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Ducati Scrambler 1100 Special review

Ducati is running out its current Scrambler 1100 models which will be replaced later this year by the restyled PRO and PRO Sport.

As is often the case with the introduction of new models, the current models are being run out at very attractive discounts.

And they are such a good buy because the only real differences in the coming PRO models are cleaner brake cabling, a remote rear fender, twin-stack pipes, new bars and different paint and graphics.

Ducati debut Scrambler 1100 ProsDucati Scrambler 1100 PrRO models

Scrambler 1100 models

The current 1100 series consists of the base model, Special and Sport.

All are powered by the 1079cc, 90-degree L-twin from the old Monster 1100, detuned slightly for emissions reasons to 64kW of power (86hp) and 88Nm (65lb-ft) of torque from 4750rpm.

It’s the same formula Ducati has used with the 803cc Scrambler powered by the old Monster 800 engine detuned to meet new emissions regulations.

Ducati Scrambler IconMBW’s Scrambler Icon

Ducati’s 800 Scramblers are the Italian company’s top sellers, while the more powerful, sophisticated and expensive 1100s have not been as popular.

I’ve been riding an 800 Scrambler Icon for some time now and love it. But the bike is a toy and has its limitations.

So I recently tested a Scrambler 1100 Special from Brisbane Motorcycles to see if the extra weight, height, length and expense was worth it.

The Base model comes in yellow with mag wheels and black seat, Special is grey with black wire wheels, chrome pipes, brushed swinging arm, gold anodised forks and brown seat and the black and yellow Sport has Öhlins suspension and mag wheels.

They used to cost $19,790, $21,990 and $22,990, but are now $15,999, $17,590 and $18,200.

The coming PRO and PRO Sport are also differentiated mainly by Ohlins suspensions in the latter. Read more details here.

Scrambler 1100 SpecialDucati Scrambler 1100 Special

The 1100 models are slightly longer than the 803cc Scramblers with a more substantive new upper “trellis” subframe.

So at 206kg (454lb) in running order, it weighs about 20kg more than the 800 Scrambler.

However, the weight is really not evident, even when pushing the bike out of the showroom.

It still has light handling and steering like the smaller bike thanks to a similar 24.5 degrees of rake and short 111mm trail.

The seat is 20mm higher at 810mm, but again it doesn’t feel any taller in the saddle.

Yet the 1100 is so much more bike with a more powerful and refined engine that is easier and forgiving to ride thanks to its 30% increase in grunt.

It also now has the ability to do some touring with the stronger rear subframe allowing luggage and a pillion.

But most importantly the fun is retained.Ducati Scrambler 1100 Special

In fact, the fun is amplified by the fact that the front end now handles properly.

The 800 Scramblers have a single spring in the 41mm Kayaba upside-down forks. It’s crass and crashes through any road irregularities. Under braking the front wheel will chatter and lose vital grip.

Fully adjustable 45mm Marzocchi forks on the Special add a whole new level of steering and handling that make this a much more fun, safe and comfortable bike to ride.

Comfort is also improved by the quality seats compared with the hard, plastic seats on the 800 models.

While the 800s are fun, they are also simplistic with rudimentary instrumentation which was last year updated with a fuel gauge!2018 Ducati Scrambler 1100 dashboard

The Scrambler 1100 models have comprehensive twin-screen LCD instruments with a host of information, plus self-cancelling indicators and three engine modes with adjustable four-level traction control.

While you may not need all this to have some fun on a motorcycle, they are the sorts of creature features you wonder how you ever did without.

Another feature you will wonder how you did without is the substantial upgrade in brakes.

From a single 330mm disc to twin 320mm semi-floating discs with cornering ABS it is a major increase in safety and rider confidence.

Despite being heavier, higher and longer, the bike is surprisingly competent on dirt roads, mainly thanks to the traction controls and switchable ABS.

Conclusion

I love my fun little Icon. But it lacks in brakes, handling, comfort, touring ability and creature features.

The 1100 is still great fun, but increases your ability to tour the back roads and trails in comfort and safety.

