There are tons of great bike manufacturers and even more models to choose from, so how do you narrow it down? Maybe you’d like to know more about Ducati and their Scrambler models. If so, we have you covered here because we have everything you need to know about the iconic Ducati Scrambler.
Ducati motorcycles are stylish bikes with great features for long-time riders as well as beginners. With all the features available and amazing red carpet style, you’d think Ducati motorcycles are too expensive for the average Joe. Ducati bikes are some of the most affordable, and good-looking bikes on the market.
While not quite as popular as Harley Davidson, Yamaha, or Kawasaki, the Italian motorcycle manufacturer still ranks highly as a brand to be reckoned with. It doesn’t matter if you’re a lifetime Ducati aficionado, or you have never heard of the brand before. Keep reading as we cover everything you need to know about the Ducati Scrambler.
Common Problems With Ducati Scrambler
First, let’s cover the most common problems with the Scrambler. Every manufacturer and model will have some common complications, and the Ducati Scrambler is no exception.
1. Heat Production
In a world where most combustion engines are liquid-cooled vs. air-cooled, the Ducati Scrambler still goes with the air cooled option. Instead of having a radiator, water pump, and other parts needed to cool the engine, the Scrambler still uses air to cool its engines.
Air cooled engines use metal fins that pull heat away from the cylinders. While this reduces the number of moving parts that can fail, it can create a lot of superheated air to waft straight up from the engine. The hot air can be uncomfortable for the rider’s legs and body, especially if you’re sitting in traffic or at a long traffic light.
This isn’t a problem while you’re riding down the road, but if you’re stopped for more than a few minutes, the amount of heat can be unbearable. While stuck in traffic, you might want to turn the engine off until you’re able to get moving again.
2. Kickstand Problems
Some motorcycles have sensors that keep the engine from starting until the kickstand is up and out of the way. Some Ducati models have a small bolt associated with this sensor that can malfunction.
When the bolt comes loose, it may cause a tapping sound or prevent you from starting your motorcycle, even when the kickstand is out of the way, or it may cause it to stall while riding it. The faulty bolt and sensor combo could even allow the bike to start and take off while the kickstand is still in the lowered position.
This problem was pretty prevalent and caused Ducati to issue a recall on 2015 and 2016 models. They replaced the bolt with a longer one that didn’t come loose so easily and prevented the kickstand sensor from coming on accidentally.
3. Faulty Clutch Cable System
Occasionally, the Ducati Scrambler has an issue with the clutch cable assembly. Owners started seeing problems with failing clutch plates or clutch cables that were too tight. Bad clutch plates make it hard or impossible to switch gears and could leave you stalled on the side of the road.
Clutch cables that are too tight can cause clutch plate problems or even lead to broken clutch cables. This again will leave the motorcycle unable to shift gears.
Bad clutch plates need to be replaced and can be replaced with aftermarket plates that typically last longer and withstand wear and tear easier.
Clutch cables that are too tight can be taken to the mechanic for adjustment. When motorcycles are first started and driven, shifting can be tight, or rough until the fluids warm up. If the cable continues to stay tight and is difficult to shift, you should get it adjusted for better performance.
We hit on the negatives and possible issues, so now let’s delve into the features and specs. That’s what you’re here for anyway, all the good stuff.
Ducati Scrambler Features
For a budget-priced motorcycle, you’d think you’re getting a stripped-down model that doesn’t have any nice features. Fortunately, Ducati still likes to treat their owners right. The Ducati Scrambler has alternative riding modes to choose from, special ABS braking systems, traction control, and much more.
Different Riding Modes
You can choose between three riding modes on the Ducati Scrambler 1100; Active, Journey, and City mode. Here we’ll look at each one and what the difference is.
- Active Riding Mode allows you to take advantage of all 86 horses in the engine. You also get a direct throttle connection as well as traction control that is comparable to sport riding mode on other motorcycle models.
- Journey Riding Mode is what you use for your everyday driving. You still have all the horsepower available to you, as well as a very fluid throttle control. In Journey Riding Mode you also get traction control, but it isn’t as aggressive as Active mode.
- City Riding Mode trims down the power and torque so you’re not doing burnouts from a 4-way stop. Throttle control is further smoothed out and you get great traction control for max safety in the crowded city.
One of the worst things a cycler can do is lock up the wheels. When the brakes lock up on motorcycles, control is almost always lost. With the new Brembo Braking System with Cornering ABS, riders have much less to worry about if they have to stop quickly.
ABS systems work by cycling pressure and releasing that pressure on the brakes to prevent the wheels from locking up.
Adjustable Ducati Traction Control
New to the Scrambler family, Ducati has finally added this amazing safety feature to their 1100 models. Traction control adjusts speed and power to keep the rear wheel from spinning out during acceleration or cornering.
