Back to Spain for a ride on Triumph's tilt at the R1200GS, this on February 24 in Grenada. I know there are questions pending about this already, so get 'em in here now!
Back to Spain for a ride on Triumph's tilt at the R1200GS, this on February 24 in Grenada. I know there are questions pending about this already, so get 'em in here now!
The radiator support bracket on a test mule was shown severely rusted; has the material now changed for production?
a) What technical reasoning supports their claim that the shaft-drive will be far more robust than that of the GS?
b) Will the rubber connector between the shaft assembly require maintenance during a major service?
Minor service intervals have moved to 10k. Will the 20k service therefore be very major; like 8 hrs labour?
What equipment will be on the launch model; how will it affect price; and will the EOM parts of any replacement items (screen?) also be supplied with the bike?
Thank them for the lack of electronic suspension and switchable power modes; a sturdy rack, reliable shaft-drive and 10k intervals between minor services are probably much more useful to most potential owners in this segment.
I think they're will be some R1200GS available on that launch for direct comparison...
Ninou - I hope you're correct, since the GS is the "standard" and without some comparison, any review would be lacking.
Assuming a direct GS comparison is possible - in no particular order:
1. Quality comparison
3. Engine characteristics - which has better low-end response (we know which has more HP already), 60-80mph for instance.
4. Handling - and which feels lighter, especially when riding in a sporty fashion.
5. Consumption - just for the Explorer since we know the GS'
6. BAGS/TOP BOX - yes, in CAPS. This is one area where the Tiger 800 is under built compared to BMW. Are its bags of quality and are they mounted in a solid manner? Do they vibrate?
7. Two-up riding comfort
The GSA Triple Black looks awful good. Yes, not cheap and is about to be replaced by the LC version, but sales aren't slowing!
The Explorer looks good (at least in pictures), has enough HP, proper features and is priced well. Unless Triumph has overlooked its build quality (GS buyers will not compromise IMO), it should be a winner.
Cheers and thanks.
Kevin, questions for the long distance rider
1. What is the roll on like in higher gears, particularly with full load on board?
2. Tank range when thrashing it in the Granada Alps?
3. Wind blast?
4. How good is the fuelling at low speed, high and medium speed.
5. Is the drive line lash intrusive?
6. Will owners need an aftermarket seat for 400 mile days?
7. What's the balance like on Granada uphill hairpins and T junctions when overloaded?
8. When the bars are adjusted as far back as possible are you sitting upright, ie does it eliminate the slight lean forwards of the NEC show bike?
9.How do the front forks perform under heavy braking.
10. what is the make of the rear shock and, as delivered, what load is it rated for........Triumph rear shocks are usually under specced or can be and the GS is average at best.
1. What did they do to centralise mass? Why is that engine upright???
2. Why did they avoid, the no risk, canting the engine forwards .
3. Did they consider canting the engine forwards?
4. Are the headlights effective, assuming it gets dark in Spain ?
My partner would really like to know about passenger comfort as this seems to get overlooked, she is fairly short 5'1 so ease of getting on and off are a concern, it would be nice to see part of the test with a pillions comments (someone that's been on the bike for more than 20mins).
Ric, the test is in Spain, not in Dubai. I think it's the Panigale test that takes place in Dubai.
Yup, the Tiger Explorer launch is in Grenada, which was brave of them as it's at quite an altitude, which will sap some of the engines' power. Not to mention making journalists miserable because they're cold...
The 1199 is in Abu Dhabi, GSX-R1000 at Homestead, Florida, and Crosstourer just south of Barcelona.
Pricing for this and the Speed Triple R has just been announced btw...
I would have to think that if the bike lives up to expectations then with this pricing it has a good chance of being a commercial success. Of course the intangible is that people do not generally buy GS's on price, so fighting that will be the bigger challenge.
Kevin, remember if they have a GS there for comparison it will be more lethargic than the Triumph at 10,000 feet.
Forgot to mention the clutch resistance at the lever for the long distance day, is it feather light and easy to use
Wow, some really good questions here!
I've been offered a really crap deal against any Harley I want in any colour I want; all available from stock.
I've been offered a really good deal against a Ducati Multistrada Touring; delivery 'sometime' in next six months.
