While the old Triumph Scrambler didn’t launch in India amongst Triumph’s Bonneville line-up, we now get the new Street Scrambler for 2017, launched at Rs 8.10 lakh (ex-showroom, India). It’s based on the new Street Twin platform and not the older Scrambler. Which means this one’s a lot more compact than the older Scrambler, and it gets the newer components from the Street Twin as well.
The most obvious differences between the Scrambler and the Street Twin are styling changes. While both are modern-retro motorcycles, as the name suggests, the Scrambler is supposed to be the more off-road capable machine. Firstly, the front wheel size has gone up an inch to 19-inches, while the rear wheel stays the same. The Scrambler also gets spoked rims, and more dual-purpose Metzeler Tourance tyres, rather than road-biased ones. And the spiked foot pegs are also a change from the Street Twin.
The new Street Scrambler also gets a higher handlebar that’s more standing friendly. And even though the tank is the same, there are now rubber pads on the tank recesses for gripping with your knees while riding. Triumph has also done away with the low, dual side-slung exhausts and instead opted for a more off-road friendly setup. The bend pipe now runs high, just below the seat on the right-hand side of the bike. The Scrambler also gets a split-seat setup instead of the single one on the Street Twin. The pillion seat can be removed to fit an aluminium rack, which comes as an accessory.
The new Street Scrambler is powered by the same 900cc, eight-valve, SOHC, parallel-twin with 270-degree firing interval as the Street Twin. It does have a slightly different state of tune than the Street Twin, producing peak torque of 80Nm at 2,850rpm and a very modest peak horsepower of 54hp at 6,000rpm. So although the figures are the same as the Street Twin, both peaks are delivered at a lower rpm. It gets a ride-by-wire throttle and switchable traction control, but no power modes. It is also fitted with a torque-assist clutch, which makes work at the lever quite light.
With a 41mm KYB fork at the front and preload-adjustable twin KYB shocks at the rear, the Scrambler gets the same suspension setup as the Street Twin. Both ends offer 120mm of travel; no improvement over the base Street Twin. The Street Scrambler also gets the same brake setup as the Street Twin – a single 310mm disc and floating Nissin two-piston calliper up front, with a 255mm disc with floating two-piston calliper at the rear. ABS can be turned off when there isn’t tarmac ahead of you.
The seating geometry on the Street Scrambler is spot on. It feels more spacious than the Street Twin, with a comfortable stretch to the handlebars. In the short 500-odd metres time we had to ride the machine, it would be impossible to tell you much about the handling dynamics of the bike. Although, it does feel fairly more road-biased than off-road. The ride feels plush, and it soaks up bumps well. Overall, it feels like a friendly bike that doesn't intimidate you on any level, which is a great attribute to have.
The new engine, chassis, wheels, seat and handlebar come together quite well to differentiate the Scrambler from its predecessor; not so much from the Street Twin. It’s probably not as off-road capable as, say a Ducati Scrambler Desert Sled. But it certainly does match up to the Ducati Scrambler Urban Enduro model in terms of purpose and pricing. Of course, these are both vastly different motorcycles in terms of riding dynamics. All in all, the new Street Scrambler from Triumph is an absolute breeze to ride. Whether it’s in the city, up the curvy mountain roads, or just some highway cruising, the Street Scrambler should tackle all these with ease. If you’re into modern retro-naked motorcycles, this one’s up there among the best.