On the Scrambler, it can be adjusted to 4 different levels. At level 1, you get a little traction control, but it isn’t aggressive. At level 4, you get maximum intervention and safety. This can be a lifesaver in wet conditions, or when you hit that unexpected patch of sand or gravel on the road.
Now let’s touch on improved comfort and visibility.
Improved Rider Comfort
Each model of Scrambler has a different seat, but they all have been redesigned to be more comfortable for both driver and passenger. Gorgeous embroidery adorns the newly stitched and pleasing to ride seat so you can enjoy your outing longer.
You won’t have to worry about saddle sores when riding a Ducati Scrambler.
Premium LED Lighting
The Scrambler still has an iconic and visually pleasing round headlight, but Ducati has installed an LED ring that acts as a Daytime Running Light (DRL) for increased visibility. Inside the round, headlight is a “Blue Vision” bulb which emits a darkness destroying white beam that stretches farther than normal bulbs.
The Ducati Scrambler also comes with LED indicators and tail light assemblies.
The Ducati Scrambler has several models to choose from, but there isn’t much that varies between them aside from the motor size. You have the 800s which all have an 803 cc motor and pump out 73 hp. The Next-Gen model has updated tech, full LED lights, and digital displays, and is 8 pounds lighter than the Icon. These models include:
- Icon Next-Gen
- Full Throttle
- Urban Motard
Next are the 1100 models of the Scrambler. They have a more muscular 1079 cc engine that tops out at 86 hp. They are a little heavier and have a slightly throatier sound when they start up. The 1100 models also have different driving modes, while right now, the 800 models do not. The Scrambler 1100 models include the:
- Pro: $13,495
- Tribute Pro: $13,995
- Sport Pro: $15,895
New to the Scrambler Icon and other 800 models is an updated Multimedia Ready System. Meaning you can add Bluetooth headsets and more to the bike. There’s a new Selected Gear Indicator, and new handlebar switch controls.
These models also come with a Hydraulic Clutch Control with an adjustable lever, and they have Dual-Channel Bosch Cornering ABS for added safety.
|Specs||Ducati Scrambler 800||Ducati Scrambler 1100|
|Models||Icon, Icon Next-Gen, Full Throttle, Nightshift, Urban Motard||Scrambler Pro, Tribute Pro, Sport Pro|
|Engine||803cc air-cooled L-twin (90° V-twin)||1079cc air-cooled L-twin (90° V-twin)|
|Power||73 hp||86 hp|
|Torque||49 lb-ft||65 lb-ft|
|Transmission||6-Speed, Chain Driven, Manual Transmission||6-Speed, Chain Driven, Manual Transmission|
|Clutch||Hydraulically controlled slipper-assist, wet multiplate clutch||Hydraulically controlled slipper-assist, wet multiplate clutch|
|Front Brakes||radial 4-piston caliper with Bosch Cornering ABS||radial 4-piston caliper with Bosch Cornering ABS|
|Rear Brakes||1-piston floating caliper with Bosch Cornering ABS||1-piston floating caliper with Bosch Cornering ABS|
|Front Suspension||41mm Kayaba inverted fork; 5.9”||Pro and Tribute Pro: 45mm fully-adjustable Marzocchi inverted fork; 5.9”Sport Pro: 48mm Ohlins fully-adjustable Ohlins inverted fork; 5.9”|
|Rear Suspension||Preload-adjustable Kayaba mono-shock; 5.9”||Pro and Tribute Pro: Preload- and rebound-adjustable Kayaba mono-shock; 5.9”Sport Pro: Fully-adjustable Ohlins mono-shock; 5.9”|
|Weight||Icon and Icon Dark: 417 lbsNightshift and Urban Motard: 432 lbs||Pro and Sport Pro: 454 lbsTribute Pro: 465 lbs|
|Seat Height||Icon and Icon Dark: 31.4”Nightshift and Urban Motard: 31.7”||31.9″|
|Warranty||24 months, Unlimited mileage||24 months, Unlimited mileage|
This is what most of us want to know. How fast will this two-wheeled beast move? Do we have the speed to light up the track, or is it only good for a leisurely cruise across state lines?
The Ducati Scrambler 1100s and 800s are good bikes that have decent power available to them. The sharp details and modern styling give the impression that these bikes will shred the highway miles.
They all have a chain-driven, 6-speed transmission, and most of them will top out around 130 mph/209 km/h. The smaller Urban Motard will hit around 100 mph/161 km/h.
While these bikes won’t break any sound barriers, they still have plenty of speed left to them once you hit most highways’ speed limits. Okay, so they go fast, but are they reliable?
