Having seen Tamara glued to her 2008 Triumph Scrambler for the past several years at many B.R.O. events, we were so curious to hear what she thought after getting to experience the all new Triumph Street Scrambler. The grin on her face said it all! Read on to hear more about Tamara's experience on the old vs. the new Scrambler model.
Words & Detail Photos: Tamara Raye Wilson
Riding Photos: Kingdom Creative
Suffice it to say that I’m a motorcycle polygamist, through and through. I love all my bikes for different reasons - for their varied strengths, styles and adventure potential. And while I try not to pick favorites, one has always risen above the rest - my 2008 Triumph Scrambler. My bond with this bike runs so deep that I cannot even fathom camping, road trips, or a daily commute without it. So when Triumph America afforded me the opportunity to take the brand new 2018 Street Scrambler for a spin, I jumped at the chance to see first hand what had changed in the ten years since my own Modern Classic rolled off the assembly line.
The ride, scheduled to take place in Carlsbad, was actually organized to introduce our group to the new Bonneville Speedmaster. I walked by a tidy line of UK license plates hugging the curb when I arrived at the sunny seashore, and admired more than a dozen pristine identical Speedmasters. This re-imagined cruiser has the distinguished style characteristics of its T120 cousin, with a look all of its own. The forward riding position, beach bars, and low rider seat height give it a signatory California-cool attitude. But as I strolled along slowly like a kid in a candy store, I stopped abruptly at a lone Street Scrambler tucked away at the end of the row. Feeling an irresistible gravitational pull towards the Scrambler, I screamed with zero hesitation (and zero tact), “HEY GUYS, CAN I RIDE THIS ONE?!” My enthusiasm must have been convincing...
Moments later I was proudly perched atop the Scrambler, and we were twisting up the tight turns of Palomar Mountain. I immediately noticed a correction in the one major flaw its predecessors are known for - an awkwardly high center of gravity. The 2018 model has been perfectly proportioned with a weight distribution that allows the rider to effortlessly it flick around on the tarmac. Triumph describes the riding position of this motorcycle as ‘commanding’, and I wholeheartedly agree.
At 454 pounds (dry), this bike sports a whopping 3 pounds more than my 2008, but handles like a much lighter and sportier model. Triumph has wisely outfitted the stock Street Scrambler with Metzeler Tourance tires, a service-proven selection that can reasonably handle both on and off-road conditions. This model is almost an inch and a half shorter than previous incarnations, although it may still keep inseam-challenged ladies on their tippy-toes with a relatively tall seat height of 31.1 inches.
The performance of this machine has also been meticulously addressed, quelling any worries I had of keeping up with the 1200cc Speedmasters on our ride. The Street Scrambler spools up in a jiffy, boasting a max torque of 59 ft-lbs at 2,850rpm. The overall maximum power of this model has largely been consistent from year to year with a BHP in the mid-to-high 50’s, but the added ‘oomph’ in torque is clear and apparent off the line. Needless to say, I had no problem catching up to the big twin cruisers on the long winding back roads of our route through Julian. When you’re racing towards a pit stop for Apple Mountain Berry Pie at the Julian Pie Company, speed counts!!!
From sea-level to high elevations, and back again, the Street Scrambler provided a thrilling ride that had me grinning from ear to ear. The neutral positioning and favorable ergonomics of the bike delivered control and maneuverability that translated in a very versatile way to many types of riding - be it bopping along down a dirt trail or putting down some serious miles on a long road trip. Truth be told, I even felt a bit guilty for cheating on my trusty 2008 air-cooled Scrambler with the newer, younger model. Don’t be jealous, ol’ girl, but there may be a new member of the family in the garage sooner than later!