While most motorcycle companies dazzled the Intermot show in Cologne with technology, Ducati dazzled with the simple retro brilliance of its Scrambler.
It has a single, offset instrument pod, minimal technology and is even powered by an air-cooled engine from a defunct model.
But rather than being a parts-bin special, the simple Scrambler is pure and innocent and a real gem among the over-polished, too-fast, hi-tech machines of Intermot.
We love the retro simplicity of the tear-drop tank with its aluminium sides, the looping clutch and brake cables, the wide MX bars, swirling two-into-one stubby exhaust, short fenders, chunky retro seat, twin-spar trellis frame and unadorned bodywork.
It is powered by the 803cc L-twin of the Monster 796, but “redesigned to give smooth acceleration throughout the rev range”. Power is up 8kW to 64kW and torque is up 10Nm to 78.6Nm.
There is not one, but four models and they will start arriving early next year. The base model is the 10-spoke mag wheeled Icon in Ducati red at $12,990* or 1962 yellow at $13,140, which is much cheaper than the Monster 796 at $15,990.
It will be followed by models called Urban Enduro (wire wheels, fork protectors, handlebar crossbrace, sump guard, chunky brown seat, wire mesh headlight protector and high front fender), Classic (wire wheels, aluminium mudguards and chunky brown seat), and Full Throttle (bobbed tail, low aluminium handlebars, black low-profile seat, double Termignoni muffler and cast wheels). All these models will cost $14,990.
Ducati Scrambler sits on an 18-inch 10-spoke alloy front wheel and 17-inch rear with “enduro-derived” Pirelli tyres. The Kayaba suspension consists of a 41mm upside-down fork and a monoshock with adjustable spring preload and brakes are from Brembo with a single disc up front and two-channel ABS.
It has a narrow and low 790mm seat which will make it popular with a wide variety of riders and underneath Ducati says it has “spacious under-seat storage” with a USB socket. All up, it weighs just 170kg.
Ducati says it’s not a retro bike with its modern LED lights and digital instruments, but it’s a “contemporary take”on their old ‘60s and ‘70s single-cylinder scramblers.
Ducati Australia & New Zealand marketing co-ordinator Stephanie Siagian says they will be releasing pricing “very soon and we are unsure as to the exact arrival dates for Australia”. There is no word, either, on the order of the Scrambler’s release after the Icon.
* All prices are before on-road costs.
Ducati Scrambler tech specs
Engine: L-Twin, Desmodromic distribution, 2 valves per cylinder, air cooled
Bore x Stroke: 88 x 66 mm
Power: 75hp (55kW) @ 8250rpm
Torque: 50lb-ft (68Nm) @ 5750rpm
Fuel injection: Electronic fuel injection, 50 mm throttle body
Exhaust: single stainless steel muffler with aluminium exterior cover, catalytic converter and 2 lambda probes