How many motorcycles do you really need? I’ve always said “one more,” like my dad’s buddies did. “This one’s for the dirt, this one’s for the highway, and this one’s for the canyons,” They would say motioning to the obvious selections for each. But as chassis, suspension, and engine technology advance, more companies like Triumph are aiming to blur the lines between on- and off-road motorcycles—between canyon carvers and trail shredders, and they’re doing a fine job at it. As Triumph unveils the new Scrambler 1200s, it claims they possess “all the capability of a genuine adventure bike,” but will these bikes be the motorcycle equivalent of multi-tools, doing every job pretty well but nothing to its utmost? Or do they have the real-world chops to replace the old man’s ADV and streetbikes in the garage?
2019 Triumph Scrambler 1200s will come equipped with the liquid-cooled 1,200cc Bonneville engine we know and love, but with a dedicated “Scrambler” tune. Putting out a claimed 88.7688 bhp and 81.13184 foot-pounds of torque, it’s not going to be the fastest bike on the block but it will definitely have enough oomph to spin that tire and put a smile on your face. The Scrambler 1200 XC will enter the market as the base model, lacking many of the high-performance features that will make the XE model so attractive.
Brembo brakes and Öhlins suspension are used on both bikes, but the XE gets more travel, a longer swingarm, taller front suspension, and more. Brembo levers, heated grips, and lots of trim go a long way in helping secure the top-shelf look and feel of the XE, but an inertial measurement unit with cornering ABS and optimized traction control seem to promise a better ride as well.
While the hardware and all the new shiny parts are incredibly attractive, much of the news from this launch comes from the software and programming integrated into the Scrambler 1200s. Six new ride modes include Off-Road Pro on the XE and an all-new Rider Configurable mode that lets the rider choose their mapping, as well as ABS and traction control preferences. A large, bright TFT instrument gauge is fully customizable, even letting the rider input their name for a welcome on start-up. A first for motorcycling—Triumph has integrated a GoPro control system built into the digital instrument system through a new Bluetooth model, allowing photo and video operation through the switch gear. Another first is the partnership with Google, integrating its maps for the bike’s navigation system—a surefire improvement over many OEMs’ proprietary systems. Bluetooth integration for the camera also means you’ll be able to connect your helmet and phone, controlling both music and calls from the gauge.
There is a ton going on with these new bikes and we have just begun to scratch the surface, but hopefully will have one to ride and more information out to you soon!