Triumph Scrambler 1200 ride review

Triumph Scrambler 1200 XE

Triumph’s Scrambler 1200 is less of a neo-classic scrambler than it is a viable lower-weight alternative to the over-litre, top-heavy adventure bikes.

The British company has loaded the bike with all the latest hi-tech mod cons and given it true all-road credentials, while still remaining a stunning neo-classic in design.

And unlike most hideously ugly utilitarian adventure bikes, this is classy with exemplary quality finish and some beautiful touches. So nice you will be reticent to take it off road and get it dirty! Triumph Scrambler 1200 XE

More power and torque

It is also the brawniest of the 1200 water-cooled Bonneville models with the high-torque engine from the Bobber, but using a single throttle body that gives it 14Nm more torque and almost as much power as the high-power engine from the Thruxton R.

The Scrambler 1200 XE and XC are far more than just a 900cc Street Scrambler with more cubic capacity.Triumph Scrambler 1200 XE

This is now a multi-purpose bike: an adventurer, a stylish retro, a sports tourer, a capable commuter and a naked streetfighter.

It will tour tarmac and dirt roads in comfort and ease all day long with long gaps between refills thanks to the super-efficient engine and bigger 16-litre tank.

It’s also a lot more expensive at $21,700 (plus on-road costs) for the off-road-oriented XE and $20,300 for the more road-tame XC version at $20,300.

Scrambler 1200 XC and XE

The XC has five riding modes and the XE adds Off-Road Pro that turns off traction control and ABS to use a special off-road engine mapping.

XE also has cornering traction control and cornering ABS, plus 50mm longer suspension (250mm).

Despite all the tech on board, I love the fact that you can customise the digital instruments so that only the centre screen shows minimal info in digital or analogue format until you press a control button on the left switchblock that reveals all the other comprehensive data on side screens.

It makes you focus your attention on the important things such as revs and speed!

However, you can upgrade with a USB connection under the seat that plugs in your smartphone in a padded cell and allows access on the instrument screen to various apps and Google Maps.

The connector is coming in the next few months for an extra $400.

Triumph Scrambler 1200 XE
Under-seat Smartphone compartment

Manners

What I love about the Scrambler 1200 is the good manners this brawny 1200cc engine displays even around slow-moving traffic.

Fuelling is smooth, reliable and more refined than the other 1200s I have ridden.

This makes it great in traffic, together with the slick-cut gears and wide spread of ratios.Triumph Scrambler 1200 XE

Braking is also much improved with dual Brembo M50 radial Monoblock calipers on 320mm front discs with a 255mm rear disc and twin-piston caliper.

Riding position is upright and neutral with a commanding view of the traffic for safe filtering.

However, the XC has a dizzyingly high 840mm seat height and the XE its stratospheric at 870mm.

I stand 183cm tall and my toes only just touch the ground on the XE.

Out on the highway it gallops along with plenty in reserve in sixth gear and an unstressed feel to engine and riding position.

The seat is comfortable enough for rolling down highways all day.

Dirty businessTriumph Scrambler 1200 XE

Once you get your tyres dirty and stand up on dirt roads, this has a much more natural feel than the Street Scrambler which makes you ride bandy-legged.

Here it also feels less top heavy than other adventure bikes and gives you more control as you flick it around.

Those Ohlins rear shocks provide plenty of traction, control as well as a comfortable ride over the roughest of terrain.Triumph Scrambler 1200 XE

Up front is a Showa unit that also feels good on rough corrugations as well as pushing into tight tarmac corners.

If you can only afford one bike, but don’t want an ugly utilitarian adventure model, the stylish neo-classic Scrambler 1200 is just what you’ve been looking for.

Oliver’s Motorcycles in Brisbane will hold a public launch on Wednesday at 5.30pm.

Triumph Scrambler XE 1200 tech specsTriumph Scrambler 1200 XE

ENGINE & TRANSMISSION
Type Liquid-cooled, 8 valve, SOHC, 270° crank angle parallel-twin
Capacity 1200 cc
Bore 97.6 mm
Stroke 80 mm
Compression 11:1
Max Power EC 90PS/ 89bhp (66.2kW) @7,400rpm
Max Torque EC 110 Nm @ 3950 rpm
System Multipoint sequential electronic fuel injection
Exhaust Brushed 2 into 2 exhaust system with brushed high level silencers
Final Drive X ring chain
Clutch Wet, multi-plate assist clutch
Gearbox 6-speed
CHASSIS
Frame Tubular steel with aluminium cradle
Swingarm Twin-sided, aluminium
Front Wheel Tubeless 36-spoke 21 x 2.15in, aluminium rims
Rear Wheel Tubeless 32-spoke 17 x 4.25in, aluminium rims
Front Tyre 90/90-21
Rear Tyre 150/50 R17
Front Suspension Showa 47mm fully adjustable upside down forks, 250mm travel
Rear Suspension Fully adjustable Ohlins twin shocks with piggy back reservoir, 250mm rear wheel travel
Front Brakes Twin 320mm Brembo discs, Brembo M50 4-piston radial monobloc calipers, ABS
Rear Brakes Single 255mm disc, Brembo 2-piston floating caliper, ABS
Instrument Display and Functions TFT multi­functional instrument pack with digital speedometer, trip computer, digital tachometer, gear position indicator, fuel gauge, service indicator, ambient temperature, clock and rider modes (Rain/Road/Sport/Off­road/Off-road Pro/Rider-Customisable)
DIMENSIONS & WEIGHTS
Width Handlebars 905 mm
Height Without Mirror 1250 mm
Seat Height 870 mm
Wheelbase 1570 mm
Rake 26.9 º
Trail 129.2 mm
Dry Weight 207 kg
Tank Capacity 16 L
FUEL CONSUMPTION
Fuel Consumption 4.9 l/100km (58 MPG)
CO2 Figures EURO 4 Standard: 113g/km

