TRIUMPH SCRAMBLER 1200 (2019 - on) Review
- Way more than just a retro styling exercise
- Highly capable both on the road and off it
- Excellent engine borrowed from Thruxton
At a glance
|Owners' reliability rating:|
|Annual servicing cost:||£360|
Overall ratingNext up: Ride & brakes
Based on looks, equipment, technology and value for money alone, the 2019-on Triumph Scrambler 1200 is worthy of a space in your garage. But it isn’t just another 60s-inspired retro; it’s so much more than that.
- Related: See a Triumph Scrambler 1200 in the latest James Bond film No Time to Die
- Related: We're running a Triumph Scrambler 1200 XE on the MCN long-term test fleet
- Related: 2019 Triumph Scrambler 1200 spy shots
On the road it can be calm, refined and give you the thrill of a sportsbike, but its ability to be a scrambler in more than just name is impressive. A serious off-road tool, the Triumph is an adventure bike that just happens to look like a retro.
In October 2019 Triumph announced they would throw in a £400 GoPro Hero 7 camera for free if you buy a new Scrambler.
Once you've read this review and our owners' reviews, you may want to join an online community to continue your research. We'd suggest the Triumph Owners' Motor Cycle Club would be an excellent place to start.
Ride quality & brakesNext up: Engine
There’s no question the Scrambler 1200 will look cool lounging outside a café, but it has the minerals to be ridden hard, especially on the loose and more than lives up to its scrambling name.
The Scrambler 1200 XC will happily cruise, scratch and get mud in its turn-ups, but with its beefier, longer travel suspension, stretched wheelbase, wider bars and more sophisticated electronics, the Scrambler 1200 XE is blessed with an extra layer of off-road ability and is capable enough to rival all but the most serious of adventure bikes.
These major chassis mods tell you everything you need to know how serious Triumph are about the Scrambler’s off-road pretentions. It glides over bumps, digs into corners, wheelies off crests and generally flatters you, feeling less like a retro and more like an adventure bike with all its plastics ripped off - nimbler and less clumsy, but oh so capable.
Poke the Triumph with a stick on the road and it turns from mild-mannered mud-plugger, back into the fast 'n' smooth, fine-handling Thruxton it’s based on.
It may have a penny farthing-sized front wheel and long travel suspension, but the Triumph doesn’t flop around beneath you like a lumbering, lazy enduro. The ride is taught, controlled and when you hit bumps and potholes you’re glad of the leggy Öhlins and Showas.
The XC is slightly tighter and quicker steering, but the XE has more refined rider aids. ‘Off-Road Pro’ mode may disable the riding aids for the dirt, but on the tarmac in Rain, Road, Sport and mix ‘n match Rider modes, you can lean on electronics, but such is the poise of the Triumph’s chassis and grip of the Metzelers the silicone safety net is barely troubled.
It may be the most unlikely of an on and off-road performance bikes (and it’ll wheelie for England), but both Scramblers are comfortable and refined for lazy days. The throttle is smooth, the gearbox slick, the ribbed bench seat is all-day comfy.
The XE is 30mm taller than the XC, but it’s not a problem getting feet flat on the floor. A spacious bar and peg layout won’t punish knees or wrists, but a lack of wind protection pummels your neck and head.
Despite sharing the same frame, suspension and wheels (including an off-road style 21” front) the two variants will feel different due to an increased rake angle on the XE. Even if you never intend to go off-road, this will give the model a distinctly more relaxed feel on the road.
EngineNext up: Reliability
Cradled in its unique-to-the-Scrambler tubular steel cradle chassis, the Triumph’s high power Bonneville motor is pinched from the Thruxton and tweaked for more low down power.
With its magnesium cam cover, revised clutch assembly, a low inertia crank, lighter alternator, mass-optimised balance shafts and engine covers, the burbling parallel twin is lighter, more delicate and responsive.
That first touch of the throttle needs to be smooth off-road and the Triumph delivers, like gently pouring cream into coffee, so it’s easy to feel for grip, play with the rear… and roost your mates.
A 1.2-litre engined, 204kg (dry) machine may sound like a brute away from the tarmac, but the torque-assist clutch is light and the ride-by-wire throttle response is so polished, it’s as easy to manage as a smaller-capacity enduro.
Those stainless steel pipes look as good as they sound, with brushed-finished silencers, ali number boards and the cat is cleverly hidden from view, but they can roast your inner thighs and calves at low speed.
Reliability & build qualityNext up: Value
MCN owner reviews are nothing but glowing for Triumph Bonneville-engined machines, so don’t expect any major problems from the new Scrambler 1200. Service intervals are generous with the first major one at 10,000-miles and valve check at 20,000-miles.
