2008 Triumph Scrambler

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The Scrambler is Triumph’s idea on off-road machines. Given the fact that the manufacturer had long produced motorcycles and it couldn’t quite totally go apart from its iconic motorcycles, it decided to take advantage and bring life into the old.

 

Introduction

A true Triumph icon and one of the best representations of how this manufacturer is used to built bikes, the Triumph Scrambler is a combination of old, rough dual purpose style and modern technology. I could hear many riders saying “…they don’t make them like they used to” and I would have to disagree with them on this one, and many more. This bike not only runs excellent due to technological achievements, but manages to bring back the rebel attitude that sold them in the first place.

History

Triumph Scrambler

The Triumph Scrambler, the way I see it, stands as a wonderful incursion into the English manufacturer’s days of glory. It is a motorcycle inspired on the TR5 Trophy which back in the late ‘40s, early ’50s practically defined the “scrambler” idea and ruled every single competition that would take place off the pavement.

It is obviously how the bike contributed to the wonderful pages of history written by Triumph as it was built, it looked, and felt like it could go on and on forever. It actually did and so it managed to attract adventurous riders which completed the true awesome idea of having a Trophy. You would actually feel like Steve McQueen and this was a very important ambition for teenagers of the time.

In 2006, after Triumph’s complete and successful revamp, the Scrambler entered the scene as a motorcycle featuring an air-cooled, DOHC, parallel-twin engine with 270 degree firing interval. It brought back the exhaust arrangement that was a big hit back in the ‘60s and it was available Two-tone White/Caspian Blue or White/Tornado Red painted. Since then, little has changed related to the Triumph Scrambler.

Competition

By simply taking a look at it or even studying its 865cc parallel twin you’ll immediately notice that this bike looks from a whole different era. Triumph designed it as a revival of the very successful Trophy and I reckon it did a damn good job. The thing is that you can’t find a single bike that would complete even half of the Scrambler’s wonderful characteristics, not to mention a strong competitor.

You will immediately head towards Harleys, but soon remember that none of these bikes are made to get the dust flowing. Italians are a bit stylish and prefer futuristic designs, leaving the classic looks for their cruisers. Finally, the Japanese which indeed proved able to take Triumph a good piece of the cake back in the early days, aren’t nostalgic at all.

Exterior

Triumph Scrambler

Its looks set it apart from the crowd and also sell the bike, so I am facing a very important task my friends. I mean, who would ever criticize an old school Triumph, no matter model or even year of fabrication? Nobody!

The bike is simply beautiful! With the help of its rounded headlight, instruments, and mirrors it announces that you’re not facing an everyday ride (although it is perfect for the task) and further, the retro fuel tank with the chromed tank badges, rubber knee pads, and hand painted coach lines is a true reminder of how bikes looked when Triumph caught the first big wave.

I consider the chromed exhaust a true work of art, both in the way it is designed to stay as close to the frame as possible, and the way it is attached to it. This is Triumph’s most visible way in which it announces that we’re dealing with a bike able to become an off-roader. The tires would be the second most visible clue.

I love the flat seat and the fact that the rear fender is practically hidden underneath it, barely managing to catch a breath of air and bright the décor with the taillight and rear signal lights.

Designers at Triumph didn’t work their butts for nothing. They ended up with an extremely good looking piece of machinery and they only choose two-tone colors such as Tornado Red and Fusion White, Roulette Green and Aluminum Silver, Tangerine and Aluminum Silver.


Test Drive

Triumph Scrambler

Revving the Scrambler is like going back in the past and being introduced to the bike at a Triumph dealer. That is what most people believe, and I kind of felt the same, excepting the fact that I actually knew this one is a 2008 model year.

Being retro, this Triumph is equipped with a relatively simple 865cc air-cooled, DOHC, parallel twin which fires its cylinders at an interval of 270 degrees. Carburetors are the key as, with the help of throttle position sensor and electric heaters, they manage to feed the engine efficiently and let the rider get a feel of a carbureted motor. What, did you expect to get fuel injection?

The bike is easy and fun to ride in the city and it is a true attraction point for everybody from kids to old people who are more than happy to tell you how they ridden their Bonneville or Trophy motorcycles when these models were in vogue many decades ago.

It is suitable for almost any kind of environment thanks to its versatile engine which pulls strongly from down low, especially in the first two gears. Afterwards, the mid-range pull is still strong, but more linear making the Scrambler a real blast through shortcuts in second or third gear.

The five-speed gearbox is carefully designed so that the bike would also be able to role down the freeway with decency in top gear. Riders won’t even know when they hit 80mph, but they will surely be delighted. I certainly was and I have to confess I got the best out of the 56 horses delivered at 7000rpm.

