2017 Triumph Street Scrambler

Editor Score: 84.0%
Engine 16.5/20
Suspension/Handling 13.0/15
Transmission/Clutch 8.5/10
Brakes 8.0/10
Instruments/Controls4.5/5
Ergonomics/Comfort 9.0/10
Appearance/Quality 9.0/10
Desirability 8.0/10
Value 7.5/10
Overall Score84/100

How many new Triumph Bonnevilles are we up to now anyway? The Street Twin came first, just about a year ago. We liked the sweet little runabout instantly, and it proceeded to come out on top of every comparison test we threw at it, usually by quite a lot. Wait, Maybe it was only this one:

Retro Roadsters Gaiternationals

The Street Twin uses the 900cc “High Torque” Twin (instead of the 1200 Twins that go in the T120, Bobber and Thruxton), and that’s the engine Triumph decided to use in the all-new Scrambler. It’s a great little motor (that’s actually 900cc) that cranked out just about 53 rear-wheel horsepower in the Street Twin, which isn’t all that much but feels like way more thanks to the 58 pound-feet of torque it also produces at less than 3000 rpm.

2017 Triumph Street Scrambler Video Preview

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That grunt means it’s well-suited for off-road use even if other parts of the bike really aren’t. Triumph tells us it’s in the exact same tune as the Street Twin, which is fine by us. A single throttle body feeds both 450cc cylinders which keeps mixture velocity high; fueling is impeccable, exhaust gases are lower than Euro4 regs, and in normal use 60-plus mpg is, well, normal. (Not magazine testing use, where we stop and start constantly, ride like maniacs and make 80 photo passes.)

They stuck the catalytic converter between that front black cover and the cylinder head. It was no problem on my chilly ride around Seville. Engineer David Lopez says it’s not one on hot days either, but this is not the bike for shorts and flip-flops.

They stuck the catalytic converter between that front black cover and the cylinder head. It was no problem on my chilly ride around Seville. Engineer David Lopez says it’s not one on hot days either, but this is not the bike for shorts and flip-flops.

Triumph stresses it wants these bikes to be accessible to everyone, the opposite of intimidating – and it succeeded again with the Scrambler. Even 5-foot-8 people like me can touch the ground with both feet thanks to the 31.2-inch seat height, which is 33mm lower than before and a spec which actually reinforces the Steve McQueen ’60s look. I’m convinced McQueen would’ve quit riding if he’d lived into the era where dirtbikes constantly remind you how short you are. In fact, the new Scrambler reinforces the whole idea from that era that you can ride any bike off road if you have enough talent, whether the bike likes it or not.

I only got to ride this one “off-road” (fire road, anyway) for maybe 20 minutes, and it’s definitely capable, but with 120mm of suspension travel at both ends and not a lot of ground clearance (you can’t have a lot and a low seat), you wouldn’t want to stray too far off the beaten path. I wouldn’t, anyway.

Comes with actual bash plate ready to be bashed. It’s plastic, but it’s better than nothing. The budget slide-type front brake is the highest-effort control on the bike, but it does have good power given a stout two-finger squeeze.

Comes with actual bash plate ready to be bashed. It’s plastic, but it’s better than nothing. The budget slide-type front brake is the highest-effort control on the bike, but it does have good power given a stout two-finger squeeze.

To get the right Scrambler geometry using the same frame as the Street Twin, Triumph bolted on longer shocks at the rear, then used 21mm-longer fork tubes up front. With the 19-inch wire-spoked wheel up front, you’re looking at a shallower rake angle and a longer trail figure to aid stability: 4.3 inches (109mm). To further aid stability, those longer shocks get stiffer springs and slightly increased damping in both extension and compression. But there’s still only 120mm travel at either end, 4.72 inches.

The new Scrambler does feel like a big improvement over the previous one. Triumph specs a dry weight of 454 pounds. When we put gas in our Street Twin last year and put it on the official MO scales, it weighed 39 pounds more than Triumph’s claim. Using the same correction factor on the Scrambler should yield a 3.2-gallon gassed-up weight of about 493 lbs – which is still portly but 25 pounds less than the outgoing model.

