Triumph finally pulled the cover off its new Scrambler 1200 Wednesday evening, promising a genuine off-road-ready machine packed with all the bells and all the whistles.
Show Some Love For This Nonsense
Become a Patron of The Motorcycle Obsession
Indeed, more than anything else it’s this bikes excessive amount of technowhizbangery that stands out. I’ll be interested to hear how scrambler enthusiasts like Moto Adventurer’s Drew Faulkner will respond to a bike so loaded with breakable stuff. We’ll get to all the electronic bits in a second, though.
The Scrambler 1200 is powered by the same 1200cc parallel twin engine that drives the Bonneville T120, Thruxton, and Bonneville Bobber – tuned to deliver a respectable 89 horsepower and 81 pound-feet of torque. Because Triumph likes to split hairs, it is offering two flavors of Scrambler 1200: the XC and the XE. Triumph hasn’t yet offered prices but it’s a good bet the XE will be the more expensive of the two, seeing as how it’s loaded with the most goodies.
READ MORE: An Ode to the Scrambler
Triumph is pitching both as genuine, bonafide off-road-capable machines, but you have to wade through literally thousands of words about tech in the company’s press release to get to anything relevant to that claimed ability. Discuss.
Both bikes come equipped with Öhlins rear suspension, Showa front forks and Brembo brakes, a package that Triumph claims makes for “amazing off-road capability.” The XE version delivers 250mm wheel travel, whereas the XC delivers 200 mm. Both Scramblers feature a new long-travel aluminum swingarm, which is longer on the XE version. At the Scrambler 1200’s launch in London on Wednesday the company drew deep from the Steve McQueen well, flashing images of the actor riding a Bonnie through the desert in the 1960s – an era when most Millennials’ parents would not yet have even met. Feel free to discuss the relevance of this imagery to the target market.
Like all current generation 1200cc Bonneville models, the Scrambler 1200 engine is liquid cooled, controlled by a ride-by-wire system, and promises service intervals of 10,000 miles.
Those Bells and Whistles
Take a deep breath. Let’s dive into the the crazy amount of rider aids and electro-bling to be found on the bikes.
Both bikes come equipped with ABS, traction control, five riding modes, and a so-called “torque-assist clutch.” Full LED lighting and backlit switches bid adieu to the prime challenges of riding at night. At the dash you’ll find second-generation TFT screens (one suspects the reason Triumph uses the phrase “second generation” here is the fact its first generation TFT screens have been somewhat glitchy), which are controlled by the infamous switch cube found on pretty much every high-end Triumph these days. Keyless ignition, a USB charging socket, and cruise control are also standard on both models.
For quite some time Motorcycle.com’s John Burns has been arguing that cruise control should be standard on all bikes, whereas I have argued that heated grips should be a part of every package. If the Scrambler 1200 and Indian FTR 1200 are anything to go by, John has won the debate. Triumph’s cruise control system is one of the best I’ve encountered, though, so I can’t really complain in this case.
TRIUMPH WILL TEACH YOU HOW TO RIDE THIS BIKE: Triumph Seeks ADV World Domination With New ‘Adventure Experience’
Both bikes also feature the option of an accessory “integrated turn-by-turn navigation system” which functions via a Triumph app running Google Maps – connected to the bike via Bluetooth. As best I can discern, you will not actually see a map on your TFT display, but arrows (or, in Triumph’s words, “turn symbols… using simple graphic icons”) indicating in which way to point your bike.
If you pay the extra dough for the Bluetooth module necessary for navigation you’ll also get the ability to control your GoPro via your bike. Equally the module will allow riders to control their phone’s functions through the bike’s switchgear, allowing the ability to select music, take calls, and control the volume.
The aforementioned Triumph app, by the way, is available to anyone to download for free. It is allegedly available for both iOS and Android phones but I’ve searched Google Play Store and cannot find it. This doesn’t break my heart as it sounds like Google Maps wrapped in a Triumph skin.
XE Brings the Über Bling
But wait, there’s more. In addition to all the hullabaloo above, the XE model promises even more stuff that a dealer will inevitably forget about when trying to sell the bike to you. We already talked about the extra wheel travel and slightly longer swingarm. These aspects contribute to a different rake for the XE, which Triumph tries to imply improves the riding experience both on and off road. People who understand rake, discuss.
The XE also promises an extra riding mode, cornering ABS, cornering traction control, adjustable foot controls, and heated grips (hooray).
If this isn’t enough for you, Triumph is offering more than 80 accessories for the Scrambler 1200, including that Bluetooth module. If you’ve got the money, honey, Triumph’s got the time.