When Triumph unveiled the new Scrambler 1200 XC and XE motorcycles, the collective excitement across the internet was expected, because they represented the Scramblers that Triumph should’ve been building all along. The Scrambler 1200 XE gets a more powerful, torquey engine, longer suspension travel, a bigger fuel tank, high fenders, knobby tires and off-road riding modes to help put it all to work. It looked as if Triumph was finally going to give the Ducati Scrambler Desert Sled a run for its money. But forget it. The Brits just slapped a ridiculous price tag on the two Scambler models — $14,000 for the Scrambler 1200 XC and $15,400 for the more hardcore XE.
For reference, the Ducati Desert Sled is $11,395. The new Triumph’s price tag puts it in the same range as the Honda Africa Twin, KTM 1290 Adventure and even Triumph’s own Tiger 800 XC. The problem with running in that crowd is those are full-on adventure bikes and offer a lot more capability for the money.
Granted, Triumph piled tech and upgrades onto the Scrambler 1200: larger 4.2-gallon fuel tank, bigger 21-inch front tires, integrated GoPro control system, a navigation system, advanced cornering ABS, nearly 10 inches of suspension travel front and rear, six riding modes, heated grips, adjustable handlebar grips and adjustable footpegs. One could argue it built the first retro-styled full-on adventure bike rather than a simple scrambler.
What’s more is Triumph has a catalog of optional extras and a lifestyle clothing they’d like to sell you if you don’t think $15,400 is enough. It’s tough to pin down what Triumph’s strategy is here. All the visuals scream the laid back dirt slinging attitude of the scrambler culture we’ve been accustomed to, but the pricing says it wants to compete with the hardcore laser-focused adventure bike crowd. Triumph might have pulled a masterstroke if the Scrambler 1200 sells in the hundreds of thousands, but it’s just as likely it made a massive mistake and made a bike that will have to succeed in two wildly successful categories.
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