BMW joins the Scrambler revolution

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Rumour has it that every motorcycle manufacturer will produce a scrambler by 2017. Like ABS, it’ll be compulsory amid sweeping legislation changes throughout the industry and may even assist in world peace, love and harmony.

That first paragraph is, of course, dramatised satire. But if someone told us even five years ago that premium brands would be churning out scrambler derivatives, that little nugget would also have been lampooned. Press kits brimming with philosophical drivel, and promotional videos containing skaters and trendy beards are no longer eccentric. And despite trivial piss-taking, these homages to generations past have broadened motorcycling for the better – Ducati’s brand extension equated to the 10th best-selling bike worldwide in 2015.

In the R nineT as the perfect base, BMW was always edging towards such a model and subsequently unveiled its Scrambler in Milan this week. Based heavily on the well-received R nineT, most of the variations are styling-based and uses the same 1170cc Boxer engine that produces a claimed 110bhp. The exhaust is raised and heavily-treaded tyres are fitted, just in case you fancy attempting that triple…

A steel tank has replaced the ally item and while the frame looks identical, BMW claims it’s a newly developed modular design allowing removal of the rear subframe. Thanks to more upright ‘bars and lower pegs, the Scrambler’s riding position is further relaxed than the R nineT’s.

BMW has also selected lower spec budget components like suspension that better fits the scrambling ethos: right-way-up forks complete with rubber gaiters control a 19-inch front wheel (rather than the R nineT’s 17-incher), and the radial-mounted calipers are ditched in favour of some ‘axially’ mounted puppies. BMW’s Paralever shock sorts the rear.

As with most scramblers/retro rides, BMW’s Scrambler is ‘designed to be customised.’ The optional extras list includes spoked rims (pictured below), BMW’s Automatic Stability Control, heated grips and brushed ally tank. We can see why the BMW’s effort has gone down a treat.


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