Ducati Scrambler 1100 Review 2018

When Ducati first launched the first generation of the new Scrambler model, there were people who thought it would be a short-lived flash-in-the-pan.

man-rading-scrambler-1199-special-on-motorway

That 803cc, air-cooled retro bike had an old-school feel and with just 70bhp the doubters questioned the long term appeal of such a bike.

Clearly Ducati has been thinking about how it can sustain the momentum behind the Scrambler brand as this new Scrambler 1100 model gets a larger-capacity engine which translates as an extra 14bhp.

That doesn’t, on the face of it, sound like a lot.

yellow-scrambler-1100-engine

To be fair to Ducati, peak power figures are never what an air-cooled V-twin is all about. A two-valve desmo’s main selling point is its ability to produce torque and on this front the Scrambler 1100’s 65ftlb, which is 16ftlb more than the smaller model makes, is a noticeable improvement.But that’s not the whole story.

The original Scrambler was marketed on the fact it had very few electronic gizmos. You got ABS and, well, that was it. No traction control, no power modes, nothing aside from a funky digital dash.

The 1100 changes all this because to go with its extra grunt, you also get traction control, cornering ABS and three riding modes – Active, Journey, and City.

front-headlamp-of-scrambler-1100

If they are all required, however, we’re not so certain and feel Ducati would have been better off following the smaller capacity model’s lead and junked the power modes.

The style of the instruments is not to all tastes and the routing of the front brake cable is not very attractive as it sticks up so obviously.

Annoying aesthetics aside, when you first sit on the Scrambler 1100 the signs are good.The seat is wide and well-padded and the whole bike feels more substantial than the smaller capacity one.

The handlebars are chunky and although the seat is set at 810mm, unlike the Ducati Desert Sled, it doesn’t feel a tall bike, which is good news for shorter riders. And when you start the motor it gets even better.

close-up-shot-of-yellow-scrambler-1100-motorbike

Usually at this moment we’d be pointing out how pleasant the droning V-twin sounds, which it most certainly does through its rather cheekily loud twin pipes, however for us the biggest shock was just how light the clutch’s lever action is.

I’m certain anyone who has ridden an older air-cooled Ducati, which require the grip strength of a gorilla to pull their clutch lever in, will be as equally shocked.

rear-end-of-scrambler-1100-motorcycle

It’s a true one-finger clutch and an absolute joy to use in town, which is handy as we suspect quite a few Scramblers will be found inhabiting city streets.

Add to this a good throttle action, soft pot-hole absorbing suspension and strong brakes and there is little to dislike. But get it out of town and the Scrambler’s new poke makes for a far more amusing machine.

yellow-scrambler-1100

The Scrambler 1100 is one of those bikes that is just easy to ride.It requires virtually no thought and is instantly charming, much like its smaller sibling.

The engine has enough grunt to allow you to give yourself a thrill when it comes to speed and while the suspension is certainly a tad softly sprung, it’s not too bouncy or wobbly.

For the UK’s roads, which in general have a pretty poor surface, it’s ideal and you can certainly up the pace without worry. If you are after a jacket and jeans ride for sunny Sundays, you could do a lot worse. But does it move the game on?

side-view-of-yellow-scrambler-1100-motorbike

Despite Ducati’s best marketing ploys, the majority of original Scrambler models didn’t sell to young trendy types, they sold to older Ducati owners whose aching wrists didn’t always make their Ducati sportsbike their first mode of transport.

Which is fair enough and at under £8000 the small capacity model is almost justifiable as a second bike, especially on a cheap PCP plan. But the 1100 is a little harder to a make this case for.

man-riding-scrambler-1100-special-on-a-bridge

Yes, it all works very well, but it’s not as powerful or spirited as an older Monster 1100 and does lack a bit of fire in its belly.

It’s a lovely bike to ride, and is stacked full of modern safety aids, but at nearly £11,0000 for the base model, or just over £12,000 for the Sport, that’s quite an investment and moves it out of the second bike realms.

If you like the look and want a non-threatening Ducati that is as easygoing as its gets, the Scrambler 1100 will certainly meet your brief.

But if you own an 803cc model and want a bit more spirit in your Scrambler you may feel that you have been sold a bit short with the Scrambler 1100.

mad-riding-scrambler-1100-motorbike-at-night

Pub fact

The are a staggering number of models using the scrambler name currently for sale in the UK.

There is the Ducati Scrambler and Scrambler 1100, the BMW R nineT Scrambler, the Triumph Street Scrambler, the Yamaha SCR950 with the SCR part standing for, yes you’ve guessed it, the CCM Spitfire Scrambler and probably a few more 125 Scramblers we have forgotten about…

Ducati Scrambler 1100 pricing

Ducati have released three Scrambler models for 2018 – the standard 1100, Special and Sport.

All three have the same engine and chassis, but the Special adds spoke wheels and chrome//brushed aluminium details as well as lower bars for £11,495 while the top of the range Sport has Öhlins suspension in addition to the Special’s extras for £12,295.

The standard model costs £10,695 and comes with cast wheels.

Ducati Scrambler 1100 specs

Engine1079cc, air-cooled, 4v desmo V-twin
Max Power84.8bhp @ 7500rpm
Max Torque65ftlb @ 4750rpm
FrameTubular steel trellis
Front suspensionMarzocchi 43mm forks, fully-adjustable
Rear suspensionKayaba monoshock, adjustable preload and rebound
Weight206kg (dry)
Top speed130mph (est)
Next page: Ducati unveils new Monster 1200 25 Anniversario