GO ROUGH WITH DUCATI’S BIG SCRAMBLER
The Scrambler is a laid-back and easy-going retro-styled motorcycle that appeals to the closet Ducatisti who don’t need all the power and speed of the “other” Ducatis. And harking back to Ducati’s iconic singles of yesteryear is no bad thing. In fact, the Scrambler is Ducati’s worldwide bestseller.
The Scrambler comes in four versions originally - the Icon, Full Throttle, Classic and Urban Enduro.
Recently, there were two new additions to the family - the CafÈ Racer and Desert Sled. All share the 803cc 2 valve desmodromic, aircooled L-Twin engine. The throbbing twin delivers 75hp at 8,250 rpm and 50 lb./ft. of torque at 5,750rpm. There are six speeds driven through a wet (shame, not dry) clutch.
The chassis is shared as well; a steel trellis with upside-down forks in front and a monoshock rear (adjustable only for preload). They weigh around 170kg and feature a low 790 mm (31.1 in.) seat height.
Earlier, I had the pleasure of doing a reconnaissance run for Rimba Raid 3 on a Ducati Scrambler SixtyTwo, the smaller 400cc kid brother of the Scrambler family, but with the actual event coming up, I was next entrusted with the Urban Enduro to thrash. err, ride at the event.
Ducati Scrambler is the main partner for the Rimba Raid event.
The Urban Enduro is characterised by its wire wheels, a ribbed brown seat (very, very comfortable), fork protectors, sump guard, headlight grille, a crossbar on the wide handlebars, a high mount front mudguard and comes in Wild Green colour.
The Urban Enduro has a single Brembo 330mm disc and caliper up front and a smaller 245 mm disc on the rear, equipped with antilock braking system (ABS). On the street, the ABS works as advertised but to switch it off is a bit complicated. But after a few tries, it became second nature.
The single digital instrument is comprehensive with two tripmeters, clock, temperature and reserve countdown. The 13.5-litre tank will allow the Urban to cover at least 210km and the reserve will see you good for another 60km.
Modern touches on the Urban are LED running lights, LED tail light and a USB port under the seat.
Suitably shod with off-road tyres, the Urban Enduro certainly looked the part. Riding to the event meant about 250km of highways and Bnegotiate. roads to The standard Pirelli MT60s would have been a better tyre for this portion as the off-road tyres meant stability was affected at higher highway speeds. Plus, they make the Urban Enduro sound like a Land Rover.
The engine was more than willing, however, and the excellent handling shone through despite the tyres’ limitations. The Urban Enduro was both agile and stable through the corners and had no preference for slow or high speed corners.
The only problem on the highway was the lack of wind protec- tion but then the name gives you a clue of where the bikes natural habitat is. The punchy engine and quick, stable handling is a real boon in town.
Once on the slippery stuff of Kampung Mat Daling (it rained and rained some more), the Urban Enduro was easy to handle due to the low seat height and low centre of gravity. The light weight helped those inevitable foot dabs and the wide handlebars allowed easy body English to be applied. If only the mud was as helpful.
The tyres loaded up badly and traction was in short supply. With the ABS switched off, it was only barely manageable. However, the Urban Enduro still made it to base camp after an four-hour struggle. It was worse for the others; an abundance of avoirdupois and high C of G on slippery mud does not mix well. I was glad that I was on the Urban Enduro.
In the dry (the next day), the Urban Enduro was a great companion on dirt trails and river crossings. The easy and tractable power meant lurid powerslides were easy and it jumps just as well as the SixtyTwo (it only weighs 3kg more).
Speed was only limited by the stock suspension and those tyres (amazingly for an off-road tyre they have a smooth centre tread on the rear; severely limiting grip). Otherwise, the Urban Enduro was as nimble as ever, negotiating obstacles of the non-urban type like a champ. A pure enduro bike would go faster, but wouldn’t be as much fun. And that is the gist of it, the Urban Enduro is never too much work, but is always fun (as long as you aren’t in a hurry).
If you are in a hurry, the Desert Sled is the one for you. But if you’re looking for fun in the urban jungle (and a little bit of high-jinks in the real jungle), the Urban Enduro is just the ticket. Test ride one at Next Bike in NazaWorld. If you can wheelie or stoppie, I sugyour gest you don’t bring chequebe book, it will definitely in mortal danger. But then again, fun never hurt anyone, right?