Triumph has introduced two new retro off-roaders, the Scrambler 1200 XC and the Scrambler 1200 XE (pictured above).
These bikes follow in the pattern of the Ducati Scrambler Desert Sled by taking a retro-styled platform and adding more serious potential for the dirt. The XE in particular has an off-piste focus, while the XC is aimed more at the street side of dual-sporting.
Both machines use Triumph’s liquid-cooled 1200 cc vertical twin, with a 270-degree crank. Output is said to be 89 hp at 7,400 rpm and 81 ft-lb of torque at 3,950 rpm. Not arm-wrenching power, but certainly sufficient for the task. That’s a 12.5 per cent increase in power over a standard Bonneville T120 engine, and 38 per cent more than the T100-based Street Scrambler model.
Major servicing runs on 16,000-km intervals. Of course, the engine has a six-speed gearbox, and the clutch has an assist function.
As for suspension, the XC model has fully-adjustable 45 mm Showa USD forks, with 200 mm of wheel travel, while the XE model has fully-adjustable 47 mm Showa USD forks with 250 mm of wheel travel. Both bikes have dual fully-adjustable Ohlins rear shocks; the XC has 200 mm of wheel travel in rear, and the XE has 250 mm.
Both bikes have dual 320 mm front discs, with Brembo M50 monobloc calipers and switchable ABS, but only the XE is available with cornering ABS and traction control as well, thanks to an onboard Intertial Measurement Unit. Aside from that, and the long-travel suspension, the XE is also set apart with its Off-Road Pro riding mode (both bikes have Road, Rain, Sport, Off-Road, Rider-Config modes). The XE also has adjustable folding foot controls, Brembo MCS levers, a taller seat (870 mm), aluminum handguards, and heated grips as standard. Styling is also a bit different on the XE. It weighs 207 kg dry, while the XC weighs 205 kg dry.
However, the bikes are mostly the same, with a dedicated frame and aluminum swingarm—these aren’t built on the same chassis as the previous T120 models. Both machines run Pirelli Scorpion Rally rubber. They also have a 21-inch front wheel, unlike the competition. That means for slower street handling, but better dirt capability (both machines have a 17-inch rear wheel). The wheels have tubeless spoked rims.
Both bikes also have TFT gauges, USB charging plug, all-round LED lighting, backlit switches, keyless ignition, cruise control, turn-by-turn nav and Bluetooth phone integration. Of course, both bikes have a chain drive.
The new 1200 Scramblers both have 16-litre gas tanks, a tad small for adventurous usage or touring, but some concessions must be made to style in this category.
How confident is Triumph that the new XE model is tough enough for an offroad beating? So confident that they’ve apparently hired stunt rider Ernie Vigil to tackle the Baja 1000 rally aboard the machine. That should be interesting, and we’ll be sure to see some film out of that project.
For the rest of us non-stunt riders, you should likely be able to get your hands on the machine next riding season, with some samples likely at the bike shows. For now, though, we haven’t been told Canadian MSRP.
Check out all the pics that go with this story!