Triumph Scrambler 1200 Test Ride Review
- Published On: 13 June 2019
- 9 min read
Triumph Motorcycles has its strategy sorted for India’s premium motorcycling segment. It is taking a step by step approach and does not mind experimenting with segments.
Introduction: Triumph Motorcycles has its strategy sorted for India’s premium motorcycling segment. It is taking a step by step approach and does not mind experimenting with segments. The lower capacity Scrambler has been in the market for a while now and this has given the company confidence to bring in new models. The 1200cc Scrambler for instance.
Launched at Rs 10.73 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi), the Scrambler 1200 packs in a lot of tech, attitude and a dual-purpose personality. We were to ride this bike around the twisties of Himachal Pradesh but before that, I got to get up close and personal with the motorcycle at Triumph’s Chandigarh dealership. Why Chandigarh - this was our base before heading out to the Himalayan Expressway that would take us to higher elevations.
The naked Scrambler 1200 follows a stylish retro theme that is fast gaining acceptance in the premium motorcycling domain in India. The round LED headlamp, beffed up forks and the minimal front end will be loved by minimalists. The 16-liter fuel tank follows an old school design and is finished in half gloss and half matt, something that we don’t see too often in India. Below the tank sits the massive twin cylinder 1200cc motor that does lend a lot of mass to the bike. See the bike from the right side and you notice the dual exhausts extending out in true Scrambler fashion - these are upswept and have a sizeable chunk of shields in order to avoid the heat onto the rider’s legs. But more on this later.
Seating and Handling: The seat of the Scrambler has ample length but isn’t too generous in terms of width. However, this allows you to position your feet firmly on the ground. At the back, the design is minimal with the narrow tail light and a thin fender. Helps explore the exhaust outlets and the rear tyre. From a rider’s riding posture, you notice one of the highlights as long as design is concerned - the all-new second generation TFT screen. This speedometer console looks bling for what is being positioned as a retro-modern motorcycle. It gets two inbuilt themes and throws a lot of information to the rider. And once you are done toggling with display features, within a few seconds, the extra information goes off the screen. Only the speed you are doing and the engine revs are displayed so that you can know how fast you are going and how fast the engine is spinning. In other words, the bike wants you to concentrate on the riding part. Cool, eh? This display can also be adjusted in terms of the view angle. Lastly, Triumph will be offering a Bluetooth module in India wherein you will be able to pair your phone for step by step navigation and even controlling your GoPro via the app on the move. Lastly, before I get onto the riding part, allow me to add that the Scrambler 1200 gets keyless ignition. Makes commuting and touring fuss free.
The riding experience on the event included two batches. The first one would ride from Chandigarh to Shimla and the second back to Chandigarh the next day. I happened to be in the second batch and rode to Shimla on the first day on the bigger Tiger. This allowed me to see what the Scrambler could do in the hand of other riders and also understand its design better while following the group in a convoy. Next day when I my turn came to take the bike back to Chandigarh, weather turned upside down and entire town of Shimla was covered in mist. Light drizzle was to be our companion but I wasn’t complaining.
With temperature done to 9 degrees even in the month of May, we started our ride to Kufri. At 8000 feet, this place was chillingly cold and with roads wet, most of us practicing caution. Not me though - thanks to the riding modes that the Scrambler comes with, I had more than ample confidence. The wet mode mellows down the power delivery and helps you retain traction at all times. The uphill ride to Kufri also allowed me to understand the engine in a better way.
Engine: The 1200cc HP parallel-twin engine makes more power and higher torque than similar capacity Triumph motorcycles - the Thruxton for example. 90 PS of peak power comes in at 7400 rpm while 110 Nm of torque peaks in at 3950 rpm. However, what makes the package interesting is 100 Nm of healthy torque available from just 2500 rpm. This is what comes in handy during challenging riding situations when you don't want to rev too hard to go fast.
Post Kufri, we took a trail route that had a mix of broken tarmac, slush and slippery surface thanks to pine thorns and mud that was fast mixing with rain waters. Off-road mode selected, the Scrambler 1200 went about munching miles here even with a novice like me on board. The off-road mode allows you to spin the rear for a fraction of second (everyone loves going sideways, eh) before making the traction control kick in. Likewise, the front ABS stays ON but you can use the rear brake to slide into turns. Standing on the pegs and leaned slightly towards the front, the throaty exhaust note filed up the valley as we covered pace towards Chail.
This is where sun gods came out and within minutes, we had dry tarmac to our disposal. The Scrambler 1200 comes with top spec parts and this includes a pair of 45mm Showa USD or up-side down forks up front with 200mm of travel. At the back, you get premium Ohlins shocks. Braking duties are handling by Brembo M50 four-piston radial mono block calibers up front and two-piston set up at the rear. These are just not fancy names but end up infusing a lot of confidence in the rider. With no rains slowing us down, I decided to make the most of the twisties and let the Scrambler show its wilder side. Oh boy, what a delight it turned out to be.
Conclusion: This is a relatively heavy motorcycle but soon you get used to it and can flick it through a set of switch backs. And all this while, the engine sounds oh so well. However, the side exhausts do throw a lot of heat but that is small compromise for an otherwise superb enjoyable bike. The suspension is forgiving, absorbing mid-corner bumps easily and keeping you composed.
As we entered Chandigarh and slowed our pace, I appreciated the straight forward riding posture that does not tire you. Even the seat, which I initially thought to be hard, did not throw up surprises and kept my back-side fatigue free. However, at slow pace, the heat from the engine and the exhaust is too much for comfort - sorry to bring this up again though.
At Rs 10.73 lakh, the Scrambler 1200 is a versatile multi-tasker. It can be your everyday city bike (the heat though…), can chew up miles and true to the Scrambler heritage, even accompany you for trail riding session without breaking a sweat. Even the engine protection plates look and mean business. This big bore motorcycle definitely offers a lot and is a perfect fit for those who don’t want an out-and-out large adventure motorcycle.