Triumph made sure that their Scrambler would be exactly how a motorcycle should: easy to ride, strong pulling, and comfortable even though not made for the long run. Shifting is the easiest thing due to the smooth gearbox, and the clutch that makes it possible isn’t a nightmare either.

It has no problem detaching from four wheelers even though riders require a bit of training until proving perfectly able to give it the best in first and second gear. The exhaust note is best noticeable while doing just that and this one sound like a combination between an old thumper and a massive V-twin. Nice, no matter what!

I took it off the road also and the rubber seems ok. I would have said that about the suspensions as well if these units wouldn’t have proven slightly unable to deal with the rough terrain. This one was made more for a nice, flat surface leading deep into the forests, but you don’t find many trails matching this description, don’t you?

Even so, the brakes are efficient no matter the road on which you’re rolling. At front a 310mm disc on which two piston calipers are applied do their job of stopping the 451lbs, but only in collaboration with the single 255mm disc, also with two piston calipers.

Price

When it comes to suggested retail prices, the Triumph Scrambler likes leaving the numbers to speak for itself. No matter the color scheme elected, it will come with an MSRP of $7,999, exactly where many riders would position it when finding out that it is brand new, even more, a 2008 model. Thinking that they are facing a reconditioned motorcycle, the numbers go way, way up.

Conclusion

No matter where you take it or let it (in the city at front of a coffee shop, on the freeway next to the diner, or off the road), the Triumph Scrambler guarantees to look good. It isn’t the kind of bike that would carry you for long distances, but it definitely does the job when it comes to the things for which it was created. ‘60s here we come!


SPECIFICATIONS

 

Engine and Transmission

Displacement: 865cc
Type: Air-cooled, DOHC, parallel twin, 270 degree firing interval
Bore x Stroke: 90 x 68mm
Compression Ratio: 9.2:1
Fuel System: Twin carburetors with throttle position sensor and electronic carburetor heaters.
Gearbox: 5-speed
Clutch: Wet, multi-plate
Final Drive: X ring chain

Chassis and Dimensions

Frame: Tubular steel cradle
Swingarm: Twin-sided, tubular steel
Front Wheel: 36-spoke, 19 x 2.5in
Rear Wheel: 40-spoke, 17 x 3.5in
Front Tyre: Front 100/90 19
Rear Tyre: 130/80 17
Front Suspension: Front 41mm forks
Rear Suspension: Chromed spring twin shocks with adjustable preload
Front Brakes: Single 310mm disc, 2 piston caliper
Rear Brakes: Single 255mm disc, 2 piston caliper
Length: 87.1in
Width (Handlebars): 34.1in
Height: 47.3in
Seat Height: 32.5in
Wheelbase: 59.1in
Rake/Trail: 27.8 degree/105mm
Weight (Dry): 451lbs
Fuel Tank Capacity: 4.4 gal

Performance

Maximum Power: 56bhp at 7000rpm
Maximum Torque: 51ft.lbf at 4,500rpm

Other

Colors: Tornado Red/Fusion White, Roulette Green/Aluminum Silver, Tangerine/Aluminum Silver

Features

 

Engine:

Triumph Scrambler

The Scrambler’s air-cooled, parallel twin cylinder engine offers a cubic capacity of 865cc for excellent midrange torque. Both pistons rise and fall together via a 360° crankshaft firing interval so the classic character of a British twin-cylinder engine is retained, whilst twin balancer shafts provide civility and refinement. 90% of peak torque is maintained from around 2500rpm through to redline providing smooth, effortless acceleration throughout the five gears.

Fueling:

Triumph Scrambler

Twin carburetors with throttle position sensor and electric carburetor heaters

Chassis:

With a strong tubular steel cradle frame and supple front and rear suspension (41mm telescopic forks and twin chromed spring preload-adjustable rear shocks) the Scrambler is built tough, to iron out the bumps. Its high, wide handlebars and high-set footpegs further aid control and low-speed maneuverability. Steering geometry is set at 27.8° of rake, with 105mm of trail and a wheelbase of 1500mm. Twin piston calipers are used for both brakes, the front working a single 310mm disc, the rear a 255mm disc, for ample stopping power.

Wheels:

The spoked wheels are sized 19 x 2.5in (front) and 17 x 3.5in (rear), both wearing lightly-knobbled tires in sizes 100/90-19 and 130/80-17.

Exhaust System:

Triumph Scrambler

The high-level chromed stainless exhaust pipes, retro styled silencers and evocative heat shields are all key to the Scrambler’s unique look.

Fuel Tank:

Triumph Scrambler

The Scrambler features a dual colored tank, with hand painted coach lines, rubber knee pads and retro styled, chromed tank badges.


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