I love it so much I’ve ordered the Sport as I feared the damage stones would do to those attractive chrome pipes!Ducati Scrambler 1100 Special

Ducati Scrambler 1100 Special tech specsDucati Scrambler 1100 Special

Price

$17,590 

Engine

1079cc, air-cooled L-Twin, Desmodromic distribution, 2 valves per cylinder

Bore x stroke

98 x 71mm

Compression

11:1

Power*

63kW (86 hp) @ 7500rpm

Torque*

88Nm (65lb-ft, 9kgm) @ 4750rpm

Fuel injection

Electronic fuel injection, 55mm throttle body with full Ride by Wire (RbW)

Exhaust

2-1-2 system with catalytic converter and 2 lambda probes, twin stainless steel muffler with aluminium covers and end caps

Gearbox

6 speed

Ratio

1=37/15 2=30/17 3=28/20 4=26/22 5=24/23 6=23/24

Primary drive

Straight cut gears; Ratio 1.85:1

Final drive

Chain; Front sprocket 15; Rear sprocket 39

Clutch

Light action, wet, multiplate clutch with hydraulic control. Self-servo action on drive, slipper action on over-run

Ducati Scrambler 1100 Special

Frame

Tubular steel Trellis frame

Front suspension

Marzocchi fully adjustable 45mm USD fork

Front wheel travel

150mm (5.9in)

Front wheel

10-spoke in light alloy, 3.50″ x 18″

Front tyre

Pirelli MT 60 RS 120/80 ZR18

Rear suspension

Kayaba monoshock, pre-load and rebound adjustable

Rear wheel travel

150mm (5.9in)

Rear wheel

10-spoke in light alloy, 5.50″ x 17″

Rear tyre

Pirelli MT 60 RS 180/55 ZR17

Front brake

2 x 320mm semi-floating discs, radially mounted Brembo Monobloc M4.32 callipers, 4-piston, axial pump with Bosch Cornering ABS as standard equipment

Rear brake

245mm disc, 1-piston floating calliper with Bosch Cornering ABS as standard equipment

Wheelbase

1514mm (59.6 in)

Rake

24.5°

Trail

111mm (4.4 in)

Total steering lock

34°

Fuel tank capacity

15L – (3.96 US gal)

Dry weight

189kg (417 lb)

Kerb weight*

206kg (454 lb)

Seat

810mm (31.9 in)

Height

1330mm (52.4 in)

Width

895 mm (35.2 in)

Length

2,190 mm (86.0 in)

Number of seats

Dual seat

*Kerb weights indicate total bike weight with all operating consumable liquids and a fuel tank filled to 90% of capacity (as per EC standard 93/93).

Standard equipment

Riding Modes, Power Modes, Ducati Safety Pack (Cornering ABS + DTC), RbW, LED light-guide, LED rear light with diffusion-light, LCD instruments with gear and fuel level indications, Steel tank with interchangeable aluminium side panels, Machine-finished aluminium belt covers, Under-seat storage compartment with USB socket

Colours

62 Yellow

Shining Black

Warranty and Maintenance

Warranty

24 months unlimited mileage

Maintenance service intervals

12,000km (7500mi) / 12 months

Valve clearance check

12,000km (7500mi)

Emissions and Consumption

Standard*

Euro 4

Consumption*

5.2L/100 km – CO2 117 g/km

* Only for countries where Euro 4 standard applies.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Is Ducati the master of motorbike design?

Ducati has featured its new Scrambler 1100 Pro models at the renowned ArtCenter College of Design in Pasadena, California, in yet another example of how the Italian company is a master in motorcycle design.

Don’t believe me? Think your Harley, BMW, MV Agusta, Yamaha or Honda is prettier?

Obviously beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

However, Ducati really does have the runs on the board in design.

Design awards

Ducati EICMA Streetfighter V4 voteDucati Streetfighter V4 wins most beautiful bike at EICMA

Last November Ducati’s Streetfighter V4 took out the award as the most beautiful bike at last week’s EICMA motorcycle show in Milan.

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.

anniversaryDucati 9161994 Ducati 916

Ugly stick

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 masterDucati 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.

Scrambler design

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.

Ducati Scrambler Hashtag onlineLoopy cabling

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.

Ducati debut Scrambler 1100 Pros2020 Ducati Scrambler 1100 Pro

Design master

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.

Ducati master of designJeremy 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.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Ducati debut Scrambler 1100 Pros

As tipped last week, Ducati has debuted two new Scrambler 1100 Pros that finally dispense with the ugly looping brake cable.

There are two models, the Sport having fully adjustable Öhlins suspension. (Full tech specs at the end of the article.)

Here they are in action in Miami. (We’re a bit concerned the female’s ride doesn’t have the Öhlins setup!)

New Pros

The neater cabling on the Pros is a welcome addition as is the Icon-style short rear fender and remote mudguard/plate holder.

Flagship 2018 Ducati Scrambler 1100Current 1100 Scrambler with looping cable

That looping cable was originally designed to be reminiscent of their original 1970s Scrambler 450 with high and wide off-road bars.

