The Scramble to Capture Urban Adventurers
With the origins of the scrambler going back to the 1920's, it's amazing to think that our great-great-grandfathers used to take to the dirt on street bikes with rigid frames and girder forks.
For many years however, factory built scramblers and road bikes were kept deliberately separate and it wasn't until the late 1960's and the advent of the dual-purpose motorcycle, that things really changed.
Yamaha's hugely popular 250cc, 2-stroke DT-1 was credited as being the first of this new generation of road-going dirt bike. Launched in 1968, it meant you could ride to your favorite piece of countryside, have fun in the dirt and ride home again.
Since the launch of the insanely popular BMW GS series, adventure bikes as they are now known have progressively gotten bigger and heavier with manufacturers now favoring engines of 1000cc and over.
For those who like the look, but tend to prefer adventuring in a more urban landscape, we now have the street scrambler. These cool looking bikes with their retro lines, long legs and wide bars, have certainly struck a chord with the bike buying public.
For 2017, most of the big manufacturers are fielding a strong range of street scramblers, so let's take a look at what's on offer. With a 900cc engine and an all- new frame, the street twin based Triumph Street Scrambler, has stainless steel high level pipes, dual purpose Metzlers and even a bash plate.
BMW's success with the R nineT has led to a number of different looks for the bike and the factory's latest incarnations the R nineT Scrambler and Urban G/S, look genuinely retro and very usable. As one of their best selling models, Ducati currently has a staggering six different street scramblers available and 2017 sees the launch of the Desert Sled.
Using their latest 950cc cruiser as a base, Yamaha have given it a dirt makeover, which they're calling the SCR950 Urban Scrambler. Also, new for this year and flying the flag for Italy, are the