Camping, skateboarding, hiking, exploring and adventures are more exciting when a motorcycle is involved. I was fortunate to attend the International Press Launch held in Palm Springs, CA this December which was a tasteful experience from the initial greet to the last mile. This was the first of 4 International Press Launches for the Scrambler since their showing a few months back at INTERMOT in Germany where Ducati’s newly launched sub-brand, Scrambler Ducati, introduced 4 Scrambler models for 2015.
Inspired by simplicity and the pure joy of riding, these Scramblers have the suspension, design and performance capable of mapping out a new frontier while still practical enough for zipping around town and playing it cool at the coffee shops. The Scrambler comes from the factory with the same benchmark design and performance held by their decorated track and road motorcycles, which has been their area of focus for the last 40+ years. Ducati has now paired that experience with an affordable price tag and retro-modern styling that defines the history of the original Ducati Scrambler by where it’s been and where it stands today, leaving where it’s going completely up to the rider.
The 2015 Scrambler is impelled by an EFI 803cc L-twin air-cooled engine throwing 75 horses @ 8,250rpm and 50lbs/ft torque @ 5,750rpm. A 50mm throttle body aids greater fuel economy and the 6-speed gearbox compliments those open straight-aways. Motivated by Ducati’s proven performance line, the Scrambler’s rear suspension has 24 degrees of rake and 4.4 inches of trail while the front is embraced with an upside down Kayaba 41mm fork. During the launch we took a group ride through Silent Valley upwards to Idyllwild and around San Bernardino Park without any issues through the tight corners and climbing hills. In fact, the bike’s stock suspension was responsive enough for me to comfortably and safely take corners quicker than I had previously. I weigh 160lbs and for me the dampening throughout the corners felt great at the factory settings while the dual-channel ABS provided confidence for road hazards. I also road the entire day with my skateboard strapped to my backpack with no issues beyond a little wind resistance. The bike weighs just over 400lbs wet and the seat sits at 31.1 inches with the option for a lower seat of 30.3 inches. This makes a great desert runner or camping sled where picking up the bike from a soft sand spill might otherwise require two individuals. Other attributes include a USB port for charging accessories, ample storage underneath the seat for registration and personal items, steel tank with interchangeable aluminum side panels, LED odometer and lights, and Pirelli MT60 tires.
For those looking for a skate dragger to reach higher speeds in the schools yards, this will be ideal. The Scrambler is nimble enough to wrap around basketball posts and tighter corners while a responsive dual-channel ABS aids to safely slow for the skateboarder to pass. The exhaust is quiet enough to sneak up for spot checks and the profile is slim but if you split lanes, as always, keep that board vertical. In conjunction with this launch, Scrambler Ducati designed a lifestyle apparel line to match the mood of the bike. Shirts, gloves, armored outdoor jacket, cross country sneakers and leather field jacket were of the popular mentions as well as backpacks, tank and saddle storage bags. Bell and 100% collaborated for helmet and goggle options giving the rider even more room for manifestation.
The Scrambler is built for everyone, including new and returning motorcyclists who don’t wish to be categorized by any single genre of the term biker. It’s for those who live by getting out and moving forward, with appreciation for the foundations set before their time. 2015 is going to be a buon anno for Scrambler Ducati.