Back in RUST 42 we tested the Triumph Scrambler 1200XE. We loved it. It brought a fresh mix of adventure into the scrambler market. Tall, leggy, damn lusty too, it was pretty irresistible. Until we saw its little sister, the 1200XC (dressed up in the Inspiration Escape clothes), then we had a new desire. That was back in April. Now in September we’ve been out with the XC, and yes, we like this one just as much…
The big difference is in the ‘legs’ (y’know, the suspension), the XC being two inches shorter (and mixing measures here) offering 200mm in stroke as against the 250mm of the XE. They’re still a Showa/Öhlins combination but there’s a sense of downgrading, as you can see by the colour of the fork legs (gold on the XE, black on the XC). But as well there are geometry changes that we shouldn’t ignore; on the XE we’re talking a rake and trail of 26.9º and 129.9mm, on the XC 25.8º and 121mm. And if that wasn’t enough, the swingarm is shorter on the XC, being 547mm as against 579mm on the XE, which altogether affects the overall length of the bike, 2285mm versus 2325mm. All of which should inform the educated rider along the lines of the XC being a quicker steering Scrambler. If it were that simple.
However, the XC’s attraction to us here at RUST is in its modesty. The XE is one big, brash bouncing statement bike, where the XC is found in muted colours (black or a muted green combination) and plenty of black detailing, it’s kind of understated stealth, and us being British, we like that.
But we’re not without a romantic nature and so Triumph’s Inspiration Escape kit further attracts us. There’s not much to it, just handguards, grab rail/rack, LED fog lamps, a flyscreen, and – appeasing our sense of practicality – a centrestand and pannier with fitting kit (just the one pannier, as there’s the high-level exhaust taking up space on the right hand side). Altogether it looks great, you could park it next to Ted Simon’s old RTW Trophy and you could see the shared story – but for sure you’d want to ride this bike over (with respect) Ted’s old plodder, this is a homage to history through supercharged rose-tinted goggles.