The giant Rio Tinto Mine outside Seville served as our own little Erzberg. Phoenicians first began mining copper and tin here to make bronze. The river that flows through it has a pH of like 2.5, but contains recently discovered bacteria that makes scientists think there could be life on Mars. Triumph Engineer David Lopez knows a lot of stuff...

The giant Rio Tinto Mine outside Seville served as our own little Erzberg. Phoenicians first began mining copper and tin here to make bronze. The river that flows through it has a pH of like 2.5, but contains recently discovered bacteria that makes scientists think there could be life on Mars. Triumph Engineer David Lopez knows a lot of stuff…

Along with that lightness (relatively speaking), the new Scrambler just seems to have more structural integrity than the old one; hitting potholes and rocky sections doesn’t have the bike squirming or loudly complaining like the old one. If you’re close to my size, the wide handlebar is in a good place whether sitting or standing, the new bike’s a bit skinnier between your knees. That big chunk of low-rpm power is really useful in lower-speed off-road use, and again, perfect, instant fueling makes the bike easy to control: So do the light-pull slip-assist clutch and effortless five-speed gearbox.

011917-2017-triumph-street_scrambler_korosi_red_0002

For off-roaders of questionable skills such as myself, the addition of traction control is a good thing. Skilled ones can easily switch it off and perform lurid Mert Lawwill slides until their luck runs out. The ABS is also switch-offable.

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Back on pavement, the Metzeler Tourance dual-sport tires have enough grip to let you skim the Scrambler’s footpeg feelers now and then. It doesn’t steer as quick as the Street Twin, of course, but it’s still plenty quick diving into apexes and good fun roaring up to them with that blattiful pair of high pipes on the right side. Again, it feels like more than 54 horsepower. Like an old Ducati, this one prefers to be left in a higher gear where you can ride the torque wave out of corners instead of revving it out (which is a good thing since it only revs to 6500 rpm). It even quacks sort of like a Duc with the 270-degree crank.

Toggle with the little “I” button atop your left thumb to find the ABS and Traction Control functions; you can turn both of them off if you so desire. TC will turn itself back on when you restart, ABS will not.

Toggle with the little “I” button atop your left thumb to find the ABS and Traction Control functions; you can turn both of them off if you so desire. TC will turn itself back on when you restart, ABS will not.

It’s not really a street racer or a dirtbike, though, it’s a Scrambler, designed to be a stylish, easy-to-keep all-purpose daily runabout, and for that it could be a hoot. The wide handlebar and upright seating position make it easy to pick your way through inner-city traffic (and pick off the occasional mirror, oops…), and the seat you’re positioned upon is flat, broad, and very comfortable. If 120mm suspension travel is on the low end for off-road riding, for around town it’s ideal, and the 19-inch front tire’s nice for hopping the occasional curb as well.

Nice rack: This comes with the bike and bolts right up instead of the back seat when you’ve got stuff to carry. There’s a USB port under the seat too.

Nice rack: This comes with the bike and bolts right up instead of the back seat when you’ve got stuff to carry. There’s a USB port under the seat too.

And though it looks like the classic ’60s Triumph Scramblers – one of which Evel Knievel failed to jump Caesar’s Palace fountain upon – it’ll be a lot easier to live with. Triumph says the oil only needs changing every 10,000 miles. I don’t think I could do that to a brand new motorcycle. Then again, the new bike’s not really on the cutting edge of high performance like the old Scramblers from the ’60s, is it?

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This is a kinder, gentler Triumph for the post-toolbox era, which Triumph is even trying to engage by already having over 150 bolt-on accessories standing by, many of which they say don’t require much mechanical skill or even a garage. Smart…

The only complaint I can find is the bottom line: The Street Twin we heaped praise upon last year is an $8,700 bike. The new Scrambler starts at $10,700 for black, and from there “it’s a short walk” in PR-speak to matt green or red: Personally, I’m not sure I’m seeing where the extra $2000 went. But money is such a personal thing. If the Street Scrambler pushes your buttons, you won’t be disappointed.

