Not Just A Name, It’s An Actual Scrambler

Triumph Motorcycles bills its new Scrambler 1200 XC as an “all-road” machine that’s got what it takes to tackle everything you throw at it. Not quite as off-road-tastic as its sibling, the 1200 XE, it nevertheless delivers top-shelf performance by anyone’s standards. Adjustable, long-stroke suspension components join a “scrambler-tuned” engine and wire wheels for the brown-top work, and for the blacktop, there’s a whole slew of electronic safety goodies that give the “XC” its split-personality. Bonneville power and classic looks come together in the XC, so today I want to dive into the details of this Gemini ride.

Continue reading for my review of the Triumph Scrambler 1200 XC.

  • 2019 Triumph Scrambler 1200 XC
  • Year:
    2019
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    Parallel-Twin
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
    89 @ 7400
  • Torque @ RPM:
    81 @ 3950
  • Displacement:
    1200 cc
  • Price:

2019 Triumph Scrambler 1200 XC Design

There's no mistaking that classic standard poise, and the XC's profile has it in spades with its moderate steering angle, old-school teardrop tank and bench seat.

There’s no mistaking that classic standard poise, and the XC’s profile has it in spades with its moderate steering angle, old-school teardrop tank and bench seat. The head-on view is just as timeless with a simple single round headlight to part the night and standoff-style winkers to complete the forward lighting.

A cut-down front fender rides between beefy, inverted front forks. They’re 21st century stems, but the blackout finish on the fender supports tie in with the achromatic treatment on the upper forks, tripletree, turn-signal housings and headlight can to minimize the visual impact and give it a bit of custom attitude. Of course, the laced wheels reinforce both the classic angle as well as the off-road thread, and they ain’t just about the looks either; there is a reason off-road riders still prefer wire hubs over cast alloy rims, after all.

Atop the clean, five-inch headlight is a single, 2nd-gen TFT instrument screen that displays all the pertinent metrics and doubles as an interface for the higher electronic functions. There’s a USB port (of course) to charge/power your mobile device and you can safely add the functions of your smartphone to the mix via the phone app and Bluetooth wireless connection. Short risers and a short-rise bar define the front of the rider’s triangle, and the bar comes ready to receive the accessory heated handgrips that are, unfortunately, optional equipment on the XC though it comes stock on its sister bike.

The 4.2-gallon fuel tank dominates the flyline, and it carries the only splash of chromatic paint on the whole bike with a Khaki Green / Brooklands Green and yellow stripe, or a Jet Black / Matt Black finish with a red stripe. White fenders are a constant across the board, as is the generous blackout treatment that’s broken up by bits of polished/brushed metal throughout the design.

Frame mounted fold-up footpegs and a J.C. rail around the back of the seat provide the other four points of contact for your passenger, and the rail doubles as a hard point for a bungee net so you can count on some cargo capacity, even if it isn’t dried in.

Of course, the bench seat is typical for this kind of build, but it also leaves room for the pilot to scoot to-and-fro for technical off-road work. The rider’s triangle is also set up to allow for most body types to be able to comfortably operate the machine from the standing position, which is nice when traversing something that more closely resembles a washboard than a road.

A wide taillight rides on the rear fender proper with a mudguard extension that carries the turn signals and license plate, and like all other lights on the XC, modern LED projectors are the technology of choice. Even the exhaust arrangement displays classic Bonneville/scrambler DNA with a double-barrel shotgun layout that rides nice and high on the right side, some may say perilously close to the grabrail even though it is spaced outboard just a skosh so it’s probably alright enough. That aside, I love the way it looks, and aesthetics do matter; especially since the XC comes ready to network with a GoPro so you can record your adventures to share later.

2019 Triumph Scrambler 1200 XC Chassis

2019 Triumph Scrambler 1200 XC
- image 804087
The reliefs in the front of the fuel tank speak to a broad range-of-motion that'll make it handy for slow-speed maneuvers and turns in tough terrain, or maybe just the parking lot.

The classic panache is more than just skin deep, it runs through the very bones of the thing. A new, tubular-steel downtube frame strikes that scrambler-specific pose with an aluminum cradle section and two-side swingarm in an effort to keep weight down, and it seems like a job well done judging by the 452-pound dry weight.

Inverted, 45 mm Showa forks ride at 25.8-degrees with 4.76 inches of trail over a 60.2-inch wheelbase for a relatively stable ride, but the reliefs in the front of the fuel tank speak to a broad range-of-motion that’ll make it handy for slow-speed maneuvers and turns in tough terrain, or maybe just the parking lot. Coil-over Öhlins shocks support the rear and dampen motion of the swingarm, and like the forks, have the full spectrum of adjustments and a 7.9-inch stroke. No, that isn’t as off-road-tastic as the XE model, but it should be sufficient for jumping tracks and curbs around town.

