroad capability cant be anywhere near as good (I think)
550 km so far, bike booked in for 1st service next weekend

Offline Bryn

  • Explorer Master
  • ****
  • Posts: 730
  • Gender: Male
  • Bike: Graphite Explorer
  • City / Town: Leicestershire
  • Country: England
Re: Triumph Explorer vs. Tiger 800XC
« Reply #5 on: April 09, 2012, 08:37:24 PM »
*Originally Posted by mspeed [+]
Thanks fellas.  I was beginning to think my very first post was going to disappear into the ether-zone without a response!  Bryn, tell me more...some general impressions after 3 hours?  Since we don't have the bike yet here in Colorado, all I have is statistics and reviews.  Throwing a leg over the seat for the first time might tell me all I need to know.  I am trying to imagine what 100 more pounds more weight (negative) with 42 more horses and gobs more torque (positive) balances out to feel like.  It seems like a pretty good thrust-to-weight bump.  Then again, many have said it is a "BIG" bike.  I am 6'1" and about 205 pounds.  Captain Scarlet, I am honored to have you jump in the discussion.  If I am in the triple digits with the lovely wife on the back, I will have erased all inroads I have made in getting here there at all!  Cheers.


Check out my post in the Intro section.... I  copied my ride report in there ... FYI , I am 170lb and 5'9" so need to eat a few pies   :038:


http://www.tiger-explorer.com/index.php/topic,1229.0.html
« Last Edit: April 09, 2012, 08:39:07 PM by Bryn »

Offline mspeed

  • Explorer Junior
  • *
  • Posts: 7
  • Gender: Male
  • Bike: Tiger 800 XC
  • Country: United States
Re: Triumph Explorer vs. Tiger 800XC
« Reply #6 on: April 10, 2012, 02:43:56 AM »
Bryn,

Excellent report.  I always find that you can learn a lot from user reviews.  Something seemingly reported as minor or off-hand always resonates with me and helps with the decision making process.  800XC off road endorsements have me thinking that this decision is going to be a hard one! 

Thank you.

Offline Bryn

  • Explorer Master
  • ****
  • Posts: 730
  • Gender: Male
  • Bike: Graphite Explorer
  • City / Town: Leicestershire
  • Country: England
Re: Triumph Explorer vs. Tiger 800XC
« Reply #7 on: April 10, 2012, 07:05:45 AM »
*Originally Posted by mspeed [+]
Bryn,

Excellent report.  I always find that you can learn a lot from user reviews.  Something seemingly reported as minor or off-hand always resonates with me and helps with the decision making process.  800XC off road endorsements have me thinking that this decision is going to be a hard one! 

Thank you.

You're welcome   :169:  Personally I like trips with my other half on the back, and I don't think the 800 would be physically big enough to enjoy a 10 day euro trip in comfort .... so I need the extra size of the 1200... I'm not worried about its off road credentials, the odd gravel track would definately be all I do   :016:

Offline NiK

  • Explorer Master
  • ****
  • Posts: 1757
  • Gender: Male
  • Bike: Phantom Black Beauty
  • City / Town: Marseille
  • Country: France
Re: Triumph Explorer vs. Tiger 800XC
« Reply #8 on: April 10, 2012, 09:31:13 AM »
I'm a happy 1050 Tiger rider since 2008 (66,000 km).
I had the opportunity to ride a 800XC during a few days last year and I loved the bike.
Why didn't I switch then? Mostly because of the (relative) lack of torque.
So how's the Xplorer to that respect? Exactly what it looks like: a bigger 800XC with LOTS of torque.

Off-Roading? Keep the 800XC.
Not so much Off-Roading? Get an Xplorer! You don't even have to test ride it! (ok I'm kidding here ;-)

Offline mspeed

  • Explorer Junior
  • *
  • Posts: 7
  • Gender: Male
  • Bike: Tiger 800 XC
  • Country: United States
My many thanks to Foothills BMW/Triumph and my salesman Noel in Lakewood (Denver), CO for letting me have the first customer ride in the state on the 2012 Triumph Explorer (830AM on the 26th).  Triumph is lucky to have such a great ambassador and dealership in their fold.  Although it may seem funny to be comparing the 800XC to the Explorer, I am addicted to smooth triple power and bigger is always better....right?  Here is what I found:

If the 800XC is a P-51 Mustang, then this thing is the P-47 Thunderbolt!  It is big; it is powerful.  It's definitely a winner, but I found it to be something other than a big 800XC with more power.

