The motorcycle chase in The Great Escape is perhaps one of the most iconic scenes in two-wheeled history, and the Triumph TR6 upon which Steve McQueen made his getaway is a legendary machine.
However, while the famous jump – actually performed by Bud Ekins due to insurance reasons – secured the Triumph a spot in the history books, its life thereafter was decidedly quiet. Sold to a farmer, whose land had been used during filming, the TR6 saw out its working life herding cows before heading into retirement.
But now, almost 60 years later, Triumph has taken the TR6’s modern-day interpretation, the Scrambler 1200, and put it through its paces doing what the TR6 did for the rest of its life: cow herding.
Recreated with Tamsin Jones, the youngest British woman to complete the gruelling Dakar Rally in 2009, the Scrambler 1200 was put through its paces in deepest, darkest and muddiest Wales, just south of the Brecon Beacons and no too far away from where SAS-hopefuls go through selection. In other words, it’s a tough landscape.
Also a Welsh farmer, Jones was perfectly-suited to the challenge, and took to the hill-tops to round up her roaming cattle, a task usually be carried out by an off-roader or ATV. The Scrambler’s agile handling and off-road capability made for the perfect solution to the task, and before long the herd of cows was safely contained, allowing Jones to take the long way home.
Of the motorcycle, Jones said: “Designed for genuine off-road adventure riding, the Scrambler 1200 had no difficulty shifting between the short bursts of power with smooth turns on muddy ground when rounding, as well as low-speed, controlled handling on firmer terrain. Needless to say, the most unpredictable part of this act, were the cows!
“The Scrambler successfully managed to herd the roaming cattle into the dedicated pen, in the same way the TR6 would have been used for many years. This was an amazing adventure, and I can only imagine what else I could experience on this Scrambler 1200!”
The stunt is the latest in a series of brilliant creative adverts from Triumph, and promotes its 1,200cc retro scrambler machine. Available in two variants – the all-road-focused XC, and the more extreme XE – the Scrambler features high spec components and state-of-the-art technology.