Introduced just two years ago—but with roots back to 2006—the Triumph Street Scrambler gets an update for 2019. More power, improved electronics, and chassis upgrades all point to a better Scrambler.We took to the rough and ready urban streets of Lisbon, as well as the picturesque coastal roads of Portugal to discover just how improved the 2019 Triumph Street Scrambler is.
1. Higher revs and more power lead the way for the 2019 Triumph Street Scrambler changes. The previous Street Scrambler had a low-revving motor that, although it had plenty of torque, it felt more suited to a cruiser than a sporty scrambler. Triumph upped the rev limit by 500 rpm to 7500 rpm, and that is where you get the 65-horsepower peak from the Bonneville 900 HT vertical twin—11 more horses than last year. Torque remains the same, though the maximum of 59 ft/lbs now comes at 3200 rpm, 400 rpm later than on the previous version. However, after the peak, the 2019 puts out considerably more torque.2. You will notice this additional power most on the highway. While the previous Street Scrambler was certainly freeway-ready, the 2019 Triumph Street Scrambler is assured on the open road. Less effort is required to get you up to urban or rural highway speeds, and roll-on passing is much more impressive. The updated motor turns the Street Scrambler into an intriguing platform for a weekend tourer.3. Although the 2019 Triumph Street Scrambler has more power and more revs, it is still a docile motor. Revs don’t pick up at a fast pace, so the additional torque pull through the midrange and top-end is more of a reassuring feel than a pure demonstration of speed. Two-up users will especially appreciate the power delivery.4. Triumph attained this new power through electronics, rather than a new engine, though some internal parts were lightened. The crankshaft, dead shafts, balance shafts, and clutch are all lighter than last year, freeing up the revving of the motor a bit. Still, the Bonneville 900 HT powerplant is more about a healthy, controllable power delivery than abrupt throttle response. It’s a sweet motor for sightseeing and casual sport riding.5. The 2019 Triumph Street Scrambler now has three riding modes—Road, Rain, and Off-Road. Triumph has a dedicated ride-mode switch to make this easy, though you do have to come to a stop to go into the Off-Road mode. You can get out of the Off-Road mode without stopping, and switching between the Road and Rain while riding is a simple process.6. We tested the Street Scrambler on wet, damp, and dry roads, as well as a bit of dirt, and the riding modes come in handy. The Rain mode was welcome until the roads were completely dry, as it slows down the throttle response and up the traction control. In the dry, the Road mode is perfect. While some hooligans might be tempted to use the Off-Road mode on the street, the Street Scrambler simply isn’t that kind of motorcycle. As expected, the Off-Road mode does make the Street Scrambler more predictable on the dirt.7. The 2019 Triumph Street Scrambler is a formidable urban motorcycle. There is no doubt I looked like Steve McQueen—at least with a full-face HJC—on the Street Scrambler as I traversed Lisbon’s sometimes cobblestone streets. The handlebars are nice and wide, giving the leverage needed to counteract unwanted input from the roads. The up-pipes allow for riding up and down curbs, as needed. The torque assist clutch reduces fatigue in city traffic.8. Something is appealing about a scrambler-style motorcycle in town—it telegraphs that you’re ready for anything. We happened to make a wrong turn, and instead of making a second unwanted trip over the Ponte 25 de Abril bridge, we went through an open roadside gate that said “Apenas Veículos Oficiais e Policiais”. I don’t speak Portuguese, but I think that translates to “Motorcycles Welcome!” It was a perfect narrow Street Scrambler road shortcut.9. The 17-/19-inch wheel combo is excellent for rough roads, regardless of locale. Sure, that is the expected look for a scrambler, but it also has a practical application on less-than-perfect roads in-town. Steering is relatively heavy, which gives the Street Scrambler a planted feel. The 19-inch wire-spoke wheel is not intimidated by potholes or other manmade obstacles. The worse your local streets, the more you will like the 2019 Triumph Street Scrambler as an urban motorcycle.10. Although Triumph upgraded the KYB fork to a