2024 Triumph Scrambler 1200 X vs XE: Which One You Buy?

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Triumph Scrambler 1200 X vs XE

Now, look, in my opinion, Triumph’s 1200 scramblers are some of the best retro bikes on the market, with an almost perfect blend of modern day performance, adventure bike levels of tech, and yet this beautiful old school design that gives them that timeless appeal.

Introduction: Triumph 2024

But in 2024, there are two models available the X and the XE. And there are some pretty serious differences between the two bikes.

So it might be a little bit difficult to know which one to choose. I’ll give you three reasons to buy the X and three to buy XE.

So, let’s get stuck in with a quick look at the specs on this X model, which is brand new for 2024. You see, previously, you also had two bikes with the XC and XE.

And the XC was meant to be slightly more road focus, whilst the XE is a little more premium and offroad biased. But ultimately, both bikes were pretty tall and pretty similar in terms of price. Triumph Scrambler 1200 X vs XE

Triumph Scrambler 1200 X

Now, from registration data here in the UK, you can see that they were actually selling almost twice as many XE as XC.

And so that’s probably why they decided to introduce this new model with a slightly different position on the market.

The key differences are that this bike is now far lower slung, with a 20 MM reduction in seat height down to 820. Triumph Scrambler 1200 X vs XE

And they’ve done that by lowering the stance of the bike, which, of course, comes at the expense of a little bit of suspension travel and ground clearance.

Components and Hardware

But on top of that, they’ve also managed to bring the price down a bit, with the XC previously retailing at 12,695 pounds, whereas this new model is 800 quid less at eleven eight nine five.

Now, look, clearly, some compromises are going to have to be made to hit this more affordable price point.

And you can see that in the level of componentry and hardware throughout the whole bike. Triumph Scrambler 1200 X vs XE

Not only is the suspension that little bit shorter, but also they swapped out the shower fork and the Olin’s rear shocks for Marzoki equipment at both ends.

Now, on the braking front, it’s a pair of two piston Nissan calipers on slightly smaller 310 mil disks.

And you could consider that quite a bit of a step down from the Brembo M50 Of the XC model that this bike is effectively replacing.

Then, in the cockpit, we’ve got a different dash and switch gear, although these will be familiar if you’ve ever taken a spin on one of their 660 bikes.

So, the Trident or the Tiger Sport. In fact, you’ll also find this setup on the new street triple R.

And so I think it’s something they’re using quite broadly on their, let’s say, more affordable bikes. Triumph Scrambler 1200 X vs XE

Now, of course, with all these changes, there is a slight forfeit in terms of performance.

Certainly when you compare it to the XC, there’s just a little less ride quality and no adjustability on the damping.


The brakes are decent, but there isn’t the same amount of feel at the lever and feedback.

And then the switch gear and dash just does the job without being quite so fancy.

But look, ultimately, if you’re willing to accept slightly less performance and slightly lower levels of finish, then this is the most affordable scrambler 1200 they’ve ever made.

And so, if you’re predominantly shopping based on price, then clearly this is the one to go for. Triumph Scrambler 1200 X vs XE

Seat Height

I’d also say if you compare it to other large capacity scrambler style bikes on the market, such as the BMWR 90 scrambler or the indian FTR rally, then again, on price, it does look pretty good.

In fact, speaking of those two bikes, take a look at the seat heights at 820 and 815 mm.

This is pretty typical of a road bias bike, and I think a happy medium that will suit the widest possible range of riders.

But thing is, triumph never really had a scrambler in this sort of mainstream, broad appeal seat height. Triumph Scrambler 1200 X vs XE

The XE model, for example, is absolutely massive at 870 mm. And so you either have to be pretty confident or pretty tall to find that practical day in, day out.

The Scrambler 900, on the other hand, is actually surprisingly low, coming in at just 790 mm.

So while it does probably feel really reassuring to newer riders, for a lot of people, I think that’s going to feel too small.

Now, ideally, the XC model would have plugged the gap in the middle, but at 840 mil, you can still see it’s a little over the average from the competition.

Handling and Performance

This new x model completely rectifies the issue, though, and I think it’s a great call for the majority of riders who are spending most of their time riding on the road.

The tradeoff in ground clearance and suspension trouble is probably one that most people are willing to make. Triumph Scrambler 1200 X vs XE

And at 175 cm tall or five foot nine, I can indeed confirm that riding this bike feels a lot more easygoing and natural, with the ability to get your feet down either side with no problem, even if you’re in a bit of a fluster.

And look, I don’t think you could say the same of the XE.

So, the number two reason to buy this bike has to be that lower slung stance, especially for anyone who’s really fancied a scrambler 1200 in the past, but just found it too tall.

Off-Road Considerations

I would also say it’s not just that kind of low speed reassurance that you’ll feel as a benefit, because actually sitting a little bit lower, carrying its mass closer to the road.

Certainly between this and the super tall XE, I think it’s the one that feels more natural in terms of the handling on the road.

Don’t get me wrong, it still handles like a scrambler because you got that big 21 inch front wheel, which is never going to be anywhere near as precise as a proper road bike. Triumph Scrambler 1200 X vs XE

And also, you’ve got that sat up riding position with the big high and wide bars.

But within this lineup, comparing it to the XE, you feel that bit closer to the ground, less lurching around on and off the throttle and the brakes.

And so, certainly for me, if I was picking one of these two bikes specifically for a road ride, even despite the slight downgrade on the brakes and stuff, I’d almost certainly still pick this one.

I should also add that they’ve made some little tweaks to the engine for both these models for 2024.

And while the peak power and peak torque figures might look the same on the spec sheet, they do say they found a broader spread throughout the rev range.

Engine Enhancements

And so, yeah, this big 1200 Bonneville twin feels as good as ever. In fact, this is, despite the weather, a nice reminder, this ride, that this is one of my favorite motorcycle engines currently on the market.

I just love the sound, the feel of it. And there’s absolutely bags of torque from super low in the revs. And that just makes it feel like there’s always plenty of shove on tap.

Final Word

Now, let me be very clear about this. If I was doing loads and loads of off road riding, I’d still don’t think I’d choose this XE scrambler. Triumph Scrambler 1200 X vs XE

And I’d much rather go for, like, a smaller dirt bike or even a middleweight adventure bike. And that’s not to say they haven’t specked it up to do the job.

The specs are absolutely ridiculous for a retro style bike, you’ve got 250 mil of travel on the suspension, front and rear, bags of ground clearance, tubular spoke wheels with the 21 inch at the front, a decent standing position.

Loads of off road ready electronics. And so really, on paper, you’ve got something that looks as capable as an adventure bike.

But look, this is a big old bike at 230 kg weight, and so it’s going to take a fair bit of effort to lift it up, especially if it gets properly stuck.

And even for easier dirt trails and gravel and stuff, there’s still a chance you’ll go down. Triumph Scrambler 1200 X vs XE

And so while you could fit crash bars and a bit of protection, I still think it’s just too beautiful to get scuffed up on trails. And also quite pricey at just over 13 grand.

That all said, if you want a retro looking bike with almost perfect scramblery proportions, this beautiful level of finish with loads of details, a great engine, great performance, top spec equipment, and you also happen to want to do a little bit of offroading and gravel riding. Then, of course, this is a much better choice than the X.

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