Ride Review: The Ducati Scrambler – Episode Two – The Long Ride

Getting my Hipster on #Scrambler #Ducati

A photo posted by Roger Lawrence (@rog42) on

Back in February I reviewed the new(ish) Ducati Scrambler, then I had a 30 min test ride on the 800cc version. Today I got to ride the LAMS approved Scrambler Sixty2.

My opinions haven’t changed too much from that previous review, although I did get to take it down to Wollongong for the Wings Over Illawarra Air Show.

That’s 84 kms each way…

…my butt is still hurting. Seriously I shifted all over the seat. The further back I got, the easier on my knees and the harder on the gluteus maximus.

This is simply not designed for highways, or long distances.

Added to the stiff suspension is the ‘parachute’ effect. Not only is the bike naked (no fairing), but also has an upright seating position with wide set handlebars. This gets pretty, um, pronounced above ~100 kph. You have to hang on on like a limpet in a hurricane.

Having said that, this is a great ride for a learner. The 400cc air-cooled engine is uncomplicated, with little to go wrong. And surprisingly nippy. At speed you’re not accelerating anywhere fast, but you have plenty of go off the lights. Good for keeping in a ‘vehicle exclusion zone.’

Funky Dash and uncomplicated cable clutch makes this #DucatiScrambler #Sixty2 an ideal learner bike

A video posted by Roger Lawrence (@rog42) on

It is really light, has ABS brakes, and a funky little display.

The bike held its own on the motorway, and I returned from the ‘Gong’ with a mate on his 1200GS. I managed to keep up with him all the way, even up Mount Ousley.

If I was 16 looking for a first bike, with rich parents, for $13k I’d probably opt for the Monster 659. To be fair, you’re not riding anywhere far on the Monster either.

(Although I know one enterprising woman who rode it to the Red Centre on the Black Dog Ride)

But the Scrambler has an aesthetic that’s hard to beat, and if you want something to look cool and have fun whilst learning to ride, the Sixty2 could be just the bike for you…

Ride Review: My Take On The (Not So New) DVT Multistrada

Finally

It was way back in August that I saw one of the new 2015 DVT (Ducati Variable Timing) Multistrada’s ‘in the wild’ and blogged about the differences. But it has taken until now for me to get to ride one.

Thanks to the great sales team at Frasers, when the service department was out of loan bikes, they lent me a base model Multi.

What a Ride!

The seat is narrower on the new bike. I had no idea just how much narrower until the knobbles in my knees were banging against the trellis frame. Also both calves get hot in traffic, especially the left. It appears the radiator fan blows directly onto your legs.

Confident

The suspension is everything my 2010 Multi was, and so much more. Definitely better than my current bike (hopefully that’s an anomaly). Really confident in the corners in all modes.

Smooth

If anything this bike is smoother again than the previous model. The 2013 introduced dual-spark cylinders to smooth out the ride in low revs, and I’m guessing the DVT does the rest here. Essentially altering the timing of the desmo engine through the rev range.

Confusion

I found the new controls, menus and dash confusing. It seems some of the telemetry of the previous models is missing, but that could be unfamiliarity with the new menu, and that this is a base model.

Interestingly they’ve removed the ‘centre stand assist handle.’ Probably saving on a moving part that few people used.

Worth the Upgrade?

All in all, I loved the ride. If my suspension is a reflection of the 2013 model (rather than a failure) then this alone would be worth the upgrade. If, however, my suspension is improved through the fix, this wouldn’t be worth upgrading to.

Now the new Multistrada Enduro… 🙂

Ride Review: Ducati Scrambler

 

Of the 4 variants, this is my favourite
Of the 4 variants, this is my favourite

Recently I took the new “retro” styled Ducati Scrambler for a test ride. This bike is aimed squarely at the hipster crowd. Sure it’s a ‘dangerous’ motorbike, but it’s also hip, colourful, and reminiscent of Europe in the 60’s.

A Man's Man
A Man’s Man

The styling is that of the old Triumph Scrambler that Steve McQueen used to ride (barechested and helmetless no less), mashed with technology and colour to make it relevant. I’ll be honest, I’ve wanted one of these since their global launch. They just look like so much fun!

And for sure, this is a fun ride. Like the Monster, this machine lacks any complications. Where there is pretension, this is all cosmetic. The bike itself is very basic.

It rides well, although I found the handle bars too high on the Scrambler. After the Monster I felt a little like Goldilocks: This one is too low, this one is too high… …and so on. You do get a lot of leverage in the corners though and flicking the bike around is a lot of fun.

Despite it’s off-road livery, you’re not going to do any serious off-roading or even touring (even for a week-end) with the Scrambler. For one thing the seat is way too hard. After 20 mins I was missing the Monster’s saddle let alone the Multi’s. From a ride and reliability perspective, I reckon this may enjoy a beach (certainly Instagram seems to indicate) but I don’t see anyone contemplating the Long Way Down or anything beyond about 30 minutes in the saddle.

I had a Yellow Scrambler just like this one for my 15th Birthday
I had a Yellow Scrambler just like this one for my 15th Birthday

It’s an 800, so not suited to the learner crowd. Which is a shame, because it is so reminiscent of the Suzuki Scrambler 50cc that was my first ever motorcycle. And it has all the hallmarks of a great learner bike. Light, uncomplicated, forgiving, easy to ride at low speeds, unlikely to get to (serious) high speeds. Great in traffic, and a good looker. (Always important when you start riding.)

Would I buy one? Um, no. Just not my style. My hair is too long, and beard too short. I don’t drink coffee at all, let along a single origin, soy, vanilla latte, my man. But mostly, I ride wa-a-a-y too much for a bike like this. If I was to get something just for pottering around the city, it would probably be the Sachs MadAss 😂😂