2022 Triumph Tiger 1200 Will Get GroundBraking T-Plane Engine - story fullscreen Fullscreen

2022 Triumph Tiger 1200 Will Get GroundBraking T-Plane Engine

First seen in Tiger 900, T-Plane crankshaft offers best of both worlds

Triumph’s bid to turn the Tiger 1200 into the best adventure bike on the planet is revealed to be on track with the news that the engine will gain a T-plane crankshaft which offers the best all-round performance.

2022 Triumph Tiger 1200 Engine Details Revealed

2022 Triumph Tiger 1200 Will Get GroundBraking T-Plane Engine
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2022 Triumph Tiger 1200
Triumph making big noises about the updated model

After Triumph released pictures and details about the vastly upgraded Tiger 1200 a couple of weeks ago (see here), speculation was rife as to whether it would gain a similar T-plane crankshaft to the one found in the Tiger 900.

The significance of the technology is that it allows the engine to have the low-rpm grunt of a twin cylinder with the high-revving performance that was always a characteristic of the triple-cylinder configuration. Criticisms of the previous Tiger 800 centred around the fact that the power delivery of the 800cc triple was too smooth and that usable power was delivered too high in the rev range for mud-plugging work.

2022 Triumph Tiger 1200 Will Get GroundBraking T-Plane Engine
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Lighter, more power, shaft drive
Triumph gunning for direct rivals BMW and KTM

The T-plane crank changed all that by increasing the firing intervals between cylinders 1/3 and 2, giving much better torque at lower revs, which is exactly what an off-road engine needs. On-road performance remained as good as ever as the engine produced good power and torque higher up the rev range as well. A happy side effect was a much more gruff exhaust note.

Triumph previously said that the 2022 Tiger 1200 would be significantly lighter than the outgoing model and that its sights were firmly set on the class-leading adventure bikes from BMW and KTM. The addition of the T-plane crank takes it one step further to achieving that.

2022 Triumph Tiger 1200 Will Get GroundBraking T-Plane Engine
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Improved off-road performance
New T-plane crankshaft essentially two engines in one: low down grunt and screaming red-line

The Triumph press release read thus:

"The new Tiger 1200 official prototype testing showcases Triumph’s signature T-Plane triple advantage for the first time in the large capacity adventure world.

"Delivering more power and character than its closest competition, the only other shaft-driven bike in the class, the new 1200 engine brings all of the low-down torque delivery of a twin, married to the top end punch and incredible soundtrack that only the Triumph triple delivers.

"The new T-Plane triple is beautifully smooth and refined, with incredible response and tractability, equally perfect for kicking up the dirt, sweeping through the corners, or crossing continents in style."

Now, that second paragraph needs a bit of qualification. "Delivering more power and character than its closest competition" can be interpreted in a couple of ways. Are Triumph really gunning for the 160bhp of the KTM 1290 Adventure or would they be satisfied with beating the 136bhp of the BMW R1250 GS? If that is the case, is their target really BMW and not KTM? That bit about ’more character’ could suggest that is the case as one criticism of the BMW has always been the rather bland and droning exhaust note of the BMW’s boxer engine compared to the KTM’s V-twin.

There can be no doubt that in overall ability Triumph has both major rivals firmly in its sights without having to try and beat KTM in the largely irrelevant highest power stakes.

For an explanation of the T-plane crankshaft, take a look at this explanation on Visordown.com and watch this video here

Harry Fisher
Harry Fisher
Motorcycling Contributor
Born and raised in England, he has lived in South Africa with his family since 2002. Harry has owned examples of Triumph, Norton, BSA, MV Agusta, Honda, BMW, Ducati, Harley Davidson, Kawasaki and Moto Morini motorcycles. He regrets selling all of them.  Read full bio
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