Triumph Adventure Experience - reviewed

We check out Triumph's new Adventure training school in Wales

Triumph Adventure school in Wales

Words: Shaun Pope Images : Chippy Wood

Where off-road riding is concerned, I’m a firm believer that having the right tool for the job is a vital part of enjoying the experience. You wouldn't want to tour the world on an Aprilia RS250, you wouldn't want to take a Cub 90 on a trackday and when it comes to dirt riding, I find the lightweight machines to be the best suited to tearing up the trails.

With that being said, there are two off-road schools who do things a little differently - BMW, and their big, heavy GS, and now Triumph with their similarly large and ungainly looking Tiger 800 and 1200 models.

Coincidentally, Triumph has set up its brand-new facility directly opposite BMW's off-road school at the foot of the Brecon Beacons national park, making it clear they want a slice of the heavyweight bike mud pie.

Even with 11kg shaved off this year's Tiger 1200, it still tops the scales at a whopping 242kg dry. The 800cc model is also no biking ballerina at 200kg, so it's reassuring to know Triumph also has their latest Street Scrambler available for those who want to start right at the basic end with a low seat height and less intimidating power delivery.

After a quick briefing I hopped on the Scrambler for a short road ride to a nearby quarry where Triumph has exclusive use of a number of trails and open spaces to practice various handling drills, depending on your level of previous experience. As I previously mentioned, I'm no Travis Pastrana so opted for the slow and steady group. The Pirelli Scorpion Rally tyres coped well with the mega slippery coal slag surface which I can only describe as like riding on icy mud. I'm sure budding hipsters who want to live out their Steve McQueen fantasies will opt for the Street Scrambler, and the Vance & Hines exhaust and raised bars give it a pretty aggressive look.

Not only has Triumph invested in a fleet of brand-new bikes, they've also employed some top-class instructors to make sure customers get the most from their experience, regardless of experience levels.

Nick Plumb is their senior instructor, and having completed five Dakar rallies, he's also the guy who taught Ewan & Charley how to ride around the world.

Having eventually plucked up the courage to climb onto the larger Tigers, I realised they were perfectly capable of scaling and descending even the toughest of inclines. The latest Tiger models are equipped with electronics specifically designed to assist with off-road riding, with traction control that'll let you have a bit of fun but also keep you safe if you get a bit carried away on the throttle. The ABS is also similarly set up to keep you out of trouble and is easy to switch back to road mode for tarmac sections. That's not to say these things are uncrashable, as a fellow journalist discovered. Nine times! They did warn him beforehand that it was the advanced group he'd chosen.

After the inclusive lunch at a nearby pub, I had a mini debriefing with Nick & Matt and set to work putting the tips I'd been given to work during the afternoon's riding, as well as taking the opportunity to stop a few times for photos of the absolutely stunning scenery of the Brecon Beacons National Park.

So who is this experience for?

It goes without saying, if you have your own lightweight enduro bike in the garage, you may think this experience isn't for you. Even so, with such high levels of instruction at hand from Nick and his team, even the most seasoned dirt riding fanatic will be able to come away from the day having learned something.

Likewise, if you already have a Tiger in the garage and want to see just what your bike is capable of (without having to potentially damage your own) then this school will certainly open your eyes to just what these big bikes can really do.

Tiger Experience day - £299

Includes riding tips, Tiger 800 XC or Tiger 1200XC bike, fuel, lunch, and refreshments.

More details and how to book here.