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ADV NewsTriumph Grabs Impressive Finish at Mexican 1000 on Scrambler 1200

Triumph Grabs Impressive Finish at Mexican 1000 on Scrambler 1200

A triumphant return to Baja for Triumph's new generation Scrambler.

Published on 05.17.2019

Triumph Factory rider Ernie Vigil piloting the all-new Scrambler 1200 XE, finished in an incredible 5th place at this year’s NORRA Mexican 1000 Rally. Competing in the Modern Open Class, Vigil was up against a field of dirt bikes.

Riding a standard Scrambler 1200 XE, Ernie Vigil completed the five day, 1,347 mile rally in 25 hours and 39 minutes and ran entirely free of a single crash or mechanical issue with the Scrambler 1200. The sole delay occurred on Day 2 when a front BIB Mousse spectacularly failed after crossing a long, rocky stage at high speed. Vigil was swiftly recovered by communicating to the Triumph chase crew via satellite phone, who were able to identify his exact location deep inside the rally course. After a three hour delay Vigil was back out on track using the power of the Scrambler 1200 to make up lost ground.

Triumph Scrambler 1200
Besides minor additions such as a skid plate and softer bar grips, Ernie’s Scrambler 1200 XE was left stock and used the same suspension supplied on the standard model.

Ernie Vigil – Factory Triumph rider: “We made it! I couldn’t ask for a better result and on a stock bike, it was a super rad week ripping in the desert with a bunch of dirt bikes. We had zero issues, she ran like a dream. Two of the longest days were in some really technical, rocky sections, you really have to stay focused and pick your lines without slowing down too much. But when we hit the open desert I could really let the bike eat, she was a rocket and took everything we threw at her. I’m very sad it’s all over, but I’m hoping we can get to the Baja 1000 later this year to run her in the Ironman Class. We not only proved the Scrambler 1200 XE could finish this rally, but be competitive.”


Ernie’s Scrambler 1200 XE was left in stock condition, with only the addition of an extended sump guard, softer bar grips, desert racing seat and the fitment of a Metzeler MC 360 21” front tire and Metzeler Karoo 3 on the standard 17” rear wheel. Suspension settings were left as supplied on the standard showroom models and Vigil rode with ABS & TC functions turned off – an option already available on the XE model.

Triumph Scrambler 1200

Triumph Scrambler 1200
The Triumph Scrambler competed in the Modern Open Class, up against a field of dirt bikes.

This result demonstrates the capability of the Scrambler 1200 platform which represents a first for dual-purpose capability and modern custom style. This 1,200cc scrambler delivers a category-redefining level of performance, specification and finish, fused with Triumph’s iconic scrambler DNA and all the multi-surface capability of a genuine adventure motorcycle.

The NORRA Mexican 1000 is an incredible off-road racing event that covers 1,347 miles of Mexico’s rugged Baja peninsula, with riders tackling rocks, deep sand and the unforgiving desert landscape. If you want to compete in extreme endurance races on a motorcycle, the Mexican 1000 is one of the biggest.

Triumph Scrambler 1200

The Mexican 1000 is run on the same hallowed Baja terrain that made the Triumph Scrambler name famous in the 1960s. Hence, this was a homecoming for the Triumph Scrambler, back to prove its capability to a new generation of riding enthusiasts.

Mexican 1000 Modern Open Class Results

Triumph Scrambler 1200

Photo credit: John Ryan Herbert

Author: ADV Pulse Staff

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13 thoughts on “Triumph Grabs Impressive Finish at Mexican 1000 on Scrambler 1200

  1. Kudos to Triumph for making a scrambler that can actually go fast off-road. However, riding heavy bikes in the rough requires great skill, and picking them up after crashes wears you out quickly.
    My takeaway from this is, despite having 2x cylinders, 2x displacement, and way more power, the Triumph was unable to beat four bikes of 650cc or less.

    • You really have no idea what it takes to do a Rally of this kind. Dirt bikes are hands down at an advantage than a Scrambler!! Just the fact that this bike finished after this kind of abuse and terrain is quite a feat and that it beat most of the dirt bikes is simply IMPRESSIVE!!

      • I think his comment was fair. We don’t know his experience. I have ridden that course and I do know what takes. I think his comments compliment triumph for a great dual sport and also point out that’s not the correct bike for the race. The success of the placing belongs to both the bike and rider. It’s cool it can do it but I wouldn’t want to ride that bike on that course 1300 miles. I also think my CRF is too light. For me the XR650 was perfect in weight for comfort.

        • The point Triumph is trying to make isn’t that you could finish the Mexican 1000 on this, but that the bike could and won’t be a limiter as you begin to push your own boundaries. One of the most illustrative ways to show people how capable this bike is, is with a brow raising challenge – put it against dirtbikes that excel in these rallies and see how it does. I remember when they announced racing this bike in Baja people mocked Triumph, trashing the bike. So many skeptics didn’t even think the bike could finish. Well, did they prove haters wrong. Absolutely genius, although it was a risky move.

  2. Without the 3 hr delay on the mid course repair and all the rest remained the same results it would have place 3rd or better do no momentum loss. Definitely the right rider to prove the bike and what it can do in order to make time up. Being 95% stock is also something to boast about.
    Good choice on the front tire – definitely held the bike on line in all conditions considering the hp to weight factor.
    All Triumph has to do is find a buyers market!

  3. My son and I raced the NORRA this year also and I can say it was a tough rally with some extremely challenging terrain, what Ernie did with this bike was incredible. The bike may be good but the rider they picked is AWESOME.

  4. With out that one issue things could have been much different?maby second place,great riding,on that bike! Still the king of the desert xr650r finally something other then KTM,

  5. My mom and stepfather rode the Mexican 1000 back in 1971 on a Harley Davidson 100cc Baja. They finished the race and it took every once of energy out of them. My mom,Susan Scott rode the first and last leg ,100 km. of pavement,of the race and was one full minute faster than the winner of their class who at that time of the day had to ride in the fog. I was 11 years old and will never forget it. It was also called NORRA back then, glad to see them back.

  6. I have the ’19 Triumph Scrambler 1200 XE. Got one as soon as I could. It’s the most fun, versatile, torque-y motorcycle I’ve owned (I’m 66 and been riding over 50 years). Thanks for riding the hell out of one and doing so well in this race! It demonstrates to any uninformed doubters that the Triumph Scrambler 1200 XE is not a poser.

    I’m curious, what skid plate was used?


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