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Thinking of buying a Triumph Explorer

  1. #1
    Lifer OneCheekRider's Avatar
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    Thinking of buying a Triumph Explorer

    I'm looking at buying a used 2013 Triumph Explorer 1200. I've never had a Triumph, I've never had an adventure touring bike. I ride 5-7 days a week March thru December (weather permitting) and my current daily ride, FZ6, has been great (especially for the price) but there's much to be desired. I test rode the bike and it definitely checks every box and then some: power, comfort, cruise control, heated everything, etc...

    Can the more experienced Triumph riders chime in? Any Explorer riders out there? Thanks!

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  2. #2
    Posting Freak Spooler's Avatar
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    Re: Thinking of buying a Triumph Explorer

    I have been totally in love with all the Triumphs I've owned. The engines are super reliable (I did hear the 1215 had a few bugs to shake out, but it's a new engine and I've heard the problems have been fixed), the electronics have been the weak points, stator and regulator/rectifier failures are not uncommon in their triples all throughout the 2000s, not sure about newer bikes. I'm considering an explorer myself. Good luck!

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  3. #3
    Lifer OneCheekRider's Avatar
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    Re: Thinking of buying a Triumph Explorer

    I think the Explorer was introduced in 2011, so would it be safe to assume a 2013 model would have the bugs fixed? I think the only thing keeping me back is the 10k mile valve check interval. The Yamaha 26k mile interval has been great.

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    Lifer loudbeard's Avatar
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    Re: Thinking of buying a Triumph Explorer

    To clarify, the stator issues were on first gen 1050's, corrected for the '08 model year.

    As for the valve clearance check, I know of no one who has had them checked at 10k (I'm a regular on a few triumph forums) and actually needed adjustment. Most report they're still fine at 20k. That's not to say it isn't worth doing, just hasn't been proven to be necessary. I tend to think Triumph is just being overly cautious with their service intervals. Also, valve clearance check is stupid easy on these bikes. Just about anyone with a set a feeler gauges, a fisher price set of mechanics tools, and an $11 valve cover gasket can check them out.

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  5. #5
    Lifer Stromper's Avatar
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    Re: Thinking of buying a Triumph Explorer

    I have a Vstrom but you would be pleased with any Adventure bike especially for commute duty

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  6. #6
    Posting Freak Spooler's Avatar
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    Re: Thinking of buying a Triumph Explorer

    A triumph tech from another forum says he's never adjusted the valves on any triple at 12k miles, and very, very few at the 24k check. It's not too tough to check them yourself on the 1050 and the 955. Actually adjusting them is a bit more work. I would expect the 1215 would be similar. You might want to check out the tiger 1050 forum, there is a subforum for the TEX, although I'm not sure how active it is. That's also where you can find that Triumph tech if you wanted to get in contact with him.

    EDIT: looks like the TEX subforum is no longer active. But if you want to talk to a Triumph guy who's worked on hundreds or thousands of triples, that's a place to find him.

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    Last edited by Spooler; 08-28-14 at 04:20 PM.
    2019 Triumph Scrambler 1200 XE

  7. #7
    Lifer markbvt's Avatar
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    Re: Thinking of buying a Triumph Explorer

    Quote Originally Posted by OneCheekRider View Post
    I think the Explorer was introduced in 2011, so would it be safe to assume a 2013 model would have the bugs fixed? I think the only thing keeping me back is the 10k mile valve check interval. The Yamaha 26k mile interval has been great.
    If it was introduced in 2011, it was an announcement only; the first year for the Tiger Explorer was 2012. But yes, a 2013 should be good.

    Also, check again on that valve check interval -- I think it's actually 20k (I believe 10k is the basic maintenance interval, i.e., oil changes). My Tiger 800 XC has 12k valve check intervals, but in over 60,000 miles it's never actually needed an adjustment.

    --mark

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    BMW track whore e30addict's Avatar
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    Re: Thinking of buying a Triumph Explorer

    Quote Originally Posted by Pinned View Post
    and an $11 valve cover gasket can check them out.
    Where are you finding them for $11? Cheapest I've found was in the $30 range for my 800. I'd love a cheap parts source

    OP, don't let the valves scare you away. Easy enough to check. I had 6 exhaust valves out of spec at 17k but after resetting them I doubt I'll ever have to touch them again. If I do, I'd gladly trade a day of work to ride a bike I like instead of having a longer interval on the Japanese bikes; they're soul less.

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    Last edited by e30addict; 08-28-14 at 04:24 PM.
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  9. #9
    Lifer OneCheekRider's Avatar
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    Re: Thinking of buying a Triumph Explorer

    I'm taking the ol' lady to check it out with me tomorrow; we've been doing more 2 up riding lately. This is sounding like a good idea and she's going nuts over the heated rear seat lol!

    does anyone know if the TC or ABS is adjustable?

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    Last edited by OneCheekRider; 08-28-14 at 04:48 PM.

  10. #10
    Expert Agitator GearHd6's Avatar
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    Re: Thinking of buying a Triumph Explorer

    Has the cylinder head and ECU issues been resolved for the 13's? You may want to check the recalls on it.

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    Lifer Garandman's Avatar
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    Re: Thinking of buying a Triumph Explorer

    Explorer 1200 is awesome! Costs more than a Tiger 1050 but is slower, heavier, and gets lower mpg. But you're all, you know, adventurish! You can conquer continents!

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  12. #12
    Lifer
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    Re: Thinking of buying a Triumph Explorer

    I dunno if the Ex is faster or slower than anything. But it is better equipped than a lot.
    And unlike the Tiger 1050, it is still sold in the US.

