DU­CATI: THE MAD SCRAM­BLER IS BACK

Du­cati fo­cuses on cap­tur­ing the spirit and fun of the orig­i­nal, rather than cre­at­ing a fast bike

The Witness - Wheels - - FRONT PAGE - DRIES VAN DER WALT

THE ea­gerly-awaited 2015 Du­cati Scram­bler was launched at In­ter­mot in Oc­to­ber 2014 and the bikes have ar­rived in South Africa with a launch at the Barn­yard Theatre in Rivo­nia, Gaut­eng.

The new ver­sion is a con­tem­po­rary take on the orig­i­nal Scram­bler, a sin­gle-cylin­der ma­chine with en­gine ca­pac­i­ties rang­ing from 250 to 450 cc that has be­come hugely popular in Europe and the United States.

The orig­i­nal Scram­bler soon be­came as much a fash­ion state­ment as a mode of trans­port.

Clas­sic — and mod­ern

This the lat­est Scram­bler has an 803 cc air-cooled 90° V-twin Des­mod­romic en­gine and comes in four vari­a­tions: the base Icon in yel­low or red, the Ur­ban En­duro (said to be ready to switch from city streets to coun­try back­roads in an in­stant), the flat-track in­spired Full Throt­tle and the Clas­sic, meant for those who want a retro look com­bined with the rid­ing plea­sure and com­fort of a mod­ern bike.

To in­te­grate the clas­sic and the mod­ern, Du­cati com­bined clas­sic styling el­e­ments such as a teardrop tank, wide han­dle­bars and a long seat as well as new­gen­er­a­tion com­po­nents such as front and rear diode light­ing, liq­uid-crys­tal dis­play in­stru­ments and an up­side-down front sus­pen­sion.

Stan­dard on all ver­sions are a steel fuel-tank with in­ter­change­able alu­minium side pan­els, head­light with glass lens, diode light-guide and in­ter­change­able alu­minium cover, ma­chine-fin­ished alu­minium belt cov­ers and an un­der-seat stor­age com­part­ment with a USB socket.

Orig­i­nal in­ter­preted

Ver­sion-spe­cific dif­fer­ences in­clude a high front mud­guard, head­light grille and spoked wheels for the Ur­ban En­duro, a Ter­mignoni slip-on si­lencer, low han­dle­bars and a flat-track style seat for the Full Throt­tle and spoked wheels, alu­minium mud­guards and a seat with a ded­i­cated de­sign for the Clas­sic. Each ver­sion has its own logo. Johnny Araujo, Du­cati South Africa’s gen­eral manager, told Wheels24 that the Scram­bler was not a retro bike but rather an in­ter­pre­ta­tion of how the orig­i­nal might have looked had Du­cati con­tin­ued its pro­duc­tion.

He also read­ily ad­mit­ted that the Scram­bler was not ex­cep­tion­ally fast: the con­cept was more to cap­ture the spirit and fun fac­tor of the orig­i­nal than to cre­ate a fast bike.

‘Cul­tural move­ment’

Araujo added: “The Scram­bler name has much in com­mon with the verb ‘to scram­ble’ — mix­ing up, blend­ing, let­ting the imag­i­na­tion run free and shar­ing with oth­ers.

“The Du­cati Scram­bler is a cul­tural move­ment in and of it­self. It’s free-spir­ited, pos­i­tive and anti-con­form­ist, open to en­coun­ters with other philoso­phies and styles. The Scram­bler isn’t just a bike, it’s a world.”

Du­cati of­fers a huge range of ac­ces­sories, al­low­ing any of the four mod­els to be cus­tomised to suit its owner’s taste. Du­cati SA is, as al­ways, very will­ing to give po­ten­tial cus­tomers an op­por­tu­nity to test-ride the bikes — con­tact your near­est show­room if you’re in­ter­ested.

Prices for the Scram­bler range are R117 000 for the Icon in red and R118 000 for a yel­low one. The Ur­ban En­duro, Full Throt­tle and Clas­sic all sell for R137 000.

PHOTO: THEMOTOLADYCOM

Amer­ica’s Mo­toLady, aka Ali­cia Mariah Elfv­ing, on the new Du­cati Scram­bler at the launch of the mo­tor­bike in Long Beach, U.S.

PHOTO: THEMOTOLADY.COM

The Mo­tolady told to go slower af­ter be­ing pulled over on the 2015 Du­cati Scram­bler.

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