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Review: The Ducati Scrambler Deserves to Be Your First 800cc Ride

The bike is light, powerful, zippy, comes with its own piece of heritage and it’s a Ducati.

Updated
Car and Bike
4 min read
The Ducati Scrambler Icon. (Photo: Siddharth Safaya/<b>The Quint</b>)

Modern motorcycles are getting edgier and angular by the day in terms of looks, but how about a motorcycle that gives you all the necessary gadgetry in a retro-looking package? Now add to that a badge saying Ducati and you’ll have a dish everyone wants a bite of.

That is exactly what the Ducati Scrambler Icon promises to be. We test it out.

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The Looks

Words like pretty and beautiful often go hand in hand with Ducatis, and the Scrambler Icon is no different. The retro styling takes inspiration from the original single-cylinder Scramblers made by the Italian manufacturer from 1962 to the mid 70s. The bike even has the words “born free 1962” engraved on the tank’s cap and the front mudguard has the same shape as the original bike.

There is a “Born Free 1962” engraving on the fuel tank’s cap, that pays homage to the original Scrambler. (Photo: Siddharth Safaya/<b>The Quint</b>)
There is a “Born Free 1962” engraving on the fuel tank’s cap, that pays homage to the original Scrambler. (Photo: Siddharth Safaya/The Quint)

When you look at it from a distance, the neat aluminium touches all over the bike stand out and the athletic stance is evident. The ring-shaped Daytime Running Lights (DRLs) and the Ducati logo engraving inside the headlamps look stunning. Despite being powered by a 803cc L-twin engine, the bike is relatively compact in size and has a USB port under the seat.

There is a USB port under the seat. (Photo: Siddharth Safaya/<b>The Quint</b>)
There is a USB port under the seat. (Photo: Siddharth Safaya/The Quint)

The flat, tear-shaped fuel tank, wide rear tyre with cast-alloy swing arm and the low seat with minimalistic back end makes the bike stand out of the crowd.

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The Good

The Scrambler Icon has high and wide handlebars, which means that it is easy on your wrists and shoulders and feels agile through corners. The power delivery is even throughout the rpm range, although the top-end of the spectrum could have packed a little more punch.

Stopping quickly isn’t a problem either as the 330 mm (front) and 245 mm (back) Brembo brakes have a lot of bite. They come fitted with Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS) which works absolutely great, as even under intense braking, the brakes feel progressive and induce a lot of confidence in the rider.

The Brembo brakes come fitted with ABS and have great feedback. (Photo: Siddharth Safaya/<b>The Quint</b>)
The Brembo brakes come fitted with ABS and have great feedback. (Photo: Siddharth Safaya/The Quint)

The 75 horsepower and 68 Nm torque output might sound a little less for an 803 cc engine, but these are Ducati horses and feel more like 90. You can also take the Scrambler for some off-roading as the Chunky Pirelli tyres will not disappoint.

The headlight has Ducati engraving inside. (Photo: Siddharth Safaya/<b>The Quint</b>)
The headlight has Ducati engraving inside. (Photo: Siddharth Safaya/The Quint)

The brake lever is reach adjustable and the gear shifts are smooth. There are three other variants of the Scrambler, giving you a variety of options to choose from.

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The Bad

The biggest flaw has to be the absence of a fuel gauge on the LCD Instrument Cluster. The 13.5-litre fuel tank is big enough, the bike gives back good mileage too, but you still need that fuel gauge.

The LCD Instrument cluster has a neat layout but misses out on (Photo: Siddharth Safaya/<b>The Quint</b>)
The LCD Instrument cluster has a neat layout but misses out on (Photo: Siddharth Safaya/The Quint)

Although the upright seating position makes the bike very easy to ride, you do need to keep in mind that if you happen to go fast, say over 120 km/h, the wind hits you directly and you will be pulling yourself towards the handlebar. Doing so will eventually tire you out.

The engine’s vibrations are quite strong under 2000 rpm but it’s not unbearable.

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The Rivals

The Ducati Scrambler Icon’s biggest rival has to be the Triumph Bonneville Street Twin, which pretty much has a similar design language, that is, a modern bike with retro looks. The Street Twin has higher displacement at 900 cc and produces more torque than the Icon but has a lower power output of 54 horsepower.

Visually, the Ducati seems more eye catching that the Twin, but looks are subjective.

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Snapshot

Ducati Scrambler Icon Features:

  • Engine: 803 cc, L-twin, air-cooled
  • Transmission: 6-speed
  • Power: 75 hp @ 8250 rpm
  • Torque: 68 Nm @ 5750 rpm
  • Fuel Tank Capacity: 13.5 litres
  • Weight: 170 kg (dry)
  • Price: Rs 7.07 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi)
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Verdict

The Scrambler Icon is definitely one of the easier 800 cc motorcycles out there and also the most affordable Ducati at Rs 7.07 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi). It is punchy, agile, and has good road presence and easy riding posture.

It doesn’t intimidate the rider either and instead, induces more confidence by the kilometre. Yes, you won’t be doing knee-downs on this but then again, it was not designed for that. This makes perfect sense for someone who is switching from a lower capacity bike and is looking for a higher capacity offering that can be your everyday ride as well.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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