Those looking for true scrambler action know that it’s a rare thing indeed. Many brands claim their bikes are capable but, they tend to fall short of delivering the power and handling capability that you want. We won’t even bring long-distance travel into the equation. Based on what Triumph has been saying, this is about to change. The company is positioning their 2019 Scrambler 1200 XC as the real deal. Some might say that this is just marketing hype. But, maybe not this time.
The XC is perfect for the adventure world and has the capabilities to handle it. It can cover long distances with no problem and its suspension is more than able to handle any bumps along the way. Furthermore, it comes standard with ABS, cruise control, several riding modes, and traction control. Added to this impressive list of features is its gorgeous looks. This is no techno-geek chic machine. But, you don’t have to take our word for it. You don’t have to believe us when we say that this bike lives up to the hype. Just consider the highlighted points in the analysis below:
What Triumph is saying
From the moment we heard about the Scrambler 1200 XC, our expectations were high. It was marketed as a high tech adventure bike with great suspension and the ability to travel long distances well. All the aforementioned features considered, it still seemed too good to be true. But, sometimes dreams do come true. Sometimes we get the things we want.
Power to the Machine
This machine has the same Bonneville High power 1200cc parallel-twin powerplant that was created for the Thruxton. It plays a Scrambler-specific tune that delivers 88 horsepower and a little over 80 pound-feet of torque. Added to this is a 270-degree crank that makes power delivery quite linear. Maximum torque is about 4000 RPM but even when you power down to 3000, there’s still 75 pound-feet at your disposal.
No bones about it
The bones of the chassis come courtesy of a new Scrambler-specific frame. It’s a tubular steel main upper frame with an aluminum cradle. The XC’s chassis is fitted with a 45 mm Showa inverted fork that offers 200mm of travel with Ohlins long-travel shocks. This design’s purpose is to provide riders with unrivaled ergonomic comfort, off-road capability, and handling.
Braking is excellently handled by Brembro M50 monoblock radial-mounted calipers that are attached to dual 320mm front discs in the front of the motorcycle. In the back, there is a twin piston floating caliper and 255mm discs. Brembo is also responsible for manufacturing this bike’s radial master cylinders.
Suspension action for the XC is phenomenal for a scrambler, especially when off-roading. The initial compliance is a little bit soft but the tradeoff is that this gives the wheels the ability to navigate rocky or choppy terrain easily. Plus, you’ll find the compression is stiff enough to handle any substantial impacts.
Smooth as silk handing
The XC has 5 Rider modes that control engine response and traction control. This is one of the reasons it feels like a dirt bike when off-roading. No other scrambler can stay the same. Because of its classicly styled and svelte tank, large footpegs, flat seat and wide handlebar, riding in the dirt is as natural as driving on concrete. Steering isn’t super light but it doesn’t feel too stiff to either. This balance is a good reminder that there’s a powerful machine in between your legs.
Comfort is key
The ergonomics on this bike are great for a Scrambler. Its upright seating position makes it easy to reach the handlebars. Legroom is okay but it could’ve been better. Still, it’s not that big a deal. Our only real complaint is that its high pipes stick out a little too far. You have to watch your step when standing up. It’s not a huge problem but, Triumph should’ve known better.
The bottom line
The XC is a true Scrambler and its features (like ABS, traction control, several riding modes, etc.) make it the perfect all-purpose bike. It provides an excellent ride on the street but has the ability to get down and dirty when need be. This dual capability is why this bike is indeed the real deal.