1972 Ducati Scrambler 450 museum1972 Ducati Scrambler 450

Now, the bars are black, narrower and shorter, with the Sport edition getting low-slung flat bars and Café Racer-style bar-end mirrors.

The other major change is the twin-stacked right-side mufflers. We can see the Sport edition up close and it looks great with a brushed titanium-look finish.

Ducati debut Scrambler 1100 ProsSport cans

We don’t get a close-up look at the 1100 Pro cans which seem to have an aluminium finish.

Scrambler 1100 Pro comes in two-tone “Ocean Drive” (silver with an orange pinstripe) and black steel trellis frame and rear aluminium subframe.

Scrambler 1100 Sport Pro features matt black paint with black gloss “1100” on the tank.Ducati debut Scrambler 1100 Pros

LCD instruments and other details, dimensions and tech secs seem to be the same as the current 1100 models.

The bikes will be available at the end of March in most markets and “very late in the year” in Australia with pricing released closer to the date.

Current 1100 Scrambler prices range from $19,790 to $22,990 for the Sport edition with Öhlins suspension.

Ducati Scrambler 1100 Pro and Sport ProDucati debut Scrambler 1100 Pros

Engine: Engine: 1079cc, L-Twin, Desmodromic distribution, 2 valves per cylinder, air cooled
Bore x stroke: 98 x 71 mm
Compression: 11:01
Power: 63kW (86hp) @ 7500rpm
Torque: 88Nm (65lb ft) @ 4750rpm
Economy: 5.2 l/100km
Emissions: CO2 120g/km
Transmission: 6-speed, wet clutch
Sport suspension: Öhlins fully adjustable 48mm USD fork; Öhlins monoshock, pre-load and rebound adjustable
Standard suspension: Marzocchi fully adjustable 45mm USD fork; Kayaba mono shock preload and rebound adjustable
Wheels: 10-spoke alloy, 3.50″ x 18”; 5.50″ x 17”
Brakes: 320mm semi-floating discs, radially mounted Brembo Monobloc M4.32 callipers, 4-piston, axial pump; 245mm disc, 1-piston floating calliper; Bosch Cornering ABS
Wheelbase: 1514mm (59.6in)
Rake/trail: 24°.5/111mm (4.4in)
Total steering lock: 33°
Fuel: 15 litres (3.96 US gal)
Dry weight: 189kg (417lb)
Wet weight: 206kg (454lb)
Seat: 810mm (31.9”)
Length: 2190mm (86”)
Height: 1330mm (52.4”)
Width: 895mm (35.2”)
Wheelbase: 1514mm (59.6”)
Standard equipment: Riding Modes, Power Mode, Ducati Safety Pack (Cornering ABS + DTC), RbW, LED light-guide, LED rear light with diffusion-light, LCD instruments with gear and fuel level indications, Steel tank with interchangeable aluminium side panels, Machine-finished aluminium belt covers, Under-seat storage compartment with USB socket
Warranty: 24 months unlimited mileage
Service and valve check: 12,000km (7500mi)/12 months

Ducati debut Scrambler 1100 Pros

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Triumph scrambles into new Bond film

Triumph has paid an undisclosed sum to feature in the 25th James Bond film, No Time to Die, but a Ducati Scrambler has stolen some limelight.

The price for product placement in a movie is up to about $A500,000, but for a Bond film it can be a whole lot more.

In fact, Heineken is believed to have paid $A65 Million to get Bond character Daniel Craig to sip their beer instead of a martini in the 2015 film, Spectre.

So we have no idea how much Triumph has paid, although boss John Bloor did confirm the partnership with the producers for No Time To Die, being released in April 2020.

The result is 007 riding a modified Scrambler 1200 in one chase scene.

Bond film No Time to Die
Craig’s stunt double on the Triumph Scrambler 1200

So why is a baddy riding an 803cc Ducati Scrambler Desert Sled in the same chase scene?

Bond film No Time to Die
Ducati Scrambler Desert Sled

Bond film espionage?

Has Ducati snuck in some free screen time in an apt case of Bond film espionage or did they pay, too?

Or is this a deliberate effort by Triumph to make their scrambler competitor look bad by being associated with buddies while their Scrambler is associated with the hero?

Bond movies are usually associated with exotic cars, but motorcycles have also featured over the years.

Most have been BMW vehicles, although there was a run of Ford-owned cars for a while, including Aston Martin.

Bond film No Time to Die
Good to see Bond back in an Aston Martin DB5 for No Time To Die (with a Ducati in pursuit)

Remember the BMW R 1200 C cruiser in the Vietnam chase scene in the Bond film, Tomorrow Never Dies?

