Hot summer days show the Scrambler in new light – can Matt take the heat?
The Scrambler XC and I have got to the stage in our relationship when we know what each other is going to do next. 3200 miles in three months will do that. My foot goes straight to the sidestand, I no longer have to look for the indictor switch (even though there are a myriad of other buttons and toggles around it), I can judge the fuel range depending on how we’ve been riding and handling is precise and exact. Oh, and if it’s a hot day, my right thigh will cook.
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I love the Scrambler exhausts, they look good and sound great – especially for a standard system. But, the pipes get too hot. Far too hot. The heat coming through the heat shield hurts on a hot day. Emissions regulations mean catalytic converters are hiding in the system and they need to run hot to be efficient, and the designers have done a remarkable job of packaging the exhaust and cats; but it gets too hot, especially in traffic.
Don’t stall it!
Another fly in the ointment is the lighter-inertia crankshaft. The Triumph design team were concerned riders would possibly stall with less inertia, so they engineered a system where a clutch lever position switch tells the ECU to increase the revs as you let the clutch out slightly to prevent this. In traffic, it means you can just ease out the clutch slightly and the bike will happily just move ahead. But when I try to pull away at a junction, the bike’s power doesn’t seem to be in sync with my throttle opening. If I increase revs, then let the clutch come out, it’s fine: but if, as I’ve realised I do mostly, let the clutch out a bit and then meet the biting point with the throttle, the ECU has a little moment and can’t work out what I’m doing, so reduces the throttle. It’s made U-turns especially tricky, where you are constantly adjusting both clutch, throttle and rear brake for balance.
Getting used to it
Suspension is getting better, with a little time to adjust and the right ‘C’ spanner, as mine came with no toolkit. With more rear preload dialled in, the position feels better for me, and any quibbles I had about the Metzeler tyres have gone – they’re just quite fussy about pressure – the front needs checking regularly, which for me is good, as I otherwise don’t check. I’ve also slightly raked the handlebars forward, which works for me. Now I have that perfect blend of tall, off-road stance, with a really confident front-end feel to be able to turn in on the brakes and pitch in accurately. And I’m looking forward to fitting the knobblies next!
My overall feeling with the Scrambler is positive and I love riding it, with that punchy engine and great looks. It gives the feeling of being out there like a classic does, but with the performance of a modern bike.
Triumph 1200 Scrambler: This month
- Rider: Matt Hull
- Cost new: £11,500
- Engine: 1200cc liquid-cooled parallel-twin
- Spec: 89bhp/110lb-ft
- Dry weight: 205kg
- Tank: 16 litres
- Seat: 840mm
- Miles this month: 590
- Miles on clock: 3220
- Average mpg: 43-48 depending on mood…
- Current tyres: Metzeler Tourance
- Modifications: Rear rack £225, Rugged pannier £210, Fitting kit £85, Fog lights £295, Touring screen £74, Power socket (on top yoke) £25 (Fitting extra)
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