Why Scrambler Bikes (& Motorcycles) Are Exploding in Popularity
- Scrambler motorcycles and eBikes are experiencing a resurgence in popularity due to their versatile nature and fusion of classic charm with modern technology.
- Originating from the 1920s and 30s in Britain, scrambler motorcycles were modified for off-road use, often stripped of unnecessary parts for weight reduction and given upgraded suspension and tires.
- Post-World War II saw a surge in interest for off-road riding, leading to the production of more scrambler bikes and organized off-road races, which later evolved into Motocross racing.
- Today's scrambler motorcycles combine classic design with modern technology, appealing to many riders for their rugged appearance, versatility, and connection to motorcycling history.
- The transition to scrambler eBikes is natural, considering the demand for versatile, high-performance, and aesthetically appealing two-wheelers. Features to look for in scrambler eBikes include thick tires, strong frame geometry, powerful brakes, and ample motor power.
Why Scrambler Bikes (& Motorcycles) Are Exploding in Popularity
Scramblers have enjoyed consistent popularity amongst motorcyclists over the last century—but today, this versatile style of two-wheeled transportation is making its way to the eBike world as well. Better yet, it turns out that scrambler designs fit electric bicycles just as naturally as motorcycles—perhaps even moreso, owing to the eco-friendliness and relative ease of maintenance eBikes offer.
At Michael Blast, our mission is to bring the best of classic motorcycle culture to the world of eBikes—a seamless fusion of old school charm and modern technology. Join our team as we fill you in on the history of scrambler motorcycles and explain how applying their philosophy to electric bikes is creating an exciting new era for two-wheeled transportation.
A Brief History of the Scrambler Motorcycle
To really understand the success of scrambler motorcycles, it’s worth reading up on their history a little. Here are the cliff’s notes:
The Great British Bike-Off
Scrambler motorcycles originated in the 1920s and 1930s when riders in Britain started modifying their standard road bikes to make them suitable for off-road and cross-country riding. These motorcycles were often stripped of any unnecessary parts to reduce weight, and the suspension and tires were upgraded for better off-road performance.
Rugged & Race-Ready
After World War II, a surge in interest for off-road riding resulted in more production scrambler bikes. Riders often needed to 'scramble' up hilly, rough terrains, which gave these bikes their name. The trend was especially popular in the United Kingdom and Europe, where organized off-road races known as scrambles were taking place. These events eventually evolved into what we now know as Motocross racing.
The Golden Age of Scramblers
Woah, Black Betty (Scramble Jam)
The 1960s and 1970s are often considered the golden age of Scramblers. During this period, manufacturers such as Triumph, BSA, and Ducati started producing scrambler models. These bikes were not only used for racing but also for everyday riding, making them very popular.
Decline & Resurgence
The rise of specialized off-road motorcycles led to a decline in the popularity of scrambler motorcycles by the late 1980s. However, in the 2000s, there was a renewed interest in scrambler motorcycles, driven by the retro trend and the desire for simple, versatile bikes that could handle a variety of riding conditions.
Modern Day Scramblers
Jacks of All Trades; Masters of Fun
Today, many motorcycle manufacturers offer scrambler models that combine classic design elements with modern technology. These bikes typically have a rugged appearance, high mounted exhausts, long travel suspension, and dual-purpose tires. They may not be as capable as dedicated off-road motorcycles, but they offer a great mix of style and versatility that appeals to many riders. Major motorcycle manufacturers such as Ducati, Triumph, and BMW all have modern Scramblers in their line-up.
Scrambler eBikes: A Natural Next Step
The flexibility and retro charm of the scrambler style isn’t just appealing to motorcyclists—unsurprisingly, most eBike riders also want something that looks great and performs admirably across a wide range of riding conditions.
High-quality scrambler eBikes tend to have a high-enough profile to be seen in traffic, while offering enough comfort for longer commutes and enough safety for the occasional jaunt off the beaten path. Of course, we believe they should also have that certain je ne sais quoi that harkens back to traditional European scramblers of yore.
Features to Look for in Your Scrambler eBike
With that said, here are a couple of features you’ll want to look for when picking out a scrambler eBike for yourself:
- Thick tires: While scramblers aren’t meant to handle the same conditions as fat tire eBikes or electric mountain bikes, they still need enough rubber to keep you stable when you’re headed for the hills. Look for tires at least 4” wide or so.
- Strong frame geometry: Scrambler eBikes have to be lightweight enough that you can still move them without using pedal assist, but strong enough to handle rugged rides and bumps in the road. Aluminum TIG welded frames are a safe bet.
- Powerful brakes: It’s fun to scramble, but you have to be able to stop yourself! Hydraulic disc brakes are a must for your scrambler eBike, and we recommend looking for models with motor cutoff functions as well in case you suddenly need to power down.
- Get up and go: Of course, the most fun you can have with any scrambler is opening up the throttle—so you eBike should also have generous power on tap. The Michael Blast Outsider comes with a Bafang 750W or 500W geared brushless rear hub motor depending on the specs you choose, either of which will be more than enough to put a smile on your face. In the case of the Outsider, check out this recent Michael Blast Outsider review to get a sense of how the powertrain aids the riding experience.
Head for the Hills on an eBike Built to Handle Them
Scrambler eBikes offer some of the most fun you can have on two wheels these days, while retaining the charm and appeal of the classic motorcycles they’re based on. Browse our collection of retro-inspired models or contact Michael Blast directly for a personalized recommendation on the right scrambler eBike for you.