The Triumph Street Scrambler is the 'scrambler' version of the bestselling Triumph Street Twin. And so far, the Street Scrambler has had the same engine, suspension and chassis as the Street Twin. The only differences were the spoked wheels with dual-purpose rubber, and a larger, 19-inch front wheel, and the side-mounted 'scrambler-style' exhaust. For 2019 though, the Street Scrambler gets some more off-road capability, and although it still shares its 900 cc Bonneville High Torque engine with the Street Twin, the tuning is different, and there are some other changes in the 2019 Street Scrambler as well, to make it more off-road capable. And we spent some time riding the upcoming 2019 Triumph Street Scrambler in Portugal to see exactly how different it is.
Also Read: 2019 Triumph Street Twin First Ride Review
In the looks department, the 2019 Triumph Street Scrambler isn't radically different from the outgoing model, but there are subtle changes. Like the 2019 Street Twin, the new "Triumph" logo on the fuel tank is more contemporary, the clock and instruments are more premium and gets a trademark "Bonneville" metal strip on top of the single-pod instrument panel, which gets a digital screen displaying the rev counter, trip meters, fuel consumption figures, as well as clock and selected riding modes.The overall silhouette remains the same, but eagle-eyed observers will notice the changes in the details, and they are not just cosmetic but practical too.
The headlight brackets, triple clamp and front fender have also been redesigned. The decals and the Street Scrambler logo on the side panels is also new. And yes, the 2019 Street Scrambler now gets three riding modes - Rain, Road and Off-Road. Selecting Off-Road mode switches off both ABS and traction control, but can be only selected when the bike is stationary, but switching back to Road and Rain can be done on the fly, closing the throttle, pulling in the clutch and by the easy to use mode selector button on the left grip.
The handlebars are wider at 835 mm, and the new cartridge-type front forks are spaced out wider giving the Street Scrambler a purposeful stance, and are all-new, although the 120 mm of travel is the same as the outgoing model, and they still aren't adjustable. The front brake is still a single disc unit, but gets Brembo four-piston calipers for better bite. More importantly though, there are significant updates to the engine, giving it a 10 bhp power bump, and it also revs higher, up to a redline of 7,500 rpm.
And there are changes on the inside as well, with a new magnesium cam cover, new lightweight crankshaft, dead shafts and balance shafts, as well as a mass optimised clutch cover and a lighter clutch. The 900 cc Bonneville 'High Torque' engine's compression ratio has also been increased from 10.6:1 to 11:1, and there's increased lift on both the intake and exhaust valves. The result is an 18 per cent increase in power, and now makes 64 bhp at 7,500 rpm.
How does it ride?
Straight from idle, the burbly exhaust note from the side-mounted exhaust sounds nice, and the new Street Scrambler feels more eager to move through the gears, thanks to the higher-revving engine. And unlike the outgoing model, for 2019, the Street Scrambler gets a slightly different state of tune than the Street Twin it's based on. The peak torque comes in earlier than the Street Twin - 80 Nm at 3,200 rpm, and even though the difference isn't stark, it's noticeable. The 2019 Street Scrambler feels punchier and has more grunt over a wider rev range, and the torque kicking in lower will certainly aid those riders looking to get their bikes dirty, and muddy, when the road ends. The revised ergonomics give the 2019 Street Scrambler a more comfortable perch, and the wide handlebar and spaced out front forks, give you a commanding view of the road ahead, as well as the feeling of being in better control.
The gearbox is still a five-speed unit, and frankly, we didn't miss a sixth gear at all; the engine loves being given the beans and the Street Scrambler now feels throatier and stronger than before, thanks to the higher redline and the 18 per cent more power from the updated engine. Although shifts are precise, the gearbox could have been slightly more refined. The slightly taller and wider handlebars than the Street Twin also gives the Street Scrambler a more comfortable riding position, and you should be comfortable to cover a 350 km ride in a day without any complaint. Handling, for the most part, is superb, and it's easy to dip in and out of a set of corners effortlessly.
And when you hit the mountains, any gravel or dirt trail will look all the more tempting, thanks to its improved off-road capability and dual-sport Metzeler Tourance tyres with the large 19-inch front wheel. On tarmac even, the Street Scrambler feels more planted and the improved electronics made sure our first ride was in control, even over damp and wet roads. Even though our first ride didn't involve any off-road riding, we can't wait to get dirty with the new Street Scrambler, and test the new Off-Road mode which switches off ABS and traction control completely.
The 2019 Triumph Street Scrambler takes an already fun-to-ride machine a few notches higher with the updated equipment and changes to the engine. It's a fun to ride motorcycle, and even though power and torque figures on paper may not blow you away, it's all about the sum of the performance, ride and handling that make it such an entertaining bike to ride, rather than bragging about output figures. It's got more capability than you'd need, and is certain to bring a smile every time you twist that throttle, be it on your Sunday morning ride with friends, or exploring the occasional dirt track in the suburbs.
For India, the only thing which could be slightly disconcerting is the side-mounted exhaust, which feels hot even through riding gear at stop lights. So, this may not be ideal if you're thinking about commuting in the Indian summer. But if you're willing to ignore that, and need a simple, fun machine, the 2019 Triumph Street Scrambler is a hoot to ride, and will easily do the occasional long ride without a hiccup. The current Street Scrambler is priced at ₹ 8.6 lakh (ex-showroom) in India, and the new 2019 Street Scrambler should be priced below ₹ 9 lakh (ex-showroom) once it's launched, hopefully sometime by March or April, 2019.
(Photography: Kingdom Creative)