Triumph takes its Tiger 1200 to a whole new level

Triumph Motorcycles has long been on the cutting edge of adventure-bike design with its venerable Tiger line, and the British giant expands it top-displacement, mid-range technology bracket with the addition of the Tiger 1200 Alpine for MY2020. Special paint and graphics set the Alpine apart visually from the rest of the family, and under the “hood”, Triumph’s premium electronics suite works to keep it dirty-side down. The in-line triple delivers well over 100 ponies with almost 100 pounds o’ grunt to drive the Alpine over the hills and dales it was designed to conquer.

  • 2020 Triumph Tiger 1200 Alpine Edition
  • Year:
    2020
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    inline-3
  • Displacement:
    1215 cc
  • Top Speed:
    140 mph (Est.)
  • Price:
    19300
  • Price:

2020 Triumph Tiger 1200 Alpine Design

  • Premium, special-edition paint and graphics
  • LED lighting
  • 5-inch full-color TFT display
  • Adjustable seat height
  • Electronically-adjustable windscreen
2020 Triumph Tiger 1200 Alpine Edition
- image 885178
2020 Triumph Tiger 1200 Alpine Edition
- image 885159
2020 Triumph Tiger 1200 Alpine Edition
- image 885160

The factory starts with its mid-range Tiger 1200 XRx as the base platform for the Tiger 1200 Alpine and sweetens the deal with a carbon fiber-wrapped titanium muffler and “Snowdonia” paint that sports the special “Alpine Edition” graphics. Said graphics are rather subtle, and it looks like they only show up in the “1200” on both sides of the tank as a dark-gray representation of the rocky Alpine skyline.

Blackout treatment dominates the look and starts out in earnest at the cast rims, fork stanchions, and front fender to lend it a bit of a custom air. The fender uprights are rather long, but they have to be to provide full coverage over the not-insignificant suspension-travel necessary for the intended. A wide bird’s-beak fairing leads the way at the front fairing but is more about looks than spray containment as the latter is handled by the fender proper.

Goggle-eye headlights and DRLs light the way ahead, and just to the rear of the headlights are a pair of front blinkers mounted up nice and high, well out of harm’s way. A push-button-adjustable windshield punches a generous hole in the weather for your upper torso with stock handguards to keep your meathooks from freezing during cold rides. This also helps the stock heated grips more effective as well.

The vented screen mitigates much of the turbulence that increases drag along with the wearisome head-buffet effect. The instrumentation and rider interface is combined within a five-inch color TFT screen, and that makes for an uncluttered control area, plus there’s a five-volt USB port to power your mobile device, or a GPS module to expand the instruments further yet.

A chunky 5.2-gallon fuel tank defines the flyline, typically narrow at the rear end to form the knee pockets and give the Alpine a narrow waist. This gives your inner thighs a break, especially when you deploy your training wheels at a stop. The saddle is adjustable between 32.87 inches and 33.6 inches to give you some control over the shape of the rider’s triangle according to your body type.

Fold-up footpegs and a wide pillion pad accommodates a passenger with a robust pair of J.C. handles to give her something to grab ahold of, besides yourself, of course. The taillight rides tucked up under the small luggage rack with a short mudguard to mount the license plate and rear blinkers. All around LED tech ensures that you can see and be seen.

2020 Triumph Tiger 1200 Alpine Chassis

  • Optimized cornering ABS and traction control
  • Adjustable WP suspension
  • Electronic damping control
2020 Triumph Tiger 1200 Alpine Edition
- image 885176
2020 Triumph Tiger 1200 Alpine Edition
- image 885165
2020 Triumph Tiger 1200 Alpine Edition
- image 885156

A welded, tubular-steel Trellis frame on the Tiger 1200 Alpine provides the main structure, and it uses the engine as a stressed member to complete the assembly and lend it its final rigidity. Cast-aluminum alloy is the material of choice for the single-sided swingarm, as well as the rims that ride with a 19-inch diameter up front opposite the 17-inch rear wheel.

The stock rubber has a street bias, or at the very least, they do not have the stealth knobbies I’d expect to see on a mountaineering machine, and they come in a 120/70 and 170/60 on the front and rear, respectively. WP suspension products support both ends with the benefit of electronic damping control that lets you tune up quickly and easily, even on the fly.

Inverted front forks deliver a 7.48-inch range of motion on the stock setup (6.22 inches on the low variant) and the rear monoshock tops that with 7.6 inches of travel but breaks even with the front on the low version.

