SINGAPORE – Ducati’s newest model is something quite different: With many different variants, plus even more possibilities for customisation through a hugely long options list, the Ducati Scrambler is aimed at a different sort from your typical Ducati buyer.
The promotional materials – which feature more people sitting around and smiling than leathers and racetracks – say as much, but what speaks even louder is the price: At $27,300 with COE for the basic trim ‘Icon’, it’s currently the most affordable bike from Borgo Panigale.
The original 1968 Scrambler was released in dirt-bike mad America, and echoed other ‘classic semi-dirt’ machines like the Triumph TR 5 Trophy and Honda Elsinore (though they preceded and followed the Scrambler, respectively).
The modern Scrambler follows its history with a comfortable position and if current press reviews are accurate, a very easy-to-ride nature. Powering the bike is the 803cc L-twin engine from the previous 796 Monster, which makes 75bhp. Spec-wise it’s quite basic – a single front disc brake and no fancy electronic aids, but the Scrambler is meant to appeal to a wide range of riders, from newbies to old timers.
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There are four different trim options available, and they all look quite different even while sharing the same frame and engine thanks to different body panels, seats and colours.
Closest in nature to the original is the Classic model with orange paint and contrast silver tank badge, like the 1968 model), ‘vintage’ patterned brown leather seat and aluminium front and rear fenders. It retails for $29,800 OTR.
The least expensive variant is the Icon model, which naturally has the least farkles but still looks rather handsome – it’s the only variant with a colour choice (yellow or red) and goes for $27,300 OTR (including COE and insurance) in red, with yellow paint costing $100 more.
Adventure bike fans will like the Urban Enduro which comes with Wild Green paintwork, a ‘beak’ front fender, headlight, engine and fork guards and a retro-looking brown leather seat. It costs $29,800 OTR.
Those partial to a racier style might enjoy the Full Throttle model that costs $29,800, which has matte black paint and contrast yellow highlights, plus shorter fenders and sculpted seat, as well as a dual-pipe Termignoni exhaust system.
Also present at the showroom is the new Ducati Multistrada adventure tourer. For 2015, it receives Desmodromic Valve Timing (DVT) which ought to make it more tractable at low speeds.
The Scrambler reflects the evolution of the motorcycle industry, where just like in the four-wheeled world, established brands are going after new customers with products that are obviously different from their established line-up: BMW’s R nine T for example, is another ‘retro cruiser’ while the new R 1200 R has become a naked all-rounder, and Harley-Davidson has also introduced its Street 750 which is the perfect beginner’s Harley and even has an electric bike planned.