Triumph Street Scrambler: First Look Review
- by Benjamin Gracias
- August 25, 2017
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We had a brief encounter with Triumph’s latest Modern Classic and here’s what we think
Triumph's Modern Classic range is quite a versatile one. The Bonneville and Street Twin have cafe racers, bobbers and street versions that cater to various audiences. The latest of these to launch in India is the Triumph Street Scrambler. We spent some time with it, which also included a very brief ride, and here's what we think of it.
The Scrambler concept is that of a lightweight bike modified to work both on and off-road. A smaller ADV bike if you will. The Triumph Street Scrambler is just that. The motorcycle is based on the Street Twin but gets modifications to make it more off-road friendly. It has got all the basics of an ADV - long travel suspension, large dual-purpose tyres, higher handlebars, high-mounted exhausts and other off-road bits and bobs. The Street Scrambler looks a bit larger than the Street Twin and far more purposeful.
The 'Street' connection:
The Street Scrambler is based on the Street Twin. The Street platform here gets modifications to make it more off-road friendly. A big draw of the Street Twin is how user friendly a ride it is, and judging by the short ride we had on the Scrambler, that trait has been left untouched. It is an accessible motorcycle despite the 40mm rise in seat height to 790mm. The gorgeous Alcantara seat is comfortable for the rider but the tiny rear seat is not so much for the pillion. The headlamp, tail lamp and turn indicators are carried over from the Street Twin. Despite all the similarities, Triumph has managed to make the Street Scrambler look and feel like a different motorcycle.
The oily bits:
The 900cc liquid-cooled parallel-twin engine makes the same 55PS and 80Nm of torque as the Street Twin but the max torque on the Scrambler is delivered lower, at 2800rpm (as opposed to 3230rpm on the Street Twin). This helps for off-road riding where you need more low-down torque.
The frame is carried over from the Street Twin but the rake and trail has increased from the Street Twin's 25.1 degrees and 102.4mm to 25.6 degree and 109mm respectively. Kicked out forks offer better stability and a more planted feel during off road excursions. The forks are the same setup as the Street Twin but get more suspension travel. The front has KYB 41mm forks and the rear has KYB twin shock absorbers with adjustable preload. Even the ground clearance has increased and you can take those hideous speed breakers without clenching, thanks to the bash plate under the radiator and sump. At 206kg (kerb), the Street Scrambler is 8 kilos heavier, which is reasonable given the added kit.
The front wheel is a 19-inch affair, up from the Street Twin's 18-inch alloy wheel. The rear is 17-inches. For on-/off-road use the Street Scrambler gets dual-purpose Metzeler Tourance radial tyres. For braking, the Street Scrambler gets a single 310mm disc clamped to a Nissin 2-piston floating calliper and a 255 mm disc with Nissin 2-piston floating calliper. Electronics include ABS and traction control. Both can be switched off for off-road use.
We got to spend a very brief amount of time riding the bike so a detailed review will have to wait until we have a proper ride. For now, these are our initial impressions of the bike.
For starters, the 40mm increase in seat height isn't much as the Street Twin always had a low seat and this one feels just right. The riding position is off-road oriented with a wide, tall handlebar that is angled towards the rider. The mid-set footpegs are positioned a bit forward to allow you to comfortably stand and grip the rubber pads on the fuel tank with your knees.
The footpegs have a bear claw design with detachable rubber pads that can be taken out for off-road use. The seat is long and has a lot of room to move around. This should allow even six feet tall riders to be comfortable on the bike. The high-mounted exhaust has three shields to protect the rider's legs from getting toasted. While two are made of hard plastics, the middle one is metal with holes covered with mesh that dissipates heat faster than the plastic ones. The shields do heat up mildly so you can forget riding this bike in your shorts.
Despite the increase in weight the Street Scrambler gets up to speed fast and feels lively thanks to the 80Nm of torque delivered at low revs. It sounds good too. A throaty exhaust with the right amount of mechanical clatter. Very 70's. Refinement is quite good and the controls are easy to use thanks to the light-action clutch and ride-by-wire that manage to deliver a smooth drive.
The front end feels light and does not take up much space to execute U-turns. We rode up and down a small stretch of road with a couple of bumps and undulations. The suspension felt planted at all times and the dual-purpose Metzeler Tourance tyres gripped well on the rain-soaked road. Brakes are fantastic, especially the rear. Under hard braking, the bike decelerated quickly with minimal fuss. The ABS kicks in late and has minimal intrusion, giving you more feel and control.
The Street Scrambler looks fantastic, even more so in red and silver. At Rs 8.1 lakh (ex-India), it commands a Rs 93,000 premium over the Street Twin. For this, you get a motorcycle that is more purposeful, more off-road capable and in my opinion, more desirable. The high-mounted exhaust needs some getting used to and your girlfriend/wife will hate you every time you take her out for a ride but as far as desirability goes, it is right up there with the Triumph Thruxton R.
The Street Twin makes for a very usable everyday big bike and the Street Scrambler ups the ante with its ability to survive our roads with better ground clearance that should gobble up speed breakers. The increased suspension travel should cope well on bad roads and the occasional light off-roading.
If you indulge in a bit of mild off-roading, we reckon it is worth spending the extra moolah over the Street Twin. In terms of pricing, the Street Scrambler sits comfortably between the Ducati Scrambler range than includes the Icon and the more capable and more expensive Desert Sled. How it stacks up against these two is a matter of another comparison test. For now, the Street Scrambler gets a thumbs up from us.