Tri­umph Ex­plorer XCX Low

Motorcycle News (UK) - - New Bikes -

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.

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