Triumph Scrambler 400 X: First Ride Review

Akshay Jadhav
Is this the best sub-500cc scrambler yet?

Photography Vaibhav Dhanawade

When you think of a scrambler, what is it that comes to your mind? For me, it’s a mix of retro design, aggressive stance and the soul of an ADV. Scrambling these elements together gets you the Triumph Scrambler 400 X. Following in the footsteps of its sibling – the Speed 400, the Scrambler 400 X gets the same heart does it have a different personality? Let’s start with the design first.

You could say that the Scrambler 400 X and Speed 400 are stitched from the same cloth when it comes to design and quality. Similarities aside, the Scrambler 400 X does justice to its name. The neo-retro look, towering stance and minimalistic approach scream Scrambler in every possible way. The best part is the fact that the design language has prominently trickled down from its elder siblings, the Street Scrambler and the Scrambler 1200. The tear-drop-shaped 13-litre fuel tank is one of the only bits wearing a vibrant paint job, while the rest of the motorcycle is all brushed metal or matte black.

You get a good-looking split seat that is easily accessible and comfortable for the long haul. Its 835mm seat height sits comfortably between the Royal Enfield Himalayan and the KTM 390 Adventure and while being easily accessible for medium-height riders, is spacious enough for a six-footer like myself. And in keeping with the positioning as a Scrambler, it gets some interesting bits too, like the wide handlebar that gets a crossbar with a chin guard in the centre and a set of knuckle guards all of which are standard fitment.

The beefy 43mm upside-down forks are hard to miss and in keeping with the retro theme, you get an analogue speedometer with an integrated LCD. The rear view is equally charming, with a slim LED tail lamp and a dual-tipped exhaust completing the look. The fit and finish levels are impressive too though the switchgear, while built well, feels a step below what we have come to expect from Triumph motorcycles in terms of quality and tactility.

The Scrambler 400 X shares its powertrain with its sibling, the Speed 400 and that’s not a bad thing. For a motorcycle like this, the motor delivers where it matters most – Torque. The 398cc liquid-cooled single-cylinder motor offers 40PS and 37.5Nm. The torque figures are class-leading and in typical Triumph fashion, most of it is accessible in low to mid-revs. Given that the Scrambler weighs 9kgs more than the Speed 400, it gets one less tooth in the front sprocket to compensate for the additional weight gain and thereby enabling a quicker drive from the motor.

So what you get is a motorcycle that darts off the line with the ferocity of a mid-capacity motorcycle. The torque shove is relentless and remains unabated till 8000rpm after which it tapers down. Torque is omnipresent throughout the rev band and that’s what sets the Scrambler 400 X apart from its sibling and the rest of the competition. On the flip side, top speed takes a beating and while we saw the Speed 400 cross a speedo-indicated 160kmph with ease, the 400 X seemed to hit a wall post a speedo-indicated 140kmph. That should be enough for our conditions though no?

While the Speed 400 finds the tarmac as its home turf, the Scrambler is more of a wild child. With instant torque delivery at the twist of your wrist, the scrambler is a whole lot of fun once you venture off the tarmac.

The ergonomics are on point. Even with a scrambler-oriented design, the 400 X offers a relaxed riding experience with its mid-positioned foot pegs and a tall handlebar. It is quite comfortable to stand up and ride the scrambler offroad with ease. That said we felt the 400 X could benefit from wider footpegs. The 43mm long travel USD suspension can withstand a considerable amount of abuse on rough terrains. It shares its trellis frame with the speed but it gets a longer headstock. While the rake is sharper than the Speed 400, it features a longer trail.

With a combination of 195 mm of ground clearance and dual-purpose tyres, the scrambler guarantees a great off-roading experience. It offers a level of confidence that makes it a fantastic ride for novices and at the same time, packs the performance and suspension equipment for the expert rider.

Given that the scrambler will be ridden on the tarmac most of the time, the on-road dynamics do not disappoint either. The taller stance doesn’t stop the 400 X from slicing through the corners. Being a scrambler, it has a 19-inch front / 17-inch rear wheel setup wrapped in MRF Zapper Kurve (front) and MRF REV-Z (rear). Despite their dual-purpose design, both tyres offer good grip on the tarmac as well. It is quick to change direction and impresses with its stability on corners and on the straights as well. The Scrambler masks its extra weight over the Speed 400 well and feels quite light as well.

The Triumph Scrambler 400 X is priced at Rs 2.63 lakh ex-showroom and comes across as a do-it-all motorcycle that also doubles up as your weekend offroad companion. To sum it up the Triumph Scrambler 400 X offers a left-field alternative to ADVs and a fantastic way to start your scrambling journey.

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