2019 Triumph 1200 Scrambler XE

The return of the Scrambler style motorcycle has certainly been a big news story in recent years. Some are little more than a styling exercise, while others, like Triumph’s new 1200 Scrambler XE, claim to be ready to bang in the bush.

Triumph Scrambler XE Bells Beach Brewery
Bikes and a brewery.. Trev in heaven…. Bells Beach Brewery

Triumph Australia were keen to have us test their new Scrambler’s mettle in the dirt and set up a series of special tests in an off-road training area, along with a good dirt loop that took in ruts, deep sand and a few obstacles along the way.

Triumph Scrambler XE Trev Log
2019 Triumph 1200 Scrambler XE

We only tested the more off-road oriented XE model but both that and the more road focussed XC roll on tasty spoked Akront (there is a blast from the past), rims that suit tubeless tyres. The XE gets an off-road spec’ 21×2.15 front married to a 17×4.25” at the rear along with an extra ‘Off-Road Pro’ added to the riding modes that puts it all down to you, with traction off and the ABS off.

Triumph Scrambler XE Trev Dirt Cover
2019 Triumph 1200 Scrambler XE

Off road we ran on chunky Pirelli Scorpion Rally rubber which performed admirably and looked the business. Obviously if running these for road work you might as well just sit in the corner and tear up $50 notes every 10 minutes, as they will be toasted in no time, drugs would be a cheaper habit…. Their purchase off-road though was excellent and allowed for some serious fun in the dirt, and well it was Triumph’s $50 bills I was tearing up every ten minutes…

Triumph Scrambler XE Trev Dirt
2019 Triumph 1200 Scrambler XE

It was genuinely amazing how well the XE handled a very rough dirt track, ruts and even a bit of sand.  A very generous and well controlled 250 mm of suspension travel is what endows it with genuine off-road chops.

Triumph Scrambler XE Trev Dirt
2019 Triumph 1200 Scrambler XE

Up front Showa provide the fully-adjustable 47mm forks while Ohlins collaborated with Triumph to develop the fully-adjustable piggyback shocks that grace the rear. They’ve done a damn good job.

Triumph Scrambler XE Trev Dirt
2019 Triumph 1200 Scrambler XE

I am currently heavier than the average bear and despite not holding back on the dirt loop I never had the suspension g-out or do anything untoward. To be honest, I probably went harder than I really should of, but that massive 250 mm of suspension travel just soaked everything up and lured me into going harder and harder. Curiously some riders that must have been 30kg lighter than me did manage to bottom them out, but I used my legs and flowed with the bike, and was rewarded with a compliant and controlled ride. If you are unlucky enough to hit the pegs they do fold on impact which is handy.

Triumph Scrambler XE Trev Water
2019 Triumph 1200 Scrambler XE

To put it into perspective, the XE has more travel than any multi-cylinder adventure bike I can think of, which really is truly remarkable and clearly underlines that this Scrambler, can damn well scramble! It has a full 100mm more travel than Ducati’s Scrambler and Indian’s new FTR1200. This means that with all that travel to play with there is enough scope in the stroke to allow for nice smooth and supple initial travel, that then steadily firms up through the compression to retain control. If the damping control was not great, this bike would suffer, but thankfully it works well, really well.

Triumph Scrambler XE Shocks
2019 Triumph 1200 Scrambler XE

The latest generation electronic suspension can deliver almost the best of both worlds, automatically tuning itself to the riding mode and role selected. The Scrambler has eschewed this technology in place of conventional suspension.

Triumph Scrambler XE Extreme kit
2019 Triumph 1200 Scrambler XE with ‘Extreme’ Inspiration Kit

While this might be a boon for long-term owners that won’t have to worry about expensive actuators and the like shitting themselves when out of warranty, it did have me a little worried as to the road performance of the suspenders. With so much travel surely the suspension would be all over the shop on the road? 

