Want desert sled cool with a 90bhp brute of an en­gine and cut­ting edge elec­tron­ics? Tri­umph have just the thing…


For medium-to-large hu­mans, there’s a lot to be said for a dirt bike rid­ing po­si­tion, with am­ple room for legs, no weight on the wrists, easy steer­ing thanks to wide bars, and plenty of room to shuf­fle about. But of course you don’t ac­tu­ally want a proper dirt bike be­cause they’ve got revvy lit­tle en­gines and are often rid­den on the road by ap­pren­tice crim­i­nals. Tri­umph’s ul­ti­mate an­swer is this: the 1200 Scram­bler XE. It is the world’s most lux­u­ri­ous, welle­quipped, tech­no­log­i­cally ad­vanced and pow­er­ful old school dirt bike. It’s pow­ered by a ver­sion of the 1200cc en­gine that makes the Thrux­ton R such an ad­dic­tive ride, but is de­tuned slightly for more torque. Peak power is 90bhp at 7400rpm com­pared to the Thrux­ton’s 96bhp, so there’s plenty there, but pleas­ingly the peak torque of 81 lb ft hap­pens at 3950rpm. It should make a joy­ous road bike. There’s a new chas­sis to al­low the pipes to tuck in close enough so as not to ob­struct the rider’s legs and you get 250mm of sus­pen­sion travel (200mm on the XC). The forks are Showa, and the rear shock is a to­tally new Öh­lins. Brakes are Brembo M50 ra­dial calipers. Per­haps hop­ing to at­tract tech­savvy younger folk into the Tri­umph fold, the new Scram­blers can start and stop your Go-pro from the han­dle­bars (a world first for a pro­duc­tion bike), and of course con­nect to your phone to stream mu­sic or phone calls by blue­tooth. There’s also turn by turn nav­i­ga­tion us­ing Tri­umph’s own app (which you can retro fit to all the TFT screen Tri­umphs). ‘We see this as hav­ing cross-over ca­pa­bil­ity with ad­ven­ture bikes,’ says Tri­umph’s chief en­gi­neer, Stu­art Woods. ‘For years peo­ple have loved the Scram­bler and we wanted to take it up a level. It’s a ground up re­design and is sur­pris­ingly good off-road. Why the new frame? Pack­ag­ing. Get­ting the high level ex­haust to be tucked right in means you need a new frame.’

Qual­ity abounds. Tyres are tube­less The Scram­bler XC is more road ori­en­tated

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