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ADV BikesIs a Dirt-Worthy Triumph Scrambler 1200 Right Around The Corner?

Is a Dirt-Worthy Triumph Scrambler 1200 Right Around The Corner?

Spy shots of Scrambler prototype show serious suspension and dirt readiness.

Published on 03.23.2018

Looking at motorcycling in general, the “scrambler” has been a hot category for a couple years, annoyingly so at some times. But, in a round-about way this has become a good thing for Adventure Bike enthusiasts. Why? Because more and more people are buying scramblers and actually trying to scramble them – ride them off-road in increasingly demanding situations. This has forced companies like Ducati and Triumph to rethink bikes they are calling “scramblers,” which in the recent past were pretty much street bikes with an off-road look. For example, the original Ducati Scrambler wasn’t really up to the task of trail riding but answering the demand of owners, Ducati released the Desert Sled edition that has legit suspension that doesn’t just look the part, it can take some off-road abuse.

This leads us to where we are today, with spy shots of a 2019 (?) Triumph Scrambler 1200 originally reported on MCN. The modern version of the Street Scrambler from Triumph is only two years old which makes seeing a new model in the works so soon sort of surprising. In 2017 the bike got a new name with the addition of the word ‘Street’ to go with a new engine and chassis. Not that this bike was ever aimed at the ADV audience, yet some have used the scrambler (older version) to that effect as you can read here.

Looking at the photos, we can see a version of the Scrambler that gets us more excited as it gets closer to a large-displacement, more off-road capable machine, which is essentially a version of a modern ADV bike. While disguised as the current 900cc motor, this bike is thought to have Triumphs 1200cc powerplant, of which there are two versions. Given the high-end components, it would make sense for them to use the motor currently in the Thruxton that has a higher compression ratio resulting in 97 horsepower and 82.6 ft-lbs of torque. But even if it is the mildest 1200 (found in the Bonneville-Bobber), that would still offer 77 horsepower and 78.2 ft-lbs of torque, which is a major upgrade from the current Street Scrambler.


Triumph Scrambler 1200 Spy Shot

What isn’t disguised is the long travel Showa USD fork that is a decidedly better setup for serious off-road riding. Out back, the twin Ohlins shocks and what looks like a longer swingarm lead us to the same conclusion – Triumph is making a big Scrambler that is ready for some real scrambling.

Other hints of a dirt-focused machine is what looks like 21-inch/18-inch wheel combination and all that extra protection. On the flipside, a 21 takes away from the motorcycles on-road manners and the longer travel suspension (certainly more than the current 4.7 inches) is going to raise the seat height from the Street’s 31.1-inch seat height. . As of right now there isn’t an indication if it will have a high or low front fender – a big decision for the overall aesthetic of the bike.

We don’t want to be overly optimistic but a performance-first retro machine would be a refreshing change to the typical, “all show, no go” retro bikes that focus all their attention on looking the part, not riding like it. And, depending on its actual performance it might just be a legit alternative to the heavyweight ADV bikes currently on the market.

There is no official word from Triumph about this bike or any plans of a new Scrambler in the works but that isn’t a surprise at all. For now we just have a couple photos and our imaginations to fill in the rest.

Author: Sean Klinger

With his sights set on doing what he loved for a living, Sean left college with a BA in Journalism and dirt bike in his truck. After five years at a dirt-only motorcycle magazine shooting, testing, writing, editing, and a little off-road racing, he has switched gears to bigger bikes and longer adventures. He’ll probably get lost a few times but he’ll always have fun doing it. Two wheels and adventure is all he needs. 

Author: Sean Klinger

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March 23, 2018 9:03 pm

If Triumph pulls through and makes a legit Scrambler with what this bike appears to have in terms of decent suspension and hopefully some great power I will definitely pull the trigger and get one…but I won’t believe it till I see it. Crossing my fingers…and please make one with a flat charcoal grey tank! Lol

August 22, 2018 3:24 pm

I’m excited about this change. Would really like to see 2 versions: a less expensive, lighter, and less burley high powered machine (like a 600 or 800 max) version, and this 1200 version. Great Triumph styling w/ a machine i can really ride on easy trails (for me, i’d like the lighter less powerful version, so i can more easily handle it, i have no need for 1200cc of power).


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