Motorcycles that promise to churn out rugged, stripped down, vintage fun (2020 models)

With knobby tires, spoked wheels, and higher suspension travels, this segment is ready to take on tough terrains across the world. The retro-modern design language is literally in fashion now, and most of the Scramblers in the 2020 line-up flaunt them. It is an intelligent fusion of an old-school cover over modern technology that is born to live both the city and the wildlife.

Here is a list of our six favorite Scramblers who does all of that for just under $ 10,000. Aiding it will be a torquey motor with high mounted exhaust pipes and knobby tires to take it on terrains otherwise not possible.

Ducati Scrambler Icon Dark

Top Speed Top Six Scramblers to buy under $10,000 Exterior
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DUCATI SCRAMBLER ICON DARK
MSRP: $9,800

As the name suggests, this is the dark-themed version of Ducati’s most successful Scrambler model that was launched last year – the Scrambler Icon. All the visible mechanical components on the bike have been blacked-out, with a brushed metal finished aluminum fuel tank panels and a short stubby exhaust. This gets LED lighting, LCD dash with multimedia system, and an under-seat storage compartment with a USB socket. The filler cap sports “born free- 1962” inscribed to showcase the ‘70s vogue.

Running this Icon is the same loveable oil-cooled 803cc L-twin motor that develops 73 hp and 50 lb-ft of peak torque. The exhaust unit, however, receives a new aluminum muffler cover. Bolted onto a twin upper steel Trellis frame are USD Kayaba 41mm forks, Kayaba shocks, 4-piston Brembo M4.32B monoblock with cornering ABS. MSRP: $9,800.

Moto Guzzi V7 III Rough

Top Speed Top Six Scramblers to buy under $10,000 Exterior
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MOTO GUZZI V7 III ROUGH
MSRP: $9,190

The Rough edition seems to carry the most masculine silhouette with a traditional darker and sportier nemesis of the entire V7 range. The black theme is seen everywhere, including the flat handlebar mounted on a black bar, mirrors, springs, and the exhaust. The equipment is completed with the dedicated saddle with stitching, passenger grab strap, and the pair of aluminum side fairings.

The same 744cc longitudinally-mounted 90-degree twin mill churns out a healthy 52 hp, whereas maximum torque measures in at 44.25 lb-ft. The suspension setup on the bike is fundamental, and standard non-adjustable forks at the front and Ohlins piggyback shocks at the rear. A pair of Brembo 4-pot caliper clutches onto 320mm disc. MSRP: $9,190.

Benelli Leoncino 800 Trail

Top Speed Top Six Scramblers to buy under $10,000 Exterior
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BENELLI LEONCINO 800 TRAIL
MSRP: $8,499 (Est)

After the success of their 500cc Leoncino Trail, Benelli has upped their antics with a bigger 754cc Leoncino, and it sports retro looks with semi-knobbly tires, 19”-17” spoked wheels, upswept high-mount exhaust, LED Lights and a TFT dashboard and minimal bodywork. This trail gets raised suspension and saddle and has matt green paintwork.

Running this is a liquid-cooled, parallel-twin 754cc engine, which Benelli claims produce 81.6hp and 49.4 lb-ft of torque. The same steel trellis frame design of the 500 does the job here. Upside-down 50mm Marzocchi USD forks handle suspension duties, and at the rear, swingarm’s movement is controlled by a laterally mounted shock absorber. Brembo brakes all around handle the braking with dual disc 320mm monoblock radial calipers. ABS comes as standard. MSRP: $8,499 (Est).

Husqvarna SVARTPILEN 701

Top Speed Top Six Scramblers to buy under $10,000 Exterior
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HUSQVARNA SVARTPILEN 701
MSRP: $9,499
Source: Image Source: husqvarna-motorcycles.com, Photographer: none given

The Svartiplen 701 is Husqvarna’s stripped-down minimalistic version of the Vitpilen 701 naked streetfighter. Inspired by the resurgence of the iconic flat track scene, the Svartipilen 701 gets motocross-style single handlebar, round LED lights, 18" and 17" cast wheels, small digital instrument console, integrated design with minimal side fairing, and more.

Like the Vitpilen 701, the internal organs and the bone structure of this bike remain similar to the KTM Duke 690, including the engine, trellis frame, complete with the alloy swingarm, WP inverted telescopic front forks, and Brembo braking systems. The 693cc single puts out 74 horses and 53 lb-ft of torque, enough to propel the 370 lbs wet bike to the stratosphere. Throttle by wire, switchable two-channel ABS, and slipper clutch gets borrowed from the brand’s famous enduro models. MSRP: $9,499.

Ducati Scrambler Street Classic

Top Speed Top Six Scramblers to buy under $10,000 Exterior
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DUCATI SCRAMBLER STREET CLASSIC
MSRP: $9,695

The Scrambler Classic happens to be the most retro-looking version, which evokes the old school charm the most, with its appeal hailing from the motorcycles of the bygone eras. The design of the Scrambler Classic is evocative of the original Scramblers of the ’60s, but under the skin, it is a twenty-first-century Ducati by every bit. It is powered by an L-twin Desmodromic fuel-injected 803cc engine, which pumps out 75 bhp of power and 50 lb-ft of torque.

Like all other Ducatis, the Scrambler Classic too sits atop a tubular Trellis frame. Ducati has provided the Scrambler Classic with 41mm upside-down forks at the front, and pre-load adjustable side-mounted monoshock - both sourced from Kayaba. A 330mm single disc brake at the front and a 245mm disc brake at the rear, coupled with ABS, are employed to bring the motorcycle to rest from motion. MSRP: $9,695.

Zero FX

Top Speed Top Six Scramblers to buy under $10,000 Exterior
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ZERO FX
MSRP: $ 8,495

The FX is Zero Motorcycles’s dirt-esque electric motorcycle with a new design language and improved electronics for 2020. It also carries more power storage and performance than ever before. It starts with a set of laced wheels, knobby rubber, and USD forks. Running on point is a ZF3.6 Modular battery pack with a Z-Force 75-5 radial-flux motor. It delivers a whopping 78 pound-feet of torque and 46 horsepower. As far as the range goes, you get as much as 46 miles in the city or 19 miles at interstate speeds. A 650 Watt on-board charger will fill it up in 5.1 hours.

A perimeter-style frame carries a 25.4-degree rake angle with 4.1 inches of trail for the steering head with Showa 41 mm USD forks up-front and 40 mm piggyback-shock out at the back. Laced rims mount Pirelli Scorpion tires with 240 mm discs front and rear squeezed by J-Juan anchors. Bosch Gen 9 ABS switchable unit comes in as a standard. MSRP: $ 8,495.

Sagar Patil
Motorcycle industry expert since 1997! - sagar@topspeed.com
Over the years, a deeper conscience of machines moving body and soul has given him a crisp grasp over the concepts of motorcycling. A sucker for details and common sense, he loves getting his hands dirty every once in a while. His love affair with motorcycles ushers in the specialist skillset making Sagar our go-to expert for everything on two-wheels.  Read More
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