One man’s Scrambler is another man’s cafe racer. What? I don’t really know. Scrambler maybe means something different in Italy, where that nomenclature encompasses entry-level Ducs with off-roady aspirations as well as cafe raceresque ones. What they all have in common is a two-valve per cylinder version of Ducati’s classic air-cooled V-twin, ranging in size from 399 cc all the way up to the 1079 cc of this lovely new 1100 Sport PRO Ducati loaned us for a few days. I’m down. I’ve been a big fan of air-cooled Ducatis since before there were liquid-cooled Ducatis.
Here’s a quick 50-second teaser vid for the upcoming film “Venom,” in which Ducati North America CEO Jason Chinnock explains how the Scrambler reflects the lead character, Eddie, played by Tom Hardy. Does the bike wag the film or vice versa? The bike influences the stunts for sure, says Chinnock. “The bike helps move the action sequences along.” We’ll buy that. Ever since Mike Vaughn made them buy three Kawasaki Ninja 900s, movies have sold a lot of motorcycles.
Ducati announced plans to introduce a front and rear radar system for motorcycles and to make cornering ABS available across its entire model range. The two initiatives are part of Ducati’s overall “Safety Road Map 2025” plan, the company’s strategy for motorcycle safety technologies.
Ducati just released the flagship to its hugely popular Scrambler lineage with this, the Scrambler 1100. Personally speaking, it’s the Scrambler I like most in Ducati’s line for reasons I mention in my First Ride Review. Time will tell if the Scrambler 1100 lineage is as much of a success for Ducati as the original, 803cc Scrambler Icon, but from where I’m sitting, the new 1100 has a lot of things going for it – as well as a few blemishes. Here then are six things I like about the new Scrambler 1100, as well as three things I don’t.
For a company priding itself on racing and performance, there’s an irony in the fact that, since its introduction in 2014, the Scrambler has been Ducati’s best selling model. Eschewing performance in favor of simplicity and riding enjoyment, the Scrambler charts a different path for Ducati, and the folks in Borgo Panigale have embraced this concept wholeheartedly.
We here at MO often cite a “more is more” attitude, so perhaps we should’ve seen this coming: a new Ducati Scrambler fitted with a large 1079cc air-cooled Desmodue V-Twin that’s been retooled from the old Monster 1100. And not only is the engine bigger than the 803cc mill in the earlier Scramblers, but so is its new trellis frame, which opens up the riding position to better suit larger riders. And joining the standard version will be a Scrambler 1100 Special (“which draws its inspiration from the custom world”) and the Scrambler 1100 Sport, which is equipped with Öhlins suspension.