People often think that all the neo-retro scramblers into market are just styling exercises for hipsters and that they are useless off-road. Another great video by the Bike Shed here below answers the question with regards to the brilliant Triumph Street Scrambler. I have taken mine off-road as well. Although not a real dirt bike, it definitely has the go-anywhere capabilities that I look for in this kind of bike. Fire roads, dirt tracks, forest trails, farm tracks etc… this bike can definitely do it. I would draw the line at single track, or more trials type off-road as for that the bike is just too heavy.
Check out this video of a young man about to attempt the world record of the youngest person to circumnavigate the globe by motorcycle. The weapon of choice : a Ducati Scrambler Desert Sled ! I wish him all the very best and have donated to his charity (Movember, a great choice). He will be setting off from the Bike Shed soon and you can follow his adventure on 35000miles.com.
I thought a share a good video from another happy Triumph Street Scrambler owner and he is none other than Dutch Van Someren, the founder of the Bike Shed Motorcycle Club in London. He loves it and has done some good mods to the bike. I know because I have done some of the same, notably the shocks and that great exhaust ;-). Check it out:
It’s been a long time since I posted on this site. Life just runs along and time flies. I have however had a good year of riding with some nice European trips and some great events in the UK.
The topic of this post though is the new scrambler I have added to my garage since last February. I bought a Triumph Street Scrambler in jet black and I have to say I absolutely love it. I like the classic looks, the absolutely top notch finish, the ergonomics, the sound, the comfort, the electronics (switchable ABS and traction control). It’s a great bike for in town due to a peppy motor with plenty of low and mid range torque (no top end and low on horsepower though). It works great on faster roads as well as it’s very stable (also through bends). This is probably due to it’s rather substantial weight (around 220 kg wet) although frankly it feels way lighter than this figure suggests. It has the lightest clutch pull of any bike I have ever ridden. I like that it came with beautiful spoked wheels and a set of Metzeler Tourance tires that I have fallen in love with (they work beautifully in all conditions and even off road). I think you’re getting my gist here: I love it. As negatives, I would say that the front brake is not strong enough and this bike could do with a bit more power (55HP is nothing to write home about from a 900cc engine) even if what it has is beautifully delivered with all the torque you need where you need it.
I have ridden all the retro Scramblers on the market and I have to say this one is my favourite both to ride and to look at. Motogeo not withstanding, I think this is the best “freedom machine” ! I will do a comparison with my Ducati Scrambler in a later post.
On the bike I bought, I had added initially as extras the centre stand (superb quality) and beautifully integrated heated grips that work a treat. I added further mods later but more about that in a future post. Here’s a picture of my bike when I bought it :
I have been a long time fan of Jamie Robinson and his MotoGeo channel. His enthusiasm for Adventure motorcycling and his always positive friendly outlook make his channel a joy to watch and I am a very happy subscriber to his YouTube channel. A little less than two years ago, he started an Indiegogo campaign to fund a longer film entitled “The Freedom Machine” about a trip on a Ducati Scrambler through Baja California and the people he meets along the way. That film has finally come out and I have just had the pleasure to watch it. It’s not a big departure from the typical MotoGeo fare just a bit more polished and produced (and obviously longer) but it’s absolutely worth the 2.99$ he charges for it. It will also definitely silence anyone who says the Scrambler isn’t a real scrambler :). Here’s the trailer for the film :
The other release at Eicma this year on the Scrambler front is the Desert Sled. It’s a much more off-road focused version replacing the Urban Enduro (which I regret seeing go, it was the other one I considered when I purchased my Icon). It has much taller suspension, significantly more ground clearance, a beefed up chassis and looks that immediately bring the old Yamaha XT500 of the early eighties to mind. I saw it in the flesh at Motorcycle Live and it’s amazing how different it looks to the rest of the family. Jacking up the height makes it a whole lot less friendly looking, almost intimidating. This being said, it does seem a logical move on the part of Ducati and I’m sure riders like Jamie Robinson from Motogeo will put it to great use. In my opinion, it’s too heavy to be a real dirt bike and it will now be carrying it’s weight up high making it a lot less fun. Definitely not a model that I would consider but each to his own. Cool video below though 🙂
I went to Motorcycle Live (the biggest UK motorcycle show) today and got to to see the two new Scramblers in the flesh. What immediately struck me upon arrival is that Ducati are now definitely marketing Scrambler as an almost separate brand entirely. They had a huge stand all in yellow dedicated to the Scrambler models and apparel and it was very much separate from the Ducati stand all in red with all the other bikes. I don’t love this marketing approach but that’s the way they’re going. I also don’t like the general hipster vibe that they give to the “yellow” brand. That said both new bikes are very nice and first up we have the new road oriented Cafe Racer (see the video below). It’s not a bike I would buy as what attracted me in the first place to the Scrambler is it’s easy go anywhere (including light off road) attitude but it does look good.