Triumph Tiger Explorer Problems: 6 Known Issues (Explained)

The Triumph Tiger Explorer is a comfortable adventure bike enjoyed by various people due to the Tiger’s stellar handling and Triumph’s world-class engineering.

Although the Triumph Tiger Explorer is a state-of-the-art moto-machine, we’ve dug into some of the problems owners have complained about facing over the years. 

We’ve come to share the concrete complaints and their dirty details of this dual-sport champion.

We’ll also resolve the unfair complaints or a simple matter of taste.

Let’s venture right into it!

1.    Electrical Problems

Although by no means a widespread issue, we’ve encountered a handful of Triumph Tiger Explorer owners who’ve encountered electrical-related issues, and while these issues aren’t tied to an isolated design flaw, we thought we’d share a few with you for the benefit of troubleshooting.

The Tiger would crank and crank at the first key turn without ever turning over for one owner. The display screen would read “TSAS System Failure” for one second. The bike wouldn’t even try to start after the initial key turn.

Tee owner disconnected the battery and tested it to find it was fine, and a few days later, he noticed that the gas gauge had gone from 1/2 tank to empty. He rehooked the battery and tried to start again, and fuel came flowing from the bike’s left side.

A trip to the Triumph mechanic resulted in discovering that the return fuel line had ruptured. The computer locked up, overloaded by trying to calculate the error, the CPU refused to start the bike.

The dealership mechanic replaced the return fuel line and re-flashed the Tiger’s CPU, and the bike started fine afterward.

In a separate incident of electronic failure, Tiger Explorer rider found that, while there were two four-pin connectors on the right handlebar assembly, there were no clips to hold the connectors in place.

If the wiring loom along the handlebar isn’t fitted well,  turning the handlebar can strain the cabling enough to slip the connectors.

The rider properly re-attached the connectors, and the bike started right up.

Other components to check for electrical problems on a Triumph Tiger Explorer:

  • Loose Battery Terminals: Always start with the basics. Bikes vibrate, and screws loosen. Sometimes a 90-degree turn on the battery terminal is all you need to do to get back on the road.
  • Bad Battery: If the terminals were on tight, use a voltmeter to check if your battery is still good. No battery lasts forever, and checking your battery’s condition is part of routine maintenance.
  • Fuses: A faulty or blown fuse can lead you to believe that there is something else wrong with your bike. Blown fuses are to be checked during regular service intervals, as they are damaged as the result of excessive vibration and wear and tear.
  • Ignition Circuit: Problems starting could be due to loss of connectivity between the bike’s ignition circuit wires. Inspecting connections should be part of your Tiger Explorer’s regular service.
  • Regulator/Rectifier: Another cause of the electrical problems is a failure in the regulator. It is responsible for converting the AC power to DC power to charge the bike’s battery. A failed regulator rectifier can result in an overcharging and damaged battery.

2.   Fuel Leaks

A handful of Triumph Tiger Explorer users have reported fuel leaking from the rubber tube between the bike’s frame and the fuel tank.

Apparently, this issue was the result of a handful of faulty tanks that left the factory.

This wasn’t a widespread issue by any means, do no recall was issued, but the riders we encountered who experienced this problem were still able to get the faulty tank replaced at their local Triumph Dealership.

Other possible causes of fuel leaks on a Triumph Tiger include:

  • Punctured Fuel Line: Sometimes caused by contact with a sharp material or object rubbing against the tank, a punctured gas line on an older bike could result from wear and tear. Inspecting fuel lines is part of regular bike service.
  • Loose Seals: If the seals around the fuel tank loosen due to vibration, or wear and tear caused by heat and time, fuel could. This is risky since fuel leaking onto the engine while riding is a hazard; owners or mechanics should inspect seals during the appropriate service intervals.
  • Faulty Fuel Filter: when the fuel filter on your bike gets clogged, the fuel-back-up could result in a fuel leak. A torn filter could result in further complications with your motorcycle as impurities and contaminants can clog your bike’s fuel tank.

3.    Faulty Valve Guides

Over time, wear and tear from the motor’s excessive heat can cause damage to the valve guards.

Although this is an anomalous incident, it’s worth sharing if you encounter any of the symptoms outlined below.

One rider claims the valve guides in his Triumph Tiger Explorer left the factory faulty.

If the valve guides in your Triumph Tiger are deformed, the valves won’t fit properly.

Irregular seating can result in the valves of the bike becoming burnt and damaged. 

4.   Sensitive Throttle

It is always a challenge when your bike’s throttle is not responsive. However, it is also challenging when the throttle is too sensitive and overly responsive.

This is a matter of taste. Every bike is different, and learning to ride without jerking on the bike’s throttle is just part of the gig of motorcycle riding.

There have been few complaints among users of the Triumph Tiger Explorers who claim they jerk their throttles unintentionally while rolling over a speed bump to rough roads, causing a sudden surge in acceleration.

Again, mastering a hand-controlled throttle’s learning curve is part of riding a motorcycle, and a world-class adventurer tourer like the Triumph Tiger isn’t tame.

Be vigilant about avoiding jerky movements, especially when off-road.