Triumph Scrambler XE Shocks
2019 Triumph 1200 Scrambler XE

I need not have worried. With the clickers adjusted to suit the road ride, and by making my inputs smooth, the damping throughout the stroke remained very well controlled. No doubt the XC model with its more road tuned 200mm of travel would be more fun on the tarmac if having a real lairy crack, but the XE does more than okay, and much better than I expected. For the tarmac we swapped to more road-oriented Tourance rubber which was a welcome change to better enjoy the Great Ocean Road.

Triumph Scrambler XE Trev Road
2019 Triumph 1200 Scrambler XE

With that much suspension travel then surely you need a step-ladder to reach the seat? No, at 870mm and with a very slim girth, throwing a leg over the Scrambler is also easier than on any multi-cylinder pukka adventure bike. The same goes for manoeuvring in the car park.  It is only just over 200kg dry, so is a relative lightweight considering its engine capacity.

Triumph Scrambler XE Trev Road
2019 Triumph 1200 Scrambler XE

Can the Scrambler XE really take the place for a full-size adventure bike?

Not really, no.

Triumph Scrambler XE Escape Kit
2019 Triumph 1200 Scrambler XE with the ‘Escape’ Inspiration Kit

Those same svelte lines and lack of bodywork that make it so manageable, and attractive, also mean that when it comes to serious long-distance touring you have no real weather protection and limited amenity for convenient luggage options.  You can work around it of course, particularly if traveling solo, but that is probably the primary factor that stops the Scrambler being long-distance adventure capable. Well that, and its modest 16-litre fuel capacity.

Triumph Scrambler XE Tank cap
2019 Triumph 1200 Scrambler XE

Off-road though I reckon the Scrambler XE has the measure of a lot of adventure bikes. That awesome suspension combined with what feels like a fairly low centre of gravity, a very long swingarm, 32mm longer than on the XC model in fact, and that 21-inch front, helps make the Triumph is a willing partner for some pretty serious off-road fun. The XE also sports much wider bars than its more road focussed sibling.

Triumph Scrambler XE Trev Dirt
2019 Triumph 1200 Scrambler XE

The brakes are proper serious M50 Monobloc Brembos lifted straight from the latest Speed Triple, but the stroke through the adjustable lever is progressive enough for them to not be a handicap off-road. 

Triumph Scrambler XE Brakes
2019 Triumph 1200 Scrambler XE

And what about the engine?

Triumph Scrambler XE Engine
2019 Triumph 1200 Scrambler XE

You could not get two engines more different from the same stable than Triumph’s effervescent fizzing ADHD 800cc triple and the big loping parallel-twin that powers the 1200 Scrambler.

Triumph Scrambler XE Trev Road
2019 Triumph 1200 Scrambler XE

The Scrambler engine feels b-i-g. Triumph obviously engineered this donk with a big slab of crank weight to give it that feel. This engine, in slightly differing states of tune, is used across a wide gamut of Triumph models. Even though the Scrambler apparently gets a ‘low intertia’ crank and a lighter alternator, you can really feel its big pair of balls swaggering through the crankcases.

Triumph Scrambler XE Trev Road
2019 Triumph 1200 Scrambler XE

In Scrambler guise the 270-degree crank is limited to 7500rpm, that’s 500rpm higher than in the T120, but its best work is still done off the bottom and into the mid-range. Its smooth all the way to red-line, and makes its maximum 90 horsepower at 7400rpm but this motor is all about torque. It grunts off the bottom with that aforementioned satisfyingly heavy gait, which really adds to the character of the machine.

Triumph Scrambler XE Trev Road
2019 Triumph 1200 Scrambler XE

Some might think I am bagging this characteristic of the motor, but in fact it is what really charms me to the driveline.  It makes the Scrambler stand out from the pack somewhat amongst its contemporaries. Triumph’s spec’ sheets quote 110 Nm at 3,950 rpm, but it feels more impressive than that.

