Triumph Street Scrambler: The Street Twin that goes further
What is it?
This is the model year 2019 of Triumph’s Street Scrambler. Scramblers are the more off-road focused motorcycles built on Triumph’s Bonneville platform and until the Scrambler 1200 came along, the Street Scrambler was the one positioned for dealing with the rough stuff. The Street Scrambler, based on the Street Twin, now gets many of the updates the Twin did, along with a few other Scrambler-specific changes.
Quite a bit, actually. This is more than just a cosmetic refresh. For starters, more power! The engine makes 10bhp more now, putting out a total of 64bhp while peak torque remains the same at 80Nm. This bump in power is due to a engine updates including a new magnesium cam cover, lightweight materials used for the crankshaft, dead shafts and balancer shafts and a lighter clutch and clutch cover.
There are a few chassis updates too. The Scrambler gets 41mm KYB forks up front with 120mm travel — these are higher-spec cartridge units as compared to the last one. You also get KYB shocks at the rear, however the motorcycle we had was running the optional fully-adjustable Fox units. Brakes have been given an upgrade too — it now gets Brembo four-piston calipers instead of the two-pot Nissins on the older bike.
In terms of electronics, in addition to Rain and Road mode, the Street Scrambler now gets an Off Road mode that switches off ABS and traction control completely. You can also chose to turn off traction control only without turning ABS off by digging through the settings.
The Scrambler obviously gets a few design changes to keep things fresh. The forks are slightly wider spaced now, and this required a redesign of the headlamp bracket, top yoke and mudguard. What you see in the photos is a high-level mudguard that is available as an accessory, though. The logo on the side has been given a redesign, the instrument cluster has got a mild update while the seat is new as well.
How is it different from the Street Twin?
For the most part, it isn’t too different from the Street Twin. The frame and engine are the same, and even the suspensions (not the Fox shocks) are identical to the Street Twin. The major chassis upgrade that the Street Scrambler gets is the upgrade to a 19-inch spoked front wheel, instead of the road-biased 18-inch cast alloys on the Twin. It also gets altered ergonomics with a more upright handlebar, off-road spec foot pegs, a bash plate and that gorgeous upswept exhaust. That said, the upgrades aren’t major as the Street Scrambler isn’t a hardcore off-roader. It’s more of a road bike that can deal with the occasional trail, and looks bloody good doing so.
How does it ride?
The updates to the engine are very welcome. The Scrambler feels quicker, with a wide, flat torque curve. The engine is supremely tractable, pulling cleanly right from 1500rpm with peak torque hitting at 3500rpm. Vibrations do set in at the bar post 4500rpm, and the engine revs all the way to 7500rpm. I found myself happiest riding out the torque available low down and short-shifting much before the redline. The tractability is really helpful off-road, as you can hold on to second gear for the most part without the bike stalling. That said, it’s a little difficult to stand up and ride this motorcycle. The tank doesn’t offer much by way of recesses to lock your knees into when you are standing, and the handlebar should have been a little higher as well. What really works for it, though, is that it's not intimidating, as it doesn’t have the sheer bulk of a big adventure motorcycle, so there’s less of a mental block chucking it around off-road.
Out on the road, the meaty mid range is enjoyable and you can climb up and down the slick-shifting five-speed gearbox with ease. The Street Scrambler can corner, however the turn in is a little lazy due to the larger front wheel, slightly kicked out rake and longer wheelbase than the base Twin. That said, once you’ve got the bike tipped into the corner, things are very smooth and confidence-inspiring. It’s properly stable mid-corner, and the torque means you have plenty of drive out of bends. The Metzeler Tourance tyres offer great grip on tarmac while offering a certain degree of off-road ability too. There’s no real wind protection and the seat is flat so though you can tour on this motorcycle, it won’t be the most comfortable doing 1000-km days. The front forks are a little stiff, while the fully adjustable shocks at the rear allowed us to adjust the monoshock to a allow for a certain degree of comfort.
In the city, the small dimensions keeps it very manoeuvrable and easy to ride. It is easy to weave though traffic with my only real gripe being the exhaust. When you’re on the open road, the exhaust doesn’t throw too much heat onto your legs but in stop-go traffic, it can get really hot. Add to that the fact that it is mounted so close your thigh means that not only is it making you uncomfortable but you could properly burn yourself if you aren’t careful.
At Rs 8.55 lakh, the Street Scrambler is a whole lakh more than the Street Twin. For that money, you’re getting a motorcycle which looks far, far cooler, has a certain degree of off-road ability, and the opportunity to roast your thigh. What you’re giving up on is some nimbleness in corners. If you’re someone who likes exploring the odd trail, the Street Scrambler makes for a great buy. Just make sure you’re avoiding traffic jams on your way in and out of town.