As a model, Ducati has this fame for all the time being on the bleeding fringe of know-how, sacrificing nearly something within the identify of velocity and efficiency. So why, then, wouldn’t it take an engine that it stopped utilizing in 2013, spend a bunch of cash making it noise- and emissions-legal for 2018 and throw it in a brand new manufacturing motorbike? As a result of generally, nostalgia sells.
The Ducati Scrambler 1100 Sport is a bike that, on the floor, would not make a ton of sense. It is actually costly at round $15,000, and comparatively underpowered, producing simply 86 horsepower at 7,500 rpm. However the second you throw a leg over it and thumb the starter lever, you are pressured to overlook all of that. The Scrambler 1100 was designed to do one factor rather well: make you’re feeling good.
The whole lot in regards to the bike is formed to tug at your heartstrings and make you’re feeling like the good particular person in your postal code. With its matte black paint and yellow accents, gold forks, massive underseat mufflers and spherical headlight, the 1100 Sport appears just like the form of motorbike on which your ex-girlfriend’s new boyfriend would choose her up. It appears imply with out making an attempt too exhausting.
Its engine — the 1,079-cc, two-valve, air/oil-cooled, 90-degree L-twin from the Monster 1100 Evo — has successfully been became a dinosaur by the high-revving, water-cooled multivalve superbikes of immediately. However nothing else that Ducati makes immediately has the identical appeal as that massive, finned lump of aluminum. It has been tweaked barely, with a single throttle physique and twin spark plugs, however the outdated Monster character continues to be there.
When coaxed into life (considerably reluctantly if it is chilly out), the engine burbles and pops with a basso profundo that surprises at first, leaving me to marvel if these are certainly normal exhaust cans. However when you give the throttle a number of exploratory twists and the idle evens out, it actually begins to sound like a Ducati. This can be a correct 90-degree twin, buddy, no Harley-esque potato-potato noises to be discovered.
Whereas the Scrambler’s engine comes nearly straight out of 2013, the gearbox and clutch are totally trendy models. Not like Ducati transmissions of outdated, the gearbox would not require that you simply kick the hell out of it up or right down to get a constructive shift. It is slick and straightforward to make use of and I’ve no drawback discovering impartial or getting any false neutrals. The clutch is a hydraulic, moist, multiplate unit with a superlight pull on the lever and good easy engagement. My solely lament is that you aren’t getting the basic Ducati dry clutch rattle, however some issues are maybe higher left up to now.
Throwing a leg over the bike reveals an inexpensive seat top even if you happen to’re not tall (I am 6 ft, four inches, for reference). The bike feels gentle, snug and instantly pure. It needs to be your buddy. The handlebars are upright and huge, and the foot pegs are excessive sufficient for floor clearance however low sufficient to not really feel cramped. The seat is large and appears cushier than it’s, however since it’s comparatively flat, shifting round entrance to again is simple and should not create any issues on longer rides. Total, finishes and supplies are tremendous high-quality. That is an costly, premium motorbike and it feels prefer it with few exceptions (among the plastics used on the change clusters are form of meh, however this can be a minor gripe).
The instrumentation on the 1100 Sport represents a substantial step ahead from the earlier fashions within the Scrambler line. You continue to get the offset spherical LCD show with the ring of coloured warning lights and the odd backward tachometer, however you additionally get somewhat oval that comes off of it on the 10 o’clock place that provides you extra data like velocity and kit place indicator. It is clearly legible, and I am a fan.
Whereas the Scrambler 1100 is unabashedly a retro-inspired motorbike, it has a veritable crap-ton of security know-how, most of which is obtainable for the primary time on a motorbike within the Scrambler line. The large information comes within the type of lean-angle delicate traction management and antilock brakes, which is large, as a result of it takes much more guesswork out of emergency conditions. For instance, you are using with associates on a curvy mountain highway, and you’ve got your bike cranked over in a nook, whenever you come throughout a giant rock or tree department in your path and clamp down in your brakes. On an older, dumber bike you’d seize a handful of brake, and the wheel may not lock solely, however you’ve got diminished traction accessible for braking whereas on the sting of your tire and normal ABS will not account for that, so that you’d nonetheless stand a great probability of dropping management and crashing. Lean-sensitive ABS is aware of how far the bike is leaned over and might modulate its pulses to be gentler, permitting you to extra safely deliver it down from velocity and keep away from hitting that stick.
It is know-how like this that helps make the Scrambler 1100’s price ticket so much simpler to swallow. The Scrambler’s closest competitors within the cool, retro-bike class is the BMW R NineT, and that has primary ABS and solely elective, non-lean-sensitive traction management.
The usual suspension on the Scrambler 1100 and 1100 Particular is okay, however if you happen to pony up for the Sport, you get Öhlins forks and shocks, and whereas stiff, the damping’s adjustability and high quality are wonderful. Plus it is all cool and gold and… yeah, I am a sucker for that form of stuff.
The brakes on the 1100 are additionally wonderful. The entrance four-piston calipers come from Brembo and clamp down on 320-millimeter discs. The rear is a single-piston Brembo caliper that grabs onto a 245 mm disc. They’ve loads of chunk, and by no means lack suggestions.
As soon as underway, the Scrambler 1100 proves to be staggeringly simple to experience. Its throttle response is great, and by no means snatchy or jerky. The large twin’s torque is blissful round city, lugging me out of corners and away from lights once I’m too lazy to drop a gear. The relative narrowness of the bike mixed with its nimble dealing with makes splitting lanes simple, as effectively. I frequently seize a handful of throttle and rocket away from visitors, guffawing maniacally in my helmet as the large twin booms away beneath me.
After all, outdated bike know-how, whereas charming, comes with some old-bike points. At the beginning is warmth. This factor places out quite a lot of it. The air-cooled nature of the bike, coupled with the best way the exhaust is routed, means that you will be cooking your decrease half at stoplights. Driving this bike with out not less than some form of Kevlar-lined using denims can be a bummer.
Secondly, the mirrors suck. They give the impression of being cool, however most of my top’s in my torso, and I am unable to alter them in a manner the place I can see something helpful. In the event that they tilted up extra, they’d be tremendous.
The 1100 has a giant motor, and due to that, it isn’t probably the most frugal factor on two wheels. You will not be skipping a ton of fuel stations, however fortunately you get a gasoline gauge on this beastie, so that you most likely will not get stranded wherever, both.
Lastly, do not forget, there’s the price of possession. Sure, it can probably price you extra to service a Ducati than it can a Yamaha or a Honda, however that is simply a part of the expertise. The factor to know is that the catastrophically costly upkeep schedules that plagued Ducatis of outdated aren’t actually a factor anymore. The dreaded Desmo service — which includes eradicating the timing belt, ripping aside a ton of the bike to entry each cylinder heads and adjusting the opening and shutting rocker arms — solely occurs each 15,000 miles, and Ducati says it can solely take round 5 hours to finish. You are going to change oil each 7,500 miles, which is in keeping with most different producers’ tips.
Nonetheless, that is fairly becoming for a motorbike that’s shameless about its motive for existence. The Scrambler 1100 Sport makes no pretense about race tracks or MotoGP; it is simply there to be enjoyable and to make the particular person using it really feel tremendous cool. It is flawed and costly, however on the finish of the day, I completely need one.