The massive influx of Japanese bikes in the early 1970s, with their electric starters and unprecedented quality levels, effectively killed the British motorcycle industry and its old-school way of designing and producing two-wheelers.
Well, the times have changed! Right now, Triumph is on a roll with purpose-built models that make the most of a rapidly evolving market. Just look at the superb new Trophy SE
, a decidedly modern grand tourer or the famous Daytona 675 R
Classics gone modern
The company's line of classics benefits from the latest technological advancements to appeal to nostalgic riders. The 2013 Triumph Scrambler
, whose name comes from old dirt bikes of the 1940s, offers a pleasant trip back in time without the frustrating mechanical issues of the past.
The small and sculpted rider's seat (similar to the ones on post-WWII motorcycles) is military-looking, and the bike’s matte green paint, square-knob tires, fork gaiters, and full-length, high-swept chrome side pipes make the 2013 Triumph Scrambler look like a museum piece. Of course, this impression quickly fades when you see the injection control wires entering the fake carburetors, not to mention the pair of disc brakes, and the overall fit and finish.
|The 2013 Triumph Scrambler, whose name comes from old dirt bikes of the 1940s, offers a pleasant trip back in time without the frustrating mechanical issues of the past. (Photo: France Ouellet)
The air-cooled, twin-cylinder engine (just like old times) produces 59 hp at 6,800 rpm and 50 lb-ft of torque at 4,750 rpm. While riding the 2013 Triumph Scrambler, it becomes evident that the company went to great lengths to deliver not only a fantastic vintage look, but also the easygoing character and typical sound of the British twin. Much like its ancestor, the new engine gives it all at medium revs, and seemingly works hard near the redline.
Accelerating with the 2013 Triumph Scrambler is a breeze thanks to a surprising amount of smooth torque that's accessible from just 2,000 rpm. The light clutch lever is easy to modulate and adjustable, while the buttery shifts are what you can expect from a modern, 5-speed transmission.
The competent brakes are always up to the task, and have enough bite for you to brake later when approaching a corner. It's almost as if the 2013 Triumph Scrambler has a sporty side. Furthermore, this bike reaches illegal speeds quite effortlessly and without flinching, while the sound chassis happily complies with your steering inputs.
|The air-cooled, twin-cylinder engine (just like old times) produces 59 hp at 6,800 rpm and 50 lb-ft of torque at 4,750 rpm. (Photo: France Ouellet)
The retro-styled 2013 Triumph Scrambler has everything you need to explore beautiful landscapes on both pavement and dirt, including a solo seat with cargo rack or a two-up seat, crankcase guard, wide handlebar, increased ground clearance, straightforward instrument panel, high-swept exhaust, and dual-purpose tires.
The agility and versatility of the 2013 Triumph Scrambler, as well as its playful and friendly engine, allow you to tackle softcore trails (it still weighs 230 kg). The very generous ground clearance makes it feel a bit heavier than the Bonneville
at low speeds, although the reasonable seat height (825 mm) improves confidence, regardless of your experience with trails. What's more, the soft suspension enhances comfort on any surface.
We sure were thankful for the bike's impressive abilities after venturing a bit too far into swampy areas near Daytona Beach during the latest Bike Week. The 2013 Triumph Scrambler got out of there like it was business as usual, and even managed to make it fun.
|The very generous ground clearance makes it feel a bit heavier than the Bonneville at low speeds, although the reasonable seat height (825 mm) improves confidence, regardless of your experience with trails. (Photo: France Ouellet)
Riding the 2013 Triumph Scrambler is like taking a time machine back to the 1960s, when life was simpler and so were motorcycles. Whether you want to hit downtown, small country roads or the occasional off-road trail, this bike can do it all at a fair price ($9,999).
Exhaust manifold is hot on the right leg at idle