I'm hopefully being offered something in the middle against a Triumph eXplorer SE tomorrow; delivery late March.
Let the game of soldiers begin...
I can only get a brief impression of the pillion accommodation on a press launch. Sadly they don't let us bring the pert passenger of our choice so I have to make do with whoever looks most suitable on the event. We usually end up borrowing one of the more compact journalists, but I'll also have a go myself on the back, though it doesn't seem very representative to see someone of 6'3" on the back of a bike.
There isn't time for any more than that either as these launches are usually just one day's riding. So the full passenger impression has to wait until we get bikes for a longer period back home.
I can only get a brief impression of the pillion accommodation on a press launch. Sadly they don't let us bring the pert passenger of our choice so I have to make do with whoever looks most suitable on the event. We usually end up borrowing one of the more compact journalists
Kevin, you really suffer on these press junkets don't you. Now if I recall correctly from past reviews regarding pillions.
The lithe blond model on the MTS launch or was it the Diavel launch. The delightful Jane OmiGod (sorry spelling her surname has to be left with journalists) on the Vespa launch.......plus countless others hanging on......the blonde PR girl fron BMW at the S10000000RR launch comes to mind.................oh such difficult challenges pursuing reader interests to perfection!
It's a relentless treadmill of suffering and sacrifice, and all for you, dear reader.
Out of interest, Jane Omorogbe had a baby in Spring last year, she lives with the very amenable and fiendishly fast editor, Renaud Armand, of a Belgian bike magazine, which she also works for.
You might also have seen this feature on here:
Bike Show Girl.
The undeniably lovely Rachel has just been offered a prestige job as a show hostess with Rolls Royce Cars, which'll mean travelling the world to all the major car shows and hanging out with far posher bods than the likes of us. She'll still say hello though, she's alright...
Many of the pillion views you get on here though are from the considerably less pretty Martin Fitzgibbons and Bruce 'Almighty' Wilson, of Bike and Motorcycle Sport respectively - they happen to be more girl-sized than most, which you may call sexist of you wish, but most pillions seem to be female so it seems more relevant to me. And they know bikes and how to analyse them quickly so their feedback carries weight.
Yeah we really feel for you Kev - Nice work if you can get it! ;-D
CS - on Cycletrader.com there are 115 NEW MS1200's for sale (across the US), of which 39 are 2012's and the balance 2011's. Not sure why you must wait 6 months?
Thanks for the heads-up GT. However, it's not a case of 'must' wait six months; it's a case of dealers not being able to rely on the delivery dates that Ducati tell them - if they are lucky enough to even be told that. My local dealer was due two white, two red and two racing titanium matt one's in early December. As yet, not one delivered and no word from Ducati themselves. So his wet finger in air view is sometime between tomorrow and June. You've gotta sympathise with the dealer haven't you? :-D
My Diavel was ordered in Dec, due early March and it arrived in June. But sometimes I feel that I only got it that 'quickly' because someone senior in DNA was aware that I'm a global mod on a Diavel web site and was apparently worried that I would virally diss-Duke for their apparent apathy/lack of forthcoming information. I actually spoke to that person directly through a contact I know and it wasn't until a day or two before it physically arrived that they could actually confirm it had even been built at all! At one point they claimed it was on a ship that had broken down and was slowly being tug-boat towed to American shores! Despite this, my dealer also tells me that he's been waiting seven months for a CBR250 too, with very little feedback from Honda either apparently. I had to tell him that the CrossTourer wasn't coming to America (I spoke with someone at HNA) because they hadn't bothered to tell their dealers they weren't getting the NT700 or CT.
Of course buying a bike is easy, you can do it anywhere and a fool and his money (that'll be me then...) right? However, after you've bought it you've got to trust the mechanic who will be laying their hands on your bike and the dealership in general to successfully resolve any potential gripes and warranty claims that you might have. So my personal preference is to buy from the shop that I feel will look after me the most post purchase and not be too attracted to a slightly cheaper deal miles away or by a dealer with a big glossy showroom and clueless kids out in the under-equipped workshop. Dealers are often surprised when one of the first things I ask is to see the workshop, as nobody seems to ask them, but like I say... I can buy a bike anywhere, its not as important as placing my life in the hands of my mechanic. My Ducati mechanic and his wife have been to my house for dinner. Ensuring my machine is properly maintain is that important to me - I've done the bones poking through skin thing and I don't recommend it!
