We take Triumph’s latest creation, the Street Scrambler, out for a ride around the city to see what it is made of. The Scrambler motif is inspired by the swingin’ sixties, so will it live up to that McQueen era of effortless cool?
Scramblers seem to be making a bit of a comeback. The genre of motorcycle that was birthed in the 1960s and faded away a decade or so later seems to be making a strong resurgence these days. All the big European bike-makers have gone down the scrambler route of late, and the latest to get on this particular hype train are Triumph. For the keen-eyed reader who has his or her pulse on the international scene, yes, there used to be a Triumph Scrambler available abroad since 2006, but it didn’t do very well and has since been discontinued, plus it was never sold on Indian shores. Anyway, it’s here now, and it sure does look the part.
Shiny twin pipes mounted high and running across the length of the bike? Yes, please! And there’s a whole new bike to go with it too. Actually, scratch that; it is a bit of a stretch to call the Street Scrambler new, because, as is hinted at in its name, it borrows heavily from the Street Twin. Same engine, in a different state of tune, though, (and, of course, the aforementioned shiny new exhaust). The tubular frame is retained, too, but the Scrambler gets a 19” front wheel (spokes, not alloys) instead of the 18-incher on the Twin, and the suspension setup has been changed as well. The Scrambler rides on a Kayaba setup front and back. More on that later, though; for now, back to the looks.
That exhaust is definitely the standout element, but there are a few other choice additions that set the Street Scrambler apart from its sibling. Other additions unique to the Scrambler are a funky-looking aluminium bracket for the headlamp, a refreshed mirror design, rubber kneepads slapped on to either side of the tank, a bash-plate to protect the bike’s underbelly, and an aluminium rear rack that can be swapped on to the bike in place of the rear seat — a cool feature for the travel-junkie and one that comes as standard too. Those spoke wheels I mentioned earlier (19s up front and 17s at the back) are great lookers, too, and give the bike a stance that is quite pleasing aesthetically. All in all, the Street Scrambler’s old school ethos is one that’s quite pleasing on the eye. The levels of fit and finish are pleasing, too, overall; however, the rubber frontfork covers don’t really cover the fork tubes completely, which is one little fly in the ointment.
Sitting on the bike you’re pretty upright, with the solid, one-piece handlebar and mid-set pegs combining to offer a sorted riding position. That bevelled seat wrapped in Alcantara is quite comfortable too. The single-pod analogue meets digital console is simple and effective, and shows a whole bunch of pertinent information, including a fuel indicator, rev-counter, odometer,
gear position, and even distance to empty, among other things.
A quick thumb on the starter fires up that 900-cc, liquid-cooled, fuelinjected, eight-valve parallel-twin that does duty on the Street Twin. However, while peak power is identical at 55 PS, it peaks at 6,000 revs, 100 rpm later than on its sibling, and the slightly lower torque figure of 78.84 Nm comes in a little lower down the rev-range, at 3,050 rpm. Pull on the light, ride-by-wire and torque assisted clutch, and shift that smooth five-speed transmission into gear to get going, and the Scrambler belts out some pleasing notes from its shotgun dual-pipes. Look good, sound good, and Triumph assured us at the bike’s launch that they would also have an “effective heat-management system”. Sadly, in the traffic-choked bits of the city, in particular, the exhaust did get a little hot for comfort.
The burst of acceleration you get when getting off the line is pleasing, though, and overtakes are easily accomplished as the Street Scrambler just keeps on pulling away. In fact, you don’t even have to shift through the gears too often either, because the Scrambler has a decent torque spread across the gears. You can accomplish triple-digits fairly quickly out on the highway; however, you can exploit all of the Scrambler’s top-whack performance because that riding position coupled with a lack of windscreen means you’re always battling the elements. Speaking of highways, a 12-litre tank means while you won’t be doing extended crosscountry runs on a single tank, you should be able to manage a good distance without the need to pull over.
She’s agile, too, easily flickable and steady as she goes around a corner. Those Metzeler Tourance tyres grip the tarmac well even when you push the Scrambler. There’s no worry about bumps rattling your spine either,
As a package, the Street Scrambler is a pretty good one then — it looks good, rides decently, and offers a good burst of speed
because the non-adjustable Kayaba telescopic forks and pre-load adjustable twin shocks both are fairly pliant. They also offer 120 mm of travel, so bottoming out isn’t likely and, of course, there’s the added insurance of the aforementioned bash-plate in case you do. Braking comes from a 310-mm disc up front and 255-mm one in the rear, complete with ABS. Stopping power on the Scrambler is commendable, too, with the brakes offering a nice chunk of bite and holding their composure under hard braking. The ABS is switchable, allowing you to have some fun when taking the Scrambler off road, even though it isn’t a hard core off-roader by any means.
As a package, the Street Scrambler is a pretty good one then. It looks good, rides decently, and offers a good burst of speed. It’s versatile, too; without standing out in any particular genre, the Scrambler does a bit of everything. Heck, you even get an under-seat USB charging point. The Street Scrambler is priced at Rs 8.10 lakh (ex-showroom) which is competitive when compared to its closest rival, the Scrambler Ducati. A good option then, if you want a daily rider that can don many hats.
Front fork cover doesn’t entirely cover the fork tubes
Sump guard is useful when off road
Twin exhaust pipes are eye-catching
Rubber tank grips help in keeping the bike steady