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30 Mar, 2017 ,
What is a Scrambler? For your kind information and in simple words, Scramblers are light weighted machines with minimalistic bodywork which is capable to go off road and have some fun on the road too. It is designed to be rider friendly, accessible and feasible at the same time. Ducati has now introduced the Scrambler as new sub brand that emphasizes more on the life style segment. The Scrambler Icon we tested is one of the four variants that is available for sale and Ducati offers a vast range of customization options to personalize your ride. Does it provide the immaculate Ducati experience? Read on.
The overall styling of the Ducati Scrambler Icon is very likeable with its compact and narrow design dimensions. We loved the retro theme on the Scrambler which lends the bike a classic persona. The perfectly rounded headlight comes with a bordered day running LED light which is a signature Scrambler design element. The chopped front mudguard looks distinctive and hugs the tyre perfectly.
The front brake lever is reach adjustable and the palm grips offer superb grip. The instrument cluster is placed offset towards the right of the handlebar. Despite being compact the circular cluster shows details like time, tachometer, speedometer, and two trip-meters. There is a low fuel-level indicator but no fuel gauge which is slightly disappointing. The small tank is impeccably finished and doesn’t feature the Ducati logo. Instead the tank is etched with Scrambler moniker below which the ‘Ducati’ is positioned.
The seat of the Scrambler is low, flat and a bit narrow. Below the rear seat lie the tail lamp and turn indicators. The swingarm looks beautiful along with the upswept stubby exhaust. The side mounted Kayaba single shock at the rear looks wonderful. The 10 spoke alloy wheels with rugged Pirelli tyres enhance the style quotient even further.
Build quality of the Scrambler Icon is typical Ducati. Nowhere did we feel that the bike is a byproduct of cost-cutting. Fit and finish on the bike is top notch and we didn’t find anything to complain about.
The 803cc L-Twin air-cooled engine on the Scrambler Icon makes 75bhp at 8250 RPM and 68 Nm of torque at an early 5750 RPM. With just 186kgs of wet weight you get an amazing power-to-weight ratio. Despite the lack of electronics, this bike with a throttle cable gives out an amazing throttle response. The healthy dose of torque coupled with light weight ratio results in the bike lifting off like a horse.
The dose of performance that you get from the L-Twin engine is just mind-blowing. The heat coming out from the air-cooled engine can cook up the rider’s legs. The absence of a radiator feels illogical but thankfully there is small oil cooler to take care of the heating issues. The engine feels slightly harsh due to the ‘2 valves per cylinder’ setup. The bike feels less cheerful below 2000rpm, but beyond that the bike feels too enthusiastic and pulls up with a great sounding exhaust note. The engine on the Scrambler is very rev friendly though.
The 6 speed gearbox on the Scrambler offer stiff but precise gear shifts. The clutch also feels well weighted to use. The bike can easily cruise at 130kmph- 140kmph without breaking a sweat and can be pushed till 10000 rpm without any hue and cry. The bike hits a ton in under 4.5 seconds and we managed to get a top whack of 160kmph. The lack of fairing did hinder the top-speed chase though.
Riding posture on the Scrambler Icon is upright and the footpegs are rear set. It feels easy and friendly for inexperienced and experienced riders alike. The handle bar sits up tall and wide and offers excellent steering input in the city as well as highways. The handle bar feels very communicative for those occasional off-road getaways too. The dual sport Pirelli MT 60 RS tyres provide exceptional grip on any given tarmac.
Suspension duties are taken care by the 41mm upside down Kayaba fork on the front and a Kayaba single side mounted shock at the rear. The rear Kayaba single shock is preload adjustable. The suspension set up is not plush as you would expect. It is in fact stiff (just a tad bit) and that coupled with the low and flat seat leave you with back recurring back aches. However it aids in taut handling and makes the Scrambler very agile. The stiff tubular steel chassis is brilliant on the corners as well.
The bike has a single 330mm disc up front and a single 245mm disc at the rear, but they come with switchable ABS as standard. The bite is precise and progressive and doesn’t feel scary at all. The bike feels well figured out for those long highway jaunts.
The headlamp, DRL, tail-lamp on the Ducati Scrambler is very bright and offers good visibility at any given point of time. True to Ducati standards the switches and wires are of premium quality. Although we felt that the throttle cables and wires could have been neatly tucked.
In the city we got an average of 15.6 kmpl and on the highway we managed to get around 19.2 kmpl. It is fairly frugal when you compare it to the overall performance.
Ducati engineers at the service network are courteous and co-operating. Service quality is excellent and service cost for this bike is well within everybody’s reach.
The Scrambler Icon is a no-nonsense lightweight motorcycle which focuses mainly on the riding experience. It is sure to leave a grin on your face with that explosive power and point and shoot handling capabilities. This bike will also quench your off-roading thirst with the brilliant chassis and suspension set up. We had a blast putting this bike to the test. This is one of the joyous offerings from Ducati under the 10 lakh price bracket.
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