Triumph Scrambler XE Trev Road
2019 Triumph 1200 Scrambler XE

The six-speed box works well enough and the throttle response changes with the riding mode selected. Dampening things down when off-road, and livening things up in the sportier modes. The torque-assist slipper clutch is ridiculously light but somehow still manages to offer reasonable feel at the lever. This is a bike for those that like to short-shift, ride a smooth wave of torque, and feel big pistons banging away beneath them from low rpm.

Triumph Scrambler XE Headers
2019 Triumph 1200 Scrambler XE

The two-into-two pipes look as though they might make your legs a little warm. And that they do! During the off-road riding my DriRider Adventure pants bunched up a little around the knee due to the seating position, thus it wasn’t long before I started sitting a bit bow legged to get them away from those stainless steel headers as my pants started to smell of burning fabric! 

The pipes do sound pretty good though, in fact they were surprisingly loud when watching the other boys get up it from the roadside during photo stops. While riding, you don’t get as much aural pleasure though, as the pipes exit way behind you. That’s a great pity, but at least onlookers do get to enjoy a wonderful big-bore timbre as you blast past.

Triumph Scrambler XE Pipes
2019 Triumph 1200 Scrambler XE

Scramblers once were fairly basic affairs but Triumph have thrown pretty much everything at the new Scrambler 1200.

Triumph Scrambler XE Dash
2019 Triumph 1200 Scrambler XE

Second generation TFT screens have all the bells and whistles. Although Triumph’s long awaited bluetooth functionality, allowing for navigation prompts from your phone to be displayed on the screen, now seems around 12 months behind their original schedule.

Triumph Scrambler XE Dash
2019 Triumph 1200 Scrambler XE

Apparently this will come in an update later this year, and will enable to select your route on the ‘My Triumph’ app and then let the bike guide you the way, complete with phone operation from the switchgear too, via the five-way joystick on left bar. This integrated GPS functionality is already available on many other European machines. A unique twist for the Triumph though is that the entire instrument binnacle can be tilted up and down, to help suit the heights of different riders.

Triumph Scrambler XE Dash
2019 Triumph 1200 Scrambler XE

Triumph are about to one-up the others though with their integrated Go-Pro functionality that will also come later in the year. This will enable riders to control their Go-Pro via the five-way joystick also.

Triumph Scrambler XE Trev Water
2019 Triumph 1200 Scrambler XE

Riding modes, lean-angle sensitive ABS and IMU driven traction control is all standard, as is a very convenient one-touch cruise control. All the switchgear is back-lit which is a great feature.  Keyless ignition, heated grips (standard on XE but optional on XC), and a 5-volt USB charging port under the seat are also included. Curiously though, a great safety item like tyre pressure monitoring is an optional extra.

Triumph Scrambler XE Bells Beach Brewery
2019 Triumph 1200 Scrambler XE

LED lighting is standard throughout and for those that want to trick out their bikes Triumph have their normal range of inspiration kits ready to add to the Scrambler even before you roll out of the showroom. The ‘Escape’ kit adds a heap of practicality with handsome panniers and some other bits and pieces for $2664.55, while the ‘Extreme’ kit will set you back $3278 and continues the more stripped back look with added bling.  In fact Triumph have over 80 different accessories you can throw at the Scrambler.

Triumph Scrambler XE Extreme kit
2019 Triumph 1200 Scrambler XE with ‘Extreme’ Inspiration Kit

As they roll out of the showroom stock the 1200 Scrambler XE will set you back $21,700,  a $1400 premium over the more street oriented XC model. Both prices are plus on road costs.

Triumph Scrambler XE Escape Kit
2019 Triumph 1200 Scrambler XE with ‘Escape’ Inspiration Kit

The drivetrain is solid and well proven with long service intervals and should just about go forever. It is a safe bet and one that I think will age very well indeed. I suspect it will really grow on anyone that takes one home to put in their garage as it boasts a charisma missing from so many modern machines. You can compare the specifications of the two Scrambler 1200 models below. 

