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Tuesday 1 June 2021


Euro 5 Triumph Scrambler 1200

I know that, in theory, there are plenty of reasons and explanations as to why Harley hasn't got into the Scrambler market - or its kissing-cousin Street Tracker market - but with the lights likely to be about to go dark on the venerable Sportster (according to all the reports we've been seeing for the past nine months or more), is Harley's failure to update rather than abandon its XL niche as clever as it thinks?
With the likes of Biltwell and others having shown just what could be done with Sportsters, it does beg a question when you see what can be achieved by a low-volume, low cost (Thailand) production run in the hands of someone like Triumph - to say nothing of the Ducati Scramblers and no end of Chinese manufacturers, including QJ's Benelli Scrambler-esque badged output.

The 'Steve McQueen' Scrambler special edition

Triumph's Scrambler 1200 XC and XE may not have delivered quite the "category-dominating specification and style, incredible torque delivery and signature soundtrack" that the company is claiming it has, but stimulated by the need to be Euro 5 compliant, the new 2022 update shows what can be done, delivering lower emissions "whilst retaining all the thrilling performance, high power and torque that they are renowned for."
Alongside the 2022 generation Scramblers comes "a new, beautiful and unique limited edition that celebrates the most famous movie star, stunt and motorcycle in history - the Scrambler 1200 Steve McQueen Edition."
The new engine update is matched to an updated exhaust system with improved heat distribution, a high power 1200 cc Bonneville twin engine with dedicated Scrambler tune (81 lb-ft at a low 4,500  rpm and 89 hp at 7,250 rpm), Öhlins long travel, fully adjustable RSUs and long travel Showa forks, up to six riding modes, including Off-Road Pro, optimized cornering ABS and optimized cornering traction control - "a dual-purpose Classic and Adventure cross-over."
Given the ability to compete that Harley's engineers have demonstrated with the Pan America, surely it is only a matter of time before Milwaukee becomes tri-lingual and learns to talk 'Alt Moto' as well as Big Twin and ADV?
With Triumph's MSRP for its Euro 5 compliant Scrambler 1200 XC quoted at USD $14,000, rising to $16,400 for the 'McQueen', it is not as if it’s a niche that couldn't have balance sheet juice in it, and it certainly wouldn't do the Bar 'n Shield brand any harm at all with the next generation of mid-life buyers. It is still a shame that nothing ever came of the contacts between Harley and ATK.