Triumph Scrambler 1200 (2019 – on) Review: Unveiling the Ultimate Blend of Style and Performance

Triumph Scrambler 1200 (2019 - on) Review

When it comes to a harmonious fusion of aesthetics, technological prowess, and value for your investment, the Triumph Scrambler 1200 effortlessly earns its place in your prized garage. However, this is no ordinary 60s-inspired retro machine; it’s a versatile masterpiece that transcends its nostalgic roots, offering a dynamic and unparalleled riding experience.

Introducing the Steve McQueen Edition and Euro5 Updates

Triumph Scrambler 1200 (2019 - on) Review
Triumph Scrambler 1200 (2019 – on) Review

In April 2021, Triumph took the Scrambler 1200 to the next level. The exclusive Steve McQueen model was launched in conjunction with the brand’s commitment to update their flagship retro scramblers to comply with the latest emissions standards, Euro5.

The modifications for Euro5 compliance may be modest, but they play a pivotal role in ensuring environmental responsibility without compromising performance. These alterations encompass minor tweaks to the engine and the addition of a new exhaust system that optimizes heat dissipation. For those who own a 2020 model, rest assured that these changes won’t necessitate hunting down your purchase receipt. The real excitement, however, resides in the homage to the iconic Steve McQueen.

In collaboration with the McQueen family, Triumph pays tribute to the Hollywood legend and motorcycling aficionado with the Scrambler 1200 ‘Steve McQueen Edition’. This model draws inspiration from the competition-spec TR6, which gained fame when McQueen utilized a modified version in the classic film, “The Great Escape.” McQueen’s deep affinity for British twin motorcycles, exemplified by his use of the TR6 in the film and his participation in the International Six-Day Trial on a similar bike, is celebrated through this remarkable edition.


True to its name, the McQueen edition finds its foundation in the Scrambler 1200 XE – the off-road-oriented version within the 1200 lineup. This special edition boasts unique features, including a Competition Green tank with brushed foil kneepads, hand-painted gold pinstripes, gold heritage logos, a brushed aluminum fuel cap, a brushed stainless steel tank strap, and an endearing Steve McQueen graphic.

Triumph Scrambler 1200 (2019 - on) Review
Triumph Scrambler 1200 (2019 – on) Review

Additionally, the McQueen edition is equipped with a high-level mudguard that coordinates with the tank’s color, providing a harmonious visual appeal. Enthusiasts can further personalize their ride with optional accessories such as engine bars, a radiator guard, and a brown bench seat. A mark of authenticity is ingrained within each of the 1000 bikes, with a distinct number etched on the handlebar clamp, accompanied by McQueen’s signature. The package is complete with a certificate of authenticity, featuring the bike’s VIN and the signatures of Triumph’s CEO, Nick Bloor, and McQueen’s son, Chad.

Unparalleled Ride Quality and Performance

Triumph Scrambler 1200 (2019 - on) Review
Triumph Scrambler 1200 (2019 – on) Review

The Triumph Scrambler 1200 doesn’t merely boast eye-catching aesthetics; it is a bike designed to be ridden with vigor and grace. While it can undoubtedly enhance the ambiance of a café setting, its true mettle shines on rugged terrains. Both the Scrambler 1200 XC and XE models excel in delivering exceptional riding experiences.

The Scrambler 1200 XC offers a versatile blend of cruising capability, scratching the pavement, and venturing off-road. On the other hand, the Scrambler 1200 XE takes the adventure quotient to another level. This is achieved through its extended travel suspension, elongated wheelbase, broader handlebars, and advanced electronic systems. The XE edition confidently tackles off-road challenges and rivals even the most dedicated adventure bikes in its class.

Triumph’s commitment to enhancing off-road prowess is evident through significant chassis enhancements. The bike effortlessly glides over bumps, negotiates corners with precision, and even performs impressive wheelies over crests. This isn’t just a retro-inspired ride; it’s an adventure bike stripped of its excess, becoming more nimble and capable than ever.

On the road, the Scrambler’s demeanor can be transformed with a flick of the wrist, transitioning from an off-road beast to a smooth and dynamic road machine. The Scrambler’s ride quality is bolstered by the expertly tuned Öhlins and Showa suspensions. Even during moments of spirited riding, the refined chassis and impressive grip from the Metzeler tires ensure stability and control.

The Scrambler’s comfort quotient is equally noteworthy. Whether it’s the smooth throttle response, slick gearbox, or the all-day comfortable ribbed bench seat, both XC and XE models effortlessly balance performance with rider comfort. The XE, despite being slightly taller, accommodates riders with ease, though wind protection remains a minor concern.

Exquisite Engine Performance

Triumph Scrambler 1200 (2019 – on) Review

Central to the Scrambler 1200’s prowess is its high-power Bonneville motor, which has been tailored for enhanced low-end power. This powerplant, originating from the Thruxton model, features numerous refinements, including a magnesium cam cover, revised clutch assembly, and a lighter crankshaft. The result is a parallel-twin engine that is not only lighter but also more responsive and agile.

