In the world of Adventure touring, the BMW R 1250 GS and its forebears have long been regarded as the “big daddy.” Even back in the 1970s, BMW was one of the first automakers to perfect the Adventure Bike formula. On the other side, Triumph has made the decision to get in on the action and completely rebuilt the Tiger 1200 line in order to compete. After a year of suspense, Triumph India finally invited us to test drive both the GT Pro and Rally Pro variants of the Tiger 1200. With its new look, features, and equipment, is it now a more sought-after motorcycle and a contender to oust the GS? To learn more, continue reading.
Design changes have been made to the full 2022 Triumph Tiger 1200 range, just like the rest of the motorcycle. The bike’s design language has been revised to match that of the Tiger 900 series, which was redesigned just over a year ago. Now that the 1200s have been updated, they look more like their 900-year-old siblings. The new motorcycles have a much smaller footprint than the previous ones. When viewed from the front, the motorcycles appear to be much more slender. Headlights are now all-LED with a DRL-like strip running across the centre. As a result of this, the Tiger Sport 660’s windscreen may be adjusted in the same way. Unlike the Speed Triple 1200 RS, the new Tiger 1200 boasts a 7-inch full-colour TFT display with a user interface similar to that of the Adventure Bike model. A 20-litre or 30-litre gasoline tank is available depending on the model you select. 30 litres for the Explorer and 20 litres for the GT and Rally Pro. For both rider and pillion, you now have a wide seat. The GT Pro has a seat height of 850-870mm, while the Rally Pro has a seat height of 875-895mm.
While the Tiger 1200 is still shaft-driven, the 2022 model no longer has a single-sided swingarm. New ‘tri-link’ swing arms are said to be lighter and stronger than the previous models, all while weighing 1.5 kg less. Also, a new tubular frame with a bolted-on subframe is included in the redesign of the bicycle. By using this innovative frame design, riders can save 5.4 kilogrammes of weight. There is an overarching focus on making this new iteration substantially lighter than its predecessor, with one model weighing less than 25 kilograms compared to its predecessor. Split radiators on either side, rather than a single unit, are another notable design modification. According to Triumph, the Adventure Bikeantages of this include improved and more effective cooling, as well as the ability to decrease the centre of gravity of the new T-Plane crank engine by placing it further forward and lower. In general, the design is cohesive, with the bikes looking sleeker and more modern than their predecessors. Snowdonia White and Sapphire Black are the only two colours available in both models, although the GT Pro receives a bespoke Lucerne Blue and the Rally Pro gets a bespoke Matt Khaki Green colorway. Overall, the bikes appear to be substantially narrower than before, but they are still big, enormous, and intimidating Adventure Bikes.
Now that we have two motorbikes to discuss, I’ll begin by comparing and contrasting the GT Pro and Rally Pro versions, and then I’ll discuss the specific chassis differences between the two types. Both GT and Rally models have the same basic chassis setup except for the wheels. A bolt-on subframe is included in the new steel tube frame. Both motorcycles include semi-active damping in the form of 49mm Showa USD forks up front and a Showa Monoshock in the rear. Rally receives 22mm of travel at both ends, which is 20mm more than the GT Pro, which is more road-oriented. This Adventure Bike’s suspension is perfectly tuned. Everything you throw at it is handled with delicacy and poise by this device. Semi-active dampers that can be adjusted by the rider provide the bike a variety of personalities.
You may also alter the suspension’s feel by making it softer or stiffer, or more comfy or sporty, under the ride customisation screen. The bike’s performance is affected by all of this modification. There is a sense of being cushioned over most bumps and dips that would normally rattle any bike, which makes the ride even more enjoyable. Brembo’s braking system is also found on both bikes, making it a shared feature. If you’re looking for the greatest road bike brakes, look no further than the Brembo Stylema callipers. These brakes blow you away with how much bite and feel they provide. Magura master cylinders are also included with the Tiger 1200s, and the two components work nicely together. Off-road, you don’t need the sharpest bike; you just want to be able to squeeze the lever and get just the perfect amount of feedback, and the Stylemas brakes deliver just that. Semi-active suspension means that while riding on the street, this behemoth of a bike will stop quickly on a dime, all while not getting too shaken up or diving too far.
While many of the chassis components are the same in both models, the few differences serve to distinguish the two. There’s a 19-inch front and 18-inch rear set of cast alloy wheels wrapped in Metzeler Tourance tyres on the GT model, which makes it better suited to the road. On the road, this configuration is fantastic, but it also has some off-road capabilities. The bike performed admirably on a number of parts of road that could be considered light trails. On the road, the bike is firmly planted and well-balanced, and the adjustable suspension provides a lot of character and versatility. With a few twisties, the GT Pro is ready for action. Despite the fact that it is a 245 lb motorcycle, the ergonomics make it substantially easier to change direction.
