|11-19-2006, 01:47 PM||#1|
Joined: Jan 2004
Location: Dallas, Texas
Triumph Scrambler Test Ride - My Thoughts
I test rode a Triumph Scrambler yesterday and thought I would jot down my impressions of the bike. First, I recently bought a Sportster 1200R (Roadster), so many of my impressions are in comparison to my Sportster. Both of them are standards, and may be cross-shopped. I also have an 1150GS, which provides another point of reference.
The upright seating position with the mid-mount pegs is very comfortable and natural, especially to someone like me that grew up riding standards years ago when we didn't have all these different classifications of bike. The height and pullback on the bars on the Scrambler were perfect for me. The seat height is a little higher than my Sportster, but that gives a little more seat-to-peg distance, which is good. Anyone other than the most vertically challenged should be able to handle this bike with ease.
I was not expecting the smaller vertical twin to have nearly as much power as the 1200 v-twin in my Sportster. While it is not as powerful, I was pleasantly surprised at the low-end on the Scrambler. Plenty of torque, and did not feel underpowered at all. At speed (70mph or so), it seems to be wound up a little tighter than my Sportster, but has plenty of grunt left. I didn't get it above 70mph, so I don't know where it runs out of steam at the top end. For any type of sane riding, the Scrambler should have plenty of power for most people.
The tranny was another pleasant surprise. Very positive shifts without feeling clunky. MUCH better than the Sportster tranny, which works fine but is clunky.
The Scrambler handles well and is a very, very easy bike to ride. It seems to be extremely well balanced. Slow speed parking lot maneuvers are a snap. On the highway, it does not seem quite as planted as my Sportster and got blown around more than the Sportster does.
The suspension wasn't great, and seemed to transmit sharp jolts over rough surfaces, but it was better than my Sportster (which has very poor stock suspension). I didn't do any hard braking, but I didn't notice any significant fork dive. The bike didn't wallow in corners. Overall, I'd say the suspension was better than the Sportster, but I think both bikes could benefit from a suspension upgrade.
The Scrambler is a bike that I could be very happy with, especially as a second bike. (You could tour on the Scrambler, and I know there are people who do, but there are much better touring bikes out there. My 1150GS, for example.) If I had not recently bought the Sportster, I'd have a hard time deciding which one to buy. In the Scrambler's favor is lighter weight, better transmission, huge fun factor and the "cool" factor of the Scrambler. Plus, the dirt road / fire trail ability of the Scrambler is a plus.
On the other hand, the Sportster has more power, is more planted on the highway at speed, and has its own appeal (unless you have some kind of Harley hang-up, as many here seem to have). Plus the Sportster has the low-maintenance belt drive, cast wheels with tubeless tires, hydraulic valves, and a much larger dealer network.
"Women come and go, motorcycles are forever." dlearl476
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