Triumph’s big Explorer, all-new in 2012, already gave the visual impression it was ready for serious off-road adventuring. Now the XC version takes it one step closer to reality: Spoked wheels with aluminum rims generally hold up better to off-road bashing than cast ones, and the wheels on the new XC also mount tubeless tires—far easier to repair than your tubed jobs—giving the bike the best of both worlds wheelwise. The front remains a 19-incher and the rear a 17.
Increased protection is part of the XC deal, too, for both rider and motorcycle: High-impact Adventure handguards, 22mm steel-tube engine guards and a heavy-gauge aluminum belly pan are all intended to keep vital systems intact. A pair of 55-watt fog lights should help you bump into fewer things in the night (or fog), and Triumph covers the XC in Khaki Green paint.
The same 1215cc Triple was good for 113 rear-wheel horsepower and 75 foot-pounds of torque in our recent Asphalt Adventurers comparison test, and the sophisticated Triple comes with standard cruise control, traction control and switch-offable antilock braking. In addition, Triumph offers a slew of accessories including heated seats and grips, luggage, GPS mounts, etc.
The regular Explorer carries a suggested price of $15,699, so expect the XC to be at least $1K north of there when it hits dealers in April.