Dual, 305 mm floating discs and Brembo Monobloc calipers slow the front wheel opposite a 282 mm disc and twin-pot Nissin anchor out back. Switchable ABS provides the safety oversight, and it is the lean-sensitive sort that adds yet another layer of safety net.

Frame: Tubular steel trellis frame
Front Suspension: WP 1.89 in (48 mm) upside down forks, electronically adjustable damping, 7.48 in (190 mm) travel (6.61 in (168 mm) low seat version)
Rear Suspension: WP monoshock, electronically adjustable semi active damping with automatic preload adjustment, 7.6 in (193 mm) wheel travel (6.22 in (158 mm) low seat version)
Swingarm: Single-sided, cast aluminum alloy with shaft drive
Rake: 23.2º
Trail: 3.93 in (99.9 mm)
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
Front Wheel: Cast aluminum alloy 10-spoke 19 x 3.0 in
Rear Wheel: Cast aluminum alloy 10-spoke 17 x 4.5 in
Front Tire: 120/70 R19
Rear Tire: 170/60 R17

2020 Triumph Tiger 1200 Alpine Drivetrain

  • 1,215 cc triple engine
  • 141 hp @ 9,350 rpm
  • 90 lb-ft @ 7,600 rpm
  • Shift Assist
  • Five ride modes
  • Cruise control
  • Torque-assist clutch
  • Titanium and carbon fiber wrapped Arrow silencer
2020 Triumph Tiger 1200 Alpine Edition
- image 885168
2020 Triumph Tiger 1200 Alpine Edition
- image 885158
2020 Triumph Tiger 1200 Alpine Edition
- image 885157

Power on the Tiger 1200 Alpine comes from an in-line triple to the tune of 141 horsepower at 9,350 rpm with 90 pound-feet of torque that come on fully at 7,600 rpm, so this is clearly an engine that likes to be wound up pretty tight. Ride-by-wire throttle control conveys rider demand to the ECU where a number of features modify the response. Riding modes let you dial in the delivery to suit, and like the ABS, the traction control is corner-sensitive so you are unlikely to spin out in a corner due to a slippery patch, or perhaps an over-enthusiastic throttle technique. Cruise control and an immobilizer feature round out the electronics suite.

The mill runs dual over-head cams to time four poppets per cylinder for a total of 12 valves to control the flow through the combustion chamber. An 85 mm bore and 71.4 mm stroke gives the plant its 1,215 cc displacement and 11-to-1 compression ratio, and that’ll take top-hook fuel but that’s the trade off for the power it brings to the table.

For a light clutch pull and over-running protection, the factory went with a wet, slipper-style clutch that’ll keep the rear wheel from wanting to hop on hard downshifts, and power flows through a shaft-type final drive that has the swingarm as its housing. The overall drive ratio turns in a top speed of 140 mph at the redline in top gear.

Engine: Liquid-cooled, 12 valve, DOHC, in-line 3-cylinder
Displacement: 1,215 cc
Bore x Stroke: 3.35 in (85 mm) x 2.81 in (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: 3 into 1 header system, Arrow titanium silencer with carbon fiber end cap, side mounted
Final Drive: Shaft drive
Clutch: Wet, multi-plate hydraulically operated, torque assist
Gearbox: 6-speed

2020 Triumph Tiger 1200 Alpine Pricing

2020 Triumph Tiger 1200 Alpine Edition
- image 885177
2020 Triumph Tiger 1200 Alpine Edition
- image 885155
2020 Triumph Tiger 1200 Alpine Edition
- image 885164

The special edition Tiger 1200 Alpine starts at $19,300 for the 2020 model year, and it comes only in its signature paint package. You’ll have to visit the accessories catalog if you want some dry, secure storage to make the Alpine truly capable on the frozen tundra.

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 Riding Modes.
Colors: Snowdonia White
Price: $19,300

2020 Triumph Tiger 1200 Alpine Competitors

2020 Triumph Tiger 1200 Alpine Edition
- image 885167
2018 - 2019 Ducati Multistrada 1260 Pikes Peak
- image 823306

For my competitor, I tapped Ducati for its own version of a mountain-tackling machine in the aptly named Multistrada 1260 “Pikes Peak.”

Ducati Multistrada 1260 Pikes Peak

2018 - 2019 Ducati Multistrada 1260 Pikes Peak
- image 821057

I have said it before, it’s hard to beat an Italian bikes on aesthetics, and that continues to hold true here as the Multistrada rocks a sensual look that absolutely drips with the passion those Eye-Ties pour into the process. A snubbed bird’s beak leads the way, but like the Trumpet, its the fork foot-mount fender that does the real work of containing the front-wheel fling.

