Good attention to details

K Shivraj
Saturday, 19 January 2019

Triumph Scrambler 1200, which will be available in two versions — a base XC and an off-road focused XE, and most likely to be launched in India in mid-2019, comes across as an adventure bike with a difference

Available in two versions — a base XC and an off-road focused XE — the new Scrambler 1200, introduced by Triumph, looks a little intimidating at first. Priced higher than the other Triumph offerings, the bike, slated for launch in India in mid-2019 in XC guise, looks like an adventure machine that has been drawn out of a modern classic. Powered by a 97bhp 1200cc liquid-cooled parallel twin motor borrowed from the Thruxton, the bike has a certain look to it. Producing 110Nm of peak torque at 3950rpm (two-Nm less than the Thruxton, and a good 1000rpm before), the Scrambler 1200 is equipped with a six-speed gearbox and a torque-assist feature that aids low-speed manoeuvres as well as provides some slippage while downshifting. 

Standing out with defining elements like the tubular steel frame, sculpted gas tank, dual rear shocks, a high set ‘straight’ exhaust, and long bench seat, the bike has a ride height of 840 mm (in the case of XC) and 870mm (in the case of XE). For XC, the narrow width aids a rider of average height for his feet to touch the ground. In case of the XE, a sideways shift in the seat is necessary. Weighing 205kg (XC) and 207kg (XE), the bike comes with a tilt-adjustable TFT LCD dial that is crammed with data and sub-menus; it offers intuitive browsing. A dedicated switch to connect as well as control the action camera is part of a feature that contains an optional Bluetooth module  and also facilitates the connection of a smartphone-enabled sat-nav. 

Coming to life with a growl, the Scrambler 1200 feels fast and quick. It feels more powerful than the Tiger and accelerates to a speed of 100kmph quickly. Never lacking in feel and character, the bike feels manageable despite being powerful. Throttle response is crisp and the clutch action, progressive. A strong flow of torque makes it near effortless to ride the Scrambler 1200. There’s no hard work involved. Displaying good stability off-road, the bike inspires confidence. Sporting a twin-shock (fully adjustable Öhlins) set up at the rear as part of the retro adventure bike stance, the bike, featuring keyless ignition, cruise control, an under-seat five-volt USB charging port, and heated grips (standard on the XE), feels involving and rewarding to ride. Offering five riding modes — Road, Rain, Off-Road, Sport and Rider-configured, which alter throttle response, ABS and traction control intervention, the Scrambler 1200 maintains its composure on off-road trails as well. 

A substantially increased rake and trail results in the Scrambler 1200 displaying high stability under a variety of conditions. The XE featuring a longer swingarm, the bike inspires confidence. Equipped with brakes (the XE features cornering ABS as well) that are highly progressive in their action and quite capable, the bike is engaging to ride. The weight does not have a negative effect, and the tall stance could be used to the rider’s advantage even as the suspension takes much abuse. The Off-Road Pro mode, which disconnects all rider assistance and activates a different throttle map, presents the bike in its most raw state.  

In either guise, the Scrambler 1200 feels robust and highly capable. With very good attention to details, the Scrambler 1200, in case of much luggage to be carried, or a pillion to ride, however, is not likely to beat the Tiger. That said, it makes a strong case for itself as an adventure bike with an amount of clear differentiation. Much would depend on how Triumph prices the bike in India, or how it positions it in terms of features.

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