The future Scrambler Ducati could be a blend of Scrambler and Hypermotard judging by the winner of a recent design competition at the renowned ArtCenter College of Design in Pasadena, California.
Students were asked to design the future for the top-selling Scrambler family and the winner was Peter Harkins who wins a training internship at the Ducati Design Center in Borgo Panigale.
The submissions were judged by Ducati designer Jeremy Faraud and Design Centre director Andrea Ferraresi.
Rather than a trellis frame it features a complex cradle frame.
Most of 10 submissions to the judges were for electric Scramblers.
However, Peter’s winning design features what looks like a single-cylinder engine, rather than the L-twin, plus a re-routed header and single sided underseat muffler.
It is also sleeker like the Hypermotard with a flatter fuel tank, high fender and slimmer seat. Also, gone are the iconic and interchangeable tank side panels.
It’s an interesting design shift for the future Scrambler and we wonder whether Ducati will take note.
Andreas says the collaboration with the college has “given rise to an interesting exchange experience with students from different cultural and academic backgrounds, who have reinterpreted our Scrambler Ducati in a creative way and with very distant points of view”.
“Peter Harkins was the best in transforming the brief into a decidedly spot-on project,” he says.
“His work proved to be particularly complete in the study of the proportions and in the development of the details.
“The reinterpretation that he proposed takes its inspiration from the values of the brand and maintains the typical stylistic canons of the Scrambler Ducati, such as lightness, simplicity of lines and the headlamp characterised by the unmistakable X, now recognised as the signature of the bike.”
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Design as much as performance is important to Ducati and they have the runs on the board for both.
Ok, it was voted by visitors to the show who are mainly Italian, so there is a lot of patriotic fervour behind the vote.
However, Ducati has scored five wins in the past seven years, or 10 in 14 years.
Ducati has also scored three “Best” wins in the Red Dot Awards for the 1199 Panigale in 2013, the XDiavel S in 2016 and the Diavel 1260 S in 2019.
They are the most prestigious industrial design awards in the world, presented by the Chicago Athenaeum, Museum of Architecture and Design and the European Centre for Architecture Art Design and Urban Studies.
And then there’s Massimo Tamburini’s famous 916 which many rightfully regard as the world’s most beautiful bike.
1994 Ducati 916
However, Ducati doesn’t always get it right.
Remember the slab-sided Paso models from the eighties — not a good decade for fashion or design!
Revzilla said: “It looks like a 1987 Honda Hurricane smashed into a Suzuki RF900.”
Ducati Paso is no design master
And the original 2003 Multistrada was widely referred to as the “Uglystrada”. The front headlight and fairing assembly looked more like a Dyson vacuum cleaner than a motorcycle.
Thankfully Ducati totally redeemed the Multistrada with a complete redesign in 2010 into one of the prettiest of the brutish adventure bike category.
No matter what you think of the modern “scramblers” and whether they are true scramblers, Ducati really has scored an ace with the design.
When the Scrambler family was introduced in 2015, they immediately became the company’s top seller.
That’s not to say they are not without their design quirks.
The most obvious is the looping cables which are reminiscent of original scramblers.
When Ducati unveiled its Pro models recently the cabling had been tidied up and tucked away.
Hopefully that will flow through to the rest of the range.
And the long trailing fender has been replaced with the remote fender from the Icon.
2020 Ducati Scrambler 1100 Pro
Despite its design credentials, the object of the ArtCenter lecture by Scrambler designer Jeremy Faraud was to get the students to help design the Scrambler of the future.
Students will submit their designs to Ducati who will recruit one lucky student for an internship at the Ducati Design Centre.
Jeremy talks with ArtCenter students (Image: James Lipman / jameslipman.com)
The Pasadena event will also be followed in Bologna, where a second training and meeting event is scheduled for March, involving the most important Italian design institutes.
Tapping into millennials for design guidance is a smart move that should see Ducati sitting atop the motorcycle design throne for years to come.
Which motorcycle company do you think is the leader in design? Leave your comments below.