Rather than using clear material for a tall windshield like the Tiger, carbon fiber is the material of choice for the low-rise flyscreen and it leaves the rider somewhat exposed to the elements, relatively speaking. If that bothers you, the clear screen is available ex-sale.

Stock handguards protect your hamburger shovels, but Ducati slips a bit with no stock handgrip heaters to cede the comfort advantage to the Tiger. Duc slips again in the stems. While they do come with the full array of adjustments, they come with manual adjusters against the Tiger’s electronically-controlled suspension.

Bosch cornering ABS does its bit to elevate the Multistrada’s game somewhat, so does the cornering lights and wheelie control that Duc adds on top of the traction control and riding modes features. Since both builders provide a quick-shift feature for their six-speed transmissions they break even there, but I have to say the edge in electronics has to go to the Multistrada.

Ducati powers its entry with a 1,262 cc Testastretta plant, and not only is it a Desmodromic that has a cam to replace the valve springs, but it has variable valve timing that widens the powerband considerably without losses at the top end. What does this look like? Well, the Duc produces 155 ponies and 95.5 pound-feet of torque against the Tiger’s 141/90 to take another slight advantage.

You'll pay through the nose for that handful of horsepower though; the Multistrada rolls for $25,795, significantly higher than the $19.3k sticker on the Tiger.

Read our full review of the Ducati Multistrada1260 Pikes Peak.

He Said

“While I expect the new Alpine Edition to be capable enough off-road, I can’t help but feel like it’s yet another adventure bike that’s more suited to life as an urban commuter. Sure, it’s got some long-stroke suspension, but hey, it can be rough jumping a curb, am I right? Stock bags would have been nice, but that’s easy enough to address through the accessories and aftermarket.”

She Said

My wife and fellow motorcycle writer, Allyn Hinton, says, “I’ve always known the Tiger 1200 is a comfortable motorcycle. The rider position is neutral and the saddle itself is plush so your butt can stand a long-distance run. The suspension eliminates diving and squatting because it’s active all the time, always fine-tuning the ride. As a height-challenged rider, I appreciate the adjustable seat, though even on its lowest setting, I’m still tippy-toeing. All things considered, for what you get, it’s a really nice bike for under $20k.”

2020 Triumph Tiger 1200 Alpine Specifications

Engine & Drivetrain:
Engine: Liquid-cooled, 12 valve, DOHC, in-line 3-cylinder
Displacement: 1,215 cc
Bore x Stroke: 3.35 in (85 mm) x 2.81 in (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: 3 into 1 header system, Arrow titanium silencer with carbon fiber end cap, side mounted
Final Drive: Shaft drive
Clutch: Wet, multi-plate hydraulically operated, torque assist
Gearbox: 6-speed
Chassis:
Frame: Tubular steel trellis frame
Front Suspension: WP 1.89 in (48 mm) upside down forks, electronically adjustable damping, 7.48 in (190 mm) travel (6.61 in (168 mm) low seat version)
Rear Suspension: WP monoshock, electronically adjustable semi active damping with automatic preload adjustment, 7.6 in (193 mm) wheel travel (6.22 in (158 mm) low seat version)
Swingarm: Single-sided, cast aluminum alloy with shaft drive
Rake: 23.2º
Trail: 3.93 in (99.9 mm)
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
Front Wheel: Cast aluminum alloy 10-spoke 19 x 3.0 in
Rear Wheel: Cast aluminum alloy 10-spoke 17 x 4.5 in
Front Tire: 120/70 R19
Rear Tire: 170/60 R17
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: 242
Fuel Tank Capacity: 5.2 gal
Top Speed: 140 mph (est)
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 Riding Modes.
Colors: Snowdonia White
Price: $19,300

Further Reading

Triumph Motorcycles

ALLYN IMAGES: DO NOT DELETE
- image 791470

Read more Triumph news.

TJ Hinton
T.J got an early start from his father and other family members who owned and rode motorcycles, and by helping with various mechanical repairs throughout childhood. That planted a seed that grew into a well-rounded appreciation of all things mechanical, and eventually, into a formal education of same. Though primarily a Harley rider, he has an appreciation for all sorts of bikes and doesn't discriminate against any particular brand or region of origin. He currently holds an Associate's degree in applied mechanical science from his time at the M.M.I.  Read More
About the author

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

Press release

Related Articles

2020 Triumph Tiger 1200 Desert

2018 - 2019 Triumph Tiger 1200 XRx

What do you think?
Show Comments
Motorcycle Finder: