Motorcycles

2015 Ducati Scrambler: Just don't call it a "retro bike"

2015 Ducati Scrambler: Just do...
Ducati Scrambler goes great in and around hay
Ducati Scrambler goes great in and around hay
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The dash design of the Ducati Scrambler
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The dash design of the Ducati Scrambler
Tank design sketch for the Ducati Scrambler
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Tank design sketch for the Ducati Scrambler
Ducati Scrambler fuel cap design sketch
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Ducati Scrambler fuel cap design sketch
Ducati Scrambler key and headlight design sketch
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Ducati Scrambler key and headlight design sketch
The Ducati Scrambler's 803 cc engine
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The Ducati Scrambler's 803 cc engine
Ducati Scrambler Icon model sketch
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Ducati Scrambler Icon model sketch
Ducati Scrambler Icon model sketch
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Ducati Scrambler Icon model sketch
Ducati Scrambler Icon model sketch
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Ducati Scrambler Icon model sketch
Ducati Scrambler lifestyle photo
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Ducati Scrambler lifestyle photo
Ducati Scrambler lifestyle photo
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Ducati Scrambler lifestyle photo
Ducati Scrambler: lifestyle photo
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Ducati Scrambler: lifestyle photo
Ducati Scrambler lifestyle photo
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Ducati Scrambler lifestyle photo
Ducati Scrambler lifestyle photo
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Ducati Scrambler lifestyle photo
Ducati Scrambler lifestyle photo
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Ducati Scrambler lifestyle photo
Ducati Scrambler lifestyle photo
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Ducati Scrambler lifestyle photo
Ducati Scrambler goes great in and around hay
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Ducati Scrambler goes great in and around hay
Ducati Scrambler in the countryside
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Ducati Scrambler in the countryside
Man jumps over Ducati Scrambler at the beach
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Man jumps over Ducati Scrambler at the beach
Man stands on Ducati Scrambler at sunset
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Man stands on Ducati Scrambler at sunset
Man sits on Ducati Scrambler at sunset
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Man sits on Ducati Scrambler at sunset
Ducati Scrambler lifestyle photo
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Ducati Scrambler lifestyle photo
Ducati Scrambler lifestyle photo
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Ducati Scrambler lifestyle photo
Four models of the Ducati Scrambler are available
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Four models of the Ducati Scrambler are available
Ducati Scrambler Classic model fender
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Ducati Scrambler Classic model fender
Ducati Scrambler Full Throttle model exhaust
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Ducati Scrambler Full Throttle model exhaust
Ducati Scrambler Full Throttle model fender
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Ducati Scrambler Full Throttle model fender
Ducati Scrambler Full Throttle model tank
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Ducati Scrambler Full Throttle model tank
Ducati Scrambler Urban Enduro model front wheel
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Ducati Scrambler Urban Enduro model front wheel
Ducati Scrambler Urban Enduro model high mudguard
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Ducati Scrambler Urban Enduro model high mudguard
Ducati Scrambler Icon model rear end
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Ducati Scrambler Icon model rear end
Ducati Scrambler Icon model front end
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Ducati Scrambler Icon model front end
Ducati Scrambler Classic model
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Ducati Scrambler Classic model
Ducati Scrambler Classic model
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Ducati Scrambler Classic model
Ducati Scrambler Classic model
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Ducati Scrambler Classic model
Ducati Scrambler Classic model
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Ducati Scrambler Classic model
Ducati Scrambler Classic model
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Ducati Scrambler Classic model
Ducati Scrambler Full Throttle model
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Ducati Scrambler Full Throttle model
Ducati Scrambler Full Throttle model
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Ducati Scrambler Full Throttle model
Ducati Scrambler Full Throttle model
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Ducati Scrambler Full Throttle model
Ducati Scrambler Full Throttle model
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Ducati Scrambler Full Throttle model
Ducati Scrambler Full Throttle model
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Ducati Scrambler Full Throttle model
Ducati Scrambler Urban Enduro model
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Ducati Scrambler Urban Enduro model
Ducati Scrambler Urban Enduro model
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Ducati Scrambler Urban Enduro model
Ducati Scrambler Urban Enduro model
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Ducati Scrambler Urban Enduro model
Ducati Scrambler Urban Enduro model
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Ducati Scrambler Urban Enduro model
Ducati Scrambler Urban Enduro model
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Ducati Scrambler Urban Enduro model
Ducati Scrambler Icon model
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Ducati Scrambler Icon model
Ducati Scrambler Icon model
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Ducati Scrambler Icon model
Ducati Scrambler Icon model
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Ducati Scrambler Icon model
Ducati Scrambler Icon model
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Ducati Scrambler Icon model
Ducati Scrambler Icon model
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Ducati Scrambler Icon model
Ducati Scrambler Icon model
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Ducati Scrambler Icon model
Ducati Scrambler Icon model
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Ducati Scrambler Icon model
Ducati Scrambler Icon model
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Ducati Scrambler Icon model
Ducati Scrambler Classic model
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Ducati Scrambler Classic model
Ducati Scrambler Classic model
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Ducati Scrambler Classic model
Ducati Scrambler Classic model
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Ducati Scrambler Classic model
Ducati Scrambler Classic model
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Ducati Scrambler Classic model
Ducati Scrambler Classic model
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Ducati Scrambler Classic model
Ducati Scrambler Full Throttle model
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Ducati Scrambler Full Throttle model
Ducati Scrambler Full Throttle model
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Ducati Scrambler Full Throttle model
Ducati Scrambler Full Throttle model
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Ducati Scrambler Full Throttle model
Ducati Scrambler Full Throttle model
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Ducati Scrambler Full Throttle model
Ducati Scrambler Full Throttle model
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Ducati Scrambler Full Throttle model
Ducati Scrambler Urban Enduro model
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Ducati Scrambler Urban Enduro model
Ducati Scrambler Urban Enduro model
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Ducati Scrambler Urban Enduro model
Ducati Scrambler Urban Enduro model
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Ducati Scrambler Urban Enduro model
Ducati Scrambler Urban Enduro model
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Ducati Scrambler Urban Enduro model
Ducati Scrambler Urban Enduro model
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Ducati Scrambler Urban Enduro model
Ducati Scrambler Icon model
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Ducati Scrambler Icon model
Ducati Scrambler Icon model
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Ducati Scrambler Icon model
Ducati Scrambler Icon model
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Ducati Scrambler Icon model
Ducati Scrambler Icon model
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Ducati Scrambler Icon model
Ducati Scrambler Icon model
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Ducati Scrambler Icon model
Ducati Scrambler Icon model
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Ducati Scrambler Icon model
Ducati Scrambler Icon model
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Ducati Scrambler Icon model
Ducati Scrambler Icon model
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Ducati Scrambler Icon model
Ducati Scrambler Icon model
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Ducati Scrambler Icon model

Ducati's "not a retro bike" retro bike has been unveiled at Intermot Cologne. The 2015 Ducati Scrambler is a flat-track inspired all rounder with a high handlebar, a bench seat, a bucket headlight and the 75-horsepower (56 kW), 803cc L-twin engine tweaked from the one in the excellent Monster 796. Its unforgivably flowery press release seems custom designed to win the hearts of the hipster crowd, but it looks like a fun and flexible bike even if you're not a barista.

I'll admit I've had a bit of a thing for scrambler-style bikes for a few years now – probably due to the 50 or so times I've watched On Any Sunday (hugely recommended, by the way - and the upcoming "next chapter" by Red Bull looks incredible as well).

Ducati's effort looks like a nice, simple, fun motorcycle and captures a fair bit of that old-school flat track style. It's not retro, though, according to the press release:

""Post-heritage" design gives a contemporary take on the iconic bike built by Ducati back in the 70s. This Scrambler, though, is not a retro bike: it is, rather, intended to be just how the legendary motorcycle would be today if Ducati had never stopped building it."

Four models of the Ducati Scrambler are available
Four models of the Ducati Scrambler are available

There's four versions – the Icon, Classic, Urban Enduro and Full Throttle – with each offering their own paint jobs and a few styling elements, such as headlight grills, sump guards, different wheel, mudguard and seat options, and different exhausts.

