After months of teasing us with a dedicated website and carefully veiled images, Ducati officially released their new retro-inspired Scrambler model at the German INTERMOT show this week.
Launched as an entry-level model to replace the long discontinued (and much missed) GT1000/Sport Classic line, the Scrambler is the first new release since Audi bought the brand. Available in 4 variations titled Icon, Urban Enduro, Classic and the most expensive Full Throttle, priced at just under US$10,000, it's clearly aimed (judging by their marketing videos) at a younger hip, fun-loving clientele; a market the GT1000 never found favor with. Fitted with an air-cooled 803cc engine, looking at the specs the mechanics and electrics are a far cry from the sophisticated 1199 Superbike and Ducati might lose some of their more loyal customers because of it. The initial reactions seem mixed with Ducati enthusiasts disappointed the brand feels it has to complete in this entry-level market and, of course, those that always dreamed of owning a retro-styled Ducati rejoicing.
The design is clearly inspired by the original 1960's Scrambler model yet introduces modern styling such as exhaust and rear guard placement previously seen on the Diavel and new Monster's, as well as safety elements such as ABS as standard. With the first models due out in early 2015 I expect, like the Diavel before it, the Scrambler will be hugely popular within a new market and traditional Ducati buyers will love to hate it.
The bike looks like an excellent, well-thought out entry-level model that will appeal to novice riders or those that want a daily commute with a bit of style. The 800cc engine is a good size for city riding and the comfortable upright sitting position will mean more are inclined to use it than the back-breaking Sport Classic. ABS as standard and no-fuss electronics only add to the appeal for new riders. It will interesting to see the build quality and take one for a spin but I am sure Ducati have done their market research, as long as it sounds like a Ducati, whether it performs like one or not, people will want it. For a more in depth review with full pricing and specs visit Cycle World.