Swell detailing includes a brushed aluminum foil Triumph decal, which is almost as cool as an aluminum tank.

Swell detailing includes a brushed aluminum foil Triumph decal, which is almost as cool as an aluminum tank.

2017 Triumph Street Scrambler
+ Highs

  • Feels way lighter and more structurally solid than the last one
  • Like the Street Twin, super easy to ride for all skill levels and comfy too
  • Great factory options including Fox shocks and heated grips…
– Sighs

  • Not the best bike when it’s 38 degrees
  • The price has crept up into real money territory
  • There’s tubes in them tires
2017 Triumph Street Scrambler
Engine Type Liquid cooled, 8 valve, SOHC, 270° crank angle parallel twin
Capacity 900cc
Bore/Stroke 84.6 x 80 mm
Compression Ratio 10.55:1
Maximum Power 55 Hp (40.5kW) @ 6000 rpm (claimed)
Maximum Torque 59 lb-ft (80Nm) @ 2850rpm (claimed)
Fuel system Multipoint sequential electronic fuel injection
Exhaust Brushed 2 into 2 exhaust system with twin brushed silencers
Final drive X ring chain
Clutch Torque assist. Wet, multi-plate clutch
Gearbox 5-speed
Frame Tubular steel twin cradle
Swingarm Twin-sided, tubular steel
Front Wheel Spoked Steel Rims. 19 x 2.5in
Rear Wheel Spoked Steel Rims. 17 x 4.25in
Front Tire 100/90-19 Metzeler Tourance
Rear Tire 150/70 R17 Metzeler Tourance
Front Suspension KYB 41mm forks. 120mm travel
Rear Suspension KYB twin shocks with adjustable preload. 120mm travel
Front Brake Single 310mm solid disc, 2-piston Nissin floating caliper, ABS
Rear Brake Single 255mm disc, Nissin 2-piston floating caliper, ABS
Instrument Display/Functions Odometer, Rev counter, Gear position indicator, Range to empty, Fuel level, Average and current fuel consumption, Clock, Two trip settings, Service indicator, Traction control and ABS settings
Length 85.7 in (2178 mm)
Width (Handlebars) 32.7 in (831 mm)
Height Without Mirrors 44.1 in (1120 mm)
Seat Height 31.2 in (792 mm)
Wheelbase 56.9 in (1446 mm)
Rake 25.6º
Trail 4.3 in (109 mm)
Dry Weight, claimed 454 lbs (206 Kg)
Fuel Tank Capacity 3.2 US Gallon
Fuel consumption 61.9 US mpg (based on the EPA exhaust emission test procedure)
Standard equipment Riding Modes, Switchable ABS, Switchable Traction Control, Torque Assist Clutch, LED rear light, Immobiliser

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Triumph Communities

  • Bmwclay

    Think I’ll stick with my 2000 GS, with Olins and 85 hp. Plus tubeless tires, plus hard bags, plus heated grips, plus shaft drive, plus Staintune, plus 6 gallon tank, plus screw adjusters, plus complete German tool kit nestled in foam under the rear rack (and co2 tire repair kit).
    You too can buy one for around 4K with low mileage, mint condition.
    Just saying……………

    • Andre Capitao Melo

      Meh, I prefer apples to oranges, frankly.

    • Gruf Rude

      …and rear drive failures at no extra charge.

  • SRMark

    $2k for bag burning pipes. Nope.

  • Dootin

    To much $ for this bike, but it is cool.

  • JMDonald

    I’d be a buyer at 9k.

    • Born to Ride

      I don’t know that I’d be a buyer, but at that price it wouldn’t be laughable to choose this over the Ducati.

  • Aurora

    Selling of retro-look bike with Mickey Mouse engine at such a price,just hurting IQ

  • Old MOron

    It’s a nice looking bike, but so is the Street Twin.
    I’ll take the latter. Thank you.

    • TheMarvelous1310

      I just pictured Samuel Adams raising his glass to you and saying, ‘Wise choice, sir!’

