But should you step up?

‘There’s a bal­ance to the Scram­bler, it boosts con­fi­dence de­spite its old school ap­pear­ance’

Motorcycle News (UK) - - Features -

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.

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