2015 Ducati Scrambler: Just don't call it a "retro bike"
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."
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.
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 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.
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 has also put together a Scrambler promo video which can be viewed below.
Product page: Ducati