Earlier this year I travelled to Portugal, where I rode the 2019 Triumph Street Scrambler through the town and hills around Lisbon. I was extremely impressed with the simple yet meaningful upgrades that Triumph had made for this model year, so much so that I wanted even more seat time on the British twin. Triumph obliged by sending us one of the first motorcycles to hit our shores and, making the experience that much sweeter, this bike is loaded with several parts from the Triumph custom accessories catalogue.
The Triumph Street Scrambler is the more rugged of the entry-level Bonneville twins, and the design stays true to the stripped-down scrambler motorcycles that were all the rage across the US and UK through the 1950s, ‘60s and ‘70s. The tall front end, wide handlebars and spoked wheels shod with dual-purpose rubber give the impression of a machine that won’t be confined to the tarmac.
The black protective grille on the LED headlight and the beak-style front mudguard are two of the aforementioned custom accessories, and contribute to this motorcycle’s tough look, while the raised off-road stance is courtesy the 19-inch front wheel and tall, gaitered fork legs. Lower down, the sturdy bash-plate is yet another bit from the custom accessories catalogue, and one that would be prudent to invest in considering our less-than-perfect roads and massive speedbreakers.
A pair of well-crafted bendpipes twist over to the right side of the motorcycle, where the stock high-mounted exhaust has been replaced by a carbon-fibre-tipped Vance & Hines slip-on that further enhances the brilliant aural note of the British twin, while Triumph’s fender eliminator kit cleans up the rear of the motorcycle.
Other accessories on this bike include the grippy, off-road-style machined aluminium foot-pegs that are sure to come in handy if you decide to go scrambling down a trail, and the protective crash-bars around the engine that will keep your crankcase covers free of blemishes if you drop the bike on said trail.
Most of the updates to the 2019 Triumph Street Scrambler are under the skin, and the bike retains the successful design that first debuted in 2016 when the Modern Classic line went the liquid-cooled way. Visual updates are limited to new headlight brackets, a new seat, and a slightly redesigned bezel around the familiar single-pod instruments. However, the most significant and talked-about upgrade to this bike is definitely the more powerful engine. It is still a 900-cc liquid-cooled, parallel twin with a 270° crank, mounted within an unchanged steel cradle frame, but, with lighter internals and a higher 11:1 compression ratio, it now spins up so much quicker.
The redline has been raised from 7,000 to 7,500 rpm and, while the outgoing bike made 55 PS at 6,000 rpm, the new Street Scrambler pulls much further, making 65 PS at 7,500 rpm. That is 18 per cent more power without an increase in capacity or the loss of rideability at low revs, reflecting very highly on Triumph’s engineering team. Peak torque has remained unchanged at 79 Nm, but while this figure was reached at 3,050 rpm in the outgoing bike before trailing off, the new Street Scrambler makes its maximum twist at 3,200 rpm, and features a much wider torque spread – now over 70 Nm is available to the rider’s right hand all the way from 2,500 rpm to over 6,000 rpm. What this means to the layman is strong acceleration through the midrange and into higher revs — something that was missed on the previous model, where the bike would start feeling out of breath upwards of 5,000 rpm.