Tiger Explorer 1200 vs. Tiger 800XC

Discussion in 'Land of the Rising Sun: ADV Bikes from Japan' started by DennyMyBoy, Mar 3, 2012.

  1. DennyMyBoy

    DennyMyBoy Hoping for a GS

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    Have been lurking for quite a few months and just recently joined. Thoroughly enjoy the spirit and style of this forum. Pretty sure this is my first post.

    I'm 49 years old, long time Honda rider -- CB650, Gold Wing 1500 and 1800, and most recently a ST1300. Sold the last bike a year ago to take a break for family and health reasons, and considering getting a new bike this summer. Have demoed both versions of Tiger 800, loved them both and in particular the XC. Much lighter and more flickable than what I've been used to. Still super smooth engine. Way more of the fun factor. Fit my body as comfortably as any bike I have ever owned. Price is tough to beat. Wondering if the 1200 might have most of those strengths, plus a greater over all refinement. Looking for something for commuting when I'd rather not take the car, 100 mile or less weekend rides, and a possible one time a year longer ride for a week or so of 500-1500 miles.

    My question is, given what I'm looking for, and the reality that no one other than journalists have yet ridden the 1200, between the Tiger 800XC and the Explorer 1200 which of the 2 bikes would you recommend? Wondering if other riders, including present owners of the 800, are weighing the same decision. I'll be in line for the demos in the months ahead. In the meantime its fun to consider the possibilities.

    Thanks, Denny
    #1
  2. DennyMyBoy

    DennyMyBoy Hoping for a GS

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    The only thing I have concerns about on the Tiger 800 is some excessive heat I have felt on my legs in hot weather even when wearing good motorcycle boots and pants. Not a deal-breaker, but raised a question. Am extra sensitive to the issue due to the excessive heat I dealt with on my Honda ST1300 and ended up throwing a lot of energy and about $2,000 at over the 5 years I had the bike (wrapped header pipes, installed side deflectors, plus a few other smaller mods)
    #2
  3. fbj913

    fbj913 On the Beemer Kool-Aid

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    I would say you need to ride them both and decide. I also don't think the tiger xc should be compared to the explorer. You should think about the Explorer or the Tiger Rodie. They would be much more alike. just my 2c... your sensitivity to heat may be the same with both bikes since they are almost the same frame and style...
    #3
  4. cug

    cug --

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    I kind of agree that the Explorer and the Roadie are closer in concept - street going, upright, comfortable tourers. The XC compromises road handling slightly (might not matter to most) and has tubed tires.

    Personally, it seems that the older I get the more I prefer light weight bikes. Had bikes from 140kg (WR250X) up to 290kg (ST1100) or so and more and more prefer something not (much) heavier than 200kg.

    Today I traded my R1200GS for a Tiger 800 Roadie. I will very likely test ride the Explorer once it's in the US and give it a year or two I might own one. Though it's unlikely that it'll be my only bike because as said: I appreciate low weight nowadays.
    #4
  5. markbvt

    markbvt Long timer

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    Given the low mileage you're talking about putting on the bike, I'd go with the 800 XC. It's an awesomely fun bike that's easy to deal with and handles great. The Explorer is a much larger, heavier bike; I sat on one at the Montreal Motorcycle Show, and it seemed to me ideal for really-long-haul touring. If I were taking off for Alaska, I'd love to do it on an Explorer; but for commuting and shorter rides, I'd rather use my 800 XC.

    --mark
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  6. DAKEZ

    DAKEZ Long timer

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    For your stated purpose I wouldn't even consider the Explorer. The 800XC IS the right bike. Don't take my word for it. Ride one for a bit.

    If you were close I would say: "get on over here lets get out for a ride" (long one)

    There are a couple of mods that have been posted about that help with the heat issue.
    #6
  7. rockmurf

    rockmurf IBA #31100

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    For your stated purposes I would definitely stay with the 800. The explorer would be overkill. But replacing the st1300 the explorer sounds like a better bike, ie cruise control, 6 speed, upright seating position, and then of course the shaft drive, adjustable windshield, heated grips, centerstand. Both have abs.
    #7
  8. high dangler

    high dangler Been here awhile

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    excactly what you should be doing !
    Weigh the 2 choices....Light is fun and heavy is not but thats just my opinion.
    #8
  9. DennyMyBoy

    DennyMyBoy Hoping for a GS

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    Many thanks to you all for the insights and suggestions on these 2 amazing machines. I've been leaning all along toward the 800XC, and very glad that instinct has been confirmed. Will still wait to test ride the 1200 Explorer, in order to be thorough regarding a purchase this large and infrequent, but sense the 800 will still be the one.

