Who Doesn’t Have Fun On A Scrambler?

The scrambler market is booming, and so far, Ducati is ahead of the curve with a full range of purpose-built Scrambler models. It added to the lineup in 2016 with its Scrambler Sixty2, a model that reflects what the factory calls modern pop culture, with a liberal dose of sixties, mid-size standard cruiser flavor blended in. Powered with a 399 cc L-twin, the Sixty2 isn’t a poser in a scrambler costume; it’s ready to rock and roll.

Continue reading for my review of the Ducati Scrambler Sixty2.

  • 2016 Ducati Scrambler Sixty2
  • Year:
    2016
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Displacement:
    399 cc
  • Price:
    7995

Design

2016 Ducati Scrambler Sixty2
- image 773308
The Sixty2 does more than pay lip service to the original scrambler era; it's actually built for genuine on- and off-road hooliganism and general shenanigannery.

Ducati has roots that go back to the original scrambler era, so the Sixty2 does more than pay lip service with a skin-deep veneer, it’s actually built for genuine on- and off-road hooliganism and general shenanigannery. Given the current popularity of the class, and the fact that Duc priced this ride low enough to broaden its market share to include the most budget-minded buyers, I decided to take a look at this little ride and check out Ducati’s escalation of the scrambler wars.

I believe bare-ass naked about sums up the overall look of the Sixty2. The minimal frame components are exposed and visible, as is the 90-degree L-twin engine, resulting in a light and clean chassis. An old-school tank sweeps the upper lines down to the almost-banana-style seat and minimal subframe. A teensy front fender completes the sheet metal, literally, and the painted parts leave nothing at all to the imagination.

While not exactly set up as a commuter, or even a bar-hopper or grocery-getter, the Sixty2 trends more toward frivolity, such as riding trails, zipping down the beach or engaging in urban horseplay. Designed uses aside, the Sixty2 looks very much like a ’60s era UJM with street knobbies, which is exactly what it should look like. Even though it was new for 2016, the Sixty2 has shown itself to be an excellent custom-bike platform, and seems already to be a hit with builders, based on the number of custom efforts seen so far.

Chassis

2016 Ducati Scrambler Sixty2
- image 773298
Steering finds a happy medium that riders should find neither twitchy nor wooden.

Steel tubing makes up the light, but strong, trellis frame that peeks out from under the sheet metal. The steering head is set at 24 degrees and the trail measures out at 4.4 inches, kind of a happy medium that riders should find neither twitchy nor wooden. Seat height is variable. The stock height measures out at 31.1-inches high — a reasonable height for most riders — but accessory seats can be had to drop it down to 30.3 inches, or raise it to 31.9 inches, so you can tune the fit to your body type.

Suspension travel is rather generous at 5.9 inches, front and rear. This is a reflection of the genuine off-road capability I mentioned earlier, and should be able to handle some fairly rough terrain. The front end could be stiffer with inverted forks, but Duc kept it old school with 41 mm, right-side-up forks.

An interesting looking swingarm works with an offset, Kayaba, coil-over monoshock, a design feature I find rather fetching. Front suspension parameters are fixed, but the rear shock comes with adjustable spring preload. Cast rims mount the 18-inch front, and 17-inch rear, Pirelli MT 60 RS dual-purpose tires that strike a balance between street and off-road traction.

This is a fairly light bike at barely over 400 pounds soaking wet, so it doesn’t take much in the way of brakeage to control it. With that in mind, I won’t whinge about the lack of dual front brakes, but simply state that the 320 mm disc with a twin-pot caliper up front and 245 mm disc with single-pot caliper in back are sufficient. Since ABS comes as standard equipment, you can use those brakes with confidence.

Frame: Tubular steel Trellis frame
Rake: 24°
Trail: 4.4 in
Front suspension/ Travel: Traditional Showa 41 mm fork/ 5.9 in
Rear suspension/ Travel: Kayaba rear shock with fully adjustable preload/ 5.9 in
Front wheel: Lightweight alloy, 10-spoke, 3.00" x 18"
Rear wheel: Lightweight alloy, 10-spoke, 4.50" x 17"
Front tire: Pirelli MT 60 RS 110/80 R18
Rear tire: Pirelli MT 60 RS 160/60 R17
Front brake: 320 mm disc, 2-piston floating caliper with ABS as standard
Rear brake: 245 mm disc, 1-piston floating caliper with ABS as standard

Drivetrain

2016 Ducati Scrambler Sixty2
- image 773300
While the power numbers aren't exactly amazing, there is enough power for fun while staying well within the manageable range.

