First Look: The 2022 Triumph Tiger 1200

Photo credit: Bjorn Moreira / ZA Bikers

It’s been a long wait but the new Triumph Tiger 1200 has arrived and it looks as if the wait has been very much worth it. While we have yet to ride it, we were able to take a close look at the official unveiling at Triumph Johannesburg and, if first impressions are important, then Triumph has got it absolutely spot on.

Photo credit: Bjorn Moreira / ZA Bikers

The new model has shaved 25kg off the previous Tiger 1200 but, quite apart from that, it looks a lot lighter. Even a 30-litre tank on the Explorer models (20-litre tanks on the GT Pro and Rally Pro) fails to translate to more visual bulk and, overall, it looks much less intimidating than its German rival.

Photo credit: Bjorn Moreira / ZA Bikers

Why single out the BMW as a rival? Well, that’s exactly what Triumph is doing. With the Tiger 1200 being shaft driven, that puts it in direct competition with the BMW R 1250 GS and much is made of the differences in power, weight, electronics and, perhaps more importantly, price.

With the GS sitting at the top of the sales table, it is a brave manufacturer who decides to go head-to-head with the BMW but that is exactly what Triumph is doing and, on paper, at least, it has succeeded.

Photo credit: Bjorn Moreira / ZA Bikers

The engine in the Tiger 1200 now follows Tiger 900 practice in having a 1, 3, 2 firing order for its three-cylinder engine, giving the best of both worlds – low down torque and a howling red line. 150bhp is the result, which comfortably outguns the BMW’s 136bhp. The Tiger 1200 is 16kg lighter than the GS and, as mentioned, looks a lot leaner.

Triumph South Africa will be bringing in four out of the five models available, experience showing that base models rarely sell well here. The models available are the GT Pro, GT Explorer, Rally Pro and Rally Explorer. The missing model is the 1200 GT. The Explorer models have the larger petrol tank, while the GT models come with 19/18-inch front/rear wheels and have 7.9-inches of suspension travel. The Rally models come with 21/18-inch wheels front/rear and have 8.7-inches of suspension travel.

Photo credit: Bjorn Moreira / ZA Bikers

The frame and subframe are all-new and of modular construction, which should pay dividends in the event of a crash; the subframe and pillion foot peg hangers can now be replaced without disturbing the main frame which will be a lot less expensive. The Tiger 1200 is noticeably slim, especially around the seating area, making it a lot easier to get feet on the ground if the rider is of shorter stature.

The seat has two height positions – manually adjustable – and rider comfort has been a focus, with the twin radiators being carefully shrouded to direct hot air away from the rider. The screen is manually adjustable for height.

Photo credit: Bjorn Moreira / ZA Bikers

Showa semi-active suspension is standard across the board, as is a two-way quick shifter and the rest of the electronics package is extremely comprehensive. All the rider modes can now be customised, allowing riders to set the bike up with their preferred options. Off-Road and Off-Road Pro modes allow riders to use the off-road-specific traction control and ABS, or to switch them off completely.

One novelty of the electronic suspension is titled ‘Launch and Land’, which could be something to do with space travel but is not quite so exciting, if still useful. Should you take to the air over a jump, the bike senses this and stiffens the suspension to avoid bottoming when landing.

Photo credit: Bjorn Moreira / ZA Bikers

Triumph has chosen to forego radar-controlled cruise control (cruise control is fitted) but has gone for a rear-facing blind-spot radar, with a warning flashing up via LEDs in the rear view mirrors.

A feature of the rear suspension is the Tri-Link swing arm. Previous Tiger 1200s had a single-sided swing arm, housing the drive shaft. The new Tiger 1200 has the most interesting design we’ve seen for a long time. The right-hand side of the swing arm comprises a short arm, that ends well before the rear wheel spindle. There is then a triangular casting that attaches to the arm, the wheel spindle and the parallel link running from the top of the casting forward to the swing arm pivot. Doing this has enabled Triumph to make the drive shaft and housing a lot slimmer and lighter while making the whole a lot stiffer.

Photo credit: Bjorn Moreira / ZA Bikers

The new Tiger 1200 models are keenly priced: the GT Pro is R285,000, the Rally Pro, is R305,000. The GT Explorer is R315,000 and the Rally Explorer is R335,000.

The new Tiger 1200 models are extremely important for Triumph, given the size of the adventure market around the world. At first glance, Triumph has done what it is traditionally so good at: making the next generation of a model infinitely better than the outgoing model.

Photo credit: Bjorn Moreira / ZA Bikers

The new Tigers are available to view at Triumph Johannesburg and Triumph Pretoria and, from next week, at Triumph Cape Town. Once the homologation is complete, which is estimated to take a couple of weeks, there will be demo models available to ride and, of course, buy!

All-New Tiger 1200 Range

For more information on the bikes that we tested in this article, click on the links below…

2022

Triumph Tiger 1200 Rally Explo...

Pricing From R335,000 (RRP)


Brand: Triumph
2022

Triumph Tiger 1200 Rally Pro

Pricing From R305,000 (RRP)


Brand: Triumph
2022

Triumph Tiger 1200 GT Explorer

Pricing From R315,000 (RRP)


Brand: Triumph
2022

Triumph Tiger 1200 GT Pro

Pricing From R285,000 (RRP)


Brand: Triumph
Harry has been obsessing about motorbikes for over 45 years, riding them for 38 years and writing and talking about them for 13 years. In that time, he has ridden everything from an Aprilia to a Zundapp, from the 1920s to the 2020s. His favourites are the ones that didn’t break down and leave him stranded. While he loves the convenience of modern bikes, he likes nothing better than getting his hands dirty keeping old bikes running, just as long as it’s not by the roadside! Old enough to know better and young enough not to care, he knows you don’t stop riding when you get old, you get old when you stop riding.