Manchester to Rome on a Street Scrambler!
Tour Notes from PDB
It was a hard decision for me to part with my Africa Twin for a Triumph Street Scrambler (some said foolhardy)! The decision had to be made due to an old knee injury which made the control of the tall Africa Twin somewhat difficult when standing and at low speed. I needed something that was small and nimble.
I arranged a test ride on a Scrambler (2016 model) with Craig at Total Triumph and once I had a few miles under my belt, I knew that I should give this bike a chance. As soon as the test ride was over I entered into discussions with Craig to chop in my Africa Twin for the Scrambler - deal done.
I took delivery of the Scrambler and after the initial running-in period I embarked on 2 small tours of Ireland and Germany. At some point I added a touring screen to the Scrambler and this made quite some difference to the wind, which was a little violent above 70 MPH.
In Ireland I travelled with two Austrian friends who both rode up from Southern Austria on KTM 1190 Adventure Bikes. Clearly, prior to the tour, I was feeling a little inadequate in both the CC and BHP departments. In truth, I managed to keep up with my friends on most of the smaller twisting coastal roads. On open roads it was a different story, clearly.
So, after some planning I set off from Manchester on route to Rome on the 29th July 2019 on my trusted Scrambler. I planned to take 7 days but also wanted to stop in Southern Austria to meet up with my wife for a holiday. I also planned not to take any motorways (except the dreadful M1 in the UK). This I managed to do with the assistance of my somewhat odd TomTom Rider, and a lot of luck.
The route I took was into France using the tunnel, then onto Belgium, Germany (south through the black forest), into Switzerland and then east into Austria. From Austria I followed the east coast of Italy down to Ancona, then cross country (southwest) to Rome. As I said the total route took me 7 days and I covered 2,558 miles.
I did find some classic routes and one in particular you can find on TomTom’s website as I uploaded it there. I called the route “SPA Epic”. Please have a look and download if you want a 5 hour epic ride on fast and sweeping B roads (mainly).
I can say that this tour was fantastic, apart from Italy and I take this opportunity to warn all riders that from mid Italy down, the riding conditions are really not good. The roads are in a shocking state and even worse than the UK!
I can now state that the decision to pop into Total Triumph was a really good one and I am delighted with my Scrambler. Below is my list of pros and cons for owning this bike.
Handling on all roads was a dream and the bike is extremely surefooted, even in the wet.
Comfort was equal to the Honda but clearly not at speeds in excess of 70, due to wind.
The Scrambler is very easy to ride and extremely nimble at all speeds.
I was getting about 160 miles per tank of fuel.
I could take on a few forest tracks with no problem at all.
Due to the lack of space I was forced to pack only essential items.
Having Total Triumph as a dealer gave me a lot of confidence to be a long way from home.
Looks and sounds like a ‘real bike’ especially with the Vance and Hines pipe
Lack of power for overtaking on hills was an issue when I took my wife with me (only 52kg extra). With 55 BHP one cannot expect the pull of a bike with twice the HP.
Luggage space is limited. I say this is a con but it’s also a big plus?
Wind protection is only what you would expect, but having even a small screen does a remarkable job of adding protection from the wind.
Braking could be better.
Heat on the leg from the engine/exhaust is a factor when ridding in hot weather (30 degrees or more)
No heated grips would be a factor if riding in the UK.
I have owned quite a few bikes in my life and it is surprising that I find myself saying that the Triumph Street Scrambler is the best yet. I know this bike is not for everyone but for sure you can go on long adventure tours and keep up with bigger bikes, as long as you remain on smaller roads. I would definitely not want to do any longer than 30 minutes of motorways for obvious reasons.
Also a big thanks to Craig, Total Triumph and my Brother for getting me back on the road in a big way. The best dealer I have ever been involved with.
So what next? Well, clearly I need to get back to the UK and maybe change this bike for the All New 65 BHP (wow) scrambler, or maybe even go for the 1200 XC if it is low enough. But maybe I just hold on to my bike for a while longer, as I love it.