Author: Paul Posted: 03 May 2016
Scramblers are some of the hottest property in the bike industry at the moment, with the success of Ducati’s version prompting other firms to, ahem, scramble to get their own rival machines onto the market.
Ok, enough terrible puns. In fact, Triumph can’t be accused of being one of the copycats since the British firm has being flogging a Bonneville-based Scrambler since long before hipster biking culture helped bring about a revival of the scene. No, the new Scrambler – seen here for the first time – is simply a scheduled model change timed to coincide with the latest European emissions rules and the appearance of their new classic line up.
With so many Bonnie-based machines in its range, Triumph has wisely chosen to spread their replacement over a couple of years. Last year saw the launches of the Bonneville T120, Street Twin, Thruxton and Thruxton R, but there are still plenty more Bonnie-based machines that need to be updated before Euro4 emissions rules and mandatory ABS come into force next January. The Speedmaster, America and, of course, the Scrambler all need to be replaced, while Triumph is also rumoured to be working on a basic Bonneville 900 that will sit below the 1200cc T120 in the range. A soft-tail, single-seat bobber has also been spied.
Of those, the Scrambler is arguably the most important now that such bikes are in fashion.
While the machine in these pictures is still very much a prototype, much of it is derived from the 900cc Street Twin so development should progress fast. The frame, engine and suspension are unchanged Street Twin parts, as are the fuel tank, headlight and tail.
The notable new parts are the exhaust and the wheels and tyres.
The exhaust follows the usual scrambler style, with twin tailpipes mounted high on the right hand side. While Triumph already offers a high-mounted Vance and Hines exhaust for the Street Twin, it’s for off-road use only and lacks the emissions kit needed to be road legal.
This prototype’s pipe has a clearly-visible catalytic converter, mounted next to the engine’s cylinders at the front of the pipe, and twin end cans to keep the noise within legal limits. It’s very much a prototype, looking rather hand-welded, but the shape is representative of the final production version that’s expected to be revealed later this year.
The wheels appear to be wires, taken from another model in the Bonneville range to replace the usual Street Twin’s alloy rims. They’re fitted with heavily treaded Metzeler tyres to suit the scrambler style. Final visual updates include a bash plate ahead of the engine and the use of a flat seat instead of the sculpted unit usually seen on the Street Twin. It appears to be borrowed from the T120, and will give a higher riding position. The bars are also slightly repositioned.
On the final version it’s likely that some of the Street Twin components will be replaced with bespoke Scrambler parts to emphasise the style even more. It’s likely to get its own distinct headlight and a new seat and rear mudguard before reaching production. When will that be? Well, the current Scrambler won’t meet the EU regulations that come into force on the 1st January next year, so there’s strong money that this version will be fast-tracked into production before then.