Triumph Explorer XC Dare to be Different

Triumph Explorer XC Dare to be Different

Article & Photos: Brian Cheyne


In the world of adventure motorcycles, the heavyweight category is fiercely competitive. There are some heavy hitters here, and they all share a similar design philosophy. 1200cc shaft driven underpinnings with aggressive styling cues make these bikes growl and stare at each other in a show of force. The British have also entered the fray and they are pinning their hopes on the Triumph Explorer XC.

As it should be in this category, the Explorer is a big bike, but it feels decently balanced once you have settled on the roomy seat. The handlebars are wide and your seating position is properly upright. There are a few models to choose from, starting with the XCt model. This model has alloy wheels, so its bias would be road use. The XCx has spoked wheels and the XCa I had on test is the same as the XCx, except for a host of extras. The list includes spotlights, heated grips and seat, and wider footpegs. Yes, you read it right, heated seats. For the price, you get all these extras that would probably be expensive options on a competitor’s bike.


Before you set off on an XC, you need to decide what your mood is for the day. There are a few modes you can set the bike up for. The default mode is ‘Road. Sport is for when you have a set of twisties in front of you and Off-road is self explanatory. There is also a Rain mode forhelp in bad weather and if you really want to be picky, you can customize a profile in Rider mode.


Once on the move, the size and weight of the bike fades into nothing, and after a few day’s riding I barely noticed it. It still remains a large bike, so lane splitting was an area that required a lot more concentration. But the morning traffic is not where this bike excels. No, this is, first and foremost, a long distance tourer. And with cruise control as standard, even your throttle hand can get some rest. An electrically adjustable windshield gives ample wind protection at speed, but if you are crawling through some small town, you can lower it so you can feel the wind on your face.
The Explorer is a monumental bike. It is well priced for all the extras you get as standard, and the selling point for me would be that it is different. And I like different.