Ducati Scrambler Icon model
Ducati Scrambler Icon model

Ducati Scrambler Classic model
Ducati Scrambler Classic model

Ducati Scrambler Urban Enduro model
Ducati Scrambler Urban Enduro model

Ducati Scrambler Full Throttle model
Ducati Scrambler Full Throttle model

The engine is the air-cooled, desmodromic 803cc Monster 796 donk, but it's had a hefty detune to produce a peak 75 horsepower (down from 87) and 50 lb-ft (68 Nm) of torque (down from 58). The Scrambler is also some 3 kg (6.6 lb) heavier than the Monster, but its final wet weight is still a svelte 186 kg (410 lb).

The Ducati Scrambler's 803 cc engine
The Ducati Scrambler's 803 cc engine

The scrambler body shape helps keep that light weight low, and the wide bars will make this a nimble puppy on the road; it should be a really fun bike. Its narrow waist and 770 mm (30 in) low seat option should make it fairly accessible to shorties, as well.

Retro it may be, but it carries a bunch of great modern touches: an LED light guide surrounds the front headlight and the tail is fully LED. The dash is fully digital, and there's a built-in USB charger under the seat to keep your devices topped up.

Ducati Scrambler lifestyle photo
Ducati Scrambler lifestyle photo

I can't, in good faith, let Ducati's marketing team get away with the flowery language in this press release, though.

"The Scrambler name has much in common with the verb to scramble – mixing up, blending, letting the imagination run free, sharing with others. Ducati Scrambler, the two-wheeled alter ego of those who ride it, is a cultural movement in and of itself. It's free-spirited, positive and anti-conformist, open to encounters with other philosophies and styles. Ducati Scrambler isn't just a bike, it's a world."

Good grief. Delve into some of the "lifestyle" photos in the gallery to find cringeworthy moments, such as "man stands on bike at sunset," "man leaps over bike at the beach" and my favorite – "bike breaks down next to haystack."

Ducati Scrambler in the countryside
Ducati Scrambler in the countryside

Ducati has also put together a Scrambler promo video which can be viewed below.

Product page: Ducati

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12 comments
Jabboson
Rear footpegs on the swing arm!!!! A lot of jarred ankles... fail...
Rui
They keep pushing >750cc/ 200kg bikes :( great to go straight on flat terrain.. wish they went back to the 400cc lighter and slimmer models, for those who actually use a bike.
Glen Jacobsen
A chain drive? who the heck wants to keep a chain clean? And did you notice that tiny gas tank? I ride a BMW GS. I can go 200 miles before I need gas, how far will this thing take me? They are trying to get more into the dual-sport market, but this has a couple of huge drawbacks for the people that really ride in that market.
Pete Kratsch
If they don't want us to call it a "retro bike" then don't give it "retro styling". I mean honestly... everything about this bike is retro from the print ad on brown wrapping paper to the wire mesh grill on the headlamp to their use of their under powered pantah motor.
Milton
@ Jabboson The rear foot pegs are not connected to the swing arm. Indeed that would have been quite painful if they were. But they aren't.
chidrbmt
Get tired of the know nothing critics. This is a first look. Wait until the road tests come in to be so opinionated. Typical of Ducati,looks like a nice job,well done. The videos are fun & should attract younger riders. A wet weight of 410 lbs and 800 c.c.s. than handles well,what's not to like? We need more bikes this size & weight. Surely the Monster engine lost some peak h.p. but gained more low & mid range power. Surely Yamaha is going to do the same model spread with it's FZ-09/07. Thanks again Loz for another excellent article. Your the best in the m.c. press.
Julia Leytes
What a beauty. Those handlebars are just perfect for mounting. Can finally mount my iPhone instead of those ugly GPS. Would look awesome with my superslim Bike2Power iPhone 6 MountCase! www.bike2power.com/bikeconsole-lite-bike-mount-case-iphone-6.html
Billy600
Too post-heritage, they should've made it retro.
Brett Lewis
I guess it's a "beginner bike", or a fashion thing. Detuned motor from a previous bike that is superior in spec and lighter in weight. I guess I would rather look for a used 796 Monster for less $. Looks and relatively low price for this new bike will sell it.
GiolliJoker
@Glen Jacobsen I'd take a chain drive over your shaft drive anytime. Comparing this bike to the GS means not having a clue about what this scrambler is.