Thursday, August 24, 2017

Lord, I was born a Scramblin' man...

Yesterday, Triumph launched the Street Scrambler in India and we were there to ride it.
Words and photographs by Harsh Man Rai

When Vimal Sumbly, MD Triumph India, took the covers off the Street Scrambler at a laid-back launch in Aamby Valley, Maharashtra, we fell in love all over again. This is a motorcycle after our own heart and if like us, you are into retro-cool-as-fuck scramblers as a style, this thing nails it better than anything else on the market.

The new Street Scrambler has that familiar Bonneville silhouette combined with minimal bodywork, black sculpted engine covers, a quickly detachable pillion seat that uncovers a luggage rack mounted to the rear sub-frame and that distinctive and beautiful high exhaust pipe. Proper proportions and stripped-back style give the Street Scrambler a rather rugged posture. According to Vimal Sumbly: “Our ambition was to deliver a new segment state-of-the-art rugged off road styled motorcycle that is both addictive everyday fun and an off-road motorcycle but with its own distinctive attitude. This motorcycle feels light and nimble, is excellent to ride around town, and is extremely capable on long distance trails.”

The new Scrambler is built around Triumph's new Street Twin, which uses their all-new 900cc, eight-valve, SOHC parallel-twin with 270-degree firing interval parallel twin motor which also begat the new T100, T100 Black, and Street Cup cafe racer. Peak torque arrives at 2,850 rpm with 59 pound-feet and peak horsepower (54 hp) at 6,000 rpm which is 28 per cent more than the old Scrambler. It also gets ride-by-wire fuelling and switchable ABS that are unique to the Street Scrambler, in addition to traction control and a torque assist clutch. A 41mm KYB fork and twin KYB shocks that are adjustable for preload do suspension duty offering 4.7 inches of travel at both ends. This new Street Scrambler comes from the factory shod in blocky dual sport Metzeler Tourance tyres: 100/90-19 size up front, same as the previous generation while getting a shorter and wider 150/70R17 rear tyre. This means a much larger range of tyre options for riders to choose from, compared to the old Scrambler. And there are more than 150 accessories to fuel your secret-life-of-Steve-McQueen fantasy.

While our time with the new Street Scrambler was severely limited to a couple of small loops on tarmac, we were impressed by how light and nimble the bike felt. The Street Scrambler makes enough power for us it is and delightful to ride. This isn’t a particularly fast bike, but there’s an intoxicating dose of fun on tap whenever you want it. The ride-by-wire throttle and light-effort torque-assist clutch make launches predictable and easy to control while the smooth 5-speed gearbox keeps the motor humming within the sweet part of the rev range.

Now we want more time on this bike to take it into Helmet Stories’ ‘scrambler’ territory and see how it fares. Are you listening Triumph India?

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