Tag Archives: ducati scrambler

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


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


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


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

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


56kW @ 8250rpm


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

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


Front:120/70 x 19

Rear: 170/60 x 17

Seat height

860mm (33.9in)


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