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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Triumph Scrambler is now $10,800 for a 2018. They're also water-cooled now, with a big honkin' radiator ready to get smashed to bits by rocks and debris. Triumph has 54hp and 59 ft lbs of torque.


Triumph Scrambler:
MSRP: $10,800
Power: 54 hp
Torque: 59 ft lbs
Weight: 454 lbs
Engine: Water cooled parallel twin
Displacement: 900cc
Fuel economy: 44mpg

Yamaha SCR950:
MSRP: $8699 (Street price $6699)
Power: 48 hp
Torque: 54 hp
Weight: 547 lbs
Engine: Air-cooled V-twin
Displacement: 942cc
Fuel economy: 50mpg

So the Triumph makes more 6 horsepower, 5 more torques, and weighs 92 lbs less.

Let that sink in. Ninety. Two. Pounds. It makes 6 more horsepower, and weighs ninety-two pounds less. In the racing community, 10 pounds is worth 1 horsepower. So that makes an equivalent of 15 horsepower difference between the two bikes.

BUT that new Triumph costs $2100 more on paper, and $4100 more in reality. (Actual dealer incentives/rebates are $2000 for dealerships. Some dealerships are selling for significantly below that now, but most are not).

That said, 92 pounds is huge. You can feel it in the heft of the bikes off the side stand. You can feel it throwing them both through curves. You can feel it accelerating onto the highway. What's more, the SCR950 has abysmal cornering clearance, and the steering is rather heavy and vague. The triumph has lots of available lean angle, and the steering feels light and agile.

The Triumph scrambler, at heart, is a well-suspended bonneville with a motor tweaked and designed more low end grunt and a frame that is made specifically for the scrambler.

The SCR950, at heart, is an XV950 Bolt, with identical cruiser suspension, identical frame, and no real changes other than cosmetic styling. It has poor ground clearance, poor suspension travel, it weighs too much, and doesn't have enough horsepower.

But... I love it anyways. I bought the SCR950 over the Triumph Scrambler because I like the styling, and because it's a better starting place for a person like me who modifies his bikes, often rather severely.

Not a lot can be done about the weight. It's mostly engine and frame, although some can be done with the stock exhaust system. $280 for a Danmoto slip on will reduce weight, but not really gain you much in the way of actual power. Horsepower can be helped with Ivan's ECU flash and an open airbox. And that's relatively inexpensive, $150 for a V&H naked air cleaner and $350 for the flash. That will get you around 11 horsepower. That bumps the SCR to 59hp for under $800. That's 5hp more than the Scrambler.

Now, to do something similar on a Triumph Scrambler, you'll need a Stage 1.5 intake kit and a 2-into-1 exhaust. That'll net you 8 horsepower. The Stage 1 induction kit is $302, the EFI flash is $127, and a reasonably-priced 2-into-1 exhaust is between $950 and $1300, depending on the brand. You're looking at at least $1400 to get 8 hp.

So, if you're a mechanically minded individual, in the horsepower-per-dollar arena the SCR950 wins HANDILY.

In the weight area there's really not much you can do. Exhaust will free up a few pounds, passenger peg brackets and tail removal, but that's it really. There's nothing non-essential that you can remove or replace easily. So you're stuck with the weight.

What about suspension? Well, I wasn't happy with my SCR950's performance in that regard, and I pioneered modifications to it that GREATLY enhance the handling and cornering clearance -- on the street. For under $150 I acquired 12.25" long shocks made for a Sportster, and then made new spacers for the bushings to fit on the Yamaha shock mounts. This raises the back of the bike 1.75" over stock. I slid the tubes down in the triple trees 0.25", so the rear is 1.5" higher than the front. This modification requires adjusting the tension of the belt, and for that you'll need the proper deflection gauge. You'll also have to trim the rear brake line guide bracket if you're running stock exhaust, as this bracket will hit the stock muffler mount. If you have aftermarket exhaust, you'll have no problems.

The difference in handling is phenomenal! The stock bike has rather slow, lazy handling, and drags hard parts at very mild lean angles. With the tail lifted more than the front, the bike rides as if on rails. It turns in quickly and it much easier to alter a line in a curve. It feels confident leaned over quite far, and it takes a serious lean to start dragging peg feelers. It's an amazing change! On the street. I used sportster shocks because they're not long-travel. In fact, they only have half an inch more travel than stock shocks, even though they're significantly longer. The bike no longer bottoms out over speed bumps, but it's still not what I'd call well-suspended. Because of the belt drive, I'm limited to short-travel suspension unless I engineer a tensioner for the belt. Also, this makes the SCR950 a lot taller. My 5'9" self can no longer flat-foot the bike. I'm on the balls of both feet, or one heel and one toe. That may be an issue for shorter riders. (But as far as keeping kin with vintage scramblers, it's more accurate).

So off-road, the Triumph is much more capable. It has longer suspension travel, is far lighter, and has a lot of design changes with dirt in mind. It's not just a bonnie with longer shocks. The SCR950 will always be a cruiser that looks like a scrambler (actually it looks more like a dirt tracker, but I digress).

Ultimately, the SCR950 is the winner for me. It's the best bang-for-the-buck, and I love the looks. The Triumph is a more capable bike for actually riding in the dirt.

Charles.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Note, I accidentally quoted the 865cc Scrambler's fuel mileage, not the 900cc street scrambler's. The street scrambler gets 58mpg, which is very impressive.

Street Scrambler has a 3.2 gal fuel tank at 58mpg, for a total range of 186 miles.
SCR950 has a 3.43 gal fuel tank, at 50mpg, for a total range of 170 miles.

Charles.
 