The engine’s throttle response is remarkably smooth, making it ideal for off-road maneuvering. The 1.2-liter engine might seem robust for off-road ventures, yet the torque-assist clutch and ride-by-wire throttle offer precise control akin to a smaller-capacity enduro machine. The exhaust, featuring brushed-finished silencers and concealed catalytic converters, provides not only an appealing aesthetic but also a delightful auditory experience. It’s worth noting that certain modifications, such as de-cat options, can enhance the engine’s character and performance.


Reliability and Craftsmanship

Triumph’s Bonneville-engined machines have garnered high praise for their reliability, and the Scrambler 1200 is no exception. Regular service intervals are generously spaced, ensuring a worry-free ownership experience. While owners’ reviews typically reflect a dependable bike, isolated concerns about electrical and mechanical reliability have surfaced. If considering a used purchase, thorough inspection of the bike’s systems is advised.

Value and Competition

The Triumph Scrambler 1200 stands out not only for its performance but also its value proposition. With an array of intricate design elements and a feature-rich package comparable to top-tier adventure bikes, the Scrambler 1200 offers remarkable value for its price.

The entry-level XC model, initially priced at £11,800, has seen a slight increase to £12,695 by 2023. The more advanced XE version originally started at £12,600 and now stands at £12,850. The limited-edition 2021 Steve McQueen variant, priced at £13,600 upon launch, retains its value. Each Scrambler 1200 model comes in distinctive color variants and boasts a range of over 80 accessories to enable customization.

While the Scrambler 1200 faces competition from models like the Ducati Scrambler 1100, BMW R nineT, and Honda CB1100 range, it remains a worthy contender. In particular, its comparison with the BMW R nineT Urban G/S highlights the Scrambler’s refined road presence and versatile performance. The Scrambler offers a more relaxed and easy-going ride, while the BMW’s raw nature and sporty handling provide a contrasting appeal.

Innovative Equipment and Design

Triumph Scrambler 1200 (2019 - on) Review
Triumph Scrambler 1200 (2019 – on) Review

Triumph’s commitment to equipping the Scrambler 1200 with cutting-edge features is evident in its offerings. The base XC model boasts high-performance Brembo M50 monobloc brakes, fully adjustable Öhlins rear shocks, and Showa forks. Notably, both XC and XE models offer LED lighting, keyless ignition, cruise control, and a USB charger. The Scrambler is adorned with Triumph’s second-generation color dash, which seamlessly blends modern technology with classic aesthetics.

The XE model further raises the bar with gyro-controlled ABS and traction control, additional riding modes, a Brembo dual-ratio brake lever, and wider adjustable handlebars. The XE’s increased wheel travel and updated components ensure improved off-road capabilities.

Engine size1200cc
Engine typeLiquid cooled, 8 valve, SOHC, 270° crank angle parallel twin
Frame typeTubular steel with aluminium cradles
Fuel capacity16 litres
Seat height840mm
Bike weight205kg
Front suspensionShowa 45mm (XC)/47mm (XE) forks, fully adjustable
Rear suspensionÖhlins fully adjustable piggy-back RSUs with twin springs. 200mm wheel travel
Front brakeTwin 320mm discs, Brembo M50 monoblock calipers, radial master cylinder. Switchable ABS.
Rear brakeSingle 255mm disc, Brembo 2- piston floating caliper. Switchable ABS
Front tyre size90/90-21
Rear tyre size150/70 R17
Mpg, costs & insurance
Average fuel consumption58 mpg
Annual road tax£111
Annual service cost£330
New price£12,695
Used price£8,600 – £12,700
Insurance group
How much to insure?
Warranty termTwo years
Top speed & performance
Max power89 bhp
Max torque81 ft-lb
Top speed135 mph
1/4 mile acceleration
Tank range


The Triumph Scrambler 1200 isn’t just a motorcycle; it’s an embodiment of style, innovation, and performance. This machine effortlessly bridges the gap between retro aesthetics and modern functionality. With the limited Steve McQueen Edition paying tribute to a Hollywood icon and the comprehensive updates for Euro5 compliance, Triumph showcases its dedication to excellence.

Whether you seek exhilarating off-road adventures or a refined road companion, the Scrambler 1200 series has you covered. Its seamless blend of comfort, agility, and power ensures that each ride is a journey filled with excitement and satisfaction. As you delve into the world of Scrambler motorcycles, joining online communities like the Triumph Owners’ Motor Cycle Club can offer invaluable insights and camaraderie among fellow enthusiasts. Get ready to embark on a two-wheeled adventure that harmoniously combines history and modernity – the Triumph Scrambler 1200 awaits your command.


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