Despite the Ducati chat and possible deal, as I have a good relationship with my Duke dealer. I think I'm likely to got with an eXplorer - deal permitting. I really dislike chains and things like cruise-control and 10k minor service intervals, at a more affordable price on the Triumph, all greatly appeal for my own personal needs at present.
Thanks Ninou. It's not often I get Ducati mixed up with Triumph, maybe it's a subconscious desire........a Triumph 3 cylinder Explorer with the MTS weight......oh joy plus angst in Munich!
The Special Edition in the States will cost $16,999 from Triumph. Which means circa $18,600 OTR, depending what local taxes you pay.
I'm led to believe that the SE spec will actually be a a little longer than was mentioned above...
Standard: ABS, Cruise-Control, Rack, Shaft-Drive, Traction-Control, etc
Special Edition: Clear Brake-Light Lens, Hand-Guards, EP Bars, Touring Screen, Spot/Fog Lights, Sump Guard, Switch Kit (spots), Tank Pad, TPMS.
Surprisingly Heated Grips and Centre Stand not mentioned for the SE; I would have expected at least one of those to be popular? I guess that, assuming the spots are plug and play, those two items I mentioned are more convoluted labour costs wise, to Triumph)?
The bike can be built on the UK web site now, but not the US yet, although the price of the base model $15,700 is stated.
Deliveries, in my neck of the woods, are not scheduled until early May it seems. I spoke to a dealer last week and he was expecting late March, but he spoke to Triumph America today and early May is what he is now telling me.
I'm not sure what to believe delivery wise now? But if the official journalist launch is Feb 24th, then a further 8-10 wks after that for deliveries seems credible I guess?
Vibration levels and frequency types felt through the bars and high speed stability...
For anybody interested in the Adventure Configurator
A touring spec comes out at £13k......a lot of dosh as usual...
"6. BAGS/TOP BOX - yes, in CAPS. This is one area where the Tiger 800 is under built compared to BMW. ... Unless Triumph has overlooked its build quality (GS buyers will not compromise IMO), it should be a winner"
... you're right GT that the T8's could have been sturdier. However to be fair IMHO I don't think panniers will fare too well when a tall, wrong side of 250 kg wet, bike falls over. I know that we don't have to dump the bike to feel the quality, but again as a previous owner of various BMW panniers I'm not personally convinced they're any better than anyone else's? Put it this way, their not Touratech/Metal Mule sturdy on any adventure bike on the market right now.
I noticed the following quote in this months CycleWorld (GS, Tenere, 990 Adv) group test: "BMW wasn't through earning Blake's ire. He managed to break both Vario sidecases, one of them after it had been completely emptied. First, the small plastic tang behind the locking support broke, followed by the one where the bracket clamps onto the frame tube. At that point, the bags are free to depart the bike, which both did at least once. Put bluntly, the expensive Vario bags aren't suitable for true off-road work or even bumpy dirt roads, for that matter. By contrast, the KTM accessory bags and Yamaha's optional panniers (both top loading, our preferred method) proved durable. In fact we had no problems..."
I watched a friend topple off his GS in first gear on the road. He could still open and close his cases, but his diamond shaped cases were a right mess. Did you see what I did there? ;-D For non round the world rulers, I think dry-bags from Wolfman or Ortlieb are actually better and far cheaper, even if locking them to the bike takes more ingenuity.
Do you need a bag carrier for any of these launches , i can be quiet or do a bit of stand up if required ?
please check the seat height position on your demonstrator - on the show bike at NEC it was in the lowest position - i felt quite a reach to the bars - i am 6 foot on the nail - please comment on what you think about the reach for you ? i found the multistrada bars the other extreme ie too near
With the Triumph top box on the 800 there is insufficient room for a pillion - if you have the pad on the box it pushes the pilion forward ( pillions arnt always shrinking violets !) intersting to see if they have one luggaged up for you to try ?
Oh and if nobody asks - whats the range with a reasonable pace
looking forward to someone testing it - i keep looking for the Triumph tester in the Straford to Coventry corridor - if i see him i will follow - with stop and search !
