Claudio Fonte, Scrambler product manager
MCM: Three years on from the first release, did you expect the Scrambler range to reach such heights, and is that why there have been so many variations?
CF: It was always the hope from the beginning, and for us the model was important with the history of the brand going back to the 60s. In all honesty though, we never thought it was going to be such a big success! Especially so with the whole lifestyle aspect of the brand, which is why it expanded so soon, in order to satisfy a huge variety of different customers while remaining true to the core values of the brand, and the free spirit.
MCM: What was the main focus for the 2019 Scrambler Icon in the designing stage, and what do you feel is the biggest and best improvement from the previous model?
CF: The main focus was on rider and passenger comfort, alongside safety and then improving the look. This brought us to the suspension changes first in order to create a better ride, which meant we changed the springs, hydraulics and even with a hydraulic stop on the end of the forks to offer a better feeling. We did a lot of work on the seat as well, with a whole new shape. Safety is a huge pillar in the ethos of Ducati which is why the Bosch Corner ABS was added on, and although we did play around with it, we felt that traction control was not necessary. Thanks to the ABS needing an IMU, we also managed to add on another function, which automatically deactivates the indicators.
MCM: Just like on a car! So how does that work?
CF: Just as the IMU measures the lean angle, speed and distance for the ABS, it also communicates with the indicators, so it will measure the time you have it on, calculate when you’ve finished the turn by the lean angle and automatically switch it off. It’s little things that make life easier, and this machine was all about little improvements.
MCM: If the engine is exactly the same, how come the power and torque figures are slightly down on the previous model?
CF: Well, the engine is finetuned slightly differently but is still near enough the same, and with the power figures there’s been a minor adjustment in the process of declaring and measuring power. It’s just a matter of statistics.