Ducati has a reputation for top-notch engine designs, and it built the Sixty2’s mill just for this purpose. The 399 cc, air-cooled, L-twin engine uses Ducati’s signature Desmodromic valvetrain to actuate two valves in each head, and a 50 mm throttle body with electronic fuel injection manages the induction. A pair of Lambda probes feed emissions information to the computer, and a catalytic converter burns off any remaining hydrocarbons to meet “Euro 4” emissions standards.

While the power numbers aren’t exactly amazing, you have to remember how this ride is meant to be used, and its 403 pound curb weight. With that in mind, the lump cranks out 41 ponies at 8,750 rpm, and 25.5 pounds of grunt at 8,000 rpm, predictably high ranges given the desmo valvetrain, and sufficient power for fun while staying well within the manageable range.

A six-speed transmixxer churns the ratios through straight-cut gears, and delivers the power to the rear wheel via a chain final drive. This kind of bike really has no need for a slipper clutch, and so the mechanically actuated wet clutch is just fine for this application.

Engine: L-Twin cylinder, Desmodromic distribution, 2 valves per cylinder, air-cooled
Displacement: 399 cc
Bore x stroke: 72 mm x 49 mm
Compression ratio: 10,7 : 1
Power: 41 hp @ 8,750 rpm
Torque: 25.5 lb ft @ 8,000 rpm
Fuel injection: Electronic fuel injection, throttle body diameter 50 mm
Exhaust: Exhaust system with single stainless steel muffler, aluminium tail pipe cover; catalytic converter and 2 lambda probes
Gearbox: 6 speed

Price

2016 Ducati Scrambler Sixty2
- image 773306
This solid little bike rolls for a mere $8k, definitely in the entry-level range, and inexpensive enough to buy as a weekend fun bike.

When I think of Ducati, I think of top-shelf rides for mid-grade prices, and the Sixty2 seems to live up to that reputation. This solid little bike rolls for a mere $7,995, definitely in the entry-level range, and inexpensive enough to buy strictly as a weekend toy. You can get the Sixty2 shot in Shining Black, Ocean Grey, or my personal favorite, Atomic Tangerine with black graphics.

Color: Shining Black, Ocean Grey, Atomic Tangerine
Price: $7,995

Competitor

2016 Moto Guzzi V7 II
- image 658084
2016 Ducati Scrambler Sixty2
- image 773311
Both conform nicely to the scrambler mold, which was originally just a standard, UJM with knobby tires.

Since the scrambler field is packed with offerings from every quarter, I decided to go with the V7 II Scrambler from one of Ducati’s traditional domestic foes, Moto Guzzi. Side by side, there isn’t much to choose between the two, visually at least. Both conform nicely to the scrambler mold, which was originally just a standard, UJM with knobby tires, and so they naturally share similar lines.

’Guzzi does adorn its ride with an interesting bump-out on the tank, and the teeniest of tiny wind deflectors atop the headlight housing. The transverse-mount, 90-degree, V-twin mill on the V7 stands proud of the frame, and while I have my reservations about such an exposed position for the heads, there is no denying it lends a muscular look to the MG model.

The Ducati motor is rather small at 399 cc, so it was tough to find something close in displacement, and the MG fell into the “close enough” category near the bottom of the mid-range at 744 cc. As you might expect, this discrepancy reflects in the performance numbers. The MG cranks out 48 ponies, just seven more than the Duc, but the torque tells the rest of the story with 44.2 pound-feet from the MG at a low 2,800 rpm versus 25.5 pound-feet at eight grand from the Duc. Considering that the curb weight on the V7 is only 419 pounds, just a skosh more than the 403-pound Duc Scrambler, this torque difference tips my scale heavily in favor of the ’Guzzi Scrambler.

