THE sportiest Ducati Scrambler is here and it is none other than the Ducati Scrambler 1100 Sport Pro.
Available only in Matt Black, the 206kg bike comes with a low and wide handlebar featuring a mix of modern and retro-inspired designs.
The 1100 number is seen on the interchangeable side panels on the fuel tank.
The heartbeat of this top specification scrambler is an air-cooled 1,079cc L-twin that churns out 86hp at 7,500rpm and 88Nm of torque at 4,750rpm.
The engine is similar to the one used by the iconic 2011 Ducati Monster that is more powerful with 100hp.
The reason for the huge output difference is because of the tighter emission laws that required an engine detune.
Design-wise, the bike exudes sportiness and boldness that will resonate well with the younger audience and those young-at-heart.
I liked the styling on this bike, the twin stacked exhaust pipes and the separate number plate holder is definitely something new within the Ducati Scrambler family.
Meanwhile, a tinge of retro designs have been included on this bike - the café racer side mirrors and the round headlight featuring an internal black metal “X” attachment that was inspired by the adhesive tape used in the 1970s to protect the headlight.
These sorts of details make the bike stand apart from its competitors within this segment such as the Honda CB1100, BMW RnineT, Triumph Scrambler 1200, Triumph Speed Twin among others.
Enough with the aesthetics, now let us get down to its performance.
On the highway, the bike was very much at home.
Riding just above the legal speed limit, the force of the on-rushing air caused my head to bob until I lowered it.
It is obvious that without a windshield, this bike is not best suited for high-speed long-distance journeys.
During my trip to Kuala Selangor via the Latar Expressway, I found the bike to be easy to handle.
The clutch pull and gear shifting were smooth and both worked perfectly.
I did not have to struggle operating them as a feather touch was good enough.
The Sport Pro is at its best in the mid-range engine revs when the throttle is responsive.
At speeds way above the legal limit, the engine remains smooth but beyond that, there was definitely a lack of horsepower to push the bike to go faster.
For a large 1,079cc block, one would had expected more punch.
The sitting position seems to be upright but some riders may need to do a bit of crouching because of the lower handlebar.
Those taller than 1.75m would be able to sit upright with a natural reach to the handlebar.
Riders who are shorter need to bend forward.
The foot pegs are mid-mount and are well-positioned for all riders.
The 1,514mm wheelbase offers stability during my high-speed ride on the North-South Expressway.
I did not feel any vibration at all be it during low or high engine revs.
I could also push the bike hard into the twisty stretches like a sports bike.
The lightweight and the agility of the bike worked to my advantage while carving wide and tight corners.
The wider handlebar gave me better control of the bike in the various corners.
The Öhlins suspension did well in these corners.
The 45mm upside-down fork and the rear shock are both preload and rebound adjustable, and both have 150mm of travel keeping the ride stable.
The ride was planted with a good grip on the tarmac. What is there to complaint?
While doing my 200km plus ride, I realised that the front Brembo brake bite was a bit too fierce for my liking.
Thus, one cannot slam on the brake as you need to squeeze it gently. I could feel the anti-lock braking system (ABS) kicking in every time I hit the brake hard.
However, the ABS on this machine cannot be turned off.
The Brembo braking system comes with ABS Cornering, which promises safety in all types of corners.
The bike comes with three riding modes – City, Journey and Active.
The folks at Ducati decided to have the riding modes named differently compared to the standard Urban (City), Touring (Journey) and Sport (Active).
I guessed the change is nothing more than a marketing gimmick.
While City mode reduces power by 10%, Active and Journey modes unleash full grunt but with varying throttle responsiveness.
It is very easy to change the riding mode and every setting is reflected clearly on the TFT screen.
Everything about the bike design is bound to impress aficionados.
One thing for sure, the minute you are on the bike, you will be voted as the coolest dude in town.
Its matte black colour, retro details, brown leather seat and stacked exhaust pipes will make passers-by take note immediately.
I wished this RM80,900 bike had more power and that would make it an irresistible machine.
Engine: 1,079cc, L-Twin, Desmodromic distribution, two valves per cylinder, air cooled
Maximum power: 86hp at 7,500rpm
Maximum torque: 88Nm at 4,750rpm
Front suspension: Öhlins fully adjustable 48 mm travel USD fork
Rear suspension: Öhlins monoshock, pre-load and rebound adjustable Front braking system: 2X320mm discs, radial 4-piston caliper with Bosch Cornering ABS Rear braking system: 245mm disc, 1-piston floating caliper with Bosch Cornering ABS
Features: Three riding modes, traction control, underseat USB port, traction control, fuel tank with interchangeable side panels, front headlight with X-shaped black grille, LCD instrument panel and stack pipes
Fuel capacity: 15 litres
Wet weight: 206kg
Price: RM80,900 (without registration, road tax and insurance)