  • Optimised cornering ABS and traction control, facilitated by an inertial measurement unit (IMU)
  • Longer travel Showa adjustable USD forks – 250 mm travel
  • Longer travel Öhlins adjustable rear suspension – 250 mm travel
  • Longer travel aluminium swingarm (579 mm)
  • Six riding modes (Road, Rain, Sport, Off-Road, Rider-Configurable and Off-Road Pro)
  • Adjustable folding foot controls
  • Heated grips
  • Top-of-the-range finishes & detailing
  • Iconic Triumph tank badge
  • Hand guards with aluminium brace
  • Brembo MCS lever
  • Silver handlebar finish with black anodised risers and clamps.
  • Gold coloured forks
  • Two colour schemes: Fusion White with Brooklands Green, or Cobalt Blue with Jet Black

Triumph Scrambler XC LHS

SCRAMBLER 1200 XC
CORE FEATURES
ENGINE
High Power, high performance, liquid cooled 1200cc Bonneville engine with dedicated ‘scrambler’ tune.
Low inertia, six-speed, 8-valve 270o crank angle parallel twin
90PS peak power at 7,400rpm
110Nm peak torque at 3,950rpm
7,500rpm rev limit
High service interval of 10,000miles (16,000km
CHASSIS
Brembo twin 320 mm floating discs, Monobloc M50 front calipers
Brembo 2-piston 255 mm rear brake caliper
Showa adjustable USD cartridge forks with 200 mm travel.
Öhlins adjustable rear suspension with 200 mm travel.
Long aluminium swingarm (547 mm)
High specification side-laced spoked rims (Tubeless ready)
Dual-purpose Metzeler Tourance rubber
Commanding rider ergonomics
New dedicated scrambler frame
Folding foot controls
Adjustable handlebar position
TECHNOLOGY
2nd generation TFT instruments
Five riding modes (Road, Rain, Sport, Off-Road and Rider-Configurable)
Torque-assist clutch
Intuitive switchcubes & 5-way joystick
Illuminated backlit switches
Ride-by-wire
ABS & switchable traction control
All-LED lighting with DRL headlight
Keyless ignition
Single-button cruise control
USB charging
Immobiliser
Optional Bluetooth module with integrated GoPro control system, ‘turn-by-turn’ navigation, plus phone and music operation.
Optional Tyre Pressure Monitoring System.
.
STYLING
High level finish & detailing
Crafted aluminium mudguards, number board, swingarm, bash plate.
Sculpted side panels with brushed aluminium badge
Stainless steel tank strap.
Brushed aluminium Monza filler cap
Colour Option 1:  Khaki Green with Jet Black
Colour Option 2: Jet Black with Matt Black
SCRAMBLER 1200 XC
Engine TypeLiquid cooled, 8 valve, SOHC, 270° crank angle parallel twin
Capacity1200 cc
Bore/Stroke97.6 x 80.0 mm
Compression Ratio11.0:1
Power90 PS / 89 Bhp (66.2 kW) @ 7,400 rpm
Torque110 Nm @ 3,950 rpm
Fuel systemMultipoint sequential electronic fuel injection
ExhaustBrushed 2 into 2 exhaust system with brushed high level silencers
Final driveX ring chain
ClutchWet, multi-plate assist clutch
Gearbox6-speed
FrameTubular steel with aluminium cradles
SwingarmTwin-sided, aluminium, 547mm long
Front WheelTubeless 36-spoke 21 x 2.15in, aluminium rims
Rear WheelTubeless 32-spoke 17 x 4.25in, aluminium rims
Front Tyre90/90-21
Rear Tyre150/70 R17
F SuspensionShowa ⌀45mm fully adjustable USD forks. 200mm wheel travel.
R SuspensionÖhlins fully adjustable piggy-back RSUs with twin springs. 200mm wheel travel.
F BrakeTwin 320mm discs, Brembo M50 monoblock calipers, radial master cylinder. Switchable ABS.
R BrakeSingle 255mm disc, Brembo 2-piston floating caliper. Switchable ABS. cornering
Length2,285 mm
Width (Handlebars)840 mm
Height Without Mirrors1,200 mm
Seat Height840 mm
Wheelbase1530 mm
Rake25.8
Trail121 mm
Dry Weight205 Kg
Fuel Tank Capacity16 L
Fuel Consumption4.9 L /100 km
CO2 Emissions113 g/km

