This was a test drive motorcycle and provided to us by the Ducati Showroom. We booked a test drive or rather my biker friend was invited to have a go at this newly launched motorbike. Special thanks to the Ducati showroom.
This is not a complete review of the motorbike, but a mere test drive. Hence bear with me if the details/info are too less.
Please use proper safety clothing and kit at all times.
Taking the above statement one step forward, the staff in Ducati showroom were so kind and I loved the way they treated their customers. Not that they had done something out of their way to give us any special treatment. It’s just that many motorcycle showrooms don’t even know what customer service means. +5 right there to Ducati.
When I mean first ride, it’s actually my first ride on a Ducati. Ironic enough, I have never driven anything which is above a quarter liter (250 cc) in the motorbike section. Yet again, I have never driven a motorcycle which has more than one cylinder. So couple of days back, my records were re-written and my limits were pushed a bit further when I test drove a DUCATI SCRAMBLER, the newest and the cheapest Ducati that money can buy.
The bike has not had an official launch/promo by the showroom yet I believe, which they are doing only a week later. The Italian super bike and sports bike makers are known for their exotic range of motorcycles and as we all know is owned by Volkswagen Auto Group.
Ducati Scrambler made it’s debut in last quarter of 2014, will be launched in India next month and hence I feel this is the right time to chip in some quick facts about the motorbike. Just that most of my readers happen to be from India, hence such a statement.
Basically Scramblers are a class of motorcycles which are light, compact, with off-roading capability, easy to repair due to it’s relatively lesser complex systems. Ducati is not the only motorcycle manufacturer to make a Scrambler. I have heard about Triumph Scrambler but since I have not driven another Scrambler, I would refrain from commenting anything about the other manufacturers.
Things I liked about the motorbike :
- Looks very appealing especially the retro design.
- Feels premium quality as one would expect of a Ducati.
- Light, nimble and flickability.
- Simple and rider friendly. Not too many controls to make you feel confused.
- Ergonomics; upright seating position.
Things to be taken note of:
- Power, adequate enough or a bit less than that.
- Handle-bar is a bit high for my liking (shouldn’t be a problem for many)
- Wind-blasts can be felt at higher speeds
- 43,000 AED (`731000 INR) for the basic Icon version and goes all the way till 50,ooo AED (`850000 INR) for the top variant.
The test bike had a custom Termignoni exhaust instead of the stock.
To sum the whole experience up in one word; Fun.
With the key turned to ignition mode, the unique Ducati styled engine kill switch pushed up to OFF position and pressing the self starter which was previously hidden by the ignition switch; you are greeted by a ear-pleasing growl by the L-twin engine. Thanks to the Termignoni custom exhausts, the note starts growing in you. The motorbike is capable of doing 75 bhp @ 8250 rpm and has a max torque value of 68 Nm @ 5750 rpm.
As the motorbike starts moving, you know that this going to be fun. It’s light and flicking between the traffic or changing lanes has never been easier. With a wet weight of around 190 kgs, this motorcycle accelerates very brisk. With a rev friendly engine that it has, it is happy to rev from any point with ease. Thus straight lines and corners felt amazingly good. Though I have mentioned that there is only adequate power, the statement no way means it’s under-powered.
The handle-bars felt a bit high for my liking, though the upright seating would help in long distance drives. It drives on Pirellis, 110/80 r18 at the front and 180/55 r17 at the back which gives it the retro look which goes pretty well in the bike’s favor. Apart from that, the mono-shock suspension at the back and inverted fork in the front do their job pretty well. The braking is very good and it is achieved by a 330 mm front single disc and 245 mm rear discs.
The wind-blast is prominent at high speeds and that is probably a curse of all naked bikes. Serious off-roading wouldn’t be recommended on this bike. It’s a perfect bike for the beginners and amateur bikers who are fans of naked motorbikes. A perfect upgrade to anyone driving a quarter liter class bike.
The initial gears of the bikes are amazing, it pulls very aggressively at any rpm range and especially above 6000 rpm. The gear shifts are precise and smooth. The throttle response is crisp and almost immediate. The clutch is light and easy to use. The rev-counter is not that easy to spot especially while riding. Actually I gave up looking at the rev-counter and went with the engine noise as usual.
Talking a bit more about the ride; it handles exceptionally well but I haven’t driven it to insanely high speeds so would reserve my comment on that. The best thing about the motorbike for me is it’s beautiful engine. I really can’t get over it. At any speed below 3500 rpm the engine might start knocking and hence the instruction from the showroom was to keep it at an optimum 5000-6000 rev range. Out of the very few controls that it has, the switch to toggle between the tripmeter and odometer is right next to the horn. Cornering is a very easy task in this bike and the rear wide tires is the main reason. It feels composed throughout the corners but what you would appreciate more is the straights after the corners when it starts pulling like a locomotive. It didn’t disappoint me at any time of my drive and left me wanting for more and more and more and even more.
My take on the Bike :
A beautiful thing. It’s a fun bike and can possible be a practical bike except for couple of things like smaller 13.5 liter fuel tank capacity. This bike is simple and very rider-friendly indeed.
During the last round of ride that I had on this motorbike, I was thinking as to when will I have the urge to upgrade to another motorbike with more power arise? The answer was not very far from now. But at this point of time, I have to give it to Ducati for it’s a very fun and rider oriented make supplemented by an amazing engine to make it even more attractive. Definitely a good choice for anyone who loves retro styling and fun. Well done Ducati!
Many thanks to CrazyBiker, my partner in this crime. He took amazing pics of me in action with the motorbike and more than that, he called me to go with him for the test drive. Gracias!