 

Triumph Scrambler XC 1200 tech specs

Triumph Scrambler 1200 Google GoPro
XC
ENGINE & TRANSMISSION
Type Liquid-cooled, 8 valve, SOHC, 270° crank angle parallel-twin
Capacity 1200 cc
Bore 97.6 mm
Stroke 80 mm
Compression 11:1
Max Power EC 90PS/ 89bhp (66.2kW) @7,400rpm
Max Torque EC 110 Nm @ 3950 rpm
System Multipoint sequential electronic fuel injection
Exhaust Brushed 2 into 2 exhaust system with brushed high level silencers
Final Drive X ring chain
Clutch Wet, multi-plate assist clutch
Gearbox 6-speed
CHASSIS
Frame Tubular steel with aluminium cradle
Swingarm Twin-sided, aluminium
Front Wheel Tubeless 36-spoke 21 x 2.15in, aluminium rims
Rear Wheel Tubeless 32-spoke 17 x 4.25in, aluminium rims
Front Tyre 90/90-21
Rear Tyre 150/50 R17
Front Suspension Showa 45mm fully adjustable upside down forks, 200mm travel
Rear Suspension Fully adjustable Ohlins twin shocks with piggy back reservoir, 200mm rear wheel travel
Front Brakes Twin 320mm Brembo discs, Brembo M50 4-piston radial monobloc calipers, ABS
Rear Brakes Single 255mm disc, Brembo 2-piston floating caliper, ABS
Instrument Display and Functions TFT multi­functional instrument pack with digital speedometer, trip computer, digital tachometer, gear position indicator, fuel gauge, service indicator, ambient temperature, clock and rider modes (Rain/Road/Sport/Off­-road/Rider-Customisable)
DIMENSIONS & WEIGHTS
Width Handlebars 840 mm
Height Without Mirror 1200 mm
Seat Height 840 mm
Wheelbase 1530 mm
Rake 25.8 º
Trail 121 mm
Dry Weight 205 kg
Tank Capacity 16 L
FUEL CONSUMPTION
Fuel Consumption 4.9 l/100km (58 MPG)
CO2 Figures EURO 4 Standard: 113g/km

7 Comments

  1. Mousing about on the net my jaw dropped when the new scramblers came into view.
    So English, so raw. I’m 66 and haven’t been in a motor cycle show room for years but those things are talking to me. Oldies like me read torque tech. I can tell it’s stump pulling at low revs.
    Put my money down, take delivery soon and it feels like I’m buying my first Commando.
    Not felt like that for ages. Can only just get one foot down but sod it.
    Like a true natures child I was born to drink mild…born to mild..
    Steve ..Manchester UK

  2. I’ve just bought the xc version of this bike, up to 800 km so far and absolutely love the thing. I could barely get my toes on the ground with the xe and according to the salesperson, the xc definitely handles better on road (less wallow). I had the heated grips added as part of deal and don’t really need either the lean abs or extra 50mm of travel! My back tends to ache over longer rides but have not had a problem on this bike, it’s super comfortable and handling is awesome in my opinion. Living in the Blue Mountains I wanted something that could handle any fire trail but would also eat up the road kms. Huge step up from my old Thruxton 865 and highly recommend. I couldn’t care less where it was built, fit and finish are superb and everything works as advertised.

  3. I’m looking forward to testing this bike. It harks back to simpler days when road bikes were dirt bikes and you just hung on. I can see low slung pipes and auxiliary fuel supplies , small screen and a map of the outback being the order of the day. For to long bmw has sold large bikes to time poor blokes who never found the dirt, this bike has a “what’s over there look which may very well see real Australia meet the city folk.

  4. Only the car or motorbike industries could think $400 for a USB interface is a fair price. You can buy an entire phone or laptop for that price. Their gouging is pretty ridiculous and completely divorced from reality.
    Nice bike but the price is far higher than in other markets. Did you mention it’s actually made in Thailand so the transport costs here are lower for Triumph than they are to most of their other markets?

  5. I had a look this morning because I couldn’t make it tonight and thought it ticked a lot of boxes Thanks Michael for explaining how it all worked.
    I am not tall but seat height wouldn’t put me off. Definitely worth a test ride.

  6. Am I the only one scratching my head that a 1.2 litre, 220-ish kg (207kg plus fluids) bike is described as a …”low-weight alternative to the over-litre”…?

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