Triumph Scrambler XE LHS

SCRAMBLER 1200 XE 
CORE FEATURES
ENGINE
High Power, high performance, liquid cooled 1200cc Bonneville engine with dedicated ‘scrambler’ tune.
Low inertia, six-speed, 8-valve 270o crank angle parallel twin
90 PS peak power at 7,400 rpm
110 Nm peak torque at 3,950 rpm
7,500rpm rev limit
High service interval of 10,000 miles (16,000 km)
CHASSIS
Brembo twin 320 mm floating discs with Monobloc M50 front calipers
Brembo 2-piston 255 mm rear brake caliper
Longer travel Showa adjustable USD forks – 250 mm travel
Longer travel Öhlins adjustable rear suspension – 250 mm travel
Longer travel aluminium swingarm (579 mm)
High specification side-laced wheels
Dual-purpose Metzler Tourance tubeless tyres
Commanding rider ergonomics
New dedicated scrambler frame
Folding foot controls
Adjustable handlebar position
TECHNOLOGY
2nd generation TFT instruments
Six riding modes (Road, Rain, Sport, Off-Road, Rider-Configurable and Off-Road Pro)
Torque-assist clutch
Intuitive switchcubes & 5-way joystick
Illuminated backlit switches
Ride-by-wire
ABS & switchable traction control
All-LED lighting with DRL headlight
Keyless ignition
Single-button cruise control
USB charging
Immobiliser
Optional Bluetooth module, enabling the world’s first integrated GoPro® control system, ‘turn-by-turn’ navigation, plus phone and music operation.
Optional Tyre Pressure Monitoring System.
STYLING
High level of finish & detailing
Crafted aluminium mudguards, number board, swingarm, bash plate.
Sculpted side panels with brushed aluminium badge
Stainless steel tank strap.
Brushed aluminium Monza filler cap
Iconic Triumph tank badge
Silver handlebar finish with black anodised risers and clamps.
SCRAMBLER 1200 XE
Engine TypeLiquid cooled, 8 valve, SOHC, 270° crank angle parallel twin
Capacity1200 cc
Bore/Stroke97.6 x 80.0 mm
Compression Ratio11.0:1
Power90 PS / 89 Bhp (66.2 kW) @ 7,400 rpm
Torque110 Nm @ 3,950 rpm
Fuel systemMultipoint sequential electronic fuel injection
ExhaustBrushed 2 into 2 exhaust system with brushed high level silencers
Final driveX ring chain
ClutchWet, multi-plate assist clutch
Gearbox6-speed
FrameTubular steel with aluminium cradles
SwingarmTwin-sided, aluminium, 579mm long
F WheelTubeless 36-spoke 21 x 2.15in, aluminium rims
R WheelTubeless 32-spoke 17 x 4.25in, aluminium rims
F Tyre90/90-21
R Tyre150/70 R17
F SuspensionShowa ⌀47mm fully adjustable USD forks. 250mm wheel travel.
R SuspensionÖhlins fully adjustable piggy-back RSUs with twin springs. 250mm wheel travel.
F BrakeTwin 320mm discs, Brembo M50 monoblock calipers, radial master cylinder. Switchable Cornering ABS
R BrakeSingle 255mm disc, Brembo 2-piston floating caliper. Switchable Cornering ABS
Length2,325 mm
Width (Handlebars)905 mm
Height Without Mirrors1,250 mm
Seat Height870 mm
Wheelbase1570 mm
Rake26.9
Trail129.2 mm
Dry Weight207 Kg
Fuel Tank Capacity16 L
Fuel Consumption4.9 L /100 km
CO2 Emissions113 g/km

 

 

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