A retro scrambler inspired by the King of Cool himself…
In 2019, Triumph launched the Scrambler 1200 XE — one of the few factory production scramblers to be worthy of the name. The engine is the newest evolution of the company’s 1200cc high-power eight-valve British twin, featuring a low inertia crank, high-compression cylinder head, and a dedicated Scrambler tune developed to give the optimum balance of power and torque delivery for both on and off-road riding.
Unlike many bikes which are “scramblers” in name only, the Triumph boasts real long-travel suspension — nearly 10 inches front and rear — from a set of 47mm Showa forks and twin Öhlins piggyback rear shocks. The result is true off-road capability and ground clearance. Braking comes from Brembo M50 radial monobloc calipers, with twin 320mm floating discs on the front a single disc in the rear. ABS is standard.
“On the road it can be calm, refined and give you the thrill of a sportsbike, but its ability to be a scrambler in more than just name is impressive. A serious off-road tool, the Triumph is an adventure bike that just happens to look like a retro.” –MCN
For 2022, the engine boasts lower emissions — compliant with Euro5 standards — and the twin high-level exhaust system has been updated with the added benefit of improved heat distribution. But the more interesting update is the limited edition model, inspired by the King of Cool himself…
Triumph has produced a limited batch of 2022 Scrambler 1200 Steve McQueen Editions.
“In celebration of arguably the most famous movie star, stunt, and motorcycle in history, the new Scrambler 1200 Steve McQueen Edition takes inspiration from the Triumph TR6 that pulled off the still-legendary stunt from the iconic war movie classic, The Great Escape.” –Mecum
The limited-edition bike boasts its own McQueen-themed Competition Green livery and an extensive list of unique details — the highest-specification Scrambler 1200 ever, we’re told. Details include stainless electro-plated crash bars, laser-cut aluminum radiator guard, and premium brown bench seat.
Each bike is individually numbered on a billet-machined handlebar clamp, which also features a laser-etched Steve McQueen signature. What’s more, each bike comes with a unique certificate of authenticity stating the bike’s serial number and carrying the signatures of the Triumph CEO and Chad McQueen, son of the legend himself.
On Saturday, August 14, Serial No. 0276 will be crossing the Mecum auction block in Monterey (CA), boasting the serial number that matches the number plate that Steve McQueen ran in the 1964 International Six Days Trial (ISDT).
In 1964, McQueen helped fund and form a US team to compete in the famed ISDT, including racers Bud and Dave Ekins, Cliff Coleman, and John Steen, all of whom piloted their very own Triumph machines.
“Their efforts across the pond were highly publicized, with countless magazines and news outlets including prominent feature articles about the race within their pages. As a result, imagery of McQueen atop his No. 278 Triumph at the 1964 ISDT remains prolific even today, and the Triumph brand has retained status as a household name with relative ease throughout the past half-century.”
What’s more, Serial No. 0278 of 1000 is being auctioned off with a charitable twist. The highest bidder will be writing the check for its purchase directly to the Boys Republic school for troubled youth — a non-profit treatment community for troubled youngsters located in Chino Hills, California.
As some of you may know, Steve came from a broken home. His father abandoned the family when he was less than a year old, and he lived with an uncle on a Missouri farm until he was 12. After that, he lived with his mother in Los Angeles, where he started to get in trouble with the law. In 1944, his mother sent him to the Boys Republic.
“He stayed at Boys Republic for 18 months and was always grateful for its help in turning him around. (He frequently visited it after he became famous, and left it $200,000 in his will.)” –Adoption.com
The winning bidder will also be invited as a Guest of Honor to the annual dinner of the Steve McQueen Car and Motorcycle Show at the school, which was founded in 1907 and has helped more than 32,000 at-risk teenage boys and girls.
“McQueen Scrambler No. 278 is likely to draw lots of attention in Monterey, and deservedly so. There isn’t much more any avid collector or rider could hope to find in a singular machine; this limited-edition, top-shelf Triumph truly has it all.” –Mecum
Build Sheet / Highlights
- 2022 Triumph Scrambler 1200 Steve McQueen Edition, donated by Triumph Motorcycles to benefit Boys Republic.
- Serial no. 0278 matches Steve McQueen’s number in the 1964 ISDT.
- Design was inspired by the Triumph TR6 from 1963’s The Great Escape.
- Certificate of authenticity with the signatures of Chad McQueen and Triumph CEO Nick Bloor.
- Highest specification Scrambler 1200 produced to date.
- 1 of only 1000 produced.
- High-power 1200cc Bonneville parallel twin engine.
- Dedicated Scrambler tune.
- Showa forks and Ohlins adjustable piggyback shocks.
- Twin Brembo M50 monobloc calipers.
- Long travel swingarm.
- Full color TFT instruments with illuminated switches.
- LED lighting with DRL headlamp.
- Signature high level twin exhaust.
- Side-laced tubeless wheels.
- Seamless fuel tank.
- Brushed aluminum Monza cap and brushed stainless tank strap.
- Exclusive Competition Green custom paint scheme.
- Hand-painted gold striping and Triumph logos.
- Billet-machined handlebar clamp with serial number and laser-etched McQueen signature.
- Stainless engine protection dresser bars with electro-polish finish.
- Laser-cut pressed aluminum radiator guard.
- Keyless ignition and single-button cruise control.
If you’re interested in this McQueen Scrambler, it will be hitting the Mecum auction block on Aug. 14. You can learn more and register to bid at Mecum.com.
This is a very handsome edition of an already handsome scrambler. That said, I propose that any buyer that wants one of these should be forced to show their “cinema credit score” proving that they have actually watched the Great Escape, the Sand Pebbles and perhaps the Thomas Crown Affair. Just kidding…
While I loved Steve McQueen perhaps it’s time to leave his legacy alone, lest we wear him out and turn him into something that is increasingly uncool?
Absolutely had the same thoughts about this. I’m sure Steve would love having a go on the Scrambler 1200 — no doubt this is a very cool, very capable machine — but you’ve got to wonder what he would think about his name being used for so much marketing these days…
…..oh goody…..another crappy music video…..??