    Edit: Actually, I do know that the Ex is way faster than a 23 year old VFR750. So there is that.

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    Last edited by nhbubba; 08-28-14 at 07:34 PM.

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    Lifer Chippertheripper's Avatar
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    Re: Thinking of buying a Triumph Explorer

    Didn't ken get a freebie?

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  14. #14
    Lifer
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    Re: Thinking of buying a Triumph Explorer

    I've seen his garage. I wouldn't call it "free".

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    BMW track whore e30addict's Avatar
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    Re: Thinking of buying a Triumph Explorer

    Quote Originally Posted by Chippertheripper View Post
    Didn't ken get a freebie?
    The launch model he had was a disaster. The replacement trouble free for the past 18k so far. They step up if there's a problem. They actually care about the customers and their brand image.

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  16. #16
    Lifer OneCheekRider's Avatar
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    Re: Thinking of buying a Triumph Explorer

    Quote Originally Posted by Garandman View Post
    Explorer 1200 is awesome! Costs more than a Tiger 1050 but is slower, heavier, and gets lower mpg. But you're all, you know, adventurish! You can conquer continents!
    Have you ridden both back to back? I agree the Explorer is heavier, but on paper it has more power and is rated at 57mpg. While that 57 rating has got to be optimistic, I can't imagine it getting any lower than 40mpg (it's rated 37mpg city) and I typically get the higher end of the realistic MPG spectrum in my vehicles. While I havent riden the 1050, this 1200 was shockingly fast...at least IMO.

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  17. #17
    The NEW hot Setup Manny's Avatar
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    For a commuter I would lean to a tiger as well. If you like the look of the exp more go for it.

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    Posting Freak Spooler's Avatar
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    Re: Thinking of buying a Triumph Explorer

    Tiger 1050 is a great do everything kind of bike, where the TEX is a little more touring-specific. Although I don't doubt it's very good at most other things. If you like the TEX, go for it! It's certainly a more luxurious platform.

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  19. #19
    Lifer Chippertheripper's Avatar
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    Re: Thinking of buying a Triumph Explorer

    Quote Originally Posted by e30addict View Post
    The launch model he had was a disaster. The replacement trouble free for the past 18k so far. They step up if there's a problem. They actually care about the customers and their brand image.
    I wish more companies were like that.

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  20. #20
    Lifer OneCheekRider's Avatar
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    Re: Thinking of buying a Triumph Explorer

    the 2013 explorer i'm looking at with 2k miles is not much more expensive than a 2010 1050 with 20k i saw too. I would use this bike for commuting, touring, and 2 up. I think the explorer is the way to go. I dont need speed, that's what the track is for, but i was very impressed with the motor. Also, the cruise control and heated seats/grips are luring me to it...

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  21. #21
    Lifer Garandman's Avatar
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    Re: Thinking of buying a Triumph Explorer

    Quote Originally Posted by OneCheekRider View Post
    Have you ridden both back to back? I agree the Explorer is heavier, but on paper it has more power and is rated at 57mpg. While that 57 rating has got to be optimistic, I can't imagine it getting any lower than 40mpg (it's rated 37mpg city) and I typically get the higher end of the realistic MPG spectrum in my vehicles. While I havent riden the 1050, this 1200 was shockingly fast...at least IMO.
    I'm half trolling you because first of all you've already made up your mind and second those shaft-drive machines are all good tourers.

    The bike has apparently not sold well compared to the Super Tenere or BMW GS, so should be good value for money. I feel the Tiger 1050 is stupid cheap for what it offers, and because Triumph didn't bring the 1050 Sport to the US, even stupider.

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    Last edited by Garandman; 08-29-14 at 02:16 AM.
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  22. #22
    Awesomeness, Inc. MattR302's Avatar
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    Re: Thinking of buying a Triumph Explorer

    Heated grips cost $20 at cycle gear and the FZ6 already comes stock with the seat heater, er, undertail exhaust

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  23. #23
    Life is good! gadget's Avatar
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    Re: Thinking of buying a Triumph Explorer

    I bought a 2009 1050 and have close to 20k on it.
    I have had 5 or 6 bikes over the last 30 years.
    This is by far my favorite.

    I had some battery issues but since I bought a new one a couple sizes larger than stock it has been fine.

    At 12k the valves were checked and did not need adjusting.

    I did have the front springs changed since I am much heavier than your average brit (220 lbs).
    I also changed the rear plates to lower it an inch. (I have a short inseam - 30in)

    I know a couple people have had electrical problems but I have not (as long as I can remember to take the key out of the ignition... )

    Awesome bike. I would buy it again if I had a do-over.

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  24. #24
    Lifer Garandman's Avatar
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    Re: Thinking of buying a Triumph Explorer

    Quote Originally Posted by gadget View Post
    //
    I had some battery issues but since I bought a new one a couple sizes larger than stock it has been fine.//
    I bought an EarthX LiFeP04 battery last year. Expensive but supposed to be very long-lived and cranks the bike over much faster. I bought the heavy-duty cables and didn't bother to install them.

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  25. #25
    Lifer OneCheekRider's Avatar
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    Re: Thinking of buying a Triumph Explorer

    Quote Originally Posted by MattR302 View Post
    Heated grips cost $20 at cycle gear and the FZ6 already comes stock with the seat heater, er, undertail exhaust
    I have the oxford heated grips on my FZ6 and they're great.. but as an FZ6 rider, you have to admit there are some compromises. The price was certainly right, which is the biggest hurtle to get over if I'm gonna pull the trigger on this explorer.

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