We've currently got eight Triumph Scrambler 1200 owners' reviews on the site, with an overall score of 4.4 stars out of 5. The main negative comments are around the suspension, which isn't sophisticated enough to keep up.
Value vs rivalsNext up: Equipment
Loaded with beautiful design touches and rivalling a top of the range adventure bike in terms of equipment and technology, the Scrambler 1200 is remarkable value for money.
The base XC model starts at £11,500, while the more extreme XE rises to £12,300.
Each Triumph Scrambler 1200 model is available in two colour variants; Jet Black and Matt Black or Khaki Green and Brooklands Green for the XC, Fusion White and Brooklands Green or Cobalt Blue and Jet Black for the XE and both will have a list of over 80 accessories to customise them with.
The base XC model comes with superbike spec Brembo M50 monoblocs, fully adjustable twin Öhlins rear shocks and Showa forks. Side-laced wheels (21 inch front) are shod with Metzeler Tourance dual-purpose rubber and you also get riding modes, LED lights, illuminated switchgear, keyless ignition, cruise control and a USB charger.
Triumph’s second-generation light-sensitive colour dash is a work of art. Featuring two 'themes' to choose from, the display is packed with information and the detailing on the 'Quartz' display has the classy look of a Swiss watch.
To give the Scrambler that '60s look, Triumph worked with Öhlins to create these fully adjustable twin rear shocks. Designed to work as well as modern monoshock system, they deliver superb control and feel on and off-road.
Design touches abound and the Scrambler’s seamless fuel tank alone is a work of art. Scalloped to take the forks at full lock, the stainless steel strap isn’t laid over the top, but sits in its own recess. A Monza-style filler cap completes the look.
There’s even more bang for your buck with the XE version, which comes with gyro-controlled ABS and traction control, an extra riding mode (Off-Road Pro - bringing the total to six), a Brembo dual-ratio brake lever and 65mm wider (reversible and adjustable) bars.
Front and rear wheel travel is increased 50mm to 250mm (that’s 30mm longer than a KTM 1290 Super Adventure R’s), fork diameter is up 2mm to 47mm and the anodised aluminium swingarm is 32mm longer.
There are over 80 style, comfort, luggage and security accessories available and two Inspiration Kits: a touring-based Escape and a stripped down Extreme. You can even opt to operate your GoPro from the switchgear, or link to Google Maps via the dash.
Triumph unveiled the much-anticipated Triumph Scrambler 1200 model during a launch event at the ExCeL London.
|Engine type||Liquid cooled, 8 valve, SOHC, 270° crank angle parallel twin|
|Frame type||Tubular steel with aluminium cradles|
|Fuel capacity||16 litres|
|Front suspension||Showa 45mm (XC)/47mm (XE) forks, fully adjustable|
|Rear suspension||Öhlins fully adjustable piggy-back RSUs with twin springs. 200mm wheel travel|
|Front brake||Twin 320mm discs, Brembo M50 monoblock calipers, radial master cylinder. Switchable ABS.|
|Rear brake||Single 255mm disc, Brembo 2- piston floating caliper. Switchable ABS|
|Front tyre size||90/90-21|
|Rear tyre size||150/70 R17|
Mpg, costs & insurance
|Average fuel consumption||58 mpg|
|Annual road tax||£93|
|Annual service cost||£360|
|Used price||£9,500 - £11,500|
How much to insure?
|Warranty term||Two years|
Top speed & performance
|Max power||89 bhp|
|Max torque||81 ft-lb|
|Top speed||135 mph|
|1/4 mile acceleration||-|
Model history & versions
- 2019: Scrambler 1200 launched. Dedicated chassis, tweaked Thruxton motor, full electronic rider aids, Brembos, Öhlins and true adventure bike-like off-road potential.
- 2020: Special 1200 Bond Edition launched to go alongside new No Time to Die film.
- Scrambler 1200 XC: More road-focussed base model, but still lavishly equipped.
- Scrambler 1200 XE: Longer travel suspension, fatter forks, longer swingarm, wider bars and lean-sensitive ABS and traction control. Designed for serious scrambling.
MCN Long term test reports
MCN Fleet: The cat's out of the bag for the Scrambler XE
The look of a bike is one thing, but the sound of a bike, well now you’re talking. For me, my ultimate is a big thumping single. To my ears, it’s unbeatable. The big twin Triumph Scrambler 1200XE ought to be fruitier, but is lacking a good soundtrack to go with its stunning looks. And even with £700…
Owners' reviews for the TRIUMPH SCRAMBLER 1200 (2019 - on)
9 owners have reviewed their TRIUMPH SCRAMBLER 1200 (2019 - on) and rated it in a number of areas. Read what they have to say and what they like and dislike about the bike below.
Summary of owners' reviews
|Ride quality & brakes:|
|Reliability & build quality:|
|Value vs rivals:|
|Annual servicing cost:||£360|
I loved my XE for the year or so I owned it but the painfully hot exhaust caused me to sell it. Triumph needs to fix this issue!
The bike is gorgeous; attention to detail is at the level of the best and most premium bikes in the market. Just look at the manufacturing quality of the rear swingarm, the welding, the engineering, the materials, it makes the Ducati and BMW Scrambler bikes look cheap. The engine pushes like a Scania truck, sounds like an angry Ferrari, and the riding position is surprisingly relaxed, closer to that of the Multistrada than that of a proper off-road bike. Negative: I am short, and still my knee would touch the exhaust pipe on the right side, and believe me, it burns. And this is not a minor detail, it is a real problem I am struggling with. Then, the key-less start is something on a bike I do not appreciate: now you will need to carry a bulky key that looks from a car, because there is nowhere in the bike to insert it, so there you go riders, one thing more to carry in your pocket.
Turns very well, brakes super well. It has top quality Brembo gear, so this does not come as a surprise. It has zero wind protection, so riding long distances on the road is exhausting.
Power and torque are delivered early on, so you can play at around 2 to 3 K revs and the bike will push like a proper demon. Sound is fantastic, especially when you open the throttle.
Triumph bikes, in the past few years, have a probably the best manufacturing quality in the market, at par or better than rivals Ducati or BMW. Attention to detail is amazing. Not one single problem.
Triumph has put all the bells and whistles on this bike, though the information in the single digital clock/dashboard is all in small font and difficult to read while you ride, and has tons of data you don't care for, and some other is either missing or hard to find. I guess there will be a second version that will evolve this first one that feels a bit messy.
Buying experience: Dealer and service in Madrid, Spain, is not good. The guys sell you the bike the same way they would sell pizza or a fridge for your kitchen. The after sell service is not better. It is true that the dealership is new and the place is very cool and luxurious, but this is my third Triumph I buy from them and the service is just bad. They are lucky the brand keeps delivering great new models every year.
Loves this bike. As near to one bike fits all as your going to get
Sometimes stalls at low revs. Common problem apparently
Putting of covers, spikes tarnished
Awaiting first annual service. Bike cannot be serviced by independent under Triumph’s terms. I now Live 100 miles from nearest dealer.
Buying experience: Dealer, ex demo. £9300
Annual servicing cost: £66
I love the bikes size and styling I don’t like the key less ignition. You still have to carry a massive keyfob in your pocket rather than have a key held in an ignition switch. Also the locking filler cap has to be opened with a key which defeats the object of keyless ignition. I don’t find using the menus on the dash intuitive. Also the digits on the display are too small for me to read without reading glasses which I can’t ride in.
The ride is very firm on factory settings. Backing off the preload and compression damping on the front forks has improved it but at slow speed you can feel every cigarette butt you run over. On my previous 900 Scrambler I fixed this by changing the fork oil to a lower weight quality oil. The brakes are fantastic. I haven’t had the ABS working yet but I don’t ride in a manner where I would expect it to. To me it’s a safety feature. I’ve had a Tiger 1050 with ABS for 12 years and the ABS on that has only cut in once when a van with no brake lights stopped infront of me on a wet road.
Loads of torque and enough power for safe overtakes on A roads and motorways. The engine does push the bike in corners if you’re not in a low enough gear but you get used to changing into a lower gear than normal. You can’t ride along at 30 in top for the same reason. You need to be in 4th to stop the engine pushing you.
The bike seems very nicely made. It haven’t had any problems yet but I’ve only done 1500 miles and now we’re locked in due to covid19
Only had the first service. Bike is less than 12 months old and has only done 1500 miles
Loads of equipment as standard on the XE. The heated grips are great. I thought the cruise control was a gimmick I would never use but it’s a God send on dual carriageways and motorways. The cornering abs and traction control are sort of reassuring to have although I’ve not experienced any of it working. The luggage options are a bit limited with only one pannier bag on one side but then this isn’t really a tourer is it? The filler cap is awful. It looks like a monza cap but when you open that there is another locking fuel cap underneath. You have to rummage around for the keyfob to get the key to open it. The locking cap is not fixed to the bike and I managed to leave mine at a fuel station. It costs hundreds to change all the locks.
