Bikes & Customs: Lifestyle

Freddie Sheene test rides the Triumph Street Scrambler

Street Scrambler: city and dirt

Freddie Sheene takes it for a spin

“It’s one of the best looking bikes,” Freddie Sheene, son of racing legend Barry Sheene and racer in his own right, says about the new 2019 Street Scrambler. Freddie provides an honest assessment after giving the bike a good run in the dirt and a spin around the city streets of Atlanta. Triumph’s photographer, Grant Evans, was there to capture the moment.

Freddie’s background covers both dirt and road riding: “When I was a bit younger I rode flat track and I’ve raced closed circuit on 600s. So I guess I’ve got some experience on and off the track and this bike is definitely the best of both worlds.”

From the Georgia countryside and into the city, the bike got a thorough test on varied terrain: “We took it into some forested areas, then we went up some fire trails. We rode it on sand, rough stuff, road and ended up in the city.

“What surprised me most is its ability on dirt,” Freddie explains. “I took it up tracks I didn’t think it could cope with and it was great. Obviously, this is more of a road bike, but it can happily do sand and gravel, and we were jumping logs and doing other fun stuff. It’s got plenty of low-down torque and it’s noticeably more powerful than the last version.”

When it comes to the roads, Freddie did a fair bit of cruising to test out its comfort: “For the shoot, we blocked off a street in Atlanta. It was strange to be riding around a city centre with no traffic. We had a police escort too; it was quite surreal.

“It’s incredibly comfortable. The seating position is great and it’s so easy to ride. Lovely power off the line at traffic lights, snappy handling and generally very happy doing whatever you need it to do. We tested it out with a pillion and it’s still enjoyable – you could cover quite a bit of distance in comfort.

“It would be the perfect bike here,” Freddie says, referring to his home on the Gold Coast in Australia. “You could take it on the beach and it would be fine for the highways.

“The balance of old-school style and modern touches is what really appeals to me. The matte-finish tank is beautiful. It’s an authentic style that will never age. If you pick up the latest sports bike, in five years it’ll look pretty old – this will look great forever. Also, this is a bike you can just jump on and go; you don’t have to worry about it like you would a classic or something too complex.”