• Is Triumph Setting Itself Up For a Fall With The New Tiger 1200?

  • Triumph Tiger 1200 Prototype Triumph making a big thing of chasing after BMW with the new Tiger
  • Lighter, More Focussed Lighter than the BMW, with more power. But could this bring the Tiger into KTM territory?
  • Pick Your Battles Carefully Triumph can ill-afford to get into a power battle with KTM, let alone try and claim equal overall ability, unless it is sure it can win

Triumph must pick its rivals with care

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Triumph has made oblique references as to which adventure bikes it is gunning for with the heavily revised 2022 Tiger 1200 and it is the BMW GS. However, if it’s not careful, it will find itself going head-to-head with the KTM 1290 Adventure and is that a battle it can win?

Triumph Needs To Pick Its Fights Carefully

Triumph is making a lot of noise about its new-for-2022 Tiger 1200and it has every right to feel confident. The new bike promises to be a lot more focussed and sharper than the outgoing model, losing a chunk of weight and gaining the much-vaunted T-plane crankshaft engine, which gives the best of both worlds: low-down lugging torque with the sound and feel of a twin and a screaming but smooth and refined red-line.

Is Triumph Setting Itself Up For a Fall With The New Tiger 1200?
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Pick Your Battles Carefully
Triumph can ill-afford to get into a power battle with KTM, let alone try and claim equal overall ability, unless it is sure it can win

So far, Triumph has ’told’ us that the closest rival to the Tiger 1200 is BMW’s R1250GS, with which it shares shaft final drive. Well, they haven’t actually told us that but the implication is clear. Clearly mentioned is the weight - ’less than 249kg’ - which is clearly a dig at the BMW and the power output, which is said to be ’more than 134bhp’, which is exactly where the BMW sits.

Is Triumph Setting Itself Up For a Fall With The New Tiger 1200?
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Lighter, More Focussed
Lighter than the BMW, with more power. But could this bring the Tiger into KTM territory?

But there is another element to this. In its current incarnation, the Tiger 1200, like the BMW, is aimed at riders who will use their bikes for touring, urban riding and perhaps a bit of light off-roading. To this end, comfort and ultimate specification are likely to be deciding factors.

Is Triumph Setting Itself Up For a Fall With The New Tiger 1200?
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Triumph Tiger 1200 Prototype
Triumph making a big thing of chasing after BMW with the new Tiger

If the new Tiger 1200 is too extreme in its bid to topple the BMW from its lofty perch, it could find itself becoming too hardcore and drifting into KTM territory and that means going head-to-head with the KTM 1290 Adventure in terms of outright power and ability, which the KTM, with its 160bhp and off-road credentials, is unlikely to be beaten.

So, Triumph might find itself winning one war, only to find itself heading straight into another one.

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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