Overall, the Ducati Scrambler is a very reliable motorcycle. If you treat it well, it will do the same for you. Owners of Scramblers report that if you don’t treat the bike like a beater and try to “hot rod” it, it will give you years of reliable use.
Another way you can keep the Ducati Scrambler lasting for years is proper maintenance. Owners who follow the typical maintenance protocols typically end up with fewer unscheduled stops to the mechanic.
Sure, the Ducati Scrambler isn’t going to win awards at any track, and it’s not known for being an aggressive speedster on the highway, but it is an all around dependable, day-to-day commuter. It’s not the best in any category, but it does everything a motorcycle is supposed to do very well.
The majority of owners state with proper care and normal use, they can easily get 60K miles out of them before experiencing major problems. Some have stated they’ve gotten over 100K to 120K miles out of theirs before having to do any major repairs.
Okay, so the Ducati Scrambler is a reliable ride, but is it easy to ride? Is it going to beat you up, or will you constantly be looking forward to the next sunny day you can get it back on the asphalt?
Riders of all experience levels will have fun with the Ducati Scrambler lineup. These models are generally lightweight and sit positioned in a way that even shorter statured riders won’t have a problem keeping it upright.
The Scrambler 1100 model weighs around 450 lbs/204 kg, and the 800 model is a few pounds lighter. Compared to light speedster bikes, or heavy behemoths that can weigh over 900 pounds, the Scramblers are considered middleweight bikes.
As long as you are moving frequently and don’t have to sit idling for extended periods, the Ducati Scramblers are exciting, lively, and crazy enjoyable for beginners and enthusiasts. They are comfortable and have nimble handling with engaging acceleration.
The problem comes when you’re stuck in a traffic jam, or in the city with multiple, long-lasting stoplights. The air cooled engine will make you feel like you’re sitting on an oven. As long as you’re moving though, the heat isn’t a problem.
How much can you expect to pay for a Scrambler?
Ducati bikes are not going to send your heart into palpitations when you see the prices. They are affordable bikes that are a joy to own.
Starting at the lower end of the price spectrum you’ll find the Scrambler Icon Dark. It comes with an 803 cc engine that delivers 73 HP and will only set you back $9,195 for a brand new model.
Next, you have the Urban Motard, Nightshift, and Classic Icon. These have the same 803 cc engine with the same horsepower. The main difference between these bikes is the styles. Here are the prices on these motorcycles:
- Urban Motard– $11,895
- Nightshift– $11,695
- Classic Icon– $10,195
The Scrambler 1100 models come with a beefier 1079 cc engine that pumps out 86 horsepower. You can choose from the 1100 Sport, Dark, or Tribute. These motorcycles come with state of the art technology that greatly increases safety.
The Ducati Scrambler 1100s start at $13,295. As you can see, they are affordable options.
We’ve covered all the ups and downs of the Scrambler, so now you want to know, is it a good bike?
Is the Ducati Scrambler a Good Bike?
The Ducati Scrambler is an all around very good motorcycle. It’s comfortable, not too heavy, and has a ton of updated safety features. These bikes are excellent for beginners. The price points are something you’ll be regretting later on if you decide you just aren’t the 2-wheeled rider like others.
If you’re looking for an everyday commuter to save gas money, or you just want to feel the sun on your face before you head to work, you can’t go wrong with a Ducati Scrambler. You’ll feel stylish as you cruise down the road and pull into the job site.
Beginners will find these bikes can be gentle and forgiving as they get used to the feel of two wheels. It won’t try to buck you off when you give it the throttle, and the smooth transition with the clutch will have you feeling like you’re a pro. With all the added safety features meant to keep you glued to the road, beginners can feel confident in their abilities from the moment they strap the helmet on.
These models of bikes aren’t just for beginners. For long-time riders, the Ducati Scrambler has power, speed, and comfort to make it an exhilarating ride. Whatever the rider’s experience level, the Ducati Scrambler is a joy and a comfort to ride.
The Ducati Scrambler is a perfect, well-rounded bike that does everything a motorcycle should do with adequate abilities. It’s not going to punch you in the face with fighter pilot G-Forces, but it won’t get away from you either. It’s a joy to ride.
They come with a slew of technologically advanced safety features to keep you upright and the motorcycle firmly planted between your legs. Add the beautiful prices, and the reliability, and you have a long-lasting, exciting ride that will last you long after you’ve made that final payment.
If you’re looking for a mild-mannered bike that also has a fun party side that can be unleashed, then check out Ducati Scramblers. You won’t be disappointed.
I’m William Guzenski, ASE certified master automobile technician & automotive expert. I love to attend race events and car shows throughout the country. I also loves to travel 40-foot motorhome, exploring abandoned mines and ghost towns. I’m currently building another car for Bonneville Salt Flats and will be campaigning a drag car at several events.