When you’re not scrambling to make ends meet or get ahead, it seems like you’re constantly rallying the troops, possibly ’round the flag but usually just trying to instill pep. It’s always something, and both of those things are so ingrained in my psyche that I barely even miss roosting on the track or burning up the backroads. We were less impressed with the all-new Triumph Speed Twin than we expected to be a couple weeks ago, but when SoCal Motorcycles let us swap it out for a new Scrambler 1200 XC, it was love at first ride. Maybe in the ’60s, scramblin’ meant riding around in the desert with McQueen and those guys, but with the current state of infrastructure, now you can interface gnarly terrain without leaving the city. Scrambling is now something you can do every day.
There’s a lot to like about Triumph’s Explorer, including excellent comfort, rugged styling and an amiable three-cylinder engine. However, our recent nine-bike comparison test of adventure bikes revealed the Explorer falls short of competing on level terms with the latest and greatest in this rapidly evolving category.