Moto Guzzi V9 Roamer, Triumph Street Scrambler and Yamaha SCR 950 in comparison test

Moto Guzzi V9 Roamer, Triumph Street Scrambler and Yamaha SCR 950

Retro classics in a comparison test

We were promised sun. However, the three two-cylinder bikes Moto Guzzi V9 Roamer, Triumph Street Scrambler and Yamaha SCR 950 provided real bright spots on the tour through the Upper Danube Nature Park. Where lateral dynamics and Vmax are secondary, the motorcycle becomes the handbag of the modern man.

Fabulous! This morning the radio-good-morning-Show-Heini unabashedly trills into his microphone, what a "wonderful day with so much sun and only tiny clouds" lies ahead of us, now, less than two hours later on the way with colleagues in the Upper Danube Nature Park, the first drops fall on your hat. The nipples boldly stand in the airstream and, despite winter fat, announce that clothes are way too thin. The small, but informative digital display in the large analog instrument of the Moto Guzzi V9 Roamer confirms: cool eleven degrees Celsius. The visor adorns the finest drizzle, gray soup all around. Not bright, but on to cloudy! Set the indicators, put the side stand down, take off the helmet, breakfast break. Do the three two-cylinder units have to provide cozy warmth in the summer? Why not. They remain completely unaffected by the adverse conditions, spread their soothing, deep-bass sound carpet while standing and calm the gasping and shivering minds. In addition to the Guzzi with the strikingly transversely installed 90-degree V2 engine, the pistons of the in-line engine of the Triumph Street Scrambler pump; Yamaha SCR 950.

Moto Guzzi V9 Roamer, Triumph Street Scrambler and Yamaha SCR 950

Retro classics in a comparison test

SCR 950 per sun due to the concept. So it’s about more than just driving performance. And yet, in the end, good looks are not enough. We therefore want to know more precisely: Which bike cruises the coolest? Helmets on again and rumbling on!

Video of the retro classic comparison test:

Stefan grabs the British woman. For good reason! After all, the Street Twin as the basis of the Scrambler has been delighting the motorcyclist community for some time. At first everyone laughed when it became clear that the two-cylinder in-line with its irregular firing order of 899 cubic meters mobilized only 55 little horses. But anyone who has ever swung their leg over the noble-looking bench at a height of 83 centimeters, pulled the smooth clutch and pressed the starter button, knows better. This moment when the hair on the back of the neck stands up, passers-by perk up their ears and you almost grin your helmet off your head with joy, is pure two-wheel zest for life. When the first stage of the somewhat bony five-speed gearbox slips in, the bike presses the beat back into the life of man and machine from the lowest revs and the stately mass of 225 kilograms rushes ahead with a sonorous bubbling from the fine stainless steel pots, you know: Nothing rocks more than riding a motorcycle. Except sex maybe. Well, good sex. And the Triumph is damn close, because it has a lot behind its ears. Not only does the engine ignite vehemently in the country road-relevant area and deliver powerful pressure of up to 75 Newton meters at 3000 rpm to the grip-friendly Metzeler Tourance. No, the telescopic fork and the stereo spring struts, each with 120 millimeters of spring travel, can withstand a brisk line thanks to the rich (non-adjustable) damping without sacrificing comfort. In addition, the Street Scrambler with its 19-inch wire-spoke wheel at the front falls into a lean position after a courageous initial impulse and can be circled precisely around the corner, always lying stable and full until the pegs paint fine lines in the asphalt. The fact that the Brit likes and often uses fish and chips can be seen in the alternating curves. The 225 kilograms want to be adjusted with commitment. It suits Stefan that the seating position is harmonious and, compared to the Guzzi and Yamaha, fits all needs and stature. The handlebars are not too wide, bend nicely towards the driver, the knees bend comfortably, the exhaust cooks in the city traffic but despite the handsome and detailed heat shields, the right calf. Praiseworthy: The Triumph is the only one to have adjustable levers for the two-piston floating caliper brake from Nissin and the smooth-running, torque-assisted clutch. The brakes still leave an ambivalent impression. First and foremost, it lacks a clear pressure point and bite. At first the rubbers grip so bluntly that you have to reach in hard to decelerate the Street Scrambler. Only those who use the screw clamp handle reap an acceptable braking effect. You’d rather run the Triumph than set the next best time with it. The twin with 270 degree crank pin offset is simply not suitable for high speeds. Anyone who wants to sniff out compact cars with boosted turbo engines when leaving the town should keep an eye on oncoming traffic and start the intermediate sprint early. Don’t misunderstand: things are moving fast, but not brutally. Speaking of which: next stop please. Pee break.

The weather is gradually improving, dull turns into a friendly gray. The Triumph shines anyway. You just have to pay your respects to the Hinckley troop. So perfectly processed, so clean and lovingly designed, that testifies to passion and conviction in times of traction control and ride-by-wire. Great matt paint, high-quality headlight bracket, engine with cooling ribs, injection in a carburettor-look shell, snuggly seat, elegant spoked wheels, robust engine protection, shiny fuel tank cap – life can be beautiful. With this Triumph it is: It is a handbag for the modern man, impresses both inside and out with great details and practical properties. A beautiful bike – where riding is not only second.

