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Common Tread

2022 Triumph Scrambler 1200 XE and XC first look

Apr 13, 2021

After years of Bonneville-based Scramblers, Triumph took a new direction with the 2019 Scrambler 1200 XC and XE. These models marked the factory’s largest departure from their classic Scrambler recipe, as the 1200 XCs and XEs got their own chassis, wheels, long-travel suspension, and other ADV-ready features.

Updated for 2022, the Scrambler 1200s get most of their revisions in the emissions department, where EURO 5 regulations have forced most manufacturers to tweak and tune their way to cleaner tailpipes. Earlier this year, Triumph used EURO 5 as a challenge and refined their Bonnevilles without losing performance. The same approach was used for the new Scrambler 1200s. Let’s take a closer look at Triumph’s latest.

Triumph Scrambler 1200
Mostly the same for 2022, except for new emissions equipment so the Scrambler 1200s can stay in production. Triumph photo.

2022 Triumph Scrambler 1200 XC and XE

The high exhaust systems get new silencers and catalytic converters, with the cats now behind the rider’s leg to reduce heat. There’s also a secondary air injection system for a cleaner burn. These changes add some 13 pounds to the bikes, although Triumph insists that they didn’t compromise performance in any way. However, peak power comes on a little faster, and peak torque hits a smidge higher in the rev range at 4,500 rpm. 

Triumph Scrambler 1200
The high pipes still offer that classic look, and they shouldn’t get quite so warm with the new design. Still, I’m not sold on three different heat shield designs on one exhaust system. Triumph photo.

The chassis, suspension, brakes, and instrumentation remain the same. In fact, almost everything Spurgeon wrote in his Scrambler 1200 XC and XE first ride review still stands, so check that out if you’d like to learn more about these models from Common Tread’s resident ADV addict. The ‘22s come in three colors: Cobalt Blue/Jet Black stripe, Matte Khaki Green/Jet Black stripe or Sapphire Black.

The XC ($14,000) and XE ($15,400) will be available starting in June of this year.

Steve McQueen Edition Triumph Scrambler
Meet the range-topping Steve McQueen Edition. Triumph photo.

Triumph Scrambler 1200 Steve McQueen Edition

Triumph is on a roll with their limited editions, and the new Scrambler 1200s brought news of yet another special production run. This time, it’s a top-trim Scrambler with Competition Green paint, vintage Triumph logos, certificates of authenticity, and Steve McQueen branding on the tank and handlebar clamp.

Steve McQueen Edition Triumph Scrambler 1200
It's too bad this color is only available as a special edition. Triumph photo.

Triumph also showered the Steve McQueen edition with accessories like crash bars, a radiator guard, and a color-matched high fender. Go badger your local dealer about getting one ordered, as Triumph uses their feedback to determine how many bikes go to each market, and only 1,000 will be built. Also arriving in June, these bikes will retail for $16,400. Triumph hasn’t offered a Steve McQueen edition since a special Bonneville run in 2012, so get an order in quickly if this motorcycle is up your alley.

Triumph stunt bike from The Great Escape
The original stunt bike and location, for reference.Triumph photo.

Scrambling forward

Triumph sold over 10,000 Scrambler 1200 XEs and XCs over the last three years, and they don’t see that enthusiasm waning. The Scrambler 1200s are fairly unique beasts that fall between the retro and ADV worlds. They're naked adventure bikes that can hang with the competition from both sides. Thinking of picking one up? These updates were minimal, so don't write off the early models. Triumph has their recipe, and they're sticking to it.

2022 Triumph Scrambler 1200 XC and XE
Price (MSRP) $14,000 (XC)
$15,400 (XE)
Engine type Liquid-cooled, SOHC, four valves per cylinder, 270-degree crank angle parallel twin
Displacement 1200 cc
Bore x stroke 97.6 mm x 80 mm
Compression 11.0:1
Power (claimed) 90 horsepower @ 7,250 rpm
Torque (claimed) 81 foot-pounds @ 4,500 rpm
Transmission Six-speed
Front suspension Fully adjustable 45 mm Showa USD cartridge fork (XC)
Fully adjustable 47 mm Showa USD cartridge fork (XE) 
Rear suspension Fully adjustable Öhlins piggyback RSU's with twin springs
Suspension travel front/rear  7.9 inches / 7.9 inches (XC)
9.8 inches / 9.8 inches (XE)
Front brake Twin 320mm discs, Brembo M50 monoblock calipers, radial master cylinder, ABS
Rear brake Single 255mm disc, Brembo two-piston floating caliper, ABS
Tires front/rear 90/90-21; 150/70R17 Metzeler Tourance (Pirelli Scorpion Rally tires optional for off-road)
Rake 25.8 degrees (XC)
26.9 degrees (XE)
Trail 4.76 inches  (XC)
5.09 inches (XE)
Wheelbase 60.24 inches (XC)
61.81 inches (XE) 
Seat height 33.1 inches (XC)
34.25 inches (XE)
Tank capacity 4.2 gallons
Wet weight (claimed)  507 pounds