Tri­umph of the tweaker

The Scram­bler’s un­scram­bled, writesMARKHINCHLIFFE

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Bikes -

IT MIGHT look the part, but when it comes to pro­duc­ing the goods, Tri­umph’s Bon­neville Scram­bler de­liv­ers about 90 per cent of its po­ten­tial de­spite the re­cent ad­di­tion of fuel in­jec­tion.

The Scram­bler was in­tro­duced to cash in on nos­tal­gia for ac­tor and Tri­umph fan the late Steve McQueen and the fa­mous jump scene in the movie The Great Es­cape.

But, at 205kg, the Scram­bler was never go­ing to fly.

Lim­ited ground clear­ance also pre­vented it racing away from pur­su­ing Nazis across Aus­trian pad­docks, or stag­ing care­free beach romps as seen in the iconic On Any Sun­day doc­u­men­tary.

How­ever, with a few tweaks, some gen­uine Tri­umph ac­ces­sories and a bit of in­ge­nu­ity, the full po­ten­tial of the ma­chine can be achieved.

Dave Pearce of Aussie Bik­ers Shop, in Noosav­ille, near Bris­bane, has un­leashed much of that po­ten­tial with his Scram­bler project bike.

Dump­ing the twin side-mounted muf­flers for a sin­gle can saves al­most 8kg.

Pearce says the orig­i­nal dual muf­flers weighed a stag­ger­ing 12.1kg. The re­place­ment Tri­umph Ar­row sin­gle ex­haust weighs only 4.6kg and re­leases a glo­ri­ous and nos­tal­gic Tri­umph bark.

It also al­lows the bike to rev a lot more freely than did the rather asth­matic orig­i­nal.

Fur­ther adding to the rev-abil­ity are New Zealand-sourced Thun­der­bike cams and a K&N air fil­ter.

Pearce’s Scram­bler has not been dyno tested, but he says top-end power is im­proved. Weight has also been shed by us­ing a Tri­umph sin­gle seat and smaller, lighter mir­rors.

How­ever, that has been off­set by the ad­di­tion of an in­sect screen, bash­plate, en­gine pro­tec­tion bars, Bark­busters and an SW-Motech rack mount for a Givi top box.

To­tal weight sav­ing is healthy 10kg.

The lim­ited sus­pen­sion is aided by

still a YSS em­u­la­tors in the forks and YSS pig­gy­back shocks, which re­place the stan­dard Kayaba units and lift the bike by 2mm.

Ground clear­ance is also im­proved with a Thai-sourced RMP rear brake caliper re­lo­ca­tor, which moves it from the bot­tom to the top of the brake disc.

‘‘I’ve been through the for­est trails and I’ve been sur­prised by how well it went,’’ Pearce says.

Don’t ask him what it costs, but the re­lo­ca­tor alone was al­most $600.

Pearce also plans to fit tyres with more knob­bly tread from Mi­tas to re­place the Trail­wings, and make other mod­i­fi­ca­tions.

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