Some riders prefer a sensitive throttle, but it’s a matter of taste, and for those who are really having trouble mastering the Tiger Explorers powerful acceleration, try using a half grip throttle to reduce the bite it has on your engine.

5.    Strange Engine Noise

Excessive engine noise is common for powerful adventurers like the Triumph Tiger Explorer, one of the most powerful engines in its class.

However, if the engine noise sounds different from normal, it could indicate a bigger problem, and this does for any bike, not just the Triumph Tiger Explorer.

This strange noise from the engine could be the result of a faulty chain. Also, a defective valve guide could cause parts to scrape against each other in the engine, which would be a noticeably abnormal sound.

The best offense is a good defense; routine maintenance keeps your oil fresh and full, so your motor’s parts are all nice and lubricated. Routine oil changes avoid rust, unwarranted friction, overheating, and accelerated wear and tear.

6.    Faulty Suspension

This is a complaint more pertinent to older Tigers and is somewhat a matter of taste.

Some riders felt that the older Triumph Tiger Explorers’ suspension wasn’t efficient enough for off-road riding.

Riding rough, rocky, and uneven terrain requires an effective suspension to absorb off-road riding shock.

Triumph has upgraded its suspension on the newer Tiger models, and owners of the newer model have fewer suspension complaints than those who still ride their older model.

If you’re unhappy with the suspension on your older Tiger but aren’t ready to part with the bike and acquire a newer model, an aftermarket suspension upgrade may be an option to look into.

You should also be reading our article which talks about 7 Most-Common Problems with the Triumph Tiger 800

General Pros And Cons Of The Triumph Tiger Explorer


The seating posture and seat of the Triumph Tiger Explorer are very comfortable and suitable for a wide variety of riders. Additionally, the height of the seat is perfect for riders with different heights.

Triumph Tiger Explorer comes with an impressive engine that gives you the extra boost to ride it on and off-road.

Its stylish build is also durable as it is made from high-quality components and durable paint finishing.

Also, the throttle of this bike model is very sensitive and responds quickly.

You can easily switch between riding modes with the Triumph Tiger Explorer. Additionally, this bike’s traction control is topnotch while giving you the perfect cornering experience with its ABS systems.

The sound of the Triumph Tiger Explorer is impressive, with a throaty sound emitted from the exhaust. Its torque is even more potent at 5500 RPMs.

The bike also gives you a riding experience out of the ordinary. Another perfect feature of this bike model is its Brembo brakes that are more responsive than older bike models.

Also, the accessories on the Triumph Tiger Explorer make it more desirable. Accessories such as the on-board computer, smart indicators, cruise control, and USB chargers are trendy and made of state-of-the-art technology.


  • Older models have less springy suspension.

What Do The Reviews Say?

Triumph Tiger Explorer has the best seat and riding position for an adventure bike that can accommodate just about anybody.

The screen of this bike model is electrically operated; hence, you can adjust it to suit your taste. Additionally, this bike’s steering and brakes further increase its pedigree as they are made with standard components and work effectively.

“The Explorer is more comfortable on the long haul and more maneuverable off-road than the previous model. Wind buffeting has been banished, thanks to an electrically-operated screen – standard on all versions and a first for an adventure bike.”

The equipment on this bike is A-grade equipment which the manufacturers made available for both the mid-spec and high spec bike models. As a result, these bike models possess up to five different riding modes to accommodate any rider’s preferences.

Additionally, its ABS allows you to ride this bike in corners comfortably.

This bike model has updated ergonomics. It is easy to operate (even for beginners and experienced riders). Also, the weight of the Triumph Tiger Explorer is lower than the older models. This model’s technology is topnotch as it includes an independent suspension and hill hold feature, among others.

“The Tiger 1200 receives significant updates to improve ergonomics, shed weight, and to include next-gen tech such as self-balancing semi-active suspension, a rev-matching up/down quick shifter, linked brakes with cornering ABS, a hill-hold feature, adjustable traction control, and adaptive cornering lighting.”

The gear transmission is very responsive. This is due to the hydraulic clutch that has a light lever. This bike has the right balance that is needed for any mode of riding.

What Is The Resale Value Of The Triumph Tiger Explorer?

Year Mileage (miles) Price ($)
2011 18000 7,321
2012 8000 7,845
2013 18000 8,723
2013 7000 8,728
2014 12000 8,219
2015 9000 9,596
2015 19000 8,095
2016 21000 9,591
2019 400 14,965

NB: The above prices are estimated and are prone to change concerning your location and the model. Additionally, the amount of mileage and the state of the bike plays a part in determining the resale price.

Final Thoughts

The Triumph Tiger Explorer bikes are made with a combination of a superbike look and an off-roader build.

As a result of this, you can be on cruise mode or adventure mode.

Whatever your choice, these bike models have you covered.

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ⓘ  The information in this article is based on data from National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recall reports, consumer complaints submitted to the NHTSA, reliability ratings from J.D. Power, auto review and rating sites such as Edmunds, specialist forums, etc. We analyzed this data to provide insights into the best and worst years for these vehicle models.