Dual, Brembo M50 monobloc calipers bite 320 mm discs to slow the front wheel with a two-pot Brembo anchor and 255 mm disc out back with ABS coverage all around. It’s not the fancy lean-sensitive ABS that the XE carries, but that bit of delightfulness is reserved for that model; nothing for it.

Frame: Tubular steel with aluminum cradle
Swingarm: Twin-sided, aluminum
Front Suspension/Travel: Showa 45 mm fully adjustable upside down forks, 7.9 in (200 mm)
Rear Suspension/Wheel Travel: Fully adjustable Öhlins twin shocks with piggy back reservoir/ 7.9 in (200 mm)
Rake: 25.8 º
Trail: 4.76 in (121 mm)
Front Brakes: Twin 320 mm Brembo discs, Brembo M50 4-piston radial monobloc calipers, ABS
Rear Brakes: Single 255 mm disc, Brembo 2-piston floating caliper, ABS
Front Wheel: Tubeless 36-spoke 21 x 2.15 in, aluminum rims
Rear Wheel: Tubeless 32-spoke 17 x 4.25 in, aluminum rims
Front Tire: 90/90-21
Rear Tire: 150/50 R17

2019 Triumph Scrambler 1200 XC Drivetrain

2019 Triumph Scrambler 1200 XC
- image 804082
You already know it's going to be grunty and the factory doesn't disappoint us with plenty of torque and horsepower for its intended purpose.

Same thing with the engine-control electronics; the XC rocks a switchable traction control feature, but it’s of the standard variety, not the fancy lean-sensitive sort. Still, TC is TC, and it’s a nice thing to have, but you can turn it off, and program the user-configurable riding-mode profile to turn it off when you choose that mode. The other four modes — Road, Rain, Sport and Off-Road — run with the TC engaged and tailor power delivery to meet the prevalent conditions, or at least, your personal preferences. A torque-assist clutch acts as yet another safety net for the rear contact patch to round out the safety gear.

The engine displays that classic Trumpet DNA with its parallel-twin layout that is so reminiscent of the old Twingles, but unlike the antique engine it emulates, this Bonneville is liquid-cooled. Sure, the jugs still bear cooling fins and all, but those are supplemental at best and decorative at worst. A 97.6 mm bore and 80 mm stroke give the plant its 1,200 cc displacement and 11-to-1 compression ratio with a single over-head cam to time the 8-valve head.

A Ride-by-Wire throttle controls the throttle bodies, and the ignition itself is activated through proximity to the key, so you can literally just walk up, throw a leg over it and fire that mother up without ever pulling it out of your pocket. It’s a vertical-twin, so you already know it’s liable to be grunty. The factory doesn’t disappoint with a claimed 81.1 pound-feet of torque at 3,950 rpm that is backed up by 89-ponies at 7,400 rpm. Power flows through a six-speed transmission before it heads to the rear wheel down a chain final drive.

Engine: Liquid-cooled, 8 valve, SOHC, 270° crank angle parallel-twin
Displacement: 1200 cc
Bore x Stroke: 97.6 mm x 80 mm
Compression: 11.0:1
Max Power EC: 89 hp (66.2 kW) @ 7,400 rpm
Max Torque EC: 81.1 lb-ft (110 Nm) @ 3,950 rpm
System: Multipoint sequential electronic fuel injection
Exhaust: Brushed 2 into 2 exhaust system with brushed high level silencers
Final Drive: X ring chain
Clutch: Wet, multi-plate assist clutch
Gearbox: 6-speed

2019 Triumph Scrambler 1200 XC Pricing

2019 Triumph Scrambler 1200 XC
- image 804086
MSRP is TBA for now, but should fall in around $11k.

Triumph is keeping MSRP figures close to the vest as of this writing, but I feel pretty good calling the XC’s price somewhere in the $11k bracket.

Instrument Display and Functions: TFT multi­functional instrument pack with digital speedometer, trip computer, digital tachometer, gear position indicator, fuel gauge, service indicator, ambient temperature, clock and rider modes (Rain/Road/Sport/Off­road/Rider-Customizable)
Color: Khaki Green/Brooklands Green, Jet Black/Matt Black
Price: TBA

2019 Triumph Scrambler 1200 XC Competitors

2019 Triumph Scrambler 1200 XC
- image 804100
2018 Ducati Scrambler 1100
- image 756332
Ducati shows more refinement in the electronics suite, but Trumpet is ahead in the power and torque category.

Italian marque Ducati has made a very definite impact on the neo-scrambler landscape with its dedicated lineup of Scramblers that cover a range of displacements, and it’s the Scrambler 1100 that I turn to for a competitor for this Brit. The XC carries itself with oodles of that classic British architecture, but Ducati goes in a more modern direction with a new interpretation of the old-school scrambler look.

Like the Trumpet, the “1100” rocks a bobbed front fender between beefy inverted stems that lend the front end a performance-oriented look that says “serious business.” Ducati borrowed from history for design inspiration, but was by no means a slave to it. The result is a modern-looking ride that clearly favors a younger rider base, though this model falls at the top of the (current) displacement range and would likely draw the oldest of the potential Scramblerista.

