Test ride of Triumph 800XC and 1200 Explorer. IMHO.....

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Willandkate
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Test ride of Triumph 800XC and 1200 Explorer. IMHO.....

Post by Willandkate » Mon Apr 29, 2013 6:11 am

The guys at http://www.destinationtriumph.co.uk/ (Guilford) which is actually in Bramley were kind enough to let me and my mate John take an 800XC and 1200 Explorer (cast wheels not spokes) out for a blast yesterday. Here is my 2p’s worth of what I thought of them.

The 1200 is an absolute stonker. Does what it says on the tin. No good for dirt but a flippin fast tourer, scratcher which looks all rufty tufty. A kind of VFR in an ADV chassis. The brakes were a bit ‘wooden’ but did pull you up ok and the clutch was a bit heavy for filtering in traffic but once you got out onto the open road, blimey it pulled like a train and I was grinning from ear to ear. Felt a little bit skittish in big sweeping bends but might have been something to do with travelling at over twice the limit! Loved it, but not what I’m after for day to day use.

The 800XC was my dream bike. I’ve waited a couple of years to ride one on decent roads rather than in London so was really excited to finally be on one. The excitement soon faded though. My wallet is safe, but the search continues. It’s a fantastic bike, but just not what I’m looking for. To me, it doesn’t feel like and ADV bike. It’s more like a sports bike with a 21” wheel and moto X bars. I rode a KTM 990 a few years back and that felt like a big, powerful dirtbike, the XC just didn’t give me the same feeling. My arms were at full stretch just to reach the bars which (in my mind) are way to rolled back and low to ever contemplate standing up with and all that ‘bonnet’ out front is just way to intimidating to me for off road use.

The engine is a stonker but doesn’t feel like an ADV engine to me. The brakes were great, it flew along but just wasn’t what I’m looking for which is un upgrade for my DR650 – A bike that will do a bit of everything, I just want ABS, a bit more speed & comfort and some brakes would be nice…. The XC just seemed a bit ‘OTT’ to me.
The XC was also fitted with the spotlights which (whilst clean) gave some pretty bright reflections off the top of them on a sunny day and an Arrow exhaust which was too loud. I love a pipe on a bike but not this one. At idle or a quick rev it sounds brilliant but once on the move the constant drone was too much.

I got back on my DR and rode away. I’ve owned that for 7 years and done over 40,000 miles on it. It felt rough and a bit nasty. It also felt like a little 250 scrambler compared to the modern lard arses. The quest continues……
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Hickman
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Test ride of Triumph 800XC and 1200 Explorer. IMHO.....

Post by Hickman » Mon Apr 29, 2013 6:28 am

That's a shame about the Triumphs, I'm really interested in the 800 XC. Mind you coming from an RSV 1000 anything is going to be more comfortable!

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Freeloadeur
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Re: Test ride of Triumph 800XC and 1200 Explorer. IMHO.....

Post by Freeloadeur » Mon Apr 29, 2013 6:44 am

So what else is on the list? You're not turning orange are you?
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Mark1961
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Re: Test ride of Triumph 800XC and 1200 Explorer. IMHO.....

Post by Mark1961 » Mon Apr 29, 2013 6:55 am

Had my 800xc for two years now and love it to bits. It's a good alround bike. Point to note I've never rode the other bikes you mentioned, so can't compare.

Reading you're write up I think you've been tangoed....... :ohmy:

Please keep us informed of where your heart takes you. It will be interesting to see what you chose as your next stead.

Cheers for your report. :)
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Willandkate
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Re: Test ride of Triumph 800XC and 1200 Explorer. IMHO.....

Post by Willandkate » Mon Apr 29, 2013 6:57 am

Next bike? Comments please?
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Well, it's orange :P
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VR_Rider
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Re: Test ride of Triumph 800XC and 1200 Explorer. IMHO.....

Post by VR_Rider » Mon Apr 29, 2013 6:57 am

Interesting report, I'm yet to try the 800XC. Be interesting to compare to my 650gs. Also keep meaning to give the ktm 990 a go!

Have you thought of trying the BMW 800gs?

Gas_Up_Lets_Go
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Re: Test ride of Triumph 800XC and 1200 Explorer. IMHO.....

Post by Gas_Up_Lets_Go » Mon Apr 29, 2013 7:04 am

Willandkate wrote:It’s a fantastic bike, but just not what I’m looking for. To me, it doesn’t feel like and ADV bike. It’s more like a sports bike with a 21” wheel and moto X bars.
I bought a XC in August last year. I've always said it's not a bike I would ever take off the tarmac, too many potential problem areas. I agree with you, the bars are way to far forward (the 800 'roadie' must be truly awful IMHO, as it doesn't have the risers) and it doesn't have the feel of a bike you'd want to take long distances on rough roads. Of course if you have a mind to, you can take any bike off road. But it becomes more of a challenge than a trip.

However, it is a great two-up bike for touring, it's comfy and can go like a sportsbike if you treat it right. It handles well on the road and has a very planted feel (even with the god awful Pirelli Scopions). There is a good range if you ride it right, and the low revs means you can tour in a relaxed fashion.

I feel the XC compliments the Tenere, where the Tenere falls short (such as two up, in my case) the Tigger takes over. I love having both bikes in the garage, and I love riding both of them, but there are time the Tenere is just better.

Hickman wrote:That's a shame about the Triumphs, I'm really interested in the 800 XC. Mind you coming from an RSV 1000 anything is going to be more comfortable!
I think the XC is probably a good step from a RSV, if you like the idea of a more relaxed ride but still have plenty of go. The 800 triple is a peach of a power plant and it's got plenty of low down torque to pull happily from tick over. When you want more Uuumphh, get the tiger roaring and she certainly changes her stripes.
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Buggles
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Re: Test ride of Triumph 800XC and 1200 Explorer. IMHO.....

Post by Buggles » Mon Apr 29, 2013 2:03 pm

I used to own a Tiger 955, and absolutely loved it. Yet when the opportunity to own a 990 ADV came along I switched.

I still miss the 955 as it was so comfortable and easy going, yet completely mad when you give it some throttle.

With that in mind I took the 800XC out for a testride, and I really like the bike (although I agree you're sitting too far from the front wheel). Couldn't really fault it. However, when I got back on the 990, I immediately knew that the 800 wasn't going to be my next bike.

Try the KTM at your own risk, with the new 1190 ADV out, hopefully the 990 will drop in price. You'll have to pry mine out of my cold dead hands ;-)

JB

Willandkate
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Re: Test ride of Triumph 800XC and 1200 Explorer. IMHO.....

Post by Willandkate » Mon Apr 29, 2013 4:37 pm

Yeah, the 990 has been around for a while now but still looks tasty. Especially the £8995 brand new deals at the mo. Except, uncomfortable seat and rubbish screen/fairing. A real hoot but a lot of money for a bike that you then need to go and sort out yourself....

800GS, need to give another try. I did a back to back with a 1200GS a few years ago in Oz. The 12 felt special, the 800 was ordinary. I did a lot more dirt out there so the DR still won, but now in London, the 800 could be a winner. That or the General Lee scooter!!

Cheers to all for comments, thanks
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-Ralph-
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Re: Test ride of Triumph 800XC and 1200 Explorer. IMHO.....

Post by -Ralph- » Mon Apr 29, 2013 4:47 pm

Sounds like the XT660Z or the KTM 690 would fit the bill for you.

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