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Put 10,000 on my previous (865cc air-cooled) Triumph Scrambler. Fabulous bike, and makes an interesting comparison to my current SCR.
Ben
 

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Shopping for my first bike, I was looking at The SCR950, the Street Scrambler, the Bonneville, the HD street 750, and the HD Street Rod... mostly used bikes. A shop 50 miles away had several new 2017 SCR950's priced at $4995. Finding a new scrambler style bike at that price point made the sale for me. I've had the bike for about 3 months and love it.
 

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Summer ride comparison

Due to an unforeseen set of events, I ended up with both a Street Scrambler and an SCR 950 in my garage this summer. I have put over 2000 miles on the Scrambler and 1000 miles on the SCR 950. Both are great bikes in their own right. I like them both.

The Street Scrambler (IMHO) is one of the best all around bikes on the market (the Street Twin might be the best), due to it's ease of riding, performance and retro looks. A newer rider will feel very confident on this bike. It's weight and chasis make it very nimble to ride. I have been averaging about 59 MPG on Reg Unleaded which is an added bonus. I have had a lot of conversations out the bike and there is a cool factor too it.

The SCR 950 - I got used with less than 2500 miles for $4K. I found the bike lacking some character and functionality. I added the Koso Speedo/Tach/ multifunction guage which helps out immediately. I also added an Arkapovic Exhaust and the Yamaha Touring/ADV foot pegs. IT is a heavy bike and responses slowly compared to the Triumph. I love the big V-Twin sound and feel. I don't like the limited range of the fuel tank. My fuel light comes on at 106 miles and I always fill with 2.5 gallons - so I figure real world mileage to be 40 mpg. Although my mileage has improved slightly with the new pipe. It has great styling and people always ask about the bike. It is really great on back country roads and lazy rides in the country.
(OH- and the TrailWings have to go - they are louder than crap)

If I had to buy only one bike at the regular MRSP and no incentives - I would have to say the Street Scrambler. That would be an apples to apples comparison. IF you start adding in incentives and other things - well that depends on the deal you can work.

Given the deal I got on the used SCR950 at $4150 OTD, well that would be the winner as far as smiles per mile per dollar spent. Allow some money for new tires as the Trailwings will drive you nuts over 58 mph.

Think of the SCR950 as a cruiser with an off-roadish attitude and the Triumph as a Retro - Classic that plucks at those Steve McQueen heart-strings.

Either bike will bring a grin to your face.

I hope this helps - Keep the Shiney side up.

Rob
 

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My SCRTloB has anything but vague steering.
It has cruiser steering. LOL. Very very reminiscent of my Vulcan 750 … but its lower end acceleration reminds me of my eliminator 1000.
Of course this thing gives up on it once you shift past 2nd gear, while the eli 1000 used to pull like a runaway freight train till an indicated 135 in 5th gear.
The trail wings are a grinding disaster of a cruiser tar on the street and a pathetic excuse on the dirt.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
My SCRTloB has anything but vague steering.
It has cruiser steering. LOL. Very very reminiscent of my Vulcan 750 …
Right. That's what I said. Vague steering. My 1980 CX500 has quicker, more precise steering. My TW200 had more precise steering, and it's on giant balloon tires. Raising the rear of the SCR950 makes the steering quicker, so there is an easy fix. There's just too much trail in a stock bike.

The trail wings are a grinding disaster of a cruiser tar on the street and a pathetic excuse on the dirt.
Hrm, I don't have issue with the tires. The front tire howled for the first 2000 miles, but it's quiet now. I've had no problems riding it hard and scraping pegs (and my bike is raised up considerably front and rear, so I have a lot more cornering clearance than a stock bike). I've not taken the SCR950 on real gnarly dirt, but it handles dirt and gravel roads just fine.

In fact, I was just praising the tires yesterday. I pulled off the road onto a little dirt path to check my phone GPS and I misjudged how loose and deep the dirt was. It was basically dirt-colored sand, and I hit it while turning and braking. Front tire moved an inch, maybe two, to the side, but stayed hooked up. If I had street tires, I'd have gone down. No question. I felt it happen, and I've felt that same feeling before. Only this time, it didn't result in the bike on the ground. So, I'm giving that front tire props.

Plus on gravel, I'm going far faster than is probably smart, and giving it power so the rear wheel slides out a bit (just experimenting really, as I'm not a dirt rider). Front always tracks perfectly, and has never washed out yet.

Charles.
 

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Hrm, I don't have issue with the tires. The front tire howled for the first 2000 miles, but it's quiet now. I've had no problems riding it hard and scraping pegs (and my bike is raised up considerably front and rear, so I have a lot more cornering clearance than a stock bike). I've not taken the SCR950 on real gnarly dirt, but it handles dirt and gravel roads just fine.

In fact, I was just praising the tires yesterday. I pulled off the road onto a little dirt path to check my phone GPS and I misjudged how loose and deep the dirt was. It was basically dirt-colored sand, and I hit it while turning and braking. Front tire moved an inch, maybe two, to the side, but stayed hooked up. If I had street tires, I'd have gone down. No question. I felt it happen, and I've felt that same feeling before. Only this time, it didn't result in the bike on the ground. So, I'm giving that front tire props.

Plus on gravel, I'm going far faster than is probably smart, and giving it power so the rear wheel slides out a bit (just experimenting really, as I'm not a dirt rider). Front always tracks perfectly, and has never washed out yet.

Charles.
I probably could have gotten 13-15k miles out of the trailwings and for that I have to say they weren't terrible. I felt very confident pushing through heavy rains in the city and they did a bit quieter after a good amount of miles were put on them. I understand that under 1000 miles they are going to be loud af and leave a bit to be desired.
 
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