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New, used, or classic, the BMW GS is the motorcycle to beat in the adventure bike segment. And as ADVs grow ever more popular, the modern GS Adventure has spurred rivals to up their game. One of those long-time rivals is the Triumph Tiger, especially the range-topping Tiger 1200. Over the last few months, Triumph has introduced several new Tiger models, including the road-oriented Sport models. But now, it’s given the Tiger 1200 a fresh set of claws—and it’s on the GS Adventure’s tail.

The 2022 Triumph Tiger 1200 is lighter but mightier

Accessorized and stock 2022 Triumph Tiger 1200 blue-and-gray GT and green-and-white Rally Pros on a mountain
2022 Triumph Tiger 1200 GT (blue-and-gray) and Rally Pro (green-and-white) with and without accessories | Triumph
2022 Triumph Tiger 1200
Engine1160cc liquid-cooled inline-three
Horsepower148 hp
Torque96 lb-ft
TransmissionSix-speed manual with slipper-assist clutch
Front suspension and travel49mm fully-adjustable semi-active Showa inverted forks; 7.9” (GT), 8.7” (Rally)
Rear suspension and travelFully-adjustable semi-active Showa mono-shock; 7.9” (GT), 8.7” (Rally)
Seat heightGT: 33.5”-34.5”
Rally: 34.4”-35.2”
Curb weightGT: 529 lbs (base), 540 lbs (Pro), 562 lbs (Explorer)
Rally: 549 lbs (Pro), 575 lbs (Explorer)

As in years past, the 2022 Tiger 1200 rocks the biggest three-cylinder engine in the Triumph Tiger adventure bike family. And while other Tigers have a chain drive, this one has a BMW-like shaft drive. But though the basic recipe is the same, Triumph has significantly tweaked it for 2022.

Firstly, the 2022 Triumph Tiger 1200 has a smaller engine—re-tuned from Speed Triple duty—than the outgoing 1215cc model. But even so, the new bike is more powerful and torquier, MCN notes. Also, instead of one big radiator, the new engine has smaller twin units for better cooling, RevZilla says. Furthermore, splitting the radiator into two units improves weight distribution for better handling.

Speaking of weight, the 2022 Triumph Tiger 1200 has less of it. That’s partially because it has a smaller engine and partially because it has a redesigned frame, subframe, shaft drive, and wheels. Overall, the new bike weighs 55 pounds less than the old one. And good news for hardcore off-roaders, the new rear subframe and footpegs are removable.

Admittedly, Triumph also ditched the optional electrically-adjustable windshield to save weight. But few bought it, so no harm done, MCN muses. Still, neither hardcore off-roaders nor pavement-going tourers need worry, because the 2022 Tiger 1200 has plenty of other features to replace it.

Whether you tour the streets or explore the dirt, there’s a 2022 Triumph Tiger 1200 trim for you

As noted in the table above, Triumph offers the 2022 Tiger 1200 in five trims. They’re separated into two categories: GT models have a greater on-road focus while Rally ones steer more towards dirt paths. That’s not to say a Tiger 1200 GT can’t go off-road. It’s just that the Rally Pro and Explorer are better equipped for it. And remember, BMW does something similar with the GS and GS Adventure.

Regardless, the 2022 Triumph Tiger 1200 GT is by no means poorly equipped. It might be the base model, but it still has semi-active Showa suspension with automatic rear preload adjustment, Brembo brakes, LED lighting, keyless operation, and cornering-enhanced ABS and traction control. Also, its windshield is still adjustable, as is the seat and new side diffusers. Plus, it has an under-seat USB charging port and a new 7” TFT display with Bluetooth and MyTriumph app connectivity.

The rear 3/4 view of a black-and-white 2022 Triumph Tiger 1200 Rally Explorer with accessories in the desert
2022 Triumph Tiger 1200 Rally Explorer with accessories rear 3/4 | Triumph

However, the Pro and Explorer models get even more goodies. Whether you go GT or Rally, these upscale 2022 Tiger 1200s have standard quickshifters, heated grips, corner-adapting lights, hill-start assist, and aluminum skid plates. The Rally models supplement those skid plates with aluminum sump guards. They also get spoked wheels with Metzeler Karoos instead of cast one withs Metzeler Tourances. Plus, they have less rake and more trail for increased stability. All Tiger Pro and Explorer bikes have standard center-stands and cruise control, though.

Going up from the base Tiger 1200 GT also nets you more riding modes. The base model has Rain, Road, and Sport, while the GT Pro and Explorer add Off-Road and rider-configurable modes. The Rally models have an additional Off-Road Pro mode that disables the ABS and traction control, RevZilla reports.

If you really want to kit this kitty out, though, you need the 2022 Triumph Tiger 1200 Explorers. Both have standard TPMS, heated seats, and bigger fuel tanks. And because these Tigers have radar, they have blind-spot detection and lane-change assist. However, while the GT Explorer and both Rally models have engine crash bars, only the Rally Explorer has fuel-tank crash bars.

How much does the 2022 Tiger cost?

A black-and-silver 2022 BMW R 1250 GS Adventure with accessories on a desert road
2022 BMW R 1250 GS Adventure with accessories | BMW

The 2022 Triumph Tiger 1200 roars into US dealers in spring 2022. And if you’re interested in plonking down some cash for one, you’ll need this much for each:

  • 2022 Tiger 1200 GT:
    • Base: $19,100
    • Pro: $21,400
    • Explorer: $23,100
  • 2022 Tiger 1200 Rally
    • Pro: $22,500
    • Explorer: $24,200

With a $20,345 starting price, the 2022 BMW R 1250 GS Adventure is cheaper than all but the 1200 GT. However, although it’s torquier, it’s less powerful and even heavier than the Rally Explorer. Furthermore, it has fewer standard features; equipped to the Rally Explorer’s level, the R 1250 GS Adventure costs $1765 more.

In addition, the 170-hp Ducati Multistrada V4 already offers radar-based safety features. However, while it’s lighter than all but the Tiger 1200 GT, those radar-based features are only standard on the $25,795 V4 S.

In short, the 2022 Triumph Tiger 1200 family still has what it takes to burn bright in the adventure bike scene.

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