Suspension components are close enough to be a wash, as are the brake systems. Both come with ABS, but the MG comes with the option of switching the ABS off for brake slides, flat-tracking and other fun stuff.

’Guzzi comes off a little proud, not unexpected given the difference in engine size, and breaks the 10k mark at $10,990 MSRP, nearly a three-grand leap over the Duc at $7,995. And there is the rub, folks. If you want that extra power, you are going to have to pay for it. I’m torn on this point. I would want the extra torque myself, but as an entry-level bike, the smaller engine in the Duc remains attractive.

He Said

“All in all, I think the Duc Scrambler is cute as a button, especially the orange-and-black one, and it reminds me of the days when converted 60s- and 70s-era UJM scramblers were fairly ubiquitous. Indeed, these modified street bikes are the granddaddy of the modern dual-sport/ adventure bikes, and I guarantee that modern engineering and purpose-driven design make these rides perform better than their predecessors.”

She Said

My wife and fellow writer, Allyn Hinton, says, "This is an awesome bike inspired by the iconic scrambler Ducati had in 1962 — hence the devilishly clever model name. I wonder, though, whether the price is a little high for what you get. It seems like the 400 cc bikes should be a little less expensive. I think a dealer could park one of these in his showroom and then upsell to an 800 cc bike without much trouble. Still, it’s a scrambler. Who doesn’t have fun on a scrambler?."

Specifications

Engine & Drivetrain:
Engine: L-Twin cylinder, Desmodromic distribution, 2 valves per cylinder, air-cooled
Displacement: 399 cc
Bore x stroke: 72 mm x 49 mm
Compression ratio: 10.7 : 1
Power: 41 hp @ 8,750 rpm
Torque: 25.5 lb ft @ 8,000 rpm
Fuel injection: Electronic fuel injection, throttle body diameter 50 mm
Exhaust: Exhaust system with single stainless steel muffler, aluminum tail pipe cover; catalytic converter and 2 lambda probes
Emissions: Euro 4
Gearbox: 6 speed
Ratio: 1=32/13 2=30/18 3=28/21 4=26/23 5=22/22 6=24/26
Primary drive: Straight cut gears; Ratio 2.28:1
Final drive: Chain; front sprocket 15; rear sprocket 48
Clutch: Wet multiplate clutch with mechanical control
Chassis:
Frame: Tubular steel Trellis frame
Rake: 24°
Trail: 4.4 in
Front suspension/ Travel: Traditional Showa 41 mm fork/ 5.9 in
Rear suspension/ Travel: Kayaba rear shock with fully adjustable preload/ 5.9 in
Front wheel: Lightweight alloy, 10-spoke, 3.00" x 18"
Rear wheel: Lightweight alloy, 10-spoke, 4.50" x 17"
Front tire: Pirelli MT 60 RS 110/80 R18
Rear tire: Pirelli MT 60 RS 160/60 R17
Front brake: 320 mm disc, 2-piston floating caliper with ABS as standard
Rear brake: 245 mm disc, 1-piston floating caliper with ABS as standard
Dimensions & Capacities:
Wheelbase: 57.5 in
Total steering lock: 35°
Fuel tank capacity: 3.7 gal
Dry weight: 368.2 lbs
Wet weight: 403.4 lbs
Seat height: 31.1 in - low seat: 30.3 in and high: 31.9 in available as accessory
Max height: 45.9 in (brake oil tank)
Max width: 33.9 in (mirrors)
Max length: 84.6 in
Number of seats: Two-seater
Details:
Standard equipment: Steel tank; front headlight with glass lens, LED positioning light with interchangeable surround; rear headlight with LED technology; LCD instrumentation with interchangeable surround; 18" front wheel and 17" rear wheel
Color: Shining Black, Ocean Grey, Atomic Tangerine
Price: $7,995

References

Moto Guzzi V7 II

2016 Moto Guzzi V7 II
- image 663701

See our review of the Moto Guzzi V7 II.

All images featured on this website are copyrighted to their respective rightful owners. No infringement is intended. Image Source: ducatiusa.com, motoguzzi-us.com

Press release
What do you think?
Motorcycle Finder: