Absolutely Laden With Upscale Electronics

Triumph polished its off-road chops ahead of MY2018 with a new Tiger 1200 XCx that rocks more of what you want and less of what you don’t in an adventure bike. The “XCx” is looking trim at the scale after a Summer at fat-camp, and that trickles down to turn in improved handling and performance from the improved chassis and significantly upgraded powerplant. Adjustable ride-quality controls ride alongside layered electronic safety features to make this XCx quite flexible and capable of fitting a variety of roles and riders. The Tiger moniker has always set a high bar, so today let’s see how Trumpet measures up against its own yardstick and check out the likely competition.

Continue reading for my review of the Triumph Tiger 1200 XCx.

  • 2018 - 2019 Triumph Tiger 1200 XCx
  • Year:
    2018- 2019
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    inline-3
  • Displacement:
    1215 cc
  • Price:
    19550
  • Price:

Triumph Tiger 1200 XCx Design

2018 - 2019 Triumph Tiger 1200 XCx
- image 802685
Triumph toes the party line as far as the overall design is concerned, and not much visually distinguishes it from previous incarnations.

Triumph toes the party line as far as the overall design is concerned. The Tiger leads the way with a bird’s-beak fairing with backup on the fling-control from a proper front fender that doubles as a cover to protect the swept area of the usd front forks. New LED DRLs join dual headlight projectors to split night and day, as it were, with standoff-style turn signals to finish the forward lighting. Gotta’ say, it would look better if the winkers were integrated with the mirrors or the handguards, but it is what it is. At least the thing does have handguards as part of the standard equipment package for a little stock weatherproofing in cold/rainy conditions, and they are paired with handwarmers for some real cold-weather comfort.

Up top, an electrically-adjustable windscreen utilizes a vented design that relieves the vacuum behind the glass, and makes for a smooth reintegration with the slipstream and reduced head-buffet effect. Behind the glass/plastic/whatever, a new five-inch full-color TFT screen displays the instrumentation along with the menus for the various subsystems.

On down the line is the camel-like hump of the 5.2-gallon fuel tank that is so typical of the current standards of the genre. In addition to its height, the top of the tank bears a wide flange followed by a dramatic bevel that meets the frame and saddle at a very narrow junction. Not only does this allow for body English, but it makes it easier to reach the ground from your perch. The seat itself is movable with a two-position adjuster that’ll let you set the saddle at 32.87-inches off the ground, or crank it up to 33.66-inches high, so you’ve got a little flexibility to accommodate a range of inseam lengths.

A wide pillion pad joins a set of subframe-mount, fold-up footpegs and J.C. handles to facilitate the passenger action with a nice vertical offset that creates a bit of extra support for the pilot. A compact taillight and another pair of standoff winkers wrap up the rearward lights with a tag holder that acts as a rear-mudguard extender to keep the rear-wheel sling under control. Finally, the upswept exhaust system follows the angle of the subframe to leave the right side of the rear wheel visible and make apparent the fact that the Tiger rocks a single-side swingarm to articulate the rear wheel.

Triumph Tiger 1200 XCx Chassis

2018 - 2019 Triumph Tiger 1200 XCx
- image 802771

Tubular-steel members make up the Trellis frame that defines the Tiger. It uses the engine as a stressed member in order to keep weight and bulk down and sets the steering head at some surprisingly short numbers. The forks ride at a 23.2-degree rake angle with 3.93 inches of trail for some decidedly crisp handling characteristics that’ll give it a short turning radius off-road and an eager nature on the blacktop sweeps.

New all-black wire wheels mount a 120/70-19 and a 170/60-17 hoop that runs more of a street-friendly profile that’s also okay enough on soft surfaces, but obviously not as good as a proper set of adventure-type knobbies on the latter.

So far, all this is all good and fine, but also pretty mundane. Well, that’s about to change at the Tiger’s suspension that rocks WP components at both ends. A set of beefy, 48 mm, inverted forks float the front end and a coil-over monoshock tends to the rear, but the real magic is in the electronic adjustment feature that tweaks the damping values of both the forks and the shock, plus a variable-preload feature out back.

Pretty sweet stuff, but it gets even better at the brakes. That’s right, the brakes are comprised of a pair of 305 mm discs up front with a 282 mm out back. A pair of four-piston, Brembo calipers bite the front rotors with a twin-pot Nissin anchor to grab the rear, and it falls under the vigilant care of the switchable, cornering-ABS feature that comes in the stock package. The electronics suite continues to improve into the engine-controls.

Frame: Tubular steel trellis frame
Front Suspension/Travel: WP 1.89 in (48 mm) upside down forks, electronically adjustable damping/ 7.48 in (190 mm)
Rear Suspension/Wheel Travel: WP monoshock, electronically adjustable semi active damping with automatic preload adjustment/ 7.6 in (193 mm)
Rake: 23.2°
Trail: 3.93 in (99.9 mm)
Swingarm: Single-sided, cast aluminum alloy with shaft drive
Front Wheel: 32 spoke, aluminum rim, for tubeless tires 19 x 3.0 in
Rear Wheel: 32 spoke, aluminum rim, for tubeless tires 17 x 4.5 in
Front Tire: 120/70 R19
Rear Tire: 170/60 R17
Front Brakes: Twin 12 in (305 mm) floating discs, radially mounted monobloc Brembo 4-piston calipers, switchable ABS
Rear Brakes: Single 11.1 in (282 mm) disc, Nissin 2-piston sliding caliper, switchable ABS

Triumph Tiger 1200 XCx Drivetrain

2018 - 2019 Triumph Tiger 1200 XCx
- image 802691
A new 'Off-Road Pro' mode brings the number of rider modes to five.

I guess the yummy-goodness starts with the new keyless ignition system that activates the bike just from proximity with the key plus an immobilizer that stands guard so you don’t have to. There’s a Riding Mode feature that has four preset power-delivery profiles from before plus a new “Off-Road Pro” curve for a total of five. It also sports a top-shelf traction control system that, like the ABS, is lean-sensitive in that it calculates the available traction taking into account the vehicle’s attitude and the g-forces affecting it.

As for the crunchy bits, the engine is configured as an inline triple with an 85 mm bore and 71.4 mm stroke that gives it a total capacity of 1,215 cc and compression ratio of 11-to-1. Dual over-head cams time the poppets with four valves per cylinder to let the thing breathe. liquid-cooling improves temperature stability and reduces heat wash, plus the engine water jacket attenuates the mechanical noises coming from within for a somewhat-quieter ride.

Power flows through a torque-assist clutch to provide a light clutch pull with some over-run protection that protects the rear contact patch from excessive backtorque on hard downshifts. A six-speed transmission and shaft-type final drive carries the power to the rear wheel with the double-duty, single-sided swingarm as the shaft housing. What does that all get you? Well, torque maxes out at 7,600 rpm with 90 pound-feet on tap, but open it up to 9,350 rpm and you’ll unleash 141-ponies, and that’s plenty of power, no matter how you load it.

Engine: Liquid-cooled, 12 valve, DOHC, in-line 3-cylinder
Displacement: 1,215 cc
Bore x Stroke : 85 mm x 71.4 mm
Compression: 11.0:1
Max Power EC: 141 hp (104 kW) @ 9,350 rpm
Max Torque EC: 90 lb-ft (122 Nm) @ 7,600 rpm
System: Ride by Wire, fuel injection
Exhaust: Stainless steel 3 into 1 header system, side mounted stainless steel muffler
Final Drive: Shaft drive
Clutch: Wet, multi-plate hydraulically operated, torque assist
Gearbox:  6-speed

Triumph Tiger 1200 XCx Pricing

2018 - 2019 Triumph Tiger 1200 XCx
- image 802733
MSRP is just under $20k, which isn't so bad when you consider what you get.

The Jet Black model is at the bottom of the totem pole with a $19,550 sticker for 2019. If you want the Crystal White or the Matt Khaki Green tank and fender treatment, you’ll have to pony up a little more; $19,800 to be precise. Got more room in the budget? Triumph offers a robust accessories line to help you part with more cheddar in exchange for the custom bits you need to really make the bike “yours.”

Instrument Display and Functions: TFT multi-functional instrument pack with digital speedometer, trip computer, digital tachometer, gear position indicator, fuel gauge, service indicator, ambient temperature, clock and six rider modes (Road/Off-road/Off-Road Pro/Sport/Track/Rider-Customizable)
Colors: Jet Black, Crystal White, Matt Khaki Green
Price: Jet Black: $19,550, Color: $19,800

Triumph Tiger 1200 XCx Competitor

2018 - 2019 Triumph Tiger 1200 XCx
- image 799885
2019 Ducati Multistrada 1260 Enduro
- image 801176
Both capable bikes; Ducati gains a slight edge in the power department, but you'll pay for that fistful of ponies with a price tag more than two grand higher than the Tiger.

There are a handful of serious adventure bike contenders out there, but I wanted something that would contrast the Tiger’s looks from within the genre so I tapped Ducati for its new Multistrada 1260 Enduro.

In the looks department, the Italian is in a class all its own with almost feminine curves and a visage that displays a certain synergy throughout the build. It bears a similar bird’s-beak front end with more or less the standard flyline with a tall fuel hump and upswept subframe. I mean, the Triumph is by no means an ugly bike, but the Multistrada is definitely the “hot sister” of the two.

The chassis is likewise similar with semi-active electronic suspension and cornering ABS on tap for comfort and safety. Duc adds a Vehicle Hold feature to the brakes to make it easier to negotiate steep inclines, a feature that doesn’t make it onto the XCx though it’s available on the top-shelf XCa.

The “Enduro” rocks a Testastretta L-Twin powerplant that uses a Desmodromic Variable Timing feature to broaden the powerband with a pull-close cam that replaces the valve springs and provides a positive means of poppet closure for float-free revs. Ducati doesn’t skimp on the engine-control electronics; Cornering traction control, Riding Modes and Power Modes are joined by a wheelie control to help you keep it all under control.

The power figures are relatively close though Ducati gains a slight edge with 158-horsepower and 94 pound-feet of torque against 141/90 from the Triumph. You’ll pay for that fistful of ponies to the tune of $21,995; more than two grand more than the Tiger.

He Said

“Triumph meets my expectations with this ride, and even though the Duc is a little sexier (and pricier), there ain’t a thing wrong with the Tiger at the end of the day. Power, comfort amenities and flexibility all come stock, and I expect it’ll keep up with any of the top adventure models.”

She Said

My wife and fellow motorcycle writer, Allyn Hinton, says, “The active suspension is nice, giving you a very smooth ride. It’s very comfortable, indeed, though it does feel rather heavy when getting up off the stand and it dives a bit when the front brakes are applied with urgency. Overall, it’s a very nice bike with an electronics suite that is impressive enough, but isn’t as inclusive as the Xca. It’s a big, heavy bike, and I think I’d feel a little more confident if it wasn’t so top heavy.”

Triumph Tiger 1200 XCx Specifications

Engine & Drivetrain:
Engine: Liquid-cooled, 12 valve, DOHC, in-line 3-cylinder
Displacement: 1,215 cc
Bore x Stroke : 85 mm x 71.4 mm
Compression: 11.0:1
Max Power EC: 141 hp (104 kW) @ 9,350 rpm
Max Torque EC: 90 lb-ft (122 Nm) @ 7,600 rpm
System: Ride by Wire, fuel injection
Exhaust: Stainless steel 3 into 1 header system, side mounted stainless steel muffler
Final Drive: Shaft drive
Clutch: Wet, multi-plate hydraulically operated, torque assist
Gearbox:  6-speed
Chassis:
Frame: Tubular steel trellis frame
Front Suspension/Travel: WP 1.89 in (48 mm) upside down forks, electronically adjustable damping/ 7.48 in (190 mm)
Rear Suspension/Wheel Travel: WP monoshock, electronically adjustable semi active damping with automatic preload adjustment/ 7.6 in (193 mm)
Rake: 23.2°
Trail: 3.93 in (99.9 mm)
Swingarm: Single-sided, cast aluminum alloy with shaft drive
Front Wheel: 32 spoke, aluminum rim, for tubeless tires 19 x 3.0 in
Rear Wheel: 32 spoke, aluminum rim, for tubeless tires 17 x 4.5 in
Front Tire: 120/70 R19
Rear Tire: 170/60 R17
Front Brakes: Twin 12 in (305 mm) floating discs, radially mounted monobloc Brembo 4-piston calipers, switchable ABS
Rear Brakes: Single 11.1 in (282 mm) disc, Nissin 2-piston sliding caliper, switchable ABS
Dimensions & Capacities:
Width Handlebars: 32.68 in (830 mm)
Height Without Mirror: 57.87 in (1,470 mm)
Seat Height: 32.87 - 33.66 in (835 - 855 mm)
Wheelbase: 59.84 in (1,520 mm)
Dry Weight: 547 lbs
Tank Capacity: 5.2 gal
Details:
Instrument Display and Functions: TFT multi-functional instrument pack with digital speedometer, trip computer, digital tachometer, gear position indicator, fuel gauge, service indicator, ambient temperature, clock and six rider modes (Road/Off-road/Off-Road Pro/Sport/Track/Rider-Customizable)
Colors: Jet Black, Crystal White, Matt Khaki Green
Price: Jet Black: $19,550, Color: $19,800

Further Reading

Ducati Multistrada 1260 Enduro

2019 Ducati Multistrada 1260 Enduro
- image 801192

See our review of the Ducati Multistrada 1260 Enduro.

Triumph Tiger 1200 XR

2018 Triumph Tiger 1200 XR
- image 781620

See our review of the Triumph Tiger 1200 XR.

Triumph Tiger 1200 XRT

2018 Triumph Tiger 1200 XRt
- image 785813

See our review of the Triumph Tiger 1200 XRT.

Triumph Tiger 1200 XCa

2018 - 2019 Triumph Tiger 1200 XCa
- image 799888

See our review of the Triumph Tiger 1200 XCa.

Triumph Motorcycles

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- image 791470

Read more Triumph news.

All images featured on this website are copyrighted to their respective rightful owners. No infringement is intended. Image Source: triumphmotorcycles.com, ducati.com

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