Alan Cathcart rides the grunty, brand-new 900cc 2017 Triumph Street Scrambler in Spain.
2017 Triumph Street Scrambler
Engine: 900cc liquid-cooled SOHC parallel twin, 84.6mm x 80mm bore and stroke, 10.55:1 compression ratio, 55hp @ 6,000rpm (claimed)
Top speed: 118mph (est.)
Fueling: Multipoint sequential electronic fuel injection
Transmission: 5-speed, chain final drive
Electrics: 12v, electronic ignition
Frame/wheelbase: Dual-downtube steel cradle frame/57in (1,446mm)
Suspension: 41mm KYB telescopic forks front, twin KYB shocks w/adjustable preload rear
Brakes: Single 12.2in (310mm) disc front, single 10in (255mm) disc rear
Tires: 100/90 x 19in front, 150/70 x 17in rear
Weight (dry): 454lb (227kg)
Seat height: 31.2in (792mm)
Fuel capacity/MPG: 3.2gal (12.1ltr)/60mpg (est.)
Price/contact: Starting at $10,700/triumphmotorcycles.com
With the debut of the new Street Scrambler, Triumph has taken another look in its rearview mirror by launching this revamped tribute to one of the most successful models in its 1960s lineup, the go-anywhere Trophy street enduro.
For all the furor when Ducati launched its Scrambler sub-brand back in 2014, many people overlooked that Triumph invented the street scrambler category back in 1949 with the TR5 Trophy, named after the Speed Twin-based bikes Triumph built for the 1948 International Six Days Trial, which won three gold medals and the Manufacturers Team trophy. The TR5 Trophy powered Triumph’s expansion in the U.S., where street scramblers became a big deal in the 1960s, with Triumphs the class kingpins, dominating desert racing and enduro events for the next two decades.
Still, for a lot of fans of Triumph’s yesterdays, the 650cc TR6C Trophy as introduced for 1966 is the most alluring of the many different models in Triumph’s back catalog. With its rakish stance and high-rise handlebars, it still looks dead cool even today. The TR6C was initially produced in two versions. The Western model sold on the Pacific side of the Rockies (nicknamed “Desert Sled”) featured stacked cross-over open exhausts running at waist level down the left, while the Eastern variant, sold everywhere else in the U.S., had high-rise silenced exhausts positioned one each side of the bike, offering dual-purpose practicality with added street cred as the ultimate classic-era street scrambler. Of the two versions, the Western TR6C version is the one that has etched itself in the Brit-bike subconscious as the epitome of California cool.
New Triumph owner John Bloor’s men reinvented the TR5/TR6 Trophy in a modern context back in 2006, with the advent of the first-series T100-powered 865cc Scrambler model. Its John Mockett-styling brilliantly captured the various design cues of the original, even if the stacked high-level exhausts with their crossover headers had to swap sides, since the left side battery box got in the way. Triumph thus kickstarted the current fashion for tarmac scramblers with this bike — a sector re-embraced eight years later not only by Ducati, but also by BMW and even Moto Guzzi — and aside from adding fuel injection and some minor changes, it’s remained largely the same ever since. Now they’ve updated it with the new-for-2017 Street Scrambler model based on the 900cc Street Twin introduced a year ago. For 2017 the Bonneville lineup comprises an array of 10 different models on two distinct platforms, and while designed and developed in the U.K. at Triumph’s Hinckley base, these will all be manufactured in Thailand at the company’s three factories south of Bangkok.
Order the May/June 2017 issue of Motorcycle Classics to read more about the 2017 Triumph Street Scrambler. Contact Customer Service at (800) 880-7567 or contact us by email.