Categories: Ducati Features
30 | Updated 07

2017 Ducati Scrambler Desert Sled Preview

In stark contrast to the all-asphalt Scrambler Cafe Racer introduced by Ducati today at EICMA 2016, comes this, the Scrambler Desert Sled. Taking its roots from the Scrambler Urban Enduro – which is discontinued for model year 2017 – the Desert Sled is perfect for those who wish they were Malcolm Smith and rate On Any Sunday as their favorite movie of all time.

The Desert Sled is at home when the pavement runs out and only dirt lies ahead.

As the name would suggest, the Desert Sled is all about leaving paved roads behind. To do that, the Desert Sled gets a fully adjustable 41mm Kayaba inverted fork with two inches more travel – up to 7.9 inches from 5.9 inches. The rear shock is also new and gets a piggyback reservoir along with preload and rebound adjustability. More suspension travel means a higher saddle height – 33.9 inches for the Desert Sled – though an accessory low seat can chop that down by an inch. The frame is reinforced to better handle the rigors of off-road use, and the swingarm is both longer and sturdier than the units on the other Scrambler models. Again for better durability off-road. Wheelbase is now rated at 59.3 inches versus the 56.9 inches of the standard Scrambler Icon.

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Like the Cafe Racer, the Desert Sled ditches the 18-inch front wheel, but this time it’s replaced with a 19-incher. A 17-inch wheel is still out back, and both wheels feature wire spokes. Tires are the new Pirelli Scorpion Rally STR in 120/70-19 front, 170/60-17 rear. Other details include a wire mesh headlight cover, tapered handlebars, and high front and rear mudguards.

Most of the changes from the Scrambler Icon, in one easy-to-read picture.

Power for the Desert Sled is the standard 803cc air-oil cooled V-Twin seen in the other Scrambler models, tweaked to comply with Euro 4 rules and to provide better on/off throttle power delivery. Dual pipes are paired with black covers, and the entire underside is protected by a bash plate, which is where the Desert Sled name derived from. Oddly, for such an off-road worthy machine, the Desert Sled doesn’t feature hand guards. Of course, Ducati hasn’t forgotten this and includes hand guards, a high-mount exhaust pipe, handlebar pad, and extra spotlights in its accessory catalog, along with the low seat option.

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Available in White Mirage and Red Dusk, both come with a black frame and spoked wheels with gold rims. Pricing starts at $11,396 for the latter and $11,595 for the former.