Review: Triumph Scrambler 1200 XE

When Triumph announced the new Bonneville T120 and the new Thruxton at the end of 2015, that was just the beginning of the story of their all-new 1200 cc twin engine. In 2017 they introduced the Bobber, in 2018 the Speedmaster, and in 2019 they even released two new models with the parallel two-cylinder: the Scrambler 1200 and the Speed Twin. You can’t ignore that Triumph aims at a lot of different types of riders.

I was most curious about the Scrambler 1200. I had already met its smaller brother, the Street Scrambler, during an off-road training. A good-looking bike, but it had a hard time to convince me on unpaved tracks, which the “Street” in its name predicted. The Scrambler 1200 doesn’t have any “Street” in its name. Sounds promising.

So let’s hop on that seat of the Scrambler 1200 XE. With a height of 870 mm it’s even heigher than the Tiger 800 XCa. Not exactly the most exciting news for the short-legged.

Swag & high tech

Once you sit on the seat, the dashboard and the controls on the handlebars will make you realize very quickly that this isn’t a back-to-basics scrambler. The 1200 has a modern TFT display and lots of buttons.

Not only is this scrambler packed with technology, it doesn’t lack swag either. The classic look and the finish of the entire bike, including the engine, are topnotch: very detailed and stylish. At the same time, the Scrambler 1200 XE has a Continue reading

Review: Ducati Scramber 1100 Special

Intermot 2014. Ducati unveils its 800 cc Scrambler in four variations. Soon followed by three extra variations and a 400 cc version. Their lifestyle-oriented approach apparently caught on, because at EICMA 2017 Ducati introduced the Scrambler 1100.

A move that gives the Italians a head start over the British, because Triumph’s bigger Scrambler will see daylight in 2019. So for now, the only direct competitor of the Scrambler 1100 is the BMW R nineT Scrambler.

The Scrambler 1100’s design doesn’t differ that much from the 800, which – with its compact, narrow built – seems to be a noobie bike, although it doesn’t ride like that at all. The 1100 appears more mature, because everything is just a bit bigger. It comes in three variations: “regular“, the stylish Special and the racy Sport. Together with the equipment level, the price rises: $12,995, $14,295 and $14,995. I got my hands on a Special.

Sexy and graceful

The Ducati Scrambler 1100 Special clearly targets those who prefer scramblers with a classic appearance. The spoke wheels, the aluminum fenders and the brown leather seat combined with the gray tank create a timeless look. The finishing is as expected from a Ducati bike: done with care and eye for detail. Even the brake cable curves gracefully.

The gorgeous headlight and the Born Free inscription on the fuel cap are eye-catchers we already saw on the 800 cc Scrambler. There’s also the typical Ducatian, beautifully bending exhaust piping, an elegant display and that sexy rear, thanks to the dual exhausts and the stylish mudguard. Don’t take the word mudguard to literal: it’s so short it won’t guard you from much mud.

Balancing act

In comparison with the design, the engine Continue reading