What’s this Scrambling lark all about anyway?
A scrambler used to refer to an offroad bike as ‘scrambling’ was an early form of motocross. However, this has all changed and a modern scrambler is basically a bike made to look a bit rough and ready. As a rule of thumb, a modern scrambler comes with off-road style tyres with the wheels an off-road mimicking 17in rear and 19in front. To really complete the look spoked wheels are ideal, but some use cast ones to save costs. As off-roaders require extra ground clearance, longer-than-standard suspension is generally added to lift the bike and wide motocross bars compete the look. If they are really pushing the boat out a manufacturer may include extra styling touches such as a leather or suede seat (brown, naturally), stacked pipes as these were used on 1950s and 1960s bikes to increase ground clearance and metal bash plates and fork gaiters. So what’s a desert sled? A desert sled was the generic name given to off-road bikes used in Californian desert races in the 1950s and 1960s. Ironically, most desert sleds were Triumphs, Harleys, Husqvarnas and Indians, but a Ducati 350 Desmo won the first ever Baja 500 race in 1969.
That’s what I’m talking about. Grrrrrr