A Scrambler Even The Fiery-Eyed Pegdraggers Can Love

Ducati really made a splash when it reintroduced its Scrambler line back in 2014. The 800 cc model begat the 400 cc model, but the factory didn’t stop there, it also reached up into the higher displacements as well with the Scrambler 1100 series. For 2018, we have the Ducati Scrambler 1100 Sport that elevates the family line to a whole new level with some top-shelf suspension components and race-tastic livery meant to appeal primarily to the go-fast crowd. Much is shared with its big-bore siblings; chassis, engine and electronics, but the Sport endeavors to increase the line’s inclusivity by drawing in those fiery-eyed pegdraggers. Is it a bridge too far? That’s doubtful, because as far as I can tell, the factory has yet to hit any natural barriers to the potential of the new Scrambler line.

Continue reading for my review of the Ducati Scrambler 1100 Sport.

  • 2018 Ducati Scrambler 1100 Sport
  • Year:
    2018
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    L-Twin
  • Displacement:
    1079 cc
  • Price:
    14995
  • Price:

Design

2018 Ducati Scrambler 1100 Sport
- image 767107
Sport brings a slightly different flavor to the table for fans who are looking for something a bit more mature and capable.

The Scramblers are but a sign of the times as the market shifts to grab the next generation of bike enthusiasts. Retro-tastic good looks and new-user-friendly configurations have held the family in good stead thus far with all bases covered across the entry-level market, but what do you do when you outgrow the small- to mid-range Scramblers? Why, you graduate up to the 1100 of course.

Set up as a “big-boy” bike with a longer wheelbase and larger saddle area than its smaller brothers, the Sport leads off with the same minimal front fender as many of the other Scramblers. In an effort to simplify the machine, a number of pieces and parts hit the cutting-room floor to include some plastic bits that nobody in their right mind will miss. Blackout tripleclamps mount gold anodized struts behind a round headlight can that sports a stylish “X” that quarters the face and a DRL ring around the circumference of the assembly. Both sharp looking and effective.

A blackout handlebar, mirrors and dashingly off-center instrument housing match the achromatic components forward of the clamp for a nice continuity of design with a definite custom kick. The black, 3.96-gallon teardrop tank sports a yellow pinstripe on each side that accentuates the shape as well as the Scrambler badge, but it’s the double racing stripes along the top that really makes the tank stand out.

Twin silencers follow the lines of the subframe to stay well clear of the ground and lend the rear end a race-tastic finish. Admittedly, as with the rest of the Scrambler lineup the differences are subtle, but the Sport does manage to bring a slightly different flavor to the table for fans who are looking for something a bit more mature and capable. At the end of the day, the Sport still conveys the same impetuous spirit of youth and fun as the rest of the family.

Chassis

2018 Ducati Scrambler 1100 Sport
- image 767095
Handling is crisp and it has an eager attitude in the corners.

A composite structure supports the Sport with a tubular-steel, twin-spar Trellis main frame to keep it strong, and an aluminum subframe to keep it light. The rolling chassis is rounded out with a 10-spoke, 18-inch rim up front and a 17 out back made of lightweight alloy in an effort to keep unsprung weight low. A gull-wing, dual-side swingarm articulates the rear wheel with a coil-over Öhlins monoshock on damping duty. Öhlins supplies the inverted front forks as well, and both ends enjoy the same adjustable preload and rebound-damping feature so you can dial in for cargo weight, terrain and preference. Plus, Öhlins is recognized as a top-shelf brand, and even though the Marzocchi and Kayaba suspension on the other 1100s is hardly a slouch by any means, the Sport takes the top tier here.

Handling is kept crisp by the 24.5-degree steering head, 110mm fork offset and 4.4-inch trail, figures that lend the Scramblers an eager attitude in the corners. Pirelli provides the MT60 RS rubber with a 120/80 up front and 180/55 out back. The treads on these hoops have deep grooves between generous flats, and that gives them decent soft-surface performance with an affinity for the streets.

In spite of the relatively light, 454-pound wet weight, the factory didn’t hold back one little bit with the brakes. Dual, 320 mm front discs and radial-mount, Brembo Monobloc M4.32 calipers slow the front wheel with a 245 mm disc and single-pot anchor to slow the rear. A Bosch 9.1 MP Cornering ABS stands ready to intervene to prevent lockups due to overbraking, even when the available traction is being shared by both steering- and braking-forces; just what the doctor ordered for safety in aggressive corners or decreasing-radius turns.

Frame: Tubular steel Trellis frame
Front suspension/Travel: Öhlins fully adjustable Ø48 mm usd fork/ 150 mm (5.9 in)
Rear suspension/Travel: Öhlins monoshock, pre-load and rebound adjustable/ 150 mm (5.9 in)
Wheels, Front/Rear: 10-spoke in light alloy, 3.50" x 18"/ 10-spoke in light alloy, 5.50" x 17"
Tires, Front/Rear: Pirelli MT 60 RS 120/70 ZR18/ Pirelli MT 60 RS 180/55 ZR17
Front brake: 2 x Ø320 mm semi-floating discs, radially mounted Brembo Monobloc M4.32 calipers, 4-piston, axial pump with Bosch Cornering ABS as standard equipment
Rear brake: Ø245 mm disc, 1-piston floating caliper with Bosch Cornering ABS as standard equipment

Drivetrain

2018 Ducati Scrambler 1100 Sport
- image 767098
Hardware and software combine to give the Sport a flexibility that makes it akin to several bikes in one.

Ducati’s 1,079 cc Desmodue L-twin powers the Sport with a generous 65 pound-feet of torque that develops by 4,750 rpm and 86 horsepower at 7,500 rpm. The 11-to-1 compression ratio falls in the mid-range overall, but is actually toward the top of the scale for a non-crotchrocket ride. Waste heat gets dealt with by a combination of cooling fins on the heads and jugs as well as an oil radiator mounted high on the downtubes.

Twin-valve heads are timed by Ducati’s world-famous Desmodromic valvetrain that — rather than using a push-open cam and spring-type return — uses a push-open cam and a pull-closed cam for positive poppet control with no chance of high-rpm valve float or valve-to-piston contact. Ride-by-Wire throttle control manages the induction with electronic fuel injection to meter the dinosaur juice, but the fandanglery doesn’t stop there. Twin-plug (per jug) ignition and a secondary-air system helps ensure efficient combustion.

Ready for some more? Good, ’cause the factory chucked on a four-channel-plus-’Off’ traction control system and a three-mode, variable power-curve feature that allows you to dial in the desired throttle response and even rein in the output to 75 ponies. What does it all mean? Well, in a nutshell, the above systems lend the Sport a flexibility that makes it akin to several bikes in one, especially when paired with the dual, on/off-road nature of the Scrambler family in general.

Engine: L-Twin, Desmodromic distribution, 2 valves per cylinder, air cooled
Displacement: 1,079 cc
Bore x stroke: 98 x 71 mm
Compression ratio: 11:1
Power: 63 kW (86 hp) @ 7,500 rpm
Torque: 88 Nm (65 lb-ft, 9.0 kgm) @ 4,750 rpm
Fuel injection: Electronic fuel injection, Ø55 mm throttle body with full Ride by Wire (RbW)
Exhaust: 2-1-2 system with catalytic converter and 2 lambda probes, twin stainless steel muffler with aluminum covers and end caps
Gearbox: 6 speed
Clutch: Light action, wet, multiplate clutch with hydraulