On a Saturday morning, when your boss asks you to accompany him on an off-road adventure, it’s obvious you’d do your best to impress him! Right?
When I say impress, I mean get a hold of the big, powerful and heavy motorcycle, and the first bike that came to my mind was the Triumph Tiger Explorer XCx.
The location we chose was somewhere on the outskirts of Gurugram, the perfect location to test the off-road capabilities of a motorcycle like the Explorer.
I expected Roshun to turn up with a powerful machine as well, but to my surprise, he came on a Royal Enfield Himalayan.
No disrespect intended – the Himalayan is indeed a powerful motorcycle, but nowhere as powerful as it’s competitor here. With both the machines ready, it was time to hit the sand for our off-road adventure!
Talking about the Tiger Explorer, the shaft driven motorcycle comes with a six-speed manual gearbox, and multiple riding modes like Road, Rain, and what I ended up using the most — Off-road!
Though the riding position is comfortable, I was spending a lot of time balancing on the foot-pegs, which Off-roading requires. It becomes treacherously difficult to balance this machine on sand.
But when the terrain gets a bit manageable, you better get out of the way! This Tiger crushes debris to the ground, and the 48mm front upside down forks and the rear monoshock suspension help with the same.
Braking is never an issue with the Tiger, all thanks to twin 305mm floating discs at the front and a single disc on the rear.
The Explorer feels really planted riding on the tarmac, the 253 kilogram of dry weight doesn’t matter once the bike is at appropriate speeds. Acceleration is pretty strong till about 6,000 rpm, after which it loses some bite.
Cruise control is a blessing in the Triumph Explorer XCx and if wind burst is an issue, the bike comes with an electronically controlled windshield that’s adjustable according to your preference.
The Royal Enfield Himalayan might not have a beastly stance or the demeanor as the Explorer, but then again, it’s not meant to intimidate.
It's sole purpose is to conquer tough terrains. And it does, thanks to a 411cc single cylinder engine — this time with fuel injection. It's a nimble machine which manoeuvres very well on sand and precipitous terrain.
The 41mm front forks and rear monoshock suspension help manage the steep drops. Thank God this one has disc brakes.
The Himalayan is as comfortable to ride on the road as on rough terrain, though not as powerful as the Tiger but still — powerful enough! Cutting close corners and manoeuvring with this bike is a cakewalk.
Just to be clear, what we had was not a comparison! Both are adventure tourers at two opposite ends of the spectrum.
Where the Triumph Tiger is available at 18.75 lakhs (ex-showroom), the Himalayan comes in a Rs. 1.68 lakhs (ex-showroom).
But isn’t adventure touring all about having fun? Be it with a huge bike like the Triumph or a very basic one like the Himalayan.
Video Editor: Puneet Bhatia
Camera Person: Vivek Das/Aadeetya Sriram
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