2015 Ducati Scrambler

The bike you don't yet know you need

We’ve all been there. Roaring down the highway when up in the distance the light catches a break in the trees. There’s a trail. No barbed wire or fence blocking it off, just hard-packed dirt beckoning you to exercise your two-wheeled freedoms and for a moment you think “What if?” But why close yourself in? Why set boundaries on where you can and cannot go? The Ducati Scrambler breaks down those walls and begs for you to head for the hills. Take that turn. Hit that trail and lay into that berm. Get out and get dirty, trust me, you’ll have more fun.

Morgan's Riding Impression:

The Scrambler is a different sort of bike. Built around a generation that wants to be able to go anywhere and do anything on a whim, this is a truly diverse beast. For starters: it’s damn nice to look at. Nobody could believe I was actually going to ride it on the dirt, but something about the bright yellow paint and brushed aluminum was just screaming for me to get it dirty.

The throttle response of the torque-rich 803cc engine will get your blood pumping as soon as you drop the clutch. Assuming that you let the bike warm up, that is, as I experienced a bit of hiccupping while throttling before the bike reached riding temp. But the handling, oh my yes, the handling. One of the only scramblers one can comfortably hope to drop a knee on, this bike loves the tight turns of canyons as much as it does jamming from light to light and whipping corners in the bustling city. If Ducati would add a steering dampener, I wouldn’t have a single thing to complain about. This is a motorcycle that anybody who loves riding will enjoy. It’s not going to eat up the miles on long trips, but it’ll make your daily commute a hell of a lot more exciting.

Jordan's Riding Impression:

For the past few years I've been riding 1,000-pound baggers. Sorta comes with the territory when you're the editor in chief of Baggers magazine. Riding the Scrambler Icon was a welcomed breath of fresh air–literally–since a windshield or fairing was nowhere in sight!

Upon first glance the dirt-track-inspired Scrambler is very easy on the eyes. I think Ducati’s choice of ‘62 Yellow for the Icon (also available in Ducati Red) was spot-on. The hue is the perfect accompaniment to the all black powertrain and chassis components with subtle hints of raw aluminum sprinkled in (fuel tank panels). And the Icon’s stance is just right: 18-inch front and 17-inch rear 10-spoke wheels wrapped in Italian rubber (Pirelli).

After throwing a leg over the Scrambler's very scrambler-inspired seat, the ergos were very comfortable. The flat track bar wasn’t too short, nor too tall, but just right and the foot pegs were positioned well for my 5-feet-10-inch frame. After some more familiarizing, I started her up, hit the road and after about 2 seconds of riding I remembered that riding motorcycles was fun. Like exhilarating kinda fun. I felt alive! And living in the moment is a great place to dwell.

The Scrambler’s 803cc L-Twin is tucked tightly into the black powdercoated tubular-steel Trellis frame. And the air-cooled Twin’s power is very linear (throughout the rpm band), but definitely excels in the higher revs. Getting it to halt isn’t a huge task, either, thanks to the front single, semi-floating 330mm disc that’s halted by a radial-mount, four-piston caliper with standard ABS and the rear 1-piston caliper that binds a 245mm disc that binds finding the right gear isn’t the easiest after going from 100 mph to 20 mph since the gearbox is a tad clunky. After downshifting to what I thought was Second gear multiple times ended up still being Fourth, or Third...anything but Second. But upshifting wasn't an issue, which is why it's easy to get yourself into a bit of trouble (speeding!).

What I found rather enjoying testing the Scrambler’s inverted Kayaba 41 mm fork and Kayaba pre-load adjustable rear shock was through the long and bumpy sweeper from the 73 Toll Road onto Interstate 5 at triple-digit speeds. Both worked in unison to keep the Pirellis planted and tracking where they needed to be. I know Morgan had a serious off-road excursion, too, and he reported the bike soaking up small jumps like butter, too.

Overall, the Scrambler is a great motorcycle that scratches a lot of itches: it’s a fast, lightweight, multi-function bike that won’t break the bank at just under 9 grand. For my money, it doesn’t get much better for a light cruiser. Thanks, Ducati. I'm reminded that there are many different strokes for different folks, and if it's a much-needed thrill seeking adventure riders are looking for out of a motorcycle...they can find it with the Scrambler.

Scrambler Specs

Engine Type L-Twin, Desmodromic distribution, 2 valves per cylinder, air-cooled
Displacement 803cc
Power 75 hp (55 kW) @ 8,250 rpm
Torque 50 lb-ft (68Nm) @ 5,750 rpm
Fuel Injection Electronic fuel injection, 50 mm throttle body
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Gearbox 6 speed
Ratio 1=32/13 2=30/18 3=28/21 4=26/23 5=22/22 6=24/26
Primary drive Straight cut gears; Ratio 1.85:1
Final drive Chain; Front sprocket 15; Rear sprocket 46
Clutch APTC wet multiplate with mechanical control
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Frame Tubular steel Trellis frame
Front suspension Inverted Kayaba 41 mm fork
Front wheel travel 150 mm (5.9 in.)
Front wheel 10-spoke in light alloy, 3.00" x 18"
Front tyre Pirelli MT 60 RS 110/80 ZR18
Rear suspension Kayaba rear shock, pre-load adjustable
Rear wheel travel 150 mm (5.9 in.)
Rear wheel 10-spoke in light alloy, 5.50" x 17"
Rear tyre Pirelli MT 60 RS 180/55 ZR17
Front brake 330 mm disc, radial 4-piston caliper with ABS as standard equipment
Rear brake 245 mm disc, 1-piston floating caliper with ABS as standard equipment
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Wheelbase 1.445 mm (56.9 in.)
Rake 24°
Trail 112 mm (4.4 in.)
Total steering lock 35°
Fuel tank capacity 13.5 L - 3.57 gallons
Dry weight 170 kg (375 lb)
Wet weight* 186 kg (410 lb)
Seat height 790 mm (31.1 in.) - low seat 770 mm (30.3 in.) available as accessory
Max height 1.150 mm (45.3 in.) / brake reservoir
Max width 845 mm (33.3 in.) / mirrors
Max length 2.100 - 2.165 mm (82.7 - 85.2 in.)
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Standard Equipment Steel tank with interchangeable aluminum side panels, headlight with glass lens, LED light-guide and interchangeable aluminum cover, LED rear light with diffusion-light, LCD instruments with interchangeable aluminum cover, machine-finished aluminum belt covers, 18’’ front, 17’’ rear wheels, under-seat storage compartment with USB socket