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2012 Triumph Scrambler Review


by Pascal Bastien ,

Triumph is offering up a slice of its famed history with the new Scrambler, a captivating and versatile bike that's a flashy reminder of the English brand's renowned past. A much anticipated sequel to the changes made to the Bonneville, the Scrambler is a true replica of Europe's first on/off-road bikes.

2012 Triumph Scrambler

A superb successor
The Scrambler has gained a certain level of fame over the years, this type of dual-purpose bike seeing its heyday in the 60s both in the UK and the US. It has kept all of its charm, thanks to its motocross-style handlebars, all-terrain tires, maximum ground clearance and high-set exhaust pipes, a sure way to enthrall those of us with a nostalgic bent.

The Scrambler's latest incarnation looks pretty good, revisiting all the characteristic features of its genre: no-frills dash, knobby tires, classic fork with rubber gaiters, long suspension travel and an impressive twin exhaust, which, unfortunately, rubs up against the right thigh just like its predecessor. We have to remember that back in the day, mufflers weren't muffling much, while scorched legs and thighs were common.

2012 Triumph Scrambler right side view
The Scrambler has gained a certain level of fame over the years. (Photo: Sébastien D'Amour/Auto123.TV)

The latest engineering
Borrowed from the Speedmaster and the America, the engine, which has a firing interval of 270°, generates power at higher revs than its predecessor. However, its power delivery isn't as linear. Never a dull moment, this engine is lively and easy to get along with, no matter the terrain. Although it lacks the power of some of its modern-day competitors, the Scrambler is versatile, fun to ride and one of those bikes that will just make you smile.

2012 Triumph Scrambler engine
The engine, which has a firing interval of 270° rather than the 360° as found on the original Scrambler, generates power at higher revs than its predecessor. (Photo: Sébastien D'Amour/Auto123.TV)

Made for riding around town
Although the bike's ample ground clearance makes it feel a little heavier than the Bonneville at low speeds, average-to-tall drivers will be at ease in the moderately high seat. This raised seating position doesn't put any strain on your body, as long as you ride under 120 km/h. Beyond that, the wind will quickly make you slow it down a notch.

The supple suspension makes the ride even more comfortable, as does the long, cushy seat, a crucial feature on a dual-purpose bike. Cut out for the city, the Scrambler's unparalleled agility means it can easily go wherever you want it to. The brakes get the job done, delivering the necessary bite you want when riding on country roads.

The original set of all-purpose tires are great for road, dirt, mud and sand, as photos taken on as on the world's most famous beach in Daytona, Florida, can attest. What an enticing retro bike - simply gorgeous! The Scrambler will keep you at the legal limit, rolling along like the good old days. No need to scare yourself or to complicate matters - enjoy cruising in its purest form on a bike that's truly timeless.

Pleasant and charismatic
Easy engineering
Original style

Less powerful than the average for its class

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