2019 Triumph 1200 Scrambler Launch Ride Review

04 January 2019, 06:10 PM Pratheek Kunder

Introduction

There's a big shift happening in the motorcycle fraternity right now. People want something cool. Something more retro. Something that will give them an opportunity to connect with the past. That's how the world of modern retro and classic motorcycles were born. Ducati is there, so is BMW. Triumph, on the other hand, has gone many steps ahead and created a range of new bikes under the brand 'Bonneville'. If you want a fast and sporty Bonneville, there's the Thruxton R. If you want a relaxed one, there's the T100 and the T120. There's the Speedmaster for the cruiser lovers. And for the adventure lovers, there's the Street Scrambler

Now there's the 1200 Scrambler. A bike made for folks who want a bit more power, tech, features and a bit more freedom to head to the nearby trails. That said, the Scrambler 1200 promises to turn heads wherever it goes. To entice our readers further, we travelled to exotic Portugal where the Scrambler looked at home in its cobbled, sun-drenched streets and also the misty climes of its terraced hillsides. Naturally, the photographs were stunning, but it's the bike itself that commands our glowing reviews.

The Purpose

The idea is simple! A motorcycle that is a direct descendant of a classic, but is rugged and can do several days of rough-roading at one go. And finally load it with tech that could put quite a few adventure bikes to shame. 

Triumph believes that the 1200 Scrambler is also a motorcycle that can be looked upon as an upgrade for the smaller Scrambler customers. These are the same set of riders who worship the concept of ‘Scramblers’. 

The Tech

Upcoming

Expected price

 12,00,000 - 13,00,000

Oh! It’s loaded! The 1200 Scrambler gets an IMU, which means there’s the presence of a cornering ABS system. There’s a traction control system (TCS) as well, that makes the 1200 Scrambler a much better place to be. Just like the other bikes, the British-maker has equipped the 1200 Scrambler with six riding modes – road, rain, sport, off-road, rider-custom and off-road pro (only available in XE). The ABS, TCS and the throttle maps settings are adjusted based on the riding modes. 

Furthermore, the 1200 Scrambler gets ride-by-wire system, torque-assist-clutch, keyless ignition, heated grips, USB charging socket and cruise control. The XE gets an adjustable rear brake lever. Basically, the rider can change the height of the pedal depending on the requirements. The handlebar on the XE could be adjusted too, thanks to the presence of reversible risers and removable spacer. 

Then there’s the new TFT instrument cluster which is really intuitive. It sports two design themes that can be personalised. The attention to detail is fantastic and lovable. This cluster is also home to two big and new additions –Google’s turn-by-turn navigation and GoPro integration. While the former allows you to get through a city with its friendly turn-by-turn navigation, the latter helps you capture images and videos without lifting your hands off the bar. However, the GoPro feature is yet to be fully integrated as final tests are on. 

The 1200 Scrambler XC gets 45mm fully adjustable Showa USD forks with 200mm travel upfront and fully adjustable Ohlins with 200mm travel at the back. The more expensive and more capable 1200 Scrambler XE gets 47mm USD front forks with 250mm travel and the same rear setup as the XC but with 250mm travel. 

The Ride - On Road

The sun was shining bright and that means, we had a dry tarmac ride, unlike the last few days. The ride lasted for over 200kms and the breath-taking South Portugal road was a perfect setting for the new Scrambler. But first, the most stunning aspect of the bike – its handling. I was astounded with the way these Scramblers handled the corners, even with those 21-inch spoke-wheels. The bikes behaved well, and managed to turn in peg-to-peg in an effortless manner. The XE, however, with its longer wheelbase and more raked-out front performed marginally less than the XC. The XC had the lower centre of gravity and steeper rake working for it. On the up-side, with its better ground clearance, the XE had more lean angle on offer.

The bike gets its power from a re-tuned version of Triumph’s 1200c parallel-twin engine found in the Thruxton. This one makes 90bhp at 7400rpm and 110Nm at 3950rpm. Twist the throttle and you’ll feel the torque rush immediately, thanks to the flat torque curve. The refinement level is really good, so is the sound. The fueling was spot on with smooth throttle transition that enhanced the overall experience.

The sitting and standing ergonomics were pretty good for all sized riders. For long hauls too, the seating triangle is perfectly done up. But the absence of windscreen means that there's no wind protection and that calls for a bit of fatigue. Plus, the right leg tends to feel the heat due to its proximity to the exhaust. 

Both the bikes get adjustable levers. But the top-spec XE model gets Brembo MCS levers that offers a little more adjustment. The braking duties on the bikes are taken care of by dual four-piston Brembo Monoblock M50s that bites into dual 320mm brake discs. At the rear, there's a two piston Brembo caliper with a single 255mm disc. And these brakes mean serious business. They are progressive, have great bite and feedback.  

The Ride -Off Road

Armed with 47mm USD forks with 250mm travel at the front, the XE was gliding over everything with ease. Be it hard rocks, slush and even ruts, the 1200 Scrambler tracked perfectly. Even the XC didn’t disappoint here. But the presence of wider handlebar, longer wheelbase and more ground clearance on the XE gives more control and confidence on technical trails. 

The XE gets an additional riding mode – Off-Road Pro. But the Off-Road mode was more than enough. There was no need to turn off all the traction control as the Off-Road mode gives 50 per cent slip at the rear wheel before the system kicks in. A major credit also goes to the Pirelli Rally Scorpion tyres. It never lost its grip and continued to blow us away every time we puddled through. 

India Plans

The 1200 Scrambler is a big launch for Triumph India and we can see why. The bike is very capable, likeable and practical. And it’s also a gorgeous looking machine. But unfortunately, the 1200 Scrambler XE won’t make it to India anytime soon. The 1200 Scrambler XC, however, will be launched next year with a price tag between Rs 12 lakhs and Rs 13 lakhs making it little expensive. But remember, at this price, you get a bike that is loaded with electronics, versatile and sports a gorgeous design that might sour your romantic equation with your partner. 

Photography by Knigdom Creative

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