    Now that riders other than journalists are beginning to have a chance to ride the 1200, all comments comparing the 2 bikes are still very much appreciated.

    Thanks again. This is a fantastic forum.
    Denny
    #9
  10. Jimo368

    Jimo368 intrepid traveller

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    I currently ride an ST1300 and have the same heat problem and have come to the conclusion that I just have to park it and ride my other bikes when it is too warm.
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  11. high dangler

    high dangler Been here awhile

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    i dont know how heat coming from the motor can be considered a problem or "issue".
    If no heat was coming off motor I dont think there would be much power either.
    Internal combustion motors radiate heat , Its how it has to be.
    Maybe go electric if you cant handle it.
    #11
  12. jphish

    jphish Been here awhile

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    After comming off a Uly & ST1300 - the XC has NO heat issues by comparison. This opinion is after just spending 2 weeks in the Mojave & Colorado desert (100+*) I always wear riding pants - but suspect without the 'gear', it could get a wee toasty.
    #12
  13. mickd

    mickd crash test dummie

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    hi all
    been looking at the xc for some time but in some threads this heat issue keeps coming up ie..from another inmate... the stepper motor is a huge problem triumph dont give a toss-bloody heat comes of the engine, ok when standing up but in summer at lights you fry.

    is there a fix for this?
    #13
  14. dwoodward

    dwoodward Long timer

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    If cost were no object and I had to buy a bike to ride from Oregon to Florida and back, in a week, the Explorer wins hands down. Put it on an interstate, set the cruise control, and fiddle with the trip computer as the miles slide by.

    I've already got a bike for that (FJR1300). I wanted a bike where I can be carving my way up a canyon (FJR does that well too, or my Aprilia), see a service road head off to the side, and decide to go follow it. The FJR is not good at that. The T800XC does that. The DRZ400S&M* does it better, but that service road better be within an hour of home...

    *Delivered as an SM, I have S wheels for it, and S&M is a very appropriate description of a DRZ400 on the freeway.
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  15. cug

    cug --

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    You know, it burns stuff. That's how it creates the power to move our asses forward. You know what? Burning something generates heat. The Tiger does not have a "heat problem". Some people seem to have a perception problem.

    Sure, there are bikes where you get heat thrown at you - the Tiger is not one of them. If you don't want ANY heat from your bike - get a bicycle.

    Says who? A handful people that ride the bike in very dusty*/ dirty conditions had issues with that, a cleaning of the stepper rod solved it. Hmmm. Yeah. That's a huge problem right there. A "stepper motor"-gate. Like an Antennagate, Triumph not selling any Tigers anymore because of that, just like Apple not selling any iPhone of that huge problem either ...

    It's all about perception, perspective, and then at least a tiny bit of logical thinking.
    #15
  16. fbj913

    fbj913 On the Beemer Kool-Aid

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    how do you fix something thats not broken? are you just asking about the 800? there is a thread on the 800.
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  17. mickd

    mickd crash test dummie

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    yep found it thanks and sorry for putting it in here
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  18. Bryn1203

    Bryn1203 Dances with spaniels

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    supposed to be an up rated 1050 tigger in the near future - maybe it has the best of both worlds ?


    2p
    #18
  19. markbvt

    markbvt Long timer

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    It's apparently going to be called the Tiger Sport, and is intended for sport touring with an upright seating position. Just like the current Tiger 1050.

    So it's really in a different category from the T800 and Tiger Explorer.

    --mark
    #19
  20. Dr. Motardo

    Dr. Motardo Adventurer

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    Lots of folks have mentioned weight and that's a big issue for me as well. The Explorer's wet weight is 70 pounds more than BMW's stated wet weight for a 1200GS. That issue alone makes the Explorer a non-starter for me. Don't get me wrong, it looks like a great bike. Just not for me.

    I haven't tried out an Explorer yet but I will eventually. I liked riding the 1200GS a lot, but it did feel a bit portly to me. I have to imagine the Explorer would be worse. Anyway, when I finally test rode the Tiger 800, my decision was pretty easy.
    #20