New ride
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Thread: New ride

  1. #1
    The "Friends" of Officer Frank Poncherello milq's Avatar
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    Aug 2006

    New ride

    Thought I'd drop in a pic or two and a review of my new Explorer 1200.

    I decided to get rid of my KTM SM-T because of luggage capacity, comfort and higher maintenance levels. I wanted something that I could ride (comfortably) cross country and carry plenty of clothes, tools, etc. My choices were: BMW GS, Yamaha Super Tenere, Yamaha FJR, Honda ST 1300, Kawasaki Concourse, Tiger 800, Sprint and Tiger Explorer 1200.

    I quickly got away from the true sport-tourers due to the amount of gravel roads around here and the seating positions. The Yamaha Super Ten just felt odd to me so I skipped it also. I liked the Tiger 800 a lot but felt it wouldn't do what I wanted when loaded down and traveling, it was also a touch cramped for my knees. After a couple of test rides I decided to make a deal on the 2013 holdover Explorer.

    Triumph seems to have done a great job with the fueling and the ECU is adaptive, no retune required for a slip on exhaust. I have a Yoshimura sitting here but the bracket for center stand bumper is too short, so the stand smacks the swing arm.

    Yoshimura is looking into it, the tech guy says my bracket is the same as others in the warehouse, but different than the pics in instruction sheets and their website pic. Hopefully they'll get that sorted out quickly, this thing is so quiet I can't hear it sitting at a light with other vehicles around me.

    The bike has a very strong & flat torque curve as expected, almost like electric motors. I'm sure some is being lost in the shaft drive but it's still very strong.

    There's a standard Powerlet socket ahead of the fuel tank for GPS, heated gear, whatever. The charging system is made to handle a lot of electrical but I don't recall the specs. There's also a spot to add another socket under the tail rack.

    The dash looks very familiar but they've added more info like a fuel gauge and distance to empty, maintenance reminder (can't be reset without DealerTool) and so forth.

    As it's throttle-by-wire, they made traction control and cruise control standard. At this point, I haven't changed the TC setting, but I also haven't noticed it...just as it should be. Cruise (which I never thought I'd care about) works very well, responds immediately on hills. ABS is also standard, can't say I'm thrilled about that but it can be shut off.

    The engine seems to run cool, fan hardly ever kicks on but it also isn't hot here yet. The radiator looks to be bigger than the 1050 bikes and is curved quite a bit. There's a catalyst under the bike, rather than made inside the pipe. The oil drain plug is flat with an Allen head...good idea as I bashed the one on my S3 once or twice.

    Sadly, they haven't stepped up their game in the suspension dept. Compression damping is harsh and not adjustable just like most of you are accustomed to.

    Another issue is the ECU and basically being locked out of it. You can get DealerTool software to read codes, balance the TBs and bleed the ABS but monkeying with the fuel & ignition curves is a no-no.

    Leg room is decent for me (6'2") but the bars need risers. I made a set last week and am awaiting the bolts. I could make them but would prefer rolled threads vs cut threads.
    Seat height is manually adjustable and both a low seat and tall seat are available.

    Although it's a big, heavy beastie it moves in a hurry and handles well. I can slow down to 40 in 6th gear and roll back into the throttle with no complaints or I can run 3rd up into the 70's. I suck at wheelies but it'll do em, it does come down pretty hard but that's just as much me I'm sure.

    This will also be the first bike I've owned that is getting actual luggage. Right now I'm leaning towards Pelican cases but haven't decided for sure. The factory cases are a weird affair that can sway back and forth, I'd rather have something that stays put.

    Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag and begin to slit throats.
    H.L. Mencken

  2. #2
    The "Friends" of Officer Frank Poncherello doug's Avatar
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    Jan 2008
    Nicely done sir

  3. #3
    The "Friends" of Officer Frank Poncherello Why not Zoidberg?'s Avatar
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    Jan 2013
    Charlotte, NC
    Very nice write-up
    "Maybe this is the new Cafe Racer macho. My bike is so much faster than yours that I dare you to ride it, you lame little turd. Do you have the balls to ride this BOTTOMLESS PIT OF TORQUE?" - HST, Song of the Sausage Creature

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  5. #4
    ddd is offline
    Noob! ddd's Avatar
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    Apr 2013
    Nice write up,enjoy the bike.

  6. #5
    Ton UP! Triplez's Avatar
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    Mar 2014
    I've been checking those out for awhile, just got a new s3 and plan for an explorer in the future. But all the times I've admired this bike I had no idea it had lugs for the rear wheel.

  7. #6
    Ton UP! Triplez's Avatar
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    Mar 2014
    Does that have something to do with the driveshaft?



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