Triumph Scrambler XE Ride

I really enjoyed the opportunity to spend a few days with this bike.

My history with Hinckley Triumph Scramblers goes right back to their original 2006 model.
Back then I was living in New Zealand and working for Kiwi Rider Magazine.

Adventure Riding is a big part of the NZ motorcycling scene and when Triumph released the Scrambler, everyone at the mag was all over it.

We took the NZ Distributor’s demo models on a number of hard-core Adventure Rides and found it to be a surprisingly capable machine.

Some of the rides, like the ‘Capital Coast’ around Wellington for example were very demanding and the bike handled some serious off road and ‘Challenge Sections’ with surprising aplomb.

We fitted one with TKC 80’s and did several more Adventure Rides around the North Island and everyone at the Magazine who rode it came to the same conclusion. Looking at the bike and its Spec sheet and inclusions - there is no way we should like this bike as much as we do, and there’s no way it should be as capable as it is.

Yet every time we presented it with a challenge, it answered admirably. And we all liked the look of the bike a lot.

Then I saw a review from a UK Newspaper claiming that the bike was great looking but shouldn’t be taken ‘off your driveway’ or anything seriously off road, so I penned an article vehemently refuting that claim. I published it online on too and that thread has had over 8 million views and 27,000 replies – with a majority agreeing that while the bike does have its limitations – it is a surprisingly capable machine.

Over the ensuing years I also did quite a lot of touring around NZ on various models and a heap more adventure rides. Some of them were epic.

In the ensuing years I moved back home to Australia and the continued to evolve. EFI, better suspension larger capacities and liquid cooling were all added over time.

Fast forward to 2019 and when John Newstead at Team Moto Triumph in Springwood, Brisbane offered me a loan of their latest Scrambler 1200XE I was all over it again - all over again.

I already proved that the older models were pretty good all-rounders. A weekend on the latest incarnation really blew me away.

The 2019 model is one of the best fun and most capable motorcycles I’ve ever tested.

It starts with the Liquid-cooled, 8 valve, SOHC, 270° crank angle parallel-twin. It’s compact, responsive and powerful and it’s running out around 90 horsepower with the great-sounding Arrow carbon exhaust system fitted on the demo unit.

The frame is Tubular steel with aluminium cradle and the Swingarm is a Twin-sided, aluminium unit. Its suspended by Showa 45mm fully adjustable upside-down forks, with 200mm travel up front and some a pair of superb Fully adjustable Ohlins twin shocks with piggy back reservoir and an enormous 200mm rear wheel travel at rear.
When dialled in correctly it is some of the best suspension I’ve used.

It’s also fitted with Twin 320mm Brembo discs Brembo M50, 4-piston radial monobloc callipers with ABS up front and Single 255mm disc, Brembo 2-piston floating calliper with ABS at the rear. Brakes that are completely in line with the top-notch specifications of this bike.

Add all these individual components great looks, pleasing motor, solid chassis, fantastic suspension, brilliant brakes and put them all together in a package that tips the scales at 205kg dry – and you have a package that is outrageously good fun and very rewarding to ride.

In standard form, fitted with the Standard Metzler Tourance tyres the bike is more road and dirt road oriented, but it will still take you off the beaten track with ease.
It really is quite a competent all-rounder – no matter what surface you are riding on.

With some serious off -road tyres fitted it would rank up with the most capable of ADV machines.