Road Ready Scram­bler

Real Classic - - 2019 Triumph Street Twin -

Two years ago Tri­umph took an­other long look in its cor­po­rate rearview mir­ror in launch­ing its re­vamped mod­ern Street Scram­bler trib­ute to one of the most suc­cess­ful mod­els in its 1960s clas­sic-era lineup; the go-any­where Tro­phy street en­duro. Amidst all the furore when Du­cati launched its Scram­bler sub-brand back in 2014, many over­looked that it was ac­tu­ally Tri­umph which in­vented the street scram­bler cat­e­gory back in 1949 with the TR5 Tro­phy. This was named af­ter the three Speed Twin-based bikes that the British com­pany built for the 1948 ISDT in Italy to win three gold medals and the Man­u­fac­tur­ers team tro­phy in that gru­elling event. The street le­gal replica which fol­lowed pow­ered Tri­umph’s ex­pan­sion in the USA, where street scram­blers be­came a big deal in the Six­ties with Tri­umphs the class king­pins, dom­i­nat­ing desert rac­ing and en­duro events for the next two decades.

Now in com­pany with the Street Twin road­ster with which it shares the same en­gine pack­age, the Tri­umph Street Scram­bler has been sim­i­larly up­dated for 2019. This means it shares the same en­gine im­prove­ments and en­hanced elec­tronic rider aid fea­tures as the Street Twin, but in ad­di­tion to the twin Road and Rain rid­ing modes, there’s a third Off-road set­ting which turns off the ABS and trac­tion con­trol com­pletely (which can then be re-en­abled on the move by hold­ing the mode but­ton in for one se­cond), while de­liv­er­ing full power, but with a more pro­gres­sive throt­tle re­sponse.

Brakes and sus­pen­sion re­main un­changed, but other dif­fer­ences in­clude the fit­ting of wire wheels shod with Met­zeler Tourance dual-pur­pose rub­ber, in­clud­ing a 19-inch front with 100/90-19 tyre. And while dry weight is the same as the Street Twin at 198kg, the steer­ing ge­om­e­try of the tubu­lar steel frame is more re­laxed, with a 25.6º rake for the same 41mm non-ad­justable Kayaba fork, and 109mm of trail. The wheel­base is also much longer, at 1445mm, which com­bined with the 19-inch front wheel means the bike does un­der­steer if you try to ride to like a café racer to keep up with some­one on the real thing, such as a Street Twin.

There’s three new colour op­tions for the 2019 Street Scram­bler, with Fu­sion White as the base model cost­ing £9300 in the UK, Cran­berry Red at £9450, and a Khaki Green and Matt Alu­minium two-tone paint scheme at £9650. De­liv­er­ies will com­mence in late Jan­uary in the UK.

Swap­ping back and forth be­tween the Scram­bler and the Street Twin re­vealed that they have iden­ti­cal en­gine per­for­mance, but that the pu­ta­tive off-roader has a softer power de­liv­ery thanks to al­tered map­ping, and doubt­less too the dif­fer­ent side-mounted ex­haust run­ning down the right side of the bike, which looks cool but does get in

the way when you’re stand­ing up on the so-called Bear Claw footrests for some light off-road work along gravel trails or hard­packed dirt. The han­dle­bar is un­changed from the Street Twin, and it’s re­ally too low for se­ri­ous off-road work, but with just 120mm of sus­pen­sion travel front and rear like the Street Twin, this en­tirely lives up to what it says on the la­bel – as in, it’s a STREET Scram­bler! As such, it’s a cool-look­ing bike that own­ers will be glad to pro­file on, with a spa­cious and re­laxed rid­ing po­si­tion thanks to the higher seat and lower footrests. Call it Tri­umph’s equiv­a­lent to a maxi-scooter, and you’ll be right.

The Street Scram­bler is a model where con­ve­nience and cool is ar­guably more im­por­tant to likely cus­tomers than ac­tual per­for­mance. The zest­ful ap­peal of the orig­i­nal McQueen-era TR6C dirt sled, as man­i­fested in The Great Es­cape, has been re­placed here by laid-back look-at-me boule­vard brio more redo­lent of the Tri­umph Tiger 100 used by War­ren Beatty’s hair­dresser char­ac­ter to zap around LA from one fe­male con­quest cus­tomer to an­other a decade later, in the life­style movie Sham­poo. If they made the movie in 2019, his char­ac­ter would be rid­ing a Street Scram­bler, so chic-look­ing and con­ve­nient for city use as a com­muter, barhop­per or de­liv­ery bike, with suf­fi­cient rather than sporty per­for­mance, but so-cool as well as so-retro looks.

The Street Scram­bler’s true nat­u­ral habi­tat isn’t any­where off-road, but rather city streets, es­pe­cially traf­fic-clogged roads where you can use its easy clutch ac­tion, re­spon­sive but con­trol­lable throt­tle, light and im­me­di­ate steer­ing with that wide han­dle­bar and the skinny 19-inch front tyre, to plot an ideal course through rush-hour traf­fic with the help of the rel­a­tively tall seat. Its height is per­fectly judged to be just low enough to sling a leg over eas­ily at rest, but just high enough to see over car roofs and plan where you’re go­ing once you’re aboard. Tri­umph will sell thou­sands more of this up-rated ver­sion!

Ex­pect plenty of ac­ces­sories to tempt your wal­let, too…

Twin twins, al­though they’re not iden­ti­cal and ride rather dif­fer­ently

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