Triumph determined to reclaim scrambler market with gnarly 1200cc offering
Long after Triumph’s air-cooled 865cc Bonneville range had been superseded by the latest water-cooled 1200cc and 900cc machines, one bike, the Scrambler, held on, finally being dropped at the start of this year. But now the Scrambler is back, and the all-new model is bigger and faster, based around Triumph’s 1200cc water-cooled engine.
The new Scrambler model will be an aggressive, high-spec neo-retro off-roader. And it’s a stunner.
Our spy shots show the bike in near-final form. Technical goodies include Ohlins suspension fore and aft, Brembo radial stoppers, and an upside-down fork.
The styling addenda includes enough machined and polished aluminium to satisfy the most obsessive detail freak.
The 1200cc parallel-twin engine is straight from the existing Bonnie range, although it’s not clear which state of tune it’s in. The high-end suspension and brakes suggest the ‘High Power’ unit from the Thruxton will be used. That would give it 72kW at 6750rpm and 112Nm at 4950rpm.
The frame looks much the same as the normal Bonneville design, but those extra-long USD Ohlins fork legs and the massive dual rear shocks, each fitted with a main and helper spring, suggest it has some genuine off-road ability.
The aluminium swingarm is also completely new.
When it comes to style, the bike is clearly from the same mindset that brought us the Bobber. It’s finished with neat details and, while clearly retro, adds enough modern elements to ensure it’s never going to be mistaken for a 1960s machine. The LED lights and modern instruments, mounted on a machined aluminium bracket, give it the style of a one-off special.
Hints of its off-road DNA are evident, including the oversized foot on the side stand for additional support on soft surfaces, though it would be sacrilege to scratch those polished aluminium hand-guard bracing strips. As with all new Triumphs, the Scrambler 1200 will be packed with technology including ABS, traction control, cruise control and multiple riding modes.
Ready to roll
Given its near-finished state, the Scrambler is probably set to be launched sooner than the usual end-of-year shows. Triumph often reveals one new model in May or June, and this could be this year’s candidate for that slot.
The spied bike might be missing its front mudguards, and the black tape on the fuel tank probably hides rubber knee grips, but it’s virtually showroom-ready. That front mudguard is being kept hidden because it will define the bike’s style. Odds are it will be a brushed or polished aluminium piece, matching the rear fender and mounted high to give that classic crosser stance. A mounting bracket reveals a second, more-subtle, deflector will be fitted close to the tyre to suit road-going regulations and practicalities.
By Ben Purvis