CRF1000 vs Triumph Tiger Explorer - Honda CRF1000L Africa Twin Forum
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-01-2016, 07:42 PM Thread Starter
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CRF1000 vs Triumph Tiger Explorer

As I mentioned in my "newby" post, I snagged #000060 silver manual AT on 28 May 2016, in Tampa Florida. I traded my 2013 Triumph Tiger Explorer to make the deal happen.

Here's the thing about the Triumph Explorer: It's big. Huge. It's taller, wider, heavier, longer and more top-heavy than the Africa Twin. It also has 135 HP, which made the bulk worthwhile -- on the road. I actually rode the TEx off road many times, and I'm no rally star -- I'm 60 years old. The bike would do off road, but it never liked it. And I had a real hard time picking it up.

And now I have an Africa Twin, and it *feels* half as heavy. It turns better on the road, it's much more agile, and the on-road ride actually is much nicer than the TEx. The sound is spectacular. Riding the Triumph had become an "event"...not something I'd just do for the heck of it. The CRF has changed that, and made riding not so much of a chore.

I'm at about the 200 mile mark now. More later.
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-02-2016, 06:27 AM
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Well now that is interesting. I have both. I agree with some points and disagree with others. I agree that the Explorer is a monster and that it does not like offroad.


However as far as I am concerned the Explorer is one of the best motorcycles I have ever owned. It does everything very well (except offroad). I also converted the suspension front and rear to Wilbers. The set up I have on that bike means that it turns every bit as quickly as the AT on tight twisty roads. The Explorer motor is also more tractable in a low rev (sharp uphill hairpin) situations where I would actually be more comfortable on it because of that feature. I find the AT throttle response very abrupt by comparison in such situations and have yet to get as used to it as I have with the Triumph. The Triumph is not as plush as the AT on rough roads that I travel but it is not far behind.


I agree that the Triumph is not in the same league offroad. The AT is so much easier to manhandle, and at 66 I need it to be. I purchased my AT for comfort on the rough backroads and occasional trails that I ride. I also purchased for lightness compared to the Triumph. It does that for me, but the Triumph stays because it is a **** of a good bike and is in no way overshadowed by its new garage companion.
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-02-2016, 10:33 AM
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Originally Posted by Griff View Post
The Explorer motor is also more tractable in a low rev (sharp uphill hairpin) situations where I would actually be more comfortable on it because of that feature. I find the AT throttle response very abrupt by comparison in such situations and have yet to get as used to it as I have with the Triumph.
I was wondering if anyone else noticed this as well. I feel like I'm having to learn low rev throttle control all over again with this bike.
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-02-2016, 01:57 PM
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I was wondering if anyone else noticed this as well. I feel like I'm having to learn low rev throttle control all over again with this bike.


That is exactly how I am experiencing it also. I suspect that the triple engine in the Explorer has spoiled me somewhat, but I certainly have had some anxious moments on the AT in some full lock tight turning situations uphill. This is somewhat exacerbated by the tendency of the bike to squat excessively to the rear on uphill take offs. It still does that despite utilising 26 of the available 36 clicks of spring preload when riding solo. I suspect that the shock spring is also too soft for anything other than solo riding lightly loaded. I may replace the spring.
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-02-2016, 02:27 PM
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That is exactly how I am experiencing it also. I suspect that the triple engine in the Explorer has spoiled me somewhat, but I certainly have had some anxious moments on the AT in some full lock tight turning situations uphill. This is somewhat exacerbated by the tendency of the bike to squat excessively to the rear on uphill take offs. It still does that despite utilising 26 of the available 36 clicks of spring preload when riding solo. I suspect that the shock spring is also too soft for anything other than solo riding lightly loaded. I may replace the spring.
Apart from the need to rev and slip clutch on pulling away the Triumph engine spoils you for anything else, once the Tiger 800 was rolling it was awesome...... Still miss it a little tiny weeny bit ......
The sheer grunt the AT has to offer low down helps me miss the TT a little less...., but only a little
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-02-2016, 02:57 PM
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I had a Tiger 800. I wanted to swap because of the 65.000km on it.
My first idea was to buy the actual Tiger 800 XCX, full of nice toys! But I was doubting the price is balanced...
I tested the AT and concluded the bike is better balanced, maybe better (?) for long rides, but found the engine very "different".
Between them, and after testing the DCT, I decided that would buy the AT only because of DCT. If not DCT, I would go Tiger.
First kms I was missing the useful 2.000 to 9.500 rev of the Tiger.
After 2.900Km I "learned to use" the good 2.500 to 7.500 rev of the AT, with the intermediation of the DCT system. I'm now forgetting the 3 cylinders... slowly!
But there is one thing I can't forget... the rider's sit of the AT is "miles" less comfortable...
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-02-2016, 03:01 PM
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Not having ridden the triumph i cant make comparison but i find the dct at never gives me concern at very low revs at low speed/tight turns on the road.
However i do miss the clutch a little bit on knarly very low speed off road. Relearning rear brake control helps massively especially with the confidence that you cant stall it.
Just my 2p worth.
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-02-2016, 03:45 PM
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I liked the Tiger 800 when I test rode it and found it really top heavy compared to the AT but the engine was lovely. I've mostly had straight fours or V-4s in the past and the triple seemed to give the best of both fours and torquey twins.

Come to think of it the Yamaha Tracer (FJ 900 in the US?) is a pretty amazing engine too - better than the Triumph IMHO.

But for off-road I imagine the AT and its torque is significantly better - not done any off-road yet though!

I do miss the howl of a four at peak power...
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-04-2016, 11:28 AM Thread Starter
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However as far as I am concerned the Explorer is one of the best motorcycles I have ever owned. It does everything very well (except offroad). I also converted the suspension front and rear to Wilbers. The set up I have on that bike means that it turns every bit as quickly as the AT on tight twisty roads. The Explorer motor is also more tractable in a low rev (sharp uphill hairpin) situations where I would actually be more comfortable on it because of that feature.
Griff, upgrading the suspension on the TEx is one thing I never did. That seems to have made a big difference, judging by your description. I agree the engine was spectacular. And like everyone else, I miss the low RPM tractability of the Explorer, something the AT doesn't have nearly as much of.

But for now I'm enjoying riding the AT more than the Explorer.
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-04-2016, 02:25 PM
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Part of the solution to getting the Explorer to turn quickly was to adopt a "tail up" attitude. The bike already had the basics to do so but tail up really enhanced it. The Wilbers conversion just helped comfort.


I am currently adopting the same tail up attitude on the AT to good affect. However I suspect the spring is too soft as already riding solo I have the shock spring preload up to 26 of the available 36 clicks. That does not leave much to play with for luggage.


I have found that taking some of the slack out of the throttle cables has helped throttle modulation also as suggested by a member on the ADVRider forum, and I am getting used to the light flywheel twin effect.


Like You I am enjoying my AT immensely but the Tex still brings a smile to the face when that lovely motor makes its delicious noises.
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