It'd be good to also know:
- walking pace / low speed composure
- ride quality at various speeds over varied surfaces
- paint finish quality
- revs at 70 mph
- how intuitive/well the cruise control works
- mirror clarity / vibration
- computer info intuitive to use?
Kevin: Now we are getting to the minutia.
On the GS the seat pushes you forwards especially braking late and hard when you shouldn't have......know what I mean?
OK, how does the Explorer do?
How quickly does the tank take petrol?. Remember the Mk2 Gs was fine until the last 5 litres, took forever, which could be a pain when entering Death Valley.
Kevin: Forgot. How long will the Captain keep the Explorer?
Until the CrossTourer is seen as a sleeper? Until they put a detuned Panegalle engine into the MTS or Harley bring out a TallRounder?
With all the "great" questions listed, Kevin will certainly have his hands full. LOL
CS - In regards to the Tiger 800 bags, I recall reading that they vibrated and didn't look very well integrated. Yes, unless you have the metal variety, durability will be an issue for any brand, if ridden off-road.
Cruise control - IMHO, a definite "must", especially here in North America, with our strict speed enforcement (radar) - just set your speed and forget about it..... Also handy when leading group rides along highways.
It appears the Explorer's price will be very close to the GS Adventure, which also features a much larger tank and 3 year warranty.
For those who appreciate additional HP (me), hopefully, the Explorer will fulfill its objectives.
RIC, my monies on the Panigale cruiser with springer buddy seat! :-D Bike's are like women, I'm still looking for 'the' one. Just don't tell the wife that! ;-D
GT. I wasn't aware of the vibration concern, but I am sure that you are right with regards to this. The brackets certainly has them sticking the boxes far out in the breeze; we'd expect a more integrated looks for sure.
You mention the price point between the GS Adv. and eXplorer being similar; but IMPO I really don't see that, so you must be loaded! ;-D The GS Adv. is $18.350 inc ABS. But you don't get traction-control for that and the "must" have cruise-control isn't an option either. The eXplorer is $15,699 including ABS, traction-control and cruise control. So with a price difference of $2,651 more for the BMW which is also offering less must-have equipment, you've got to really hate filling up and really value the extra warranty period.
I can say from owning more than ten BMW/Triumph's I've never made a warranty claim on any of the Triumph's and experienced no recalls either. But I've needed to make at least three claims on the BMW's and had recalls for various ailments too. BMW's warranty is no quibble in my own experience, and customer service is generally first class. But owners just might 'need' the longer warranty. And when it's run out....
Quality is a funny thing really, because we're all guilty of having some face-value rational perceptions. For instance, my brother was telling me only yesterday how much more reliable Honda cars are than Hyundai's. Now I don't own a Honda car and I've never even been in a Hyundai. But I had a quick look at the 2011 JD Power Survey results for reliability yesterday and Hyundai actually creamed Honda, whilst offering an industry best, I believe, ten year warranty. My local dealer actual doubles that if you buy and have it serviced from them; twenty years! But who would have thought that? I wouldn't.
I also recall TopGear saying that of all the cars built on the VW Golf platform (and there's an awful lot across multiple 'Audi, VW, Skoda', etc, brands), its actually the Golf itself that's the worst screwed together. Again, who'd have thought it?
As Kevin has attested before, its generally accepted that Yamaha's tend to be better screwed together than their Suzuki equivalent models. But that doesn't mean that Suzuki doesn't build a more reliable bike than BMW or any other European manufacturer, as 'voted by the manufacturers themselves' based on the their own R&D of competitors machines. Food for thought...
I agree GT, the extra horses will be welcome and cruise is very useful indeed in the land of the near never-ending asphalt that we share.
Kevin. More I think about my time on TallRounders the suspension, second to the engine, is critical for me for both bike control and ride comfort.
So your considered views and assessment would be appreciated.
Where as the GS has pretty good handling in the twisties it Pogo's along when cruising which on a long day can get OYT's. The rear shock struggles with high load as well.
The MTS Ohlins stuff gives impressive wheel control and ride quality plus good feedback but the rear shock needed an up-rated spring before it gave high load control.
So the Explorer, with it's weight and power should be a challenge for the suspenders so it will be interesting to hear your views.....I'm sure there will be trade-off's.
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