Colleague Jens, on the other hand, is totally enthusiastic about the Yamaha, just tracing the characteristic teardrop shape of the red and white tank with his hands, then takes a scrutinizing look at the crisp, short rear section and lingers. There is something Spartan about this round trilogy of two indicators and an LED taillight. Functional, reduced, but extremely stylish. Just like the entire SCR 950. At Yamaha, too, they know that most of their scrambler genes are in their name. Rather, it is a boulevard cruiser, a handbag for the catwalk. The fact that the 54 hp 60-degree V2 also sounds dull and bassy, ​​like the low-maintenance belt drive, fits the feel-good concept. However, the Yamaha does not stand on its Bridgestone Trail Wing tires with as much attention to detail and as noble as the Triumph. The pillion footrests are of the simplest nature, the welded seams of the solid steel frame are average. In contrast to the wealth of information from Guzzi and Triumph, the digital cockpit only provides the essentials. It also does not have traction control like its rivals. With a weight of an impressive 255 kilograms, it may not be necessary. What excites Jens about the SCR 950? Let’s try it yourself!

The knee angle is definitely good for tall guys, it is relaxed. However, the wide handlebars with a cross brace require long arms or a forward-leaning upper body. Hm, a matter of taste. The seating position is not really convincing. On the right-hand side, the knee hits the air filter box; on the left, a spacer wire prevents direct contact between the thigh or knee and the rear cylinder, but it sometimes presses when sitting. The fact that there is no place at the traffic lights to put your boots on the tar because either the footrests, brake or gear levers are in the way doesn’t make things any better. But hey: you don’t look for handbags based on their utility. Rather, you should enjoy the deeply relaxed, powerfully ribbed two-cylinder. From idle speed it gets down to business so smoothly and creamy that the blood pressure plummets straight into the cellar. Let the others gas: on the Yamaha you rehabilitate yourself from the performance society! And even with character: mild, but powerful! At least 80 Newton meters are ready for 3900 tours on the crankshaft. Thanks to its low center of gravity, the SCR can be handled playfully despite its pounds, falls neutrally on an incline and frees the driver from all everyday worries. At least as long (or as short) until the pegs scratch furrows in the asphalt. The Yamaha is really nothing for lateral dynamics. In return, the brakes grip hard, can be dosed well and sometimes make the tires whimper nastily when using ABS.

Finally the sun is blinking through the clouds. Coffee break, team meeting. The Guzzi thermometer has now climbed to 19 degrees. With its eye-catching paintwork, it not only spreads joy of color, it is really a feast for the eyes. The beautifully and unusually designed 15-liter tank gives even the driver a great view of the two cylinders, which are finely decorated with brushed cooling fins and Moto Guzzi logo. Anyone who has never been able to get to know the character of a Mandello bike will experience it at the latest with the first turn of the longitudinal crankshaft. When the electric starter starts the 90-degree V2, the Roamer Guzzi leans briefly to the left, as is typical for Guzzi, then falls back into the middle position: ready for anything, sir! In addition, it thunders in low frequencies from the two chic rear silencers without hammering in an anti-neighborly fashion. What is noticeable: The Guzzi doesn’t sound as full when idling as it does when under load. So quickly up on the quilted bench at a height of 80 centimeters. Yes, cruising out of this command center is easy. The seating position has been successfully revised this year. The feet now find their place automatically on the higher and further back arranged notches, the knees bend very relaxed and also no longer collide with the protruding cylinders. As on the Yamaha, the arms have to stretch towards the handlebars, which results in a passive but by no means strange ergonomics. It matches the rustic, traditional charm of the 853 cubic V2. This hangs very directly on the cable, is already working hard in the basement and is agile through the rev range, which in the case of the Italian also deserves this name. Where Triumph and Yamaha hoist the white flag and thirst for the next gear, the Roamer really turns up. Since the measured maximum of 58 hp and 70 Newton meters hit just 216 kilograms, she can easily keep up with the pace of the others and even offers the most reserves when overtaking. One did not expect such a lively appearance of the two-valve. And the rest is also convincing: From the neutral position, the V9 falls slightly into an inclined position, but then wants to be kept on the targeted line at the inside of the handlebar end. If there are a few bumps on an incline, it is better to turn the gas down a little, because the Pirelli Sport Demon tends not only to stand up when braking, but also on mogul slopes. Otherwise, the Guzzi will lead you through life carefree. With her you forget the tribulation, her coolness is immediately transferred to the pilot.

In the meantime, he can always rely on the powerful, easily controllable single-disc brake with four-piston caliper from Brembo. Turning maneuvers succeed easily compared to the opponents. Your engine vibrates heavily under load, but never annoying when coasting. The Guzzi doesn’t want to be a lacquered accessory, rather an authentic bag made of suede. It is pleasing that the cardan drive still does its job unobtrusively and (in contrast to the last test motorcycle) very quietly. Which, in turn, does not apply to the precisely shiftable, but always loud cracking six-speed gearbox when changing gear. Apparently that belongs to this Guzzi just as much as the side stand jib (to the left) and the exhaust (to the right) that scrabble on the road from medium lean angles without warning. Gas out, off to the next parking lot!

In the handbag ranking, the Guzzi easily plays a leading role, like the Triumph, with great workmanship and fine details. If you are skeptical, you have to take a look at the high-quality, milled footrest system or the high-gloss turned rim strips. Great craftsmanship!

For around 10,000 euros you can get the Yamaha SCR 950 or the Guzzi V9 Roamer. The noble handbag from Great Britain even costs a good thousand more. Cloudy prospects? No one has ever said that handbags are cheap! And certainly not beautiful.

MOTORCYCLE conclusion

No, none of these three bikes can almost burn a best time into the asphalt of the home track in the end. There is more suitable device for this. But if you are looking for love and security in beautiful details, and want to roar through the world with a powerful motorized vehicle, then this two-cylinder engine is the right choice.

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