2012 Motorcycle of the Year | Best Adventure Bike

Triumph Tiger 800 XC
The Tiger Takes Over

Best Adventure Bike was once the exclusive domain of BMW’s big-bore GS. Now that Triumph’s excellent Tiger 800 XC has snared this crown for the second year in a row, however, it’s fair to say the British bike-builder has ended that German juggernaut. While Triumph’s all-new Tiger Explorer is the intended competition for the R1200GS, for true adventuring we still prefer the mid-sized Tiger. Less is more, especially when you’re heading beyond the paved horizon. With less bulk, less weight and less cost up front, the $11,999 Tiger 800 XC beats those big bikes—and BMW’s similar F800GS anywhere on or off the map. It carries enough fuel to cover 200 miles between fll-ups and offers a comfortable seat from which to enjoy the ride. The true measure of the Tiger’s greatness, however, is its 79-horsepower, 799cc inlinetriple. With almost all its torque arriving as low as 3500 rpm and a broad top-end fnish, this soulful screamer makes an adventure out of any ride, no matter what the surface.

Alternative Take

BMW's R1200GS gets all the gusto, but if your version of ADV is found farther of-road, the lighter, more limber G650GS is a better bet. Especially the new-for-2012 Sertao edition, which comes with of-road accoutrements such as long-travel suspension, greater ground clearance, larger-diameter spoked wheels, engine armor and standard handguards.