Likes:

Seating position is superb.  It felt a little narrower in the knee area relative to the 800.  Looking over the shoulder was effortless.  I can see the miles melt away.

Power is abundant!  Whereas the 800XC engine is silky smooth and sublime, ferocious seems more fitting to the Explorer.  That word may be a little strong, but you get the idea.  Passing in 6th requires merely thought.  Although smooth in terms of vibration, the firing impulses let you know there is a motor down below.  It is hard to believe that this engine delivers similar gas milage to the 800.  Maybe I should be asking why the 800 doesn't do better?

Once rolling, the bike is surprisingly nimble and precise.  Brakes are nice.  I found the reported throttle sensitively to be a non-issue.  I liked it.

The tank, single-sided swing arm, and rear wheel are works of art.  That swingarm is stout.  There are many aluminum bolt on parts throughout the bike.  The tail treatment is more substantial with the Triumph pannier hooks built in, and with a classy little Triumph tail badge.  I especially like the aluminum brackets for the rear passenger pegs.  I am not sure what you do if you impact and damage those on the 800 (they are steel units welded to the frame).  I don't believe Triumph sells black touch-up frame paint either.

If you ride an 800, the cockpit feels like coming home.  The tank shape is similar to the 800...a little edgier.  They are both gorgeous to me.

What is not to like about tubeless tires, traction control, cruise control, more electrical power, the information button, standard centerstand, etc?
   

Other observations:

I did not like how much the drive shaft housing bulges out as it leave the transmission next to your inside left ankle.  I haven't seen anyone else mention this, but my left foot wants some more room down there.   

It does not "snick" into the gears as easily as the 800.  The gearset is larger/stronger, so this is to be expected.  It was not objectionable, but noticeable.  My 800 was sweet from the first shift.

Likewise, the shaft drive was a little clunkier that I was expecting.  This is an observation vs. an objection.  I have had belt drives, and I keep my 800XC chain at the tighter end of the range.  I only really noticed this at low speed, lower gear, transitions.  After all the great reviews, I guess I was mentally expecting hydrostatic drive!  At speed, the shaft is lovely and it is maintenance free for 10K. Think about what that 800 chain is doing down there at a ton.

The suspension travel numbers may be close to the 800, but the bike feels tighter.  It is obviously dialed-in with a bias for the road, and it can be felt.

In the end, I loved the bike and definitely want one...someday.  For long distance two-up touring (with room and electrical power for everything including the kitchen sink) and the thrust to fly up mountain roads effortlessly, this would be my ride of choice...no question.  It will devour miles and make you smile.  Bravo Triumph and Mr. Bloor.  In the back country though, this is a lot of bike.  I am not sure it has enough "dual sport" for me.  My 800XC, meanwhile, is still looking pretty good.  I like the smoothness, the big front tire, the suspension travel, and the agility.  Any off road adventures I set out on will be one-up.  Hopefully the XC's 799cc will be enough in the thin air of Colorado.  Ironically, all my riding since buying my 800XC has been on-road.  Nevertheless, I am gearing up and hoping to get off-road soon.  Part of me worries about putting such a beautiful bike at risk, and part of me knows that that is where the real memories live.  To me, the Explorer is really the big brother to the roadie 800 and the alternative to the 1200GS.  It lives in a different place than the 800XC.  I think I will wait for Triumph to catch up with production, learn a little, make a few adjustments, and give me the alternative to the 1200GS Adventure...the Triumph 1200 Explorer XC!  I will be the first in line.  For now, I can't stop smiling after riding the two of the best bikes in the world.
« Last Edit: April 30, 2012, 04:31:48 AM by mspeed »