      • Old MOron

        If you’re going to raise a glass, Sam Adams is a fine brew to fill it with.

  • JuanFrancisco

    Retro Scrambler shootout? Triumph Scrambler, Ducati Desert Sled, Yamaha SCR, Guzzi Stornello and BMW R9T Scrambler. Did I miss any??

    • Martin Buck

      Yeah, a used BMW GS.

  • Patriot159

    I’ll keep saying it: The folks in the styling dept. at Triumph have a great “eye” and are producing lovely, ‘cool’ looking bikes.

  • mbk

    Good looking, but I was hoping for the 1200 engine. What I have been looking for is one bike I can use around town, on a cross-country tour, and some minor off-road work. The T120’s engine and chassis seem perfect, but with the Scrambler packaging. Not so, at least this year.

  • Auphliam

    I guess the extra coin is for the upgraded suspension bits, exhaust, bash plate and fancy pillion/luggage rack. Is the bump worth it over the Street Twin? I don’t know. But looking at the two side by side, the Scrambler does look like you’re getting more bike for your money. And like you said, if the styling pushes your buttons, that is probably all it takes, really.

  • Starmag

    Great to hear the new one trumps the old one.

    • john burns

      I thought we were avoiding politics?

      • Starmag

        Were we? ” they tend to be “low-information voters” (my favorite new phrase) –
        some of the same people who put Trump in the White House and voted
        Britain out of the European Union.”- JB. Mine was just a bit of lighthearted word play on inauguration day referring to the new Scrambler being better than the last and not condescending. Your “favorite new phase” is just a euphemism for stupid. Name calling is never a good way to make new friends or convince anyone of anything.

  • Craig Hoffman

    Give it 80 horsepower and make it for $1,500 less and I would be interested.

    There just seems to be a real and growing disconnect between the value proposition offered by goods for sale, and stagnant income levels. At some point people are simply going to say no to everything. It is all to easy for me to say no to this.

    • roma258

      Yeah, the price of this bike is kind of bananas. Price it a “short walk” from a Street Twin and it becomes a real proposition.

    • Born to Ride

      I see your requirements, and I’ll raise you 50-60 lbs lighter and give you a ride to the Ducati dealer.

  • ADB

    And the hits just keep on coming. This looks (and sounds according to JB) great. Triumph keeps upping the game.

  • ADB

    John, is the red color version gloss or flat?

    • john burns

      shiny!

  • gjw1992

    I like it. Especially in that no nonsense green. Looks a good runabout – a ‘real’ bike alternative to the bigger engined scooters. Which makes the high price the one awkward item.

    • Martin Buck

      You can have: (a) Stylish (b) Great to ride (c) Cheap. Pick two. You can’t have all three in this world.

  • TheMarvelous1310

    Tube tires? What is this, a Huffy 10-speed?

    • Born to Ride

      Actually almost all bikes with wire wheels come with tubes. Even the ones that spin radial tires like the RnineT

  • JWaller

    I like just about everything in this bike but the price. I picked up a first-gen 2006 model brand new for about $7000 in 2007. I still have it, and it’s still my favorite bike now, and my favorite bike I’ve ever owned. I have a 2001 Sprint ST and a 2014 Ural Patrol and have also had two KLR650s and an EX500. I put my first-gen Scrambler above all the others for me. I’ll ride that 2006 Scrambler until it just falls to pieces and becomes un-fixable. Maybe then I’ll consider one of the newer ones, but hopefully by then the price will have come down quite a bit. It’s been ten years since I bought mine, and I know that’s a lot of time, but a 50%+ price increase seems excessive.

  • MountainK1ng

    When I hear it fits someone 5’8″ perfectly, and sacrifices ground clearance to achieve it, it makes me feel like it’s not the bike for 6’1″ me. Which is a little disappointing because it’s a good looking bike, but not that disappointing at $10.7k… Luckily there’s good bikes for everyone these days.

  • Vrooom

    Is there a good shorts and flip flops bike? It’s good looking, probably fun to ride, but I’m not sure it’s $11K fun to ride. A 3.2 gallon tank would be hard to live with.