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Ducati Scrambler tested

By A. NACHI | 19 March 2015


Along with 20 other journalists from Malaysia and other Asian countries, I got the chance to attend the Asian media launch of the all-new Scrambler from Ducati in Thailand.

While performance and technology remain at the heart of Ducati’s philosophy, the latest Scrambler is also marketed as a lifestyle choice.

The Scrambler Ducati is most probably the only bike under the Ducati stable that has given so much importance to the lifestyle proposition.

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The 2015 Scrambler Ducati is powered by a 803cc air-cooled motor from the last-generation Monster 796, which produces 75hp at 8,250 rpm and 68Nm of torque at 5,750 rpm.

Pistons and crankshaft are the same as those on the Monster 796 and Hypermotard 796 power units, while the camshafts have been designed to ensure linear power delivery thanks to the adoption of an 11° valve overlap angle.

The Scrambler Ducati is available in four variants – the Icon which is the base version, Urban Enduro, Full Throttle and Classic.

All four designs share the same engine capacity.

Journalists who were present during the media launch were given the Icon as the test bike.

The Icon comes with the basic necessities - light cast wheels, a single brake disc in front, and a single shock at the rear.

The Scrambler’s fusion of classic and modern technology spots a conventional-looking round, glass-faced headlight, illuminated with a ring of LEDs around the centre bulb.

At night it looks simply awesome.  The tail and brake lights are full LED. A classic, single, round, fully digital gauge displays speed on top and tachometer at the bottom.

The Scrambler comes with spacious under-seat storage compartment and is equipped with a USB socket.

My 150km plus ride on the Scrambler saddle proved to be comfortable, however I would have preferred it if it was a bit wider.

Meanwhile, the seat to peg distance was spot on as it offered a natural reach to the handlebars with perfect height.

I personally felt that the handlebars could have been a bit wider.

However there were complaints from riders who were around 5ft 7in tall that they had to stretch forward to reach the handlebars.

The Scrambler is light. It takes very little effort through the handlebar on this post-heritage Ducati’s latest creation.

Even a novice can manage this bike easily with no fear.

Every corner I took was effortless as the chassis responded fast to the input of my riding style while maintaining stability.

I was impressed with Scrambler’s on-road stability mainly due to its lightweight and low centre of gravity.

On the few occasions I experienced crosswinds, the bike was as stable as a rock.

The Scrambler comes with a six-speed transmission, which only goes to tell you not to underestimate the power of this new creation from Ducati.

Shifting gears on the Scrambler was lightning fast and pleasant.

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And do not forget, Scrambler oozes with abundance of power and torque in the lower gears which is very useful for city and off-road driving. The engine has plenty of torque.

I felt comfortable cruising at just above 160kph.

The Scrambler has also been designed to meet the needs of speed junkies.

While on the highway, the engine revs are fast and smooth.

Everytime I twist the throttle more, the machine beckons me to push it further. Despite this, I did not feel any vibration at all.

Even though the Scrambler fact sheet states that the bike is able to go “off-road,” it actually meant backroads, unpaved humps and mild dirt tracks.

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It’s not built for serious off-road challenges like logging trails or even tiny roads covered with thick mud.

I had the opportunity to ride this bike on a bumpy terrain filled with sand, loose gravels with few twisties.

I must say the bike fared pretty well especially with the high handlebars which came in handy for stand-up riding while on the off-road.

The Scrambler has a very neutral and natural riding position regardless if you’re sitting or standing.

The suspension and brakes complemented each other very well during this short ride on such terrain.

On the suspension department, it was decent enough but I had expected more from Ducati.

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The KYB suspension system on the Scrambler Ducati uses a 41mm upside down stanchion fork and a monoshock with adjustable spring preload that provided 150mm of wheel travel.

The Brembo brakes are more than enough.

Even with a single front disc, there is enough stopping power. That front disc is huge at 330mm, and it is squeezed by a top flight radial four-piston caliper with anti-lock braking system (ABS) as standard.

The Scrambler equals fun and style and a breeze to handle by novice riders.

This is one bike built for everybody.

The Scrambler is set to be launched in Malaysia by the end of next month.

The price tag is expected to be between RM50,000 and RM60,000 depending on the variant.

My final verdict is the Scrambler is a bike with large servings of fun, a dash of adventure and a pinch of craziness.

I am looking forward to riding it again.

 

WATCH: The Thailand launch video below



 

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Keywords

Overview

Styling
80%
Comfort
70%
Performance
80%
Safety
60%
Value
70%

CarSifu's Rating: 7.2


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