The new 2024 Triumph Scrambler 1200 X is far more accessible, easier to live with day-to-day and, with $1150 off its price tag, also significantly cheaper than before. Triumph has shelved the spec in areas – new Marzocchi forks, for example, are non-adjustable – but improved functionality, accessibility and safety with the introduction of lean-sensitive rider aids.

It’s unusual to jump on a new model that, despite the increase in the price of seemingly everything, will be cheaper than the bike it replaces. But how much simpler is it to live with? And has the introduction of basic non-adjustable suspension reduced the appeal of the new 1200 Scrambler? A full day, both on and off-road, should throw up the answers. 

Getting To Know The 2024 Triumph Scrambler 1200 X

2024 Triumph Scrambler 1200 X - Riding

Triumph has made cost savings, opting away from the Showa/Öhlins combination of the XC to Marzocchi units front and rear for the new X, and diminishing the spec of the brakes, which are no longer Brembo. But this hasn’t just been a cost-saving exercise. Despite the price reduction, Triumph has added lean-sensitive ABS and traction control (TC) for the first time.

To put it another way, Triumph has saved money in some areas but added value in others, which is why the price reduction of $1150 is notable. And while premium brands such as Öhlins and Brembo may be lacking from the new bike, Triumph hasn’t cut corners on quality. The new X feels as robust and solid as ever, its finish as high-end as we've come to expect from a top-level British machine.

It’s fascinating what Triumph has done here, because a manufacturer usually adds more spec and more complexity to its model updates, which in turn adds to the price. But Triumph has opted for lower specification suspension and less off-road focus by significantly reducing the suspension travel and ground clearance to make the new 1200 X more accessible to more riders. These transformations make the 1200 X a very different package to both the new XE (see the box out below) and the outgoing XC.

2024 Triumph Scrambler 1200 X - Parked

As soon as you throw a leg over the bench seat you immediately feel the difference. Seat height now drops from 840mm to 820mm and is considerably lower than the new XE (which sits at 870mm). With an optional lower seat you can reduce that figure to 795mm. 

For shorter riders like me – I am 5ft 7in, just –the 1200 Scrambler and its 230 kilos have always been a little intimidating, but Triumph has drastically changed all that by simply shortening the suspension travel. Triumph could have gone one step further and opted for a 19-inch front wheel instead of the 21-inch, but the Brits still wanted to maintain some decent off-road ability – it is, after all, called a Scrambler.

As mentioned previously, the new X drops the fully adjustable Showa forks and Öhlins shocks of the outgoing XC for Marzocchi units front and rear, with the only adjustment possible being to the rear spring preload. Some may miss that adjustability and seductive Öhlins' X-factor, but the forks are still 45mm inverted units, and the new set up has been designed to work like the previous suspension.

2024 Triumph Scrambler 1200 X - Parked 4

Marzocchi may not exude MotoGP raciness but it does manufacture good suspension units, and Triumph certainly hasn't swapped fillet steak for McDonald's. On the many twists and turns in the roads of lovely Malaga in southern Spain, I didn’t feel the need to change the suspension settings as the factory-set Marzocchis worked out of the box. I was riding at a brisk pace, and the feedback and support were excellent for this type of bike. 

With its travel reduced from 200mm to 170mm front and rear, the suspension feels more well-matched to the road, less of a road/dirt compromise than the older XC, and as the pace picked up I felt my confidence grow.

Large Scramblers traditionally feel quite solid and the X's 228kg (or 502 pounds) are still noticeable at a standstill. But when it's flowing on the road, the suspension controls the weight without drama, and the bike rolls sweetly over that 21-inch front wheel into turns. It's a Scrambler still, and no race bike. But as the miles slipped by, its road focus and less intimidating nature came to the surface.

2024 Triumph Scrambler 1200 X - Riding 8

The 1200 X is simpler to ride than before. It has a nicely balanced, softly set road focused suspension that remains stable and planted at a brisk pace. The power delivery is urgent and there's that wider spread of torque to shovel it out of turns. Unlike before there are lean-sensitive rider aids should you get a little carried away, and on a cold early morning road surface there is enough grunt to get the TC working overtime.

The downside to the new suspension set-up is reduced ground clearance, which means on occasion the pegs tickle the road and, if you ride aggressively, try to bury themselves like a frightened ostrich. That preload adjustment on the rear might well be needed for heavier riders looking to enjoy their favorite B-road.

With the road-biased Metzeler Karoo Street tyres fitted, the new 1200 X handled a few dusty challenges with relative nonchalance. Ground clearance is reasonable (185mm or about 7.2 inches), there's a specific off-road map and, of course, that large-diameter 21-inch front wheel. 

With the TC deactivated, the X's accurate fueling, balance and accessible torque made it easy to slide the rear without inviting disaster. Should you get a little carried away, the ABS is designed to work off-road.

2024 Triumph Scrambler 1200 X - Riding 11

So long as you're not planning to hit the trails hard, or jump and bounce over rocks, then the 1200 X is still capable off-road. While its off-road ability is less than the new 1200 XE's, it is arguably better than any other scrambler-style machine on the market. I'd fancy its chances against BMW’s R nineT Scrambler and certainly against Ducati’s 1100 Scrambler.

There is, however, no hiding the fact that the 1200 X has reduced braking power compared to the previous model, with smaller discs now and axial-mounted Nissin calipers instead of the racy radial-mounted Brembos of the XC.

Triumph has included cornering ABS for the first time, which arguably adds more safety and is pleasingly non-intrusive on the road, but stopping nearly 230kg (or 507 pounds), plus rider, is a lot to ask of relatively basic brakes. 

At times, when braking hard into tight downhill hairpins, the usual, gentle brush of the lever with one or two fingers was quickly replaced with a firm pull to get the X stopped. Adding a pillion and luggage would have demanded an even more urgent squeeze. 

Nevertheless, for most of our test ride, there wasn't an issue, and I'm sure it won't be won’t be one at all for 90 percent of 1200 X owners.  I’d also argue that with lean-sensitive ABS now on board, the emergency stopping distance for many riders has even been reduced.

Triumph hasn’t significantly changed the familiar 1200cc parallel twin; just given it a tweak to make the power and torque more accessible lower down in the rev range. I’m sure the Moto2 engineers who breathe so much fire into the 765 triples could have worked their magic and added more power at the top end, but it’s simply not needed on a naked, 21-inch front-wheeled Scrambler.

2024 Triumph Scrambler 1200 X - Exhaust Closeup

Triumph has tweaked the distinctive exhaust system for 2024 to take heat away from the rider, and it’s redesigned the headers to create more torque in the lower revs. The bike still starts with a charismatic bark. It’s Euro 5 (and beyond) compliant, so it’s hardly going to wake the neighbors. Still, for a standard bike, it sounds good and throaty.

There are five riding modes to choose from (using the familiar controls on the left bar): Sport, Road, Rain, Off-Road and Rider Configurable, which allows you to create your own custom mode. 

We had dry conditions in Spain, if a little cold, which is why I stayed with Road and Sport modes. There isn’t a massive step in power and feel between the two modes as we’re only managing 89 bhp here, and I spent 90 percent of the road element of the test in the standard Road mode.

This is all you’ll ever need: smooth throttle delivery, strong drive from low down, and more than enough zip at the top end. While peak torque remains unchanged from the XC, Triumph claims to have increased the lb-ft available lower down, but without riding the old and new bike back-to-back it’s not overly evident. I can state, however, that the spread of torque in the lower rpm is lovely.

From as little as 2,000 rpm it starts to tug and, at 3,000 rpm, gathers its stride, yanking hard right through the mid-range. Short shifting becomes second nature, and I seldom revved the new X as there’s simply no need. 

Peak power is at 7,000 rpm, but you can make brisk progress changing up at just 5,000 rpm. It's meaty and tasty, a proper, no-nonsense twin which, with the TC off and a whiff of clutch in second gear, will loft the front without drama or revs. Nice to know on the road, and also useful on the dirt.

2024 Triumph Scrambler 1200 X - Gauge Closeup

The new LED/TFT hybrid dash is simple and easy to navigate. Some may actually prefer the classy minimalism of the X's display to that of the pricier XE, but one potential downside is that you don’t get backlit switchgear like the XE.

The long list of accessories is impressive; you can, for example, transform your 1200 X into a tourer with factory luggage options offering 102 liters of total storage, including a 35-liter tail pack. Or you can opt for off-road biased rubber, fit crash protection and a bash plate, and head for the desert.

On the test, I averaged 4.6l/100km which equates to 61.41 UK miles per gallon (or about 50.79 US mpg), the same as the old bike. Official figures haven’t yet been released, but returns of over 60mpg during a reasonably brisk ride can’t be ignored. 

The fuel tank capacity is only 15 liters, but will be fine for about 170 miles plus a little more before panic sets in. Unlike the premium XE cruise control isn’t standard, not even optional – shame.

More About The 2024 Triumph Scrambler 1200 XE

2024 Triumph Scrambler 1200 XE - Parked 4

Like the 1200 X, the suspension is completely new for the XE. The previous Showa forks and Öhlins twin shocks have been replaced by similar Marzocchi units, still fully adjustable and still with 250mm of suspension travel. Suspension may have dropped in spec’ but stopping power has increased, to Brembo Stylema radial four-pots in place of the previous Brembo M50s.

Style changes are minimal: just tweaks like the reduced indicators and rear light. Overall, the level of finish is very high and in the Spanish sunlight the new Baja Orange looked stunning.

The new 2024 Triumph Scrambler 1200 X now caters to those who like the idea and image of the 1200 XE but are either put off by its size or don’t require significant off-road ability. The new 1200 XE is now very different from the 1200 X and is clearly the big bad boy of the 1200 Scrambler range. Big ground clearance, big suspension travel, big seat height... And it has racy Brembo Stylema stoppers.

It looks stunning, and it’s surprising what you can get away with riding it both on and off road. It’s a fun, usable, versatile bike, and something a little different from a normal adventure machine, although still heavy.

The premium XE also receives an additional off-road pro mode, cruise control, and backlit switchgear as standard, not forgetting the premium clocks. And the best news, the price has dropped to $15,295 creating a huge saving of $1700 over the previous XE.


2024 Triumph Scrambler 1200 X - Riding 10
2024 Triumph Scrambler 1200 XE - Riding 7

Triumph now has two very different Scramblers in the 1200 X and 1200 XE. The British manufacturer has undoubtedly listened to customer feedback and produced a new Scrambler that is easier to live with day to day and isn’t just an XE with accessories.  It is more accessible for smaller and less experienced riders, yet shares the same character, power, torque and looks of the premium 1200 XE.

There is no hiding the fact that the suspension and brakes have fallen in spec, but Triumph has added lean-sensitive rider aids, a new dash, and more low-down torque whilst dropping the price by $1150 in a market where costs continue to rise.

The 1200 X is still capable off-road, up to a point, but is now much more friendly than before. For those of us honest enough to admit to ourselves that our off-roading ambitions probably don't include long rides into the wilderness and our real-world need to adjust our suspension damping is probably non-existent, the new Scrambler 1200 X certainly hits the mark. Cheaper, easier, safer than before – arguably the Scrambler that many wanted. Only time will tell us for sure. 

Photography by Chippy Wood

Gallery: 2024 Triumph Scrambler 1200 X and XE First Ride

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