Buying experience: I bought new from a dealer. I Part exchanged 4 bikes for it against list price. I was happy with the deal.
Annual servicing cost: £150
Truimph have excelled themselves making this bike, if you want a bike that does it all,buy this bike. Its comfortable,frugal,looks great and above all puts a smile on my face every time I ride it.
Sportsbike braking available with the brembos, suspension soaks up all the bumps and pot holes,this bike was made for uk roads.
Best part of the whole bike, if I have a crap day at work,it is forgotten as soon as I start the engine. It sounds amazing even with the standard pipe, why change it when you can spend the money on hotels and fuel when you get away. Plenty of torque, plenty of power and more than quick enough for a spirited ride.
The quality of the components, the fit and finish are excellent,it has stood up well to winter and has never missed a beat.
Fuel economy is great on the bike, 55 mpg, 180 to a full tank on a long run.
Plenty of kit as standard with the XE, Heated grips,cruise control etc However Truimph know what they are doing, with 80 accessories,your pockets will be emptied very quickly. It's a naked so you might want a screen, dart are good quality.
Buying experience: Pidcocks Truimph, Friendly, helpful, professional and organized. No sales waffle and a good mug of tea from the cafe while you wait. Would I go back? They are 35 miles from my house ,but the distance means nothing, I will be sticking with them.
Version: 1200 XE
Annual servicing cost: £1,000
Pros: -Brilliant engine -Great brakes -Looks amazing -Sounds great Cons: One of the most uncomfortable rides I've ridden. I sold the bike after only 3 months, couldnt take the harsh ride anymore (even after having the rear shocks resprung/revalved). I'm still puzzled when I read that it offers a plush ride. My friends T120 offered a plusher ride. My other friends S1000RR was just barely harsher... - Exhaust gets really hot the minute you stop for more than 15 seconds (even if it's 20C outside). If you do a lot of traffic, or live in a tropical country walk away. Gear position sensor failed causing the following issues: - Gear position obviously no longer indicating on the cluster - Cruise control no working - Traction control intervening when it shouldn't (6th gear on dry pavement) - Couldn't start the bike with the kickstand out because it no longer knew it was in neutral I put 70000km on a 2015 Scrambler and though on paper the XE is superior in every way, in reality I enjoyed the 2015 more. Do not buy without trying. And if like me your dealer doesn't do demos, walk away.
It gets a 2 because of the excellent brakes. The suspensions get a 1 out of 5 (and I've owned 20 bikes of just about every kind over the years). I would give a 0 to a hardtail, this is just one step above that (200lbs rider for those wondering). Having the rear shocks revalved/resprung, helped, but still far from the ride you would expect from an adventure/naked bike. My passenger had to take a Tylenol before each ride and on my other bikes (scrambler 2015, Africa Twin, Mt-01, just to name a few, she was fine). Also for some reason (maybe taller/wider handlebars), spending hours on the highway is much more tiring than any other bike I've owned (and I've owned mostly naked bikes).
Amazing grunt, powerwheelies in 2nd gear at 3500rpm, sounds amazing even with stock exhaust.
Sensor failed within 5000km. USB compartment was replaced as cover wouldnt close or wouldnt open. Radiator hose was rubbing against the skidplate, was replaced before it leaked. Some rattles that appeared to be coming from the exhaust shield at the back.
Didnt keep it long enough to comment on cost of ownership but the maintenance schedule is pretty reasonable. My biggest concern would be the electronics for those keeping their bikes many years, having a sensor fail in under 5000km is not reassuring to say the least, and once it's out of warranty, they could be expensive to fix.
Well equipped for this kind of bike (though the gopro controller so aggressively advertised, never came). Same for ambient temperature (its even in the manual, but not on the bike).
Buying experience: Bought from a Triumph dealer. Great service, same for warranty. Only disappointment is that you can never demo the bike. Even when they learned my disappointment with the bike they offered me to buy it back and sell me a Tiger 800, but wouldnt allow me to test ride it either (and the deal wasn't that great either). Took my money to another dealer that sold Honda and Triumph and swapped it for an Africa Twin. Even if I lost thousands, I'm enjoying riding again, and so is my girlfriend (and no more Tylenols needed). Just glad I didnt keep the Scrambler any longer. PS until then I was a Triumph fan, this was my 4th Triumph.
Annual servicing cost: £220
I can only say that my ideal bike has been a BMW S1000XR, I saw one of these on a nearby Triumph forecourt, thought it looked nice and arranged a test ride. An expensive mistake. Immediately fell in love with the thing and then ended up buying one. Just a lovely bike to ride - I'm no technical reviewer, I can only declare what it rides like and it's great.