Bond film
Bond slides a BMW cruiser

BMW has also dominated the Mission Impossible and Jason Bourne movie franchises.

Ducati is also not shy about product placement with the Venom and CHiPs movies.

And, of course, Triumph has probably the most memorable motorcycle scene from any movie.

Their TR6 was used as a Nazi BMW in the chase scene in 1963 film, The Great Escape.

Former TT racer and larrikin daredevil Guy Mart in plans to replicate that jump on a Triumph Scrambler 1200 this Sunday (8 December 2019).

Guy Martin practises Great Escape jump
Guy practises for his jump attempt

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Ducati adds to Multistrada and Scrambler ranges

Ducati is tipped to unveil its 2020 models on 23 October 2019 with a Streetfighter V4, Multistrada V4, Multistrada S GT and a Scrambler Icon Dark added to its ranges.

The Italian manufacturer has already confirmed the Streetfighter V4 will be released as a 2020 model.

Ducati confirms 2020 Streetfighter V4 ranges
Ducati Streetfighter V4

We’ve also seen spy photos of a Multistrada V4 and we suspect there might also be a Monster V4 in the works.

Ducati Multistrada V4 spy photo ranges
Spy photo of what looks like a Multistrada V4

And now a leaked document from the US Environmental Protection Agency lists the “Multistrada 1260 S Grand Tour” and “Scrambler Icon Dark”.

Since the Multistrada GT will be powered by the 1262cc L-Twin engine as the name suggests, maybe the Multistrada V4 is on hold for another year.

Or they may be considering running two Multi ranges with twin and four-cylinder engines.

We also expect the Grand Tour will have luggage and a bigger windscreen.

As for the 803cc Scrambler Icon Dark, it is likely to have a blackened engine and matte-black paint instead of its iconic yellow.

Ducati Scrambler Icon ranges
Ducati Scrambler Icon

Whatever they release in October, Ducati announced in April 2018 that every model in their 2020 range will have blind spot warning and adaptive cruise control.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Ducati Desert Sled is a capable scrambler

The Ducati Desert Sled is the first of the modern scramblers that is actually a capable all-roader.

Many riders criticise the current trend to retro scramblers as not being true to the traditions of a scrambler that is light, low and off-road capable.

When Ducati introduce the Scramblers in 2015 they became an instant hit and are now the top-selling family in the Ducati fleet.

There are now seven in the range, but there have been 13 different incarnations already.

Last year they added the Desert Sled, which is cheekily named after Steve McQueen’s Triumph desert racer. Incidentally the original desert Sled sold at a Bonham’s auction in Las Vegas in January 2016 for $US103,500.

Steve McQueen’s 1963 Triumph Bonnveille Desert Sled
McQueen’s Desert Sled

The Ducati Desert Sled is a little cheaper at $16,990 for the black or $17,290 for this white model (plus on-road costs).

It comes with longer-travel suspension, a skinny 19-inch font wheel with knobby tyres, non-slip footpads with removable rubber inserts, motocross-style handlebars and a high front guard which make it more off-road capable.

Road test

Scrambler Ducati Desert Sled
All Ducati Desert Sled images by Mark Taylor of Clayfield Studio

When Brisbane Motorcycles boss James Mutton offered us a ride on a Desert Sled we were keen to take him up on the offer and see if the bike silences the critics.

After less than one year on the showroom floor, the Desert Sled cashes in on a host of important 2019 updates to the Scrambler fleet including cornering ABS, a fuel gauge, a new LED headlight and self-cancelling LED indicators.

The Desert Sled also gets some cosmetic updates such as a red frame, new seat with colour-coordinated stitching and spoked wheels with black rims.

But most importantly it now features an Off Road Riding Mode that allows the rider to switch off the ABS, plus adjustable Kayaba suspension and engine skid pan.

Like the rest of the Scramblers, it’s light and low, but the taller suspension does make the 170kg Scrambler a little higher in the saddle at 860mm.

That’s 70mm taller than the others, but it is such a narrow seat that most people will still be able to get their feet down on the ground. You can also buy an 840mm low seats option.

And the seat and tank are so slim it is a joy to ride standing up when you’re racing through the bush. Just as well as the hard seat is not very comfortable for long highway stints.

Fresh rubber and engineScrambler Ducati Desert Sled

Our test bike was brand new with only a handful of kilometres on the clock and the knobby Pirelli Scorpion Rally STR tyres not even broken in yet.

The 803cc L-twin from the Monster 796 and 797 is a sweet engine that pulls well from the midrange and buzzes with excitement when you give it some revs.

