Ergonomics – The ergonomic triangle of the Tiger 1200 is very comfortable. Just like any other adventure motorcycle, you sit upright and while the back stays straight and handlebar isn’t too far. The lowest possible seat height is at 835 mm which is decently tall and with the electronically adjustable suspension, it goes up to 855 mm. The 20-litre tank is huge but it is well designed ergonomically as there’s enough room for the rider to lock the knee and to stand up as well. The electronically adjustable visor is tall but does not hinder vision as much. The split seat unit is quite comfortable and decently wide too. The cushioning is soft for the rider as well as the pillion but it is a task for the pillion to get on and off.
Performance – The Tiger 1200 is powered by a 1215cc in-line triple engine which produces 139 BHP of power and 122 Nm of torque. The power delivery is up high in the rev range and the power band is quite linear too. While the motor redlines slightly above 10,000 RPM the top-end is very strong and the bike feels very lively. Throttle response isn’t choppy throughout but response becomes slightly uneven in the low-end. However, the mid-range is strong and widespread. There are multiple riding modes as well which play along with the electronics and change the character of the bike completely. Road mode keeps the motor in control and comfortable, sports mode is well suited for spirited riding while off-road mode dials down the power. There are two more modes, off-road pro and track which have a major effect on the engine power delivery as well as the traction control system.
Inline-triple motors sound really sweet, the Triumphs always have had a whistling exhaust note
The main gimmick here is that the Tiger 1200 is shaft driven making the power delivery very potent! There is very less power loss and in on-road or off-road conditions, the Tiger 1200 just guns through. Being a triple cylinder unit, there are very fewer vibrations coming from the engine. But they start to creep in as the revs build-up. The Tiger 1200 gets a 6-speed unit and gearbox is slick-shifting but the clutch is comparatively heavy and weighs up when quick-shifting. The motorcycle is comfortable to cruise at 120 km/hr while it does reach that number in the 2nd gear itself. We got an average fuel efficiency of 16 km/l with which it does have a tank range of slightly over 300 km. The test bike was fitted with an aftermarket Arrow exhaust which has a very pleasing exhaust note too.
Riding Dynamics – The ergonomics are very comfortable and purposeful but the Tiger 1200 does not feel like a big bike when it is on the move. The windscreen comes in very handy as there is a decent amount of windblast but it cuts through. Cruising at triple-digit speeds is like a piece of cake, straight-line stability is just mind-blowing. The steel trellis frame is very well designed, keeping the centre of gravity as close as possible to the footpegs. This means that tipping the mammoth into corners is very easy and it holds the line well too, it feels very agile. The test bike was equipped with road spec tyres, a 120 section front and 170 section rear mounted on 19-inch and 17-inch spoked aluminium rim respectively.
Standstill, you can feel the weight which is close to 275 kgs but not once on the move
The grip from the tyres is adequate enough for the road but taking this bike off-road you would definitely need off-road spec or at least a dual-purpose rubber. Front suspension is a pair of WP 48 mm upside-down forks while the rear is a WP monoshock. Both these suspensions have electronically adjustable damping while the rear has automatic preload adjustments too. This makes the motorcycle ready for any situation with a touch of a button. Feedback from the brakes is just astonishing, twin 305 mm discs at the front and a single 282 mm disc do their job really well. The bike just stops under the command and has a bit of a nosedive depending on the damping settings. It gets cornering ABS as well which is switchable too.