An abbreviated Trellis frame uses the engine as a stressed member in an effort to reduce weight, and that impacts the overall look of the thing. Marzocchi usd forks support the front end on the full trifecta of adjustments, but the Kayaba monoshock out back only allows tweaks to the preload and rebound damping settings to fall a tad short of the bar set by the Trumpet’s stems. Ducati gets some back in the brake department with Bosch Cornering ABS as part of the standard equipment package.

As its name suggests, the “1100” leaves a few cubes on the table with only 1,079 cc tucked away in its L-twin powerplant, and that has a predictable effect on the power figures that clock in with a claimed 86-horsepower and 65 pound-feet of torque against 89/81.1 from the Trumpet. That’s a power difference that’ll definitely register on the old heinie-dyno, but Ducati shows more refinement yet again in the electronics suite with cornering traction control instead of plain TC on top of the Riding Modes and Power Mode feature.

I’m pretty confident in my $11k projection for the XC, and I know that last year’s “1100” rolled for $12,995, so I’m gonna’ say that the Ducati is going to be a bit pricier than the Triumph. We’ll know for sure within the month, I reckon.

He Said

“Triumph hits all the right high notes with this machine, though I can’t help but wonder if it’s taking wind out of its own sails. I mean, the XE tops the XC in electronics and hardware, so unless there’s a pretty big price break with the less-noble ride, I see no reason to pass on the full-throated off-road capabilities of the XE. It’ll be interesting to see how the sales figures shake out for this range.”

She Said

My wife and fellow motorcycle writer, Allyn Hinton, says, “I think the prices are going to shake out a bit higher than what my husband predicts, but we’ll see. The fit-and-finish on these new Scramblers is just awesome. Everything that looks metal is metal and it has a seamless tank with a really nice two-finish colorway with a gloss and matte finish in the chosen color. You can tell from the specs and by looking at it that this bike is meant to be a proper scrambler — not just a scrambler poser like some of them out there — and even though this is the ’street-oriented’ model, it’s quite capable in the dirt as well.”

2019 Triumph Scrambler 1200 XC Specifications

Engine & Drivetrain:
Engine: Liquid-cooled, 8 valve, SOHC, 270° crank angle parallel-twin
Displacement: 1200 cc
Bore x Stroke: 97.6 mm x 80 mm
Compression: 11.0:1
Max Power EC: 89 hp (66.2 kW) @ 7,400 rpm
Max Torque EC: 81.1 lb-ft (110 Nm) @ 3,950 rpm
System: Multipoint sequential electronic fuel injection
Exhaust: Brushed 2 into 2 exhaust system with brushed high level silencers
Final Drive: X ring chain
Clutch: Wet, multi-plate assist clutch
Gearbox: 6-speed
Chassis:
Frame: Tubular steel with aluminum cradle
Swingarm: Twin-sided, aluminum
Front Suspension/Travel: Showa 45 mm fully adjustable upside down forks, 7.9 in (200 mm)
Rear Suspension/Wheel Travel: Fully adjustable Öhlins twin shocks with piggy back reservoir/ 7.9 in (200 mm)
Rake: 25.8 º
Trail: 4.76 in (121 mm)
Front Brakes: Twin 320 mm Brembo discs, Brembo M50 4-piston radial monobloc calipers, ABS
Rear Brakes: Single 255 mm disc, Brembo 2-piston floating caliper, ABS
Front Wheel: Tubeless 36-spoke 21 x 2.15 in, aluminum rims
Rear Wheel: Tubeless 32-spoke 17 x 4.25 in, aluminum rims
Front Tire: 90/90-21
Rear Tire: 150/50 R17
Dimensions & Capacities:
Width Handlebars: 33.1 in (840 mm)
Height Without Mirror: 47.2 in (1,200 mm)
Seat Height: 33.1 in (840 mm)
Wheelbase: 60.2 in (1,530 mm)
Dry Weight: 452 lbs (205 kg)
Tank Capacity: 4.2 US gal (16 l)
Fuel Consumption: 58 mpg (4.9 l/100 km)
Details:
Instrument Display and Functions: TFT multi­functional instrument pack with digital speedometer, trip computer, digital tachometer, gear position indicator, fuel gauge, service indicator, ambient temperature, clock and rider modes (Rain/Road/Sport/Off­road/Rider-Customizable)
Color: Khaki Green/Brooklands Green, Jet Black/Matt Black
Price: TBA

Further Reading

Ducati Scrambler 1100

2018 Ducati Scrambler 1100
- image 756287

See our review of the Ducati Scrambler 1100.

Triumph Scrambler 1200 XE

2019 Triumph Scrambler 1200 XE
- image 803956

See our review of the Triumph Scrambler 1200 XE.

Triumph

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- image 791470

Read more Triumph news.

All images featured on this website are copyrighted to their respective rightful owners. No infringement is intended. Image Source: triumphmotorcycles.com, ducati.com

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