Triumph Tiger Explorer XC

Adventure is the new touring

What constitutes an adventure? Is it sleeping rough under the stars in deep southern America? Maybe it’s riding parts of the Dakar track in the burning desert on a bike that you usually commute from Slough to Hackney on. Or maybe, just maybe, it means simply going somewhere on your bike for a Sunday morning breakfast and then riding home again on your favourite A-road.

I’ll admit it: I think I’ve had people that ride big adventure bikes down all wrong,

I’ve spent the last two weeks living the big-adventure-bike-dream with the Triumph Tiger Explorer. The Explorer XC is a bike that I have been many a time stuck behind whilst the ‘adventurer’ struggles to squeeze himself and his hard case panniers through London traffic. Why people are flocking to buy these oversized off-roader look-a-likes has been a popular discussion among my biking mates. Now, having spent some time on the big Tiger, I think I finally get it,

I love the Explorer, and yeah, I would buy one, really I would. And I never thought I’d say that about this sort of bike.

The truth is, it’s a great bike and it puts a big fat permanent marker pen tick in 96% of all the right boxes. It's long-distance comfortable. It feels substantial and worthy of a place on the road. Its suspension is firm and offers responsive and clear feedback, even when you push it in and out of corners. The engine fitted with an Arrow pipe which produces that absolutely glorious Triumph Triple note, positively growling along with turbine-smooth torque.

The Tiger Explorer is a do-anything bike and in my book it looks 100% cooler than a typical tourer. If you want a bike that looks like you could tackle the Serengeti on two wheels, but is practical to use daily, this could be it. Just leave the panniers and enduro helmet at home until you catch that ferry.

If I were to buy one, it would never see mud, rivers or desert. I’d ride it on the road in the UK and maybe Europe. I'd go camping with all my gear strapped to it instead of on my back. And that’s about it.

Just watch out for that fly-by-wire throttle. It's set to super-sensitive on the Tiger and I never fully got used to it.

The Tiger takes the drab out of touring. To tour is now to adventure and to adventure is cool!

Read our first ride of the Tiger Explorer here

You can read more about the Mototent pictured in our review here and find the UK retailer here or check out the distibutors page here.