cartridge design for 2019, don’t get too excited. The fork is still non-adjustable, and the improvement is incremental. Regardless, the KYB suspension is balanced for all uses, and exhibited no bad habits in the city or when making time on twisties in the country. Don’t expect the KYB suspension package to come to your rescue in the dirt, so stick to sensible speeds on smooth unpaved roads.11. The 2019 Triumph Street Scrambler is a relaxing ride through the mountains. The Street Scrambler is based on the best-selling Street Twin, but you wouldn’t know it from riding. The Street Scrambler has much more relaxed handling, slower steering, and a higher center of gravity due to the upswept pipes. The Metzeler Tourance tires have the desired off-road appearance, and are suitable for reasonable riding through the twisties. Nothing about the Street Scrambler is challenging or off-putting—you just want to ride it and enjoy the scenery. If you’re on Estrada Nacional N247 in Portugal, be sure to keep an eye out for the roadside Sintra tramway.12. Braking has been upgraded to Brembo in front. It is still a single 310mm disc design, and the Brembo four-piston caliper is not radially mounted. The result is performance in line with the rest of the Triumph Street Scrambler—relaxed, predictable, and effective. Like the traction control system, the ABS operates transparently and is not overly intrusive. As mentioned earlier, the ABS can be shut down for dirt riding. The Nissin caliper in the rear does its job well, especially in urban situations where you are sneaking through obstacles. Also, the clutch has some slip control when downshifting.13. When you do find a dirt road, make sure you know where it is going. If you all of a sudden find yourself on a 4×4 jeep trail, you are going to regret it. However, on smooth dirt roads, the Triumph Street Scrambler is pretty fun in the Off-Road mode. You can predictably slide the rear Metzeler in corners if that’s in your skill set, yet the motorcycle doesn’t feel unsettled tooling along in the dirt. The ergonomics are much better than the original Triumph Scrambler thanks to the exhaust system being tucked in properly. Temper your off-road expectations and you will love the occasional pavement-free freedom the scrambler design provides.14. Ergonomically, the 2019 Street Scrambler is refreshingly neutral. The ergonomics are classic scrambler, without the interference of the exhaust system. Additionally, the motor’s vibrations are well-controlled. This is a motorcycle that you can ride all day without a second thought.15. Details have been upgraded on the 2019 Triumph Street Scrambler. For a more aggressive look, the KYB fork legs are set apart a bit more, which also required a change in the front fender, triple clamps, and headlight brackets. The seat has both retro and ADV styling cues. The instrument pod is new, and instructive. There is a new Street Scrambler logo on the sides.16. The rear seat is removable, exposing a handy aluminum rack. That’s great for carrying small cargo. If you are sure you won’t be taking a passenger, the passenger pegs and brackets can be removed.17. Triumph makes it easy to personalize the 2019 Street Scrambler. In addition to nearly 80 accessories, Triumph kickstarts the process with the Urban Tracker Inspiration Kit. It gives the Street Scrambler a more rugged look, along with the practicality of a left-side waxed cotton and leather pannier. Fox piggyback-reservoir shocks offer an upgrade path for the rear suspension, and installing the stainless steel sump guard means you can be a bit braver in the rocks off-road.18. The 2019 Triumph Street Scrambler is about the essence of motorcycle riding. Rather than focusing on a specific task and doing it better than any other motorcycle, the new Street Scrambler invites you to engage in all sorts of motorcycle riding, from rural dirt roads to the grittiest urban environment. It takes you there in style and comfort, with enough performance to satisfy any reasonable rider. The 2019 Triumph Street Scrambler is old-school versatility in an enticing retro-modern package.Photography by Kingdom CreativeRIDING STYLE
This week Teejay chats to Tyler Poppe. Tyler works on the TV show Mayans MC–and yet he doesn’t ride an American V-Twin. Wassup with that?? Also, Arthur finds out from friend Mike Cardillo about his thoughts on the full-size version of the Kawasaki KLX 140R F trail bike.