The Triumph Scrambler 400 X is the second motorcycle to come out of the Bajaj-Triumph partnership and we already knew what to expect after a ride astride the Speed 400. Here are our first impressions about this model after a day spent exploring the outskirts of Pune.
Story: Azaman Chothia
Photography: Apurva Ambep
The Triumph Scrambler range consists of stunning motorcycles in the manufacturer’s lineup and that is no different story when it comes to the look of this single-cylinder Scrambler 400 X. It does follow the silhouette of the larger 900 and 1200 models and has the elements to stamp down its authority as a proper dual-purpose motorcycle. Starting off with the front end, we see a grille over the LED headlight setup and a large and wide handlebar unit with hand guards attached. This is a steel bar compared to the aluminium one on the Speed 400. Adding on to the Scrambler theme, the panel on the left side has been replaced with an oval metal plate with Scrambler 400 X branding. A split-seat setup and a rugged bash-plate are the other changes when compared to the Speed 400. The bike gets the same digi-analogue console; the speedometer is an analogue unit that has a small LCD display attached to it. This unit is pretty straightforward and easy to read. A switch on the left can be used to toggle through the screens and switch off the Traction Control or ABS at the rear end. The bike is available in three colour schemes, each of which features Triumph’s tank stripes. The dual-tone colour options include Matt Khaki Green and Fusion White, Carnival Red, and Phantom Black, along with Phantom Black and Silver Ice.
In terms of ergonomics, the footpegs are not too far ahead or behind giving them a neutral riding position. Although, the saddle height stands at 835 mm, making it 40 mm taller than the Speed 400. For my 5.7 foot stature, this was a little too tall for my liking and will be a tad bit of an issue in stop-go traffic in the city and while taking tight U-turns. With a kerb weight of 185 kg, the Scrambler 400 X is around 9 kg heavier than the Speed 400 but once the bike is on the go, the weight is hardly felt. The handlebar is wide and raised which gives good leverage and standing up on the pegs to tackle trails feels natural and comfortable.
The Scrambler 400 X makes use of a double downtube spine frame with a bolt-on rear subframe and sitting within is a 398.15-cc, liquid-cooled motor. This motor is in the same state of tune; it churns out 40 hp at 8,000 rpm, has a peak torque of 37.5 Nm at 6,500 rpm, and is paired with a six-speed gearbox. The main change is a smaller 14-tooth front sprocket compared to the 15-tooth sprocket on the Speed 400. The rear remains the same with a 43-tooth sprocket. Apart from that, we see a different upswept, twin-tip exhaust unit that has a raspier exhaust note to suit the Scrambler character. Just like the Speed 400, the throttle response is crisp, the clutch action is really light and the gear shifts are slick.
The Scrambler 400 X does feel a little more punchy in the low-range rpms, and the surge in power comes in just slightly earlier than the Speed 400. With one tooth less at the front, the Scrambler 400 X surely feels like a more lively motorcycle. I was able to get to an indicated top speed of approximately 140 km/h in fifth gear before I ran out of space. The bike can cruise at speeds as low as 40 km/h in sixth gear and quickly gets up to speed once the throttle is opened. I already loved how the Speed 400 was a wheelie-friendly machine and the Scrambler 400 X takes that a step ahead. So yes, it has the capability to be a mature motorcycle and also get naughty when you ask for it. Heading off-road, the grunt of the motor paired with the 195-mm ground clearance allows the bike to tackle unpredictable trails with ease.
When it comes to the suspension setup, the front end gets 43-mm, golden USD forks, and an offset monoshock unit at the rear. Both ends get 150 mm of travel which has given the bike a fair amount of off-road capability. In comparison, the Speed 400 gets 140 mm of travel at the front while the rear gets 130 mm of travel. The setup on the Scrambler 400 X works well to provide riders with a plush feel, on and off the road as it is able to take on anything in its way. Cornering also feels really natural as the bike tips in easily and powers out in a stable manner.
The 19-inch front and 17-inch rear (alloy) wheels are wrapped in dual-purpose MRF tyres that do a really good job on the road and through light off-road trails where we got to experience the motorcycle. Compared to the Speed 400, this one gets a larger 320-mm disc brake while the rear is the same 230-mm disc. The brakes work decently but I would have liked a little more bite at the lever as it did feel a bit spongy. Apart from the switchable traction control that we also saw in the Speed 400, this model gets switchable ABS so the rear wheel can be locked, which is a nice addition for experienced riders. With the really well-padded seat, it will be an effortless and exciting motorcycle to tour over long distances.
Priced at Rs 2,63 lakh (ex-showroom), this is around Rs 30,000 more expensive than the Speed 400 but it does offer you some additional elements and is a more rugged and larger-looking motorcycle that suits our unpredictable road conditions. Just like its sibling, this one is going to be a big hit in the market thanks to the refined and punchy motor, plush ride quality, do-it-all character, and competitive price of this platform from Bajaj-Triumph. While I still love the classic looks of the Speed 400, this one seems to be the more practical option thanks to its dual-purpose capabilities. The only thing that would make this model accessible to more riders is a lower-seat option for a trouble-free commute through traffic.
Watch our video review here: