Triumph says: "Fun and accessible"
Motorcyclist says: "Yes and yes."

The scrambler concept goes back generations with the original TR6, probably best known as Steve McQueen's mechanical co-star in the 1963 movie, "The Great Escape." Retro styling sometimes misses the mark, but this new-for-2017 Street Scrambler nails it—lots of thoughtful details, and an authentic stance that faithfully reproduces the look and feel of Bonnevilles from the 1960s.

2017 Triumph Street Scrambler dirt slide
Yes, you can pretend the Triumph Street Scrambler is a dirtbike or flat tracker, but be warned that this is a street bike first and, should probably be limited to light dirt duty.Photo: Triumph

At first glance the most obvious scrambler bits are the high-mount exhaust (with a cleverly integrated catalytic converter), skid plate, and blocky Metzeler Tourance tube-type tires mounted on spoked wheels. There’s also switchable ABS and traction control. A really comfortable ribbed solo seat, aluminum rear rack (as well as a pillion pad), rubber tank pads, fork gaiters and brushed aluminum hard parts help complete the retro-rugged look. Triumph is taking a page out of the Harley-Davidson book, too, with more than 150 Street Scrambler goodies in the accessory catalog. “Customize” to your heart’s content.

Side view of 2017 Triumph Street Scrambler
Photo: Triumph
Street Scrambler seat
An aluminum rear rack and a passenger seat pad both come standard. The ribbed, suede-like Alcantara covered seat is nice and comfy. A 31.2-inch seat height and narrow tank junction make it easy for most people to touch with both feet. Sexy twin exhausts sing a throaty tune.Photo: Triumph

To give the Scrambler better off-road chops, the chassis is optimized with more forward located (and serrated) footpegs, recalibrated fork internals and longer rear shocks for added ground clearance, compared with the Street Twin. Durable spokes replace the more vulnerable cast wheels of the Street Twin, and a larger 19-inch spoke front hoop is there to help manage rougher terrain. Seat height is 31.2 inches—that’s up from the Street Twin’s 29.5 inches, but 1.3 inches lower than last year’s Scrambler.

Triumph Scrambler fork
Rubber gaiters protect 41mm fork tubes. The non-adjustable KYB fork and shocks have 120mm of travel for increased off-road capability. The radiator is tucked between the frame and is lightly protected by a plastic screen.Photo: Triumph
Single gauge for the 2017 Street Scrambler
The single gauge’s LCD window displays odometer, rev counter, gear position, fuel level and consumption, clock, trip meters, and traction control and ABS settings. Power is decent below 3,000rpm, really comes alive around 5,000, and drops off at about 6,500rpm. The Scrambler cruises easily above legal highway speeds with little vibration, but expect a lot of windblast.Photo: Triumph

The Scrambler gets a single instrument with all kinds of useful data that lives inside the LCD info window. Fuel range, consumption, TC and ABS status, trip meters and an RPM readout are all accessible using the left control pod’s Info button, which is mounted on a strong and handsome tapered handlebar. Accordion gaiters protect the conventional fork tubes, and of course add to the retro aesthetic. A plastic skid plate and mesh radiator screen are there to guard against rocks getting chucked up and ruining your day, and also reminding you that the aftermarket (or Triumph’s own catalog) is full of metal alternatives. Rubber inserts pop out of the footpegs to reveal gator-teeth for extra grip. Suggestive, and handy.

2017 Triumph Scrambler 900cc engine
The 900cc “high-torque” parallel twin produces a claimed 55 hp and 59 lb.-ft. of torque. The catalytic converter is cleverly hidden behind the black exhaust shroud next to the cylinder. Surprisingly, heat on the right leg is not a problem, at least not during our cool test day. The plastic skid plate won’t stand up to rock bashing and does not extend back far enough to protect the oil filter. The aftermarket is smiling.Photo: Triumph

Looks are important and all, but so is function. As with the Street Twin, the Scrambler is light on its feet and delightful to ride. Sharing the Street Twin's 55 horsepower, 900cc liquid-cooled "high-torque" vertical twin engine, throttle response is snappy but linear. This isn't a particularly fast bike, but somehow there's an intoxicating dose of git-up-and-go on tap whenever you want it. For reference, the last generation Scrambler used the 51 hp 865cc air-cooled motor and didn't have this level of responsiveness. The exhaust note coming from the twin pipes is throatier than the other sibling in the Street Twin family, the Street Cup.