A Metzeler Karoo Street tyre-equipped Rally Pro has a 21-inch front wheel and an 18-inch spoked wheel arrangement on the rear. The Rally Pro has an additional 20mm of suspension travel at both ends in addition to the larger front wheel, allowing it to conquer the land when the asphalt stops. The Mountain Man, Vijay Parmar, personally had discovered and chalked the paths we were riding on, so you knew the difficulty was great. Also, the Rally Pro has an adjustable seat height of 875mm, making it a taller bike than the standard model. It’s not your average bike. All of this results in a bike that has a very narrow focus. When it comes to riding, this bike is not for the fainthearted. If you want to attain the desired outcomes, you must know exactly what you are doing while on the bike. But on the other hand, proper riding technique is rewarded in plenty. A good grip on the bike and a loose upper body will help you find your stride as you get into the swing of things.
As soon as it gets going, it starts eating the traces and spitting them back out. The bike doesn’t seem to be bothered by anything, thanks to the excellent suspension. You’ll be able to go through everything thanks to the 21-inch front. To make it easier to ride when standing, the handlebars can be angled higher. The absence of a gripping area around the tank, on the other hand, needs to be addressed. It’s difficult to transfer your weight and hold on to the tank at some points in the flight. A problem that can be solved by using aftermarket tank grips, but it’s still something to be aware of.
The previous Tigers were infamous for having a heavy front end, but the current generation of the bike appears to be free of that problem. When it comes to riding dynamics, the Rally Pro is every bit as competent on and off road as the GT Pro. This bike’s undulations were smoothed out even further thanks to the longer-travel suspension and the more absorbent spoked wheels. Rally Pro will not seem like a compromise if you plan to go off-road but still spend a lot of time on the highway.
The new 1160cc in-line triple engine for the 2022 Triumph Tiger 1200 series features a T-plane crank like the Tiger 900s. 148 horsepower and 130 nm of torque are available from this engine at 9000rpm. Both bikes have the same engine, but the maps for the various operating modes differ. You hear a strange sound coming from the exhaust when you press the ignition button on a triple. The exhaust note is a harsh baritone that sounds more like a twin than a triple. The engine, on the other hand, is something you’ll enjoy. At lower speeds, it has a torquey twin-cylinder engine, while at higher revs, it has a smoother, more refined triple-cylinder engine. In every case, this is a useful tool. Despite having a smooth gearbox, riding on slow to medium-speed trials was no problem because of the bike’s long first and second gears and plenty of available power and torque. There’s plenty of power in the engine to get through it all without shifting. There’s also a nice bi-directional quickshifter for when you do need to change. It’s fine to just ride the bike in third gear through the twisties as long as you’re travelling at a speed of 60 to 100 kmph. Even if your speed drops below that, you can just ride the torque back up to the sweet zone. It’s not the most refined mill, so expect some buzz and vibrations, but nothing too jarring or unpleasant. The engine is one of my favourites because, despite its considerable power, it never feels frantic or unmanageable. A well-tuned ride-by-wire throttle system and enough fueling are also essential.
Electronically, you have nearly everything you could possibly need to maintain your youthful appearance and a big grin on your face at the same time. There’s an IMU-optimised ABS and traction control, as well as riding modes (the Rally Pro includes an off-road pro mode that allows you to switch ABS and traction control entirely off), hill hold control, cornering lights, and more. The Ducati Multistrada V4’s radar-assisted blind spot monitoring system is also included in the 30-litre Explore models.
In addition to the GT Pro, GT Explorer, Rally Pro and Rally Xtreme, the Triumph Tiger 1200 is now available in four pricing points: Rs 19.19 lakh, Rs 20.69 lakh, Rs 20.19 lakh and Rs 21.69 lakh, respectively. A lot of other manufacturers would charge extra for this kind of equipment, but this is included in the price of these motorcycles, making it a bargain in my book. Although they aren’t the most user-friendly motorcycles, you’ll either fall in love with them or hate them depending on how much you know about riding them. I can’t speak to how much better this bike is than the previous Tiger 1200 because I haven’t ridden it, but based on specs alone, it feels like a step in the right direction. Even while the BMW R 1250 GS starts at a lower price point (Rs 20.55 lakh ex-showroom), it doesn’t come with as many standard features as the German model. However, we’re eager to see what the plot is like in the real world, but on paper, this appears to be a worthy challenger to the king of Adventure Bikes.