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TIGER 1200: A 24HR TRIUMPH | Off-Road

The 2022 Triumph Tiger 1200 Rally Pro is now officially the world’s first large-capacity adventure bike to complete the South Australian 24hr trial.

Cameron Donald, a two-time Isle of Man TT champion, was tasked to ride the Tiger 1200 Rally Pro which really stood out among the field of lightweight enduro bikes in a gruelling event that pushes the endurance of rider and machine to the limit.

Triumph Tiger 1200

“Physically, that was one of the toughest things I’ve ever done on a motorcycle,” Donald said. “To ride out there in that terrain on these bikes over four six-hour laps for 24 hours was such a battle. It was brutal.

“A lot of people told us we were crazy, not expecting us to finish a single lap let alone four laps to finish the race. Worse yet, an experienced competitor who’s finished the race 24 times said this year’s course was by far technically most difficult.

“The weight of a 1200cc adventure bike didn’t make it easy against lightweight enduro bikes, but I was constantly amazed by how well the new Tiger 1200 got through the terrain. There was nothing it couldn’t do.

“There were boobytraps everywhere including ledges four-feet high and bulldust two-feet deep, often hiding rocks and roots. But the bike’s momentum and off-road oriented 21-inch front wheel allowed you to point and shoot.

“You had to be careful in the tight, technical terrain but, once it opened up, the Tiger was unstoppable. The transit sections were warm and comfortable for us thanks to heated grips, cruise control and semi-active suspension.

“In a race as gruelling as the 24Hr trial, we threw so much at the Tigers, but they were supremely capable and absolutely shined. I had to laugh when I saw other riders lubing and adjusting their drive chains. I just smiled at the Tiger’s shaft drive – no maintenance required.

“I’m gutted both bikes didn’t finish, though, and that just drives home the how hard the event actually is,” Donald said.

Australia’s oldest motorcycle race, The 24-Hour Trial, has been running since 1924 and consists of four six-hours laps with each lap broken into 12 timed sections. Three 15 minute stops allow for maintenance and refuelling but there no outside assistance is permitted.

The event is extremely taxing on the rider and machinery, from 138 competitors in this year’s event, only 91 finished the event.

Also riding a Tiger 1200 Rally Pro was Cameron’s friend Donald Owen, an expert class enduro rider who managed to conquer a gruelling 16 hours on his first attempt of the 24hr trial before hitting a deep hole making him unable to continue.

“‘DNF’ are letters nobody wants to hear in a race, and I was starting to feel heartbroken. But the support from fellow riders, who all stop to help, and volunteer staff at the control points was truly amazing,” Owen said. “When I was stuck in the darkness, a guy walked almost three kilometers through the bush scrub with a head torch to come and help me. I’ll never forget that.

“Our next objective was to keep supporting Cam. His ability to ride at the right level – not too hard, not too slow – and maintain the right mental state to get through all the dark times was unbelievable.”

Cam Donald described his technique to riding a large adventure bike in an enduro is momentum. “As long as you’re going forward, you’re fine.

“Riding in the Enduro Pro mode ensured the bike’s power delivery was nice, linear and easy to use – exactly what you want when you’re in super tight, technical terrain that would test a 250!

“I formed a special relationship with that bike. We struggled, we argued, we laughed, we cried, but I brought her home safe just as she brought me. Together, we crossed the finish line. I can’t believe we did it! I feel as if I’ve won a race!”

The Tigers were fitted with Triumph accessory upper protection bars; aggressive road-legal knobby tyres for maximum traction and an 8.0-inch LED light bar for additional night-time visibility (as per race regulations). Centrestands and pillion mounts were removed for increased clearance.

The new generation is now more than 25kg lighter than the previous Tiger, and the new Rally sports a dedicated 21-inch front and 18-inch rear tubeless wire-spoked wheel set-up, plus the new Showa semi-active suspension with even longer travel.

Handguards are standard for all models, aluminium skid-guard is fitted as standard on the GT Pro and GT Explorer, while an aluminium sump guard is a standard fit for the Rally Pro and Rally Explorer.

Additional protection is provided on the GT Explorer and both Rally variants by the engine protection bars, while the Rally Explorer also comes with fuel tank protection bars. These items can all be added as accessories to the models where they are not standard fit.

Read more about the 2022 Tiger 1200 range in our story on AMCN.