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TRIUMPH SCRAMBLER 1200 (2019-on) Review

Published: 17 December 2018

Updated: 04 October 2019

Triumph’s Scrambler 1200 is more than just another 60s-inspired retro

TRIUMPH SCRAMBLER 1200  (2019-on)

Triumph’s Scrambler 1200 is more than just another 60s-inspired retro

Overall Rating 4 out of 5

Based on looks, equipment, technology and value for money alone, the new 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.

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.

Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 5

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.

Triumph Scrambler 1200 forks

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.

Engine 4 out of 5

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.

The Triumph Scrambler 1200 is a genuine off-road prospect

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.

Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5

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.

Insurance, running costs & value 4 out of 5

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.

Equipment 5 out of 5

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.

Triumph Scrambler 1200 full-colour dash

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.

Facts & Figures

Model info
Year introduced 2019
Year discontinued -
New price £11,500
Used price £9,300 to £12,800
Warranty term Two years
Running costs
Insurance group -
Annual road tax £91
Annual service cost £220
Performance
Max power 89 bhp
Max torque 81 ft-lb
Top speed 135 mph
1/4-mile acceleration -
Average fuel consumption 58 mpg
Tank range -
Specification
Engine size 1200cc
Engine type Liquid cooled, 8 valve, SOHC, 270° crank angle parallel twin
Frame type Tubular steel with aluminium cradles
Fuel capacity 16 litres
Seat height 840mm
Bike weight 205kg
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

History & Versions

Model history

2019: Scrambler 1200 launched. Dedicated chassis, tweaked Thruxton motor, full electronic rider aids, Brembos, Öhlins and true adventure bike-like off-road potential.

Other versions

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.

Owners' Reviews

3 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.

Review your TRIUMPH SCRAMBLER 1200 (2019-on)
Summary of Owners' Reviews
Overall Rating 4.3 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 4.7 out of 5
Equipment 4.7 out of 5
5 out of 5

Fantastic bike

21 June 2019 by Unistrummer

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.

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
Plush ride, very comfortable. Great brakes. Just need to make some adjustments from the factory standard suspension.
Engine
5 out of 5
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.
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
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.
Value & Running Costs
4 out of 5
-
Equipment
5 out of 5
-
Buying experience

Okay. Triumph Cardiff - pleasure to deal with.

4 out of 5

Triumph Scrambler 1200 xc

13 June 2019 by Dave Genther

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.

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
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.
Engine
5 out of 5
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 & Reliability
5 out of 5
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.
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
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.
Equipment
4 out of 5
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.

4 out of 5

This bike is HOTTTTT

23 May 2019 by Frankvictory

This bike is almost perfect, the only BUT is that it gets a little to much heat in traffic....

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
-
Engine
5 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
-
Equipment
5 out of 5
-
Buying experience

It was a good deal, and I got the first one in all Central America

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