Triumph is sending a major wakeup call to its colleagues down south in Bolonga, as the revamped 2019 Triumph Scrambler 1200 just broke cover in spy photos, and the bike looks to be a direct competitor to the Ducati Scrambler Desert Sled.
Abandoning its previously frumpy British roadster-with-knobbies design, the new Triumph Scrambler 1200 looks the part, and seems focused on actually going off-road, like a good scrambler should.
It is a big surprise from the British brand, and a bit of a new direction for Triumph, but clearly the Brits have been feeling the post-authentic pressure from Ducati, and are thus responding in kind.
More than just trying to riff on the scrambler aesthetic though, the Triumph Scrambler 1200 looks like it can do the business, with a 21″ front wheel, long travel suspension, and ample body armor in the form of a real skid plate and beefy handguards.
The front rake looks longer as well, which should improve off-road handling, especially in the loose stuff. The ground clearance also look serious, close to 12″ or maybe more.
Other components appear to be top-shelf, with tall upside down forks up front, and dual long-travel Öhlins rear shocks on the rear. The cast aluminum rear swingarm is all new and longer than the previous generation. It also looks substantially stronger too.
A pair of 320mm discs are up front, mated to Brembo M50 calipers, which tip off the use of the beefier water-cooled high-torque version of 1,200cc parallel-twin engine currently in the Triumph Bonneville range.
If that assumption is correct, then that means 96hp and 83 lbs•ft on torque are on tap…more than the Ducati, and more than enough to rip on streets and trails, alike.
All of this added up to a bike that looks truly ready to go off-road, like a scrambler should, which is a big step for Triumph with the Scrambler range.
This puts the Triumph Scrambler 1200 head-to-head with the Ducati Scrambler Desert sled, as both bikes come from premium brands, and both bikes aim to be alternatives to the ADV segment, which is showing signs of petering out.
It remains to be seen if Triumph will then further divide the lineup into different trim levels…and more letters. We’ll have to wait and see on that, but we hope not.
So far though, we are seriously impressed by the folks at Hinckley on this one. The new Bonneville lineup is well-regarded in terms of bikes with character that are fun to ride, but they have always been more “show” than “go” for our tastes.
The Scrambler 1200 though looks like it can actually do the business, which is refreshing in a segment that is littered with bikes that so clearly cannot.
We expect the new Triumph Scrambler 1200 to drop officially later this year, likely at either the INTERMOT show in Cologne or EICMA in Milan. Stay tuned.