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The Five Best Triumph Tiger Motorcycles Money Can Buy

Triumph Tiger Motorcycles

The British motorcycle manufacturing company is known as Triumph Motorcycles Ltd. officially got its start in 1983 after gaining the name rights when Triumph Engineering went into receivership. Triumph Motorcycles is now among the leading manufacturers of motorcycles at a global level. What Harley Davidson is to North Americans, Triumph is to the United Kingdom. The majority of the manufacturing associated with Triumph Motorcycles comes out of Thailand as a means to catch up to and compete against the dominant Japanese manufacturers. Triumph knew in 1983 they needed to step up their game if they wanted to even come close to the level of quality and craftsmanship the likes of Honda, Suzuki, and Yamaha are known for. It wasn't until 1987 Triumph had completed their first motorcycle engine, but this breakthrough lead to the 1991 introduction first lineup of Triumph's motorcycle line, namely the Hinckley.

Triumph On Fire

On March 15, 2002, Triumph falls victim to a devastating fire when over half their main manufacturing facility was destroyed. This happened just days before their centennial celebration as a company, stemming from the foundation of Triumph Engineering. Despite the loss, Triumph was able to rebuild quickly. Not only did they rebuild quickly, but grew quickly with the 2007 675 cc Steel Triple becoming the most successfully selling bike. This prompted Triumph to start up a new line of motorcycles that have so far proven to be their most prolific line yet, namely the Triumph Tiger.  Here are our picks for the top five Triumph Tiger models of all-time:

5. Triumph Tiger 900 GT and 900 GT Pro (2020)

Triumph Tiger 900 GT and 900 GT Pro (2020)

While the horsepower of the Triumph Tiger 900 GT and 900 GT Pro remains the same as the 800 series at 94 horsepower, the increase to 64 pounds per foot torque serves as an upgrade coming from Triumph's production line. This is ten percent more torque than the 800 series. The Triumph Tiger 900 GT and 900 GT Pro are designed to be grand touring machines, which means there's more focus on highway performance than off-road. Starting at $16,600 USD is the 900 GT while the 900 GT Pro starts at $18,900 USD. What makes the Pro pricier is a unique suspension setup that also tailors an electronically adjustable RSU, Triumph Shift Assist, and a fifth riding mode. There is also a monitored tire pressure system.

4. Triumph Tiger Explorer (2012)

Triumph Tiger Explorer (2012)

The Triumph Tiger Explorer, otherwise known as Triumph Tiger 1200, made its introduction in 2012 as a dual-sport motorcycle with two different types of models available. The Tiger Explorer XC features a design that is more adept while off-road riding due to the usage of spoked wheels instead of aluminum cast. The Explorer XR sports aluminum cast wheels as this motorcycle are designed to be more tarmac friendly. Both motorcycle models, however, are powered by a 74.1 cubic inch four-valve per cylinder straight-three engine. There is also a six-speed gearbox with a shaft final drive. These motorcycles are capable of 135 horsepower and a torque of 89 pounds per foot. Also as standard protocol, each of these bikes is equipped with an automatic braking system (ABS), cruise control, and traction control. Currently, a 2012 Triumph Tiger Explorer averages a resale value of $7,685 USD but has been known to fetch as high as $15,000 USD.

3. Triumph Tiger 1200 XRT (2018)

Triumph Tiger 1200 XRT (2018)

As an XRT, this fully loaded model of the Triumph Tiger 1200 serves as a luxury ride of this particular line of motorcycles coming from Triumph. Unlike the mixed reviews of the Triumph Tiger 1200 XR, the 1200 XRT is deemed as among the best adventure bikes for riders. Many prefer it over the BMW Ducati, finding it handles a bit better overall. Among many reviewers, one key observation made is the notable improvements in the XRT features, especially in areas of concern such as comfort and safety. On average, the 2018 Triumph Tiger 1200 XRT runs at a price tag of $21,000 USD.

2. Triumph Tiger 1200 Desert (2020)

Triumph Tiger 1200 Desert (2020)

According to Top Speed's review of the Triumph Tiger 1200 Desert, it's the Triumph Tiger 1200 XCx to the Nth degree. This special edition model currently runs at the dollar value of $20,100 USD. This version of the 1200 XCx equally shares the features of off-road prowess of its 141 horsepower and 90 pounds per foot torque performance. What makes the Triumph Tiger 1200 Desert stand out is its Sandstorm paint design. If the 2020 Triumph Tiger 1200 Desert is a bit too pricey for your liking, the 2020 Triumph Tiger 1200 XCx, which is the same thing without all the special edition boosts, averages at $16,500 USD.

1. Triumph Tiger 800 XR and 800 XC (2010)

Triumph Tiger 800 XR and 800 XC (2010)

Introduced in 2010, the dual-sport motorcycles use a cc 800 engine derived from the Street Triple, which is designed to compete against the market-leading BMW F800GS models. The Triumph Tiger 800 XR series is designed as a road-friendly motorcycle while the Triumph Tiger 800 XC series caters to off-road riders. This is the first generation of the Triumph Tiger series and this alone adds simply adds that little extra appeal for motorcycle collectors to get their hands on one. The 800 XR model features cast alloy wheels that measure 19 inches in diameter at the front while the 800 XC model sports the spoked wheels with alloy rims that measure 21 inches in diameter at the front. Both models have a 17-inch diameter wheel at the rear. Intentionally designed to compete against the BMW F800GS, the aggressive Triumph Tiger 800 XC model was voted as the Best Dual Sport motorcycle by Cycle World in 2011. Today, a 2010 Triumph Tiger 800 can go for approximately $13,000. The 2011 models also deserve a notable mention as many motorcycle enthusiasts seem to be in agreement that they wished they went with this unit when it first came out as opposed to what came from their competitors. The 2011 Triumph Tiger 800 models are also being sold at the $13,000 USD mark. According to reviewer David Booth, his ride on the 2011 Triumph Tiger 800 came as a rather pleasant surprise, despite the mixed reviews he heard about from other critics.

Benjamin Smith

Written by Benjamin Smith

Benjamin Smith is one of the managing editors of Moneyinc. Ben's been focusing on the auto and motorcycle sector since 2005. He's written over 1000 articles in the space and continues to learn about it each day. His favorite car is "any Bugatti" and he's a die hard Harley Davidson fan.

Read more posts by Benjamin Smith

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