It produces a healthy 56kW (75hp) of power at 8250rpm and 68Nm of torque at 5750rpm.

We didn’t throttle it during its running-in stage, but it doesn’t really need to be fed redline revs to get plenty of lively response, anyway.

The gearbox still felt a bit stiff and neutral was hard to find and there was the occasional false neutral.

It’s geared a little tall for single-trail off-loading, but it’s fine for most traffic and highway applications.

Despite fresh rubber, the tyres provided plenty of confidence on the tar.Scrambler Ducati Desert Sled

I was able to get some good lean angles straight away with no flop feeling in the cornering despite the 19-inch high-profile front tyre.

Grip was also good and the bike steers precisely, although the front end does get a bit flighty over corrugations and it tracks a little in longitudinal road cracks.

Like most Ducatis with standard suspension it is over-sprung and under-damped, but a heavier rider than my 75kg might find the ride better.Scrambler Ducati Desert Sled

Rough stuff

Once you hit the rough stuff, the stiffer springs make more sense and it rides out the bumps well.

The off-road setting lets you turn off the cornering ABS, but I found the ABS actually works really well on a loose-gravel road, so I left it on.

Switching it off is a bit of a chore and you have to be stopped to do it.

When you switch off the engine and switch back on again, it defaults to ABS on.

The wide 170mm rear tyre is one of the only drawbacks for dirt roads. It has resasonable go and stop grip, but it makes the bike very taily in corners.

The fuel gauge is a welcome addition to the single digital instrument pod, but it’s a messy and difficult to read display.Scrambler Ducati Desert Sled

Also, the low fuel light comes on as soon as the gauge drops under half way. That’s annoying as you probably have more than 100km of range left in the 13.5-litre tank.

I also found the mirrors too high and wide and line up with the mirrors on SUVs andantes when lane filtering.

They also have a strange shape with a cutout that diminishes the rear view just where you need it.

ConclusionScrambler Ducati Desert Sled

The Desert Sled definitely silences the critics of modern scramblers.

It’s quite capable in the bush and feels light and low enough for even notices to manhandle down a gnarly track.

We suspect a Desert Sled version of the Scrambler 1100 may also be waiting in the wings to take on the very capable off-roading Triumph Scrambler 1200.

Ducati Scrambler Desert SledScrambler Ducati Desert Sled

Engine

803cc, V-twin, 4-stroke, air-cooled

Prices

$16,990 (Black), $17,290 (White) plus on-road costs

Suspension

Front: Kayaba 46mm fully-adjustable upside down front forks

Rear: Side-mounted rear shock adjustable for pre-load, compression and rebound damping

Power

56kW @ 8250rpm

Brakes

Front: Single 330mm disc, Brembo four-piston caliper

Rear: 245mm rear disc. Brembo single-piston caliper.

Tyres

Front:120/70 x 19

Rear: 170/60 x 17

Seat height

860mm (33.9in)

Weight:

191kg dry/207kg wet

Fuel capacity

13.5 litres

Bike supplied by

Brisbane Motorcycles

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Spanish woman honoured for Africa ride

A Spanish woman who rode her Ducati Scrambler 15,000km through Africa has been honoured with the Spanish Geographical Society’s Journey of the Year 2018 award.

Alicia Sornosa set off on her bike down the backbone of East Africa to raise money for Amigos de Silva.

The Spanish non-government organisation provides humanitarian aid projects such as water supply and health care, initially in the Afar region of Ethiopia, but later extended to other African countries.

Alicia’s ride started in Addis Ababa in Ethiopia, and crossed Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi, Mozambique and Lesotho before finally arriving in Cape Town, South Africa.  

The only hiccup along the way for the Ducati ambassador was two punctures.

Round the world

It’s not Alicia’s first big adventure.

In 2011, she set off on her BMW F 650 GS on what would become a round-the-world ride that included Australia in 2012.

She rode from Spain to Asia, then Australia, North America down through South America and back to Europe in 2014.

Alicia became the first Spanish woman to circumnavigate the world on a BMW.

She has continued her travels through the Americas and Asia.

Other awards she has won include:

  • Illustrious Visitor of the City of Tarija, Bolivia;
  • The 2016 Penguin Honorific Award for “The Legend Continues”; and
  • In 2017, she took third prize at the I Madrid Motorbike Film Festival for “Adventure in India and Nepal” (below)

Epic adventures

Here at Motorbike Writer we love to share stories of epic riding adventures.

We also love to share stories of female riders and young riders to encourage others to join our pursuits.

If you have an epic adventure you would like to share, please click here to send photos and details via email.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com