The Triumph Scrambler 1200 is a whole lot of motorcycle.
It’s cool, it’s capable, it’s beautiful.
It adapts instantly to the random road surfaces we get here in New Zealand.
Around here, one minute you’re riding on a normal sealed road, and the next it’s turned into feral rough gravel.
On the Triumph Scrambler 1200, that’s not an issue.
And this is also a great looking bike.
With its high Arrow exhaust and two-tone tank that’s half shiny, half matte, it turns heads every time we go out on it.
But there’s one problem.
The Triumph Scrambler 1200 exhaust runs hot.
But mostly for the passenger, as I found out.
The Triumph Scrambler 1200 is such an awesome motorcycle. But the Triumph Scrambler exhaust gets uncomfortably hot – especially for the passenger.
After a lot of research and some trial and error, we figured out how to cool down the exhaust and make the ride comfortable again.
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Last week, we were roaring through the countryside on the Triumph Scrambler 1200 with me on the back.
The exhaust was getting hotter and hotter.
When I sat with my feet normally square on the pegs, I could feel a strong burning sensation on my calf.
This was above my boot, and through all the layers of armor in my motorcycle riding jeans.
Ow! I said out loud inside my motorcycle helmet, as I tried to keep my leg well away from the pipe.
What’s going on here?
I wriggled my boot out to the far edge of the foot peg to put some distance between my leg, and the searing source of heat.
It helped a little, but now I was uncomfortable with my knee out in the wind.
My inner princess was coming out to play.
Time to have a word to the hubby.
Those pipes get pretty hot, don’t they? I said after our ride.
Oh, not really. Are you finding them hot? He asked, surprised.
Yes. Very hot. Frighteningly hot. I think I might’ve burned my leg through my jeans.
Pat looked dubious.
Surely not, he said.
Let’s have a look.
My riding jeans had no sign of burning on them.
But underneath, my calf had a definite large red blotch on it.
Look! I said.
That’s an early stage of a burn, for sure!
OK, Princess. I’ll look into it then, shall I?
He headed off to do research on the Triumph forums.
Thanks, honey! I said brightly, adjusting my princess crown a little.
So 300 forum posts and several YouTube videos later, we came up with a cunning plan.
I think we might’ve fixed it.
Let me walk you through what we did.
Fixing the Triumph Scrambler 1200 Exhaust Heat Problem
4 Steps To a Cooler Riding Experience
1. Remove the catalytic converter
Here in New Zealand, it’s legal to take out the cat, but I realise that’s not the case everywhere.
De-catting the Scrambler was a start towards decreasing the heat of the exhaust.
It helped for the rider, but not so much for me as the passenger.
Even so, it had 3 other advantages:
- Increased performance
The bike runs better with fewer obstacles in the way of the air and gas flow.
- Decreased weight
The cat weighed about 3.5 kg, and the new headers we replaced it with weighed about half that.
- Improved sound
Without a muffling obstacle in the exhaust, the bike can sing more loudly, and in tune.
So it was worth doing for a few reasons, but it didn’t fix the heat problem for me on its own.
But as it turned out, we were just getting started…
2. Extend the right passenger foot peg
We thought that putting a little more distance between my leg and the Scrambler exhaust might help.
And it did.
A little bit.
We added an alloy spacer to extend the right foot peg, which moved my leg further away from the pipe.
It’s only about 2-3 inches, but it does make a difference.
I could still feel the pulsing heat, though.
But at least now it wasn’t actually burning my delicate princess leg.
3. Add heat reflecting insulation to the inside of the guard
It’s the metal heat guard itself on the Triumph Scrambler exhaust that starts to resemble a blacksmith’s furnace.
So if we could find a way to make that cooler, that would be the jackpot.
And we did!
Pat found some self-adhesive aluminium insulating material in our local auto shop.
He made a special trip to pick it up.
What a man.
So we needed to attach this material to the inside of the heat guard.
The heat guard is a weird shape and the insulation material is a bit pricey (about $60 New Zealand money for a small sheet – so about US$40).
So I didn’t want to just cut it up randomly.
I made up a paper template first rather than just cutting it and hoping for the best.
Sellotaping the template pieces to the insulation material to keep them in place, I cut out 4 pieces.
We prepped the inside of the heat guard with isopropyl alcohol and carefully (so carefully) fitted the insulation material to the inside of the heat guard.
This was a game changer.
This product claims it will radiate 90% of heat back to the pipe.
I thought this was a pretty wild claim, but it’s not as far-fetched as it sounds.
It actually works.
The heat guard on the Triumph Scrambler exhaust still gets warm, but is no longer what I’d call hot.
4. Add a leg protector
I didn’t just leave it to Pat to solve this problem.
Since I was the one doing all the complaining about the Triumph Scrambler exhaust, I thought I should try to find a solution too.
So I found an ugly rubber slip-on barrier which you pull onto your leg under your riding jeans.
It forms a physical layer between you and the heat source.
It’s not exactly high fashion.
They’re not parading around in these rubber accessories at Milan Fashion week, believe me.
But this layer of rubber works.
It’s pretty comfortable, and it adds another barrier between my delicate leg and the warm Triumph Scrambler exhaust.
The Triumph Scrambler 1200 Exhaust Problem is Solved!
It took some research, and a series of steps to get this right.
But what a relief!
Now even on a hot day, I can climb aboard the passenger seat of the Triumph Scrambler 1200 and relax.
I know that my delicate princess leg will never turn an angry shade of red again.
I don’t know who’s more relieved…
Me, because I’m now perfectly comfortable on this motorcycle.
Or Pat, because he doesn’t have to listen to any more complaints from the princess on the back of his bike.
Either way, it’s win-win!
Did you enjoy this article?
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