But should you step up?
‘There’s a balance to the Scrambler, it boosts confidence despite its old school appearance’
Each bike has a bigger brother, all of which can be restricted to A2 compatibility – but are they worth the extra? The steps between each model are wildly different in price and spec, but if your A2 bike is a stepping stone, each one of these also mean you’ve already got your second bike – simply derestrict it when your licence allows.
803cc | 186kg | 75bhp | 790mm seat
It’s a phenomenally close relative of the Sixty2, but boasts an 803cc engine, and higher quality cycle parts. Well worth the extra £850.
really noticeable when riding them back-to-back. Even the Kawasaki has more go than the Duke despite its lack of claimed power, but boy you have rev it, all the way to 13,000rpm at times. At 80-85mph the Zed will hover around 9000-10,000rpm which sounds brutal but it appears to take it in its stride. 80mph cruising is possible on all four bikes, depending on your degree of mechanical sympathy. All four will show an indicated 100mph, although only just on the Ducati, which means that even at the motorway speed limit you have a little in reserve, but again the KTM more so than the others.
The KTM also wins the handling stakes. It’s light and nimble – 28kg lighter than the Ducati – and feels almost like a supermoto, which possibly isn’t such a surprise from KTM. The brakes are also the best of the bunch but the KTM may feel a little too radical for some – it does turn very quickly and is sporty for a low capacity bike.
Strangely the Zed felt a little vague, the suspension is on the firm side, isn’t plush enough, and lacks feedback. The Yamaha has the feedback, is softer and more forgiving and more what you’d expect from an entry-level bike – but the brakes are lacking.
As an all-round package the Ducati scored highly. There’s a natural balance to the Scrambler, it boosts confidence despite its old school appearance. The suspension and brakes are adequate and the Pirelli tyres are impressive in the wet or dry. The Duke may not have the power and excitement, but it certainly has the handling.
The Ducati’s ease of use is a real benefit in town; the turning circle is small, it’s light and low, and the only drawback are the wide bars which can make filtering tricky. The Yamaha’s ease of use also makes it a useful town bike. Londoner Justin said he’d opt for the Yamaha for serious town work and commuting. It’s a little roomier than the rest, softer sprung and has a zippy engine – just avoid your reflection in shop windows.
Towards the end of our test each bike’s qualities and personalities became more apparent, and we all grew to love the Ducati more. Most owners won’t mind the lazy motor, but we all agreed the price felt too steep. Yes you’re buying into the Ducati brand, but it’s only £900 cheaper than the Scrambler Icon, which is a much more versatile beast – and which can also be restricted to A2 licence compatability.