Metzeler Tourance tires on the 2017 Triumph Street Scrambler
Composed suspenders and natural rider ergonomics make the Scrambler a surprisingly agile corner carver. The Metzeler Tourance tires do a fine job maintaining grip even at peg-dragging corner speeds.Photo: Triumph

Off-road looks are high on the Street Scrambler’s list, but ironically it was on road where it showed why it will be many people’s new favorite do-almost-anything bike. There is something absolutely endearing about the willing character and seamless performance of this machine. Even though it shares many of the same components as the Street Twin and Street Cup, this Scrambler’s handling is refreshingly light and neutral, plus it feels like there is more immediate off-idle power delivery. The overall fun factor and cornering confidence were terrific. The package just works.

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The ride-by-wire throttle and light-effort torque-assist clutch make launches predictable and easy to control while the smooth 5-speed gearbox keeps the motor humming within the sweet part of the rev range. The front brake is the same Nissin two-piston caliper clamping a single solid-mounted 310mm rotor shared with the Street Twin (the Street Cup gets a floating disc). Initial bite and control is fine, but stopping quickly the 454-pound (claimed, dry) Scrambler from speed requires a decent amount of lever pressure.

Street Scrambler pegs in the dirt
Peg and handlebar positions make it easy to find a neutral off-road standing position. Remove the rubber footpeg inserts to expose grippy metal gator-teeth peg surface.Photo: Triumph
2017 Triumph Street Scrambler Nissin brakes
A two-piston Nissin caliper clamps a single 310mm solid disc. ABS can be turned off to put control in the rider’s hands and when off-road shenanigans are on the docket.Photo: Triumph

When pavement turns to dirt, the Street Scrambler is not as composed as it is on tarmac. That isn’t to say you can’t venture onto rough roads, but it pays to remember that this is first and foremost a pavement dweller. Both ABS and traction control are switchable when your inner McQueen needs his fix of brake steering and drifting. All of the Scrambler’s components work in unison to create a really fun package. It looks the part of vintage adventurer and is easy to get along with on the road and to a lesser degree, in the dirt.

2017 Triumph Street Scrambler handling on the road
Tight cornering transitions are a breeze thanks to the well-sorted chassis and wide handlebars. Handling is delightfully light and neutral, delivering good feedback and tons of cornering confidence.Photo: Triumph

TECH SPEC

EVOLUTION
With a dedicated new chassis and suspension, the Street Scrambler delivers slightly more off-road performance to carry on where the Street Twin leaves off.
TECH
PRICE $10,700 (Jet Black)
ENGINE 900cc, liquid-cooled parallel twin
TRANSMISSION/FINAL DRIVE 5-speed/chain
CLAIMED HORSEPOWER 55 hp @ 6,000 rpm
CLAIMED TORQUE 59 lb.-ft. @ 2,850 rpm
FRAME Tubular steel, double cradle
FRONT SUSPENSION KYB fork; 4.7-in. travel
REAR SUSPENSION KYB shocks adjustable for spring preload; 4.7-in. travel
FRONT BRAKE Nissin two-piston caliper, 310mm disc with ABS
REAR BRAKE Nissin two-piston caliper, 255mm disc with ABS
RAKE/TRAIL 25.6°/4.3 in.
WHEELBASE 56.9 in.
SEAT HEIGHT 31.2 in.
FUEL CAPACITY 3.2 gal.
CLAIMED WEIGHT 454 lb. dry
AVAILABLE February 2017
CONTACT triumphmotorcycles.com
VERDICT
The Street Scrambler is light on its feet and delightful to ride—guaranteed to make even the most stoic rider giggle.

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