Motorcycle manufacturers all across seem to be in a mad race to cram in as much technology into their motorcycles as physics allows. So, in this day and age, Ducati’s Scrambler Icon comes across as a really nice proposition, that’s well priced in India as well.
The first rule to not intimidate bikers has to be modest size, and the Scramber manages just that. How looks of a motorcycle go down with riders depends on one’s taste, but we admire the Scrambler’s retro, quintessential motorcycle looks. A round headlamp looks perfectly turned out for the Scrambler theme, and there’s an LED daytime running lamp surround. A cropped front mudguard fits snugly over the front tyre to match.
As on any Ducati, palm grips are top drawer, offering excellent grip. The front brake lever is reach adjustable, although the clutch misses this. The speedometer is all-digital, a petite unit that sits smartly off-center. All relevant information is available, except for a fuel-gauge. The tank is small, and exquisitely finished. The seat is flat, a bit narrow, and a chink in the Scrambler armour, for even short rides leave you sore.
Superb fit-finish and solid build quality are available with the Scrambler.
The Scrambler’s 803cc, L-twin, air-cooled engine makes 75bhp of power, and 6.9kgm of maximum torque. Power delivery is linear and comes in strong once you open the gas. In the lower gears, there’s enough acceleration to have you slide deeper into the seat, with even marginal throttle inputs. Throttle response is good, the Scrambler feeling a less exuberant below 2,500rpm, but enthusiastic and once past that, with great acoustics coming up from its exhaust.
The Scrambler may look a simple, small motorcycle, but make no mistake, there’s ample performance to keep you happy. Cruising at speeds of 130-140kph is effortless, but although the motorcycle is good for much higher speeds, the lack of a fairing and upright riding position prevents comfortable riding at sustained speeds of over 160kph.
The Scrambler’s 6-speed gearbox works to deliver smooth shifts. The cable driven clutch is likewise nice in feel.
The seating position on the Ducati Scrambler is upright, with high handlebars. The caveat is tall riders aren’t going to find the Scrambler comfy, for the footpegs are a tad too high for long legs and you feel cramped. Riding this Ducati is just as easy, as unintimidating, as hopping on to ride off and catch up with the horizon. You don’t have to have ridden a big bike before to feel comfortable on the Scrambler. It’s light, with a nice and low centre of gravity. The Scrambler also gives you enough confidence to push and ride hard when attacking corners. The front is supported by a set of upside down telescopic forks, with a monoshock at the rear. Ride quality is not exactly plush, but not overly firm either.
Tyres are by Pirelli, providing excellent grip. These, along with the well tuned suspension, stiff tubular steel chassis and an alloy swingarm make the Scrambler a classic looking bike that offers modern handling. Braking is via a single 330mm front disc, and 245mm single disc at rear, ABS in place. There’s always enough stopping power at hand.
After a few days of riding the Scrambler on-road, and off, we were left mighty impressed with the Ducatis solid capabilities. Yes, a few shortcomings exist, such as the lack of wind protection at high speed and uncomfortable saddle. However, the affordable Ducati scores so highly on so many other key fronts, you will find yourself happy to overlook all the niggles.
The Scrambler is the perfect bike for riders looking to own a true blue Ducati, and a good stepping stone to take you into the big bike world.