Plush ride, very comfortable. Great brakes. Just need to make some adjustments from the factory standard suspension.
Very smooth, I still can't push it fully as it's not run in yet but the test ride bike gave nice, level acceleration and control all the way through the rev range.
I've only done 500 miles and so I have no idea what the long term quality is like. No problems for me so far.
Buying experience: Okay. Triumph Cardiff - pleasure to deal with.
when it's hot the bike can be lumpy around town or when doing low speed manoeuvres, the forums are full of complaints for many bikes which suffer from the euro emissions laws. a very simple fix is to fit a fuel booster plug. it increases fuel at certain throttle responses, it wont make the bike quicker or noticeably more fuel hungry but, it will smooth out the town work and transform your rider experience. other than that this really is a bike that does what it says on the tin. the reported 135 mph top speed is a bit of a stretch, don' expect an ounce over 110, which on an upright naked is fast enough, honestly it really is.
the seat seems a little on the hard side when you first set off but after a short time in the saddle you don't notice anything untoward. even after a 250 mile day out there is no real issue. Handling I LOVE IT ! mine is the XC version for two reasons, first is leg length, I have none. The XE was to tall for me to feel comfortable in town, if the road had a camber i would be stuffed. The XC by virtue of the shorter suspenders and steeper rake is the better real world bike. it handles fire road and farm track really well and at pace but, mine spends the majority of its time on tarmac in the northern counties. A and B roads are an absolute joy to ride, that big 21" wheel does not restrict your pleasure, fast corners and hard braking don't upset the bike at all. i regularly ride non stop each way two hour journeys without issue at uk road speeds. The only limiting factor on distance work is speed, it can become tiring on motorways after an hour if your really motoring or so just like any other naked. Pillions have a decent perch with plenty of room, however, the exhaust whilst not really bothering the rider can be a bit warm under the thigh in traffic. Unfortunately not so much as it puts them off and allows you to ride alone. Taking aside my comments about the town riding in standard trim, once the booster plug is fitted the bike really is a do anything, go anywhere machine. Stopping with 3 brembo calipers and ABS and TC it stops fine believe me.
Almost perfect (perfect with the fuelling tweak). take out a Demo and you will see what i mean. Real world usability by the bucket full. Light clutch, slick gear change, power everywhere. For such a big twin you would expect some vibration annoyance, nope it doesn't happen. Ride one, just ride one.
Build quality of the scrambler is excellent, i have fancied a modern bonnie variant since the first water cooled t100 / t120s came out but i was never impressed with the quality of the'chrome' bits or the wonkie exhaust (left and right are at different heights) i also like suspension i can set to ride. the t100 seemed brake deficient out of town. For me they were to much like my original Bonnie. enter the Scrambler 1200, modern electrics, brilliant suspenders, Akront rims, brembo brakes and a finish to the other component parts which is just Bang on. i feel i can spend more time riding than cleaning, even the style says its OK to look a bit grubby. So far (only 2.5k miles. nothing has broken, but i don't expect anything to without my help.
For the cost i feel i have got as good a value for my pound as i could get. without all of the plastic other adventure bikes carry i suppose to some it may look a bit lacking but with the best part of 60mpg, 10,000 mile service intervals, i don,t feel i have lost out. I do my own work so labour costs don't come into my calculations but parts will run according to mileage, as yet i have no figures.
It has a high spec with all of the rider aids and tech info on screen, you can even see your if your tyres need air with the optional sensors. Its all great but not very high on my reasons for the purchase. I have been riding a long time and although i see the benefit of TC its not something i want forced on me, you can switch it off but you have to do it every time you switch on. i personally want to be able to turn off TC and ABS until i want them. it's not a deal breaker i'm just not a fan. Key-less ignition, hmm well you still need to fish out the key to unlock the fuel (i leave it unlocked because i'm lazy) get under the seat to charge your phone or most likely to put the steering lock on. You only get one fancy key and i bet its really expensive if you loose it. i would prefer a conventional key start / lock and with the money saved have engine bars fitted as standard. I opted for the useful stuff, back rack and fender extender, Ill see what after market stuff comes out in the coming months. I will probably get the engine guards from Triumph just in case, expensive but look good.
Buying experience: I bought the bike new from A1 Moto in York, at the advertised price, they gave me what i wanted for my old bike and were great to deal with, 1st service was booked and done on time, the cafe is good and they make a good brew.
This bike is almost perfect, the only BUT is that it gets a little to much heat in traffic....
Buying experience: It was a good deal, and I got the first one in all Central America