The 2016 Triumph Explorer XR and XC (along with half a dozen higher-end variants...) get engine and electronics updates, more power, better fuel economy, semi-active suspension and an electrically-adjustable windscreen
Triumph used to have a nice, capable, dual-purpose motorcycle called the Explorer, which was powered by a 1200cc inline-three and which you could ride pretty much anywhere you wanted. Then suddenly one day, Triumph decided to go mad with acronyms, so then there was the Explorer XR, which is optimised for on-road riding, and the Explorer XC, which is better suited to off-road riding. Now, more variants have been added to the line-up and while the XR and XC continue to be the base model Explorers, the Explorer XRt, XRx, XCa and XCx live further up the range, and we're no longer sure about which bike does what! What's good, however, is that they've all been updated for 2016. All variants of the Explorer are powered by the same 1215cc three-cylinder engine, which produces 139bhp at 9,300rpm and 123Nm of torque at 6,200rpm. Triumph claim that this is now the most powerful shaft-driven motorcycle in the adventure bike segment and fuel economy has also improved by 5%.
These days, an adventure-touring bike is nothing if it doesn't have more computers and electronics than a 1980s space shuttle, so the 2016 Triumph Explorer range does. It has multi-stage traction control, cornering ABS, a hill hold function and five riding modes, including one that is rider-programmable. There's also WP semi-active suspension with auto-levelling rear preload, an easier to operate hydraulic torque-assist clutch, revised styling and low-seat options for the XRx and XCx models. With its new exhaust system, the 2016 Explorer models are fully Euro 4 emissions compliant.
Other notable bits on the new Explorer models include fully adjustable 48mm WP USD front forks, twin 305mm floating brake discs at front with Brembo 4-piston monobloc calipers, electrically adjustable screen and five riding modes that include road, rain, off-road, sport and one that's fully rider configureable. All models can be fitted with aluminium rails (already standard on the top-of-the-range Explorer XRt and XCa), which can then take the dedicated 'Expedition' panniers and everything else a rider could want for cross-continent journeys. The bikes' dry weight ranges from 244-258kg, depending on the version you choose.
The 2016 Triumph Explorer range will be available in Triumph dealerships from April this year, with prices ranging from £11,800 (base model XR) to £15,800 (top-end XCa).