Triumph Explorer XCX Low
I’m 5ft 6in, 172cm to be precise, and although I enjoy being on the short side I do struggle with larger bikes, especially big top-heavy adventure bikes with a full tank of fuel. Triumph have acknowledged the problem shorter riders have and developed a low version of their new 1215cc Explorer.
Triumph haven’t simply cut a few mil from the seat and made it slightly lower, they’ve created a separate model (in both XC and XR specs) that sits 52mm lower than the standard bike. The new lower model has a seat height of just 785mm-805mm compared to the standard model at 837-857mm. To put that into context, the new lower Explorer has the same seat height as the Kawasaki Z300 (785mm) and Ducati Scrambler (790mm).
The Low’s semi-active electronic suspension has been redesigned to operate at lower altitude and the sidestand has been reduced in length to allow the bike to sit correctly. Unfortunately the centrestand is no longer an option because the bike sits too low. It’s also a few kilos heavier than standard and ground clearance has been reduced but was never an issue on my 600-mile test.
At first the new riding position feels a little odd as the screen and bars are relatively higher (as you’re sitting lower). However, this does have its benefits. While the riding experience is unchanged from the stock Explorer, 90mph visor-up cruising is perfectly possible thanks to better wind protection. In fact, you only notice the lowered seat at a standstill.
On adventure bikes I usually need to plan where I’m going to stop, making sure I avoid major cambers. This worry has vanished with the Low.
I’ve never felt so comfortable and secure on a big Triumph; it’s brilliant. Sometimes the best ideas are the simplest ones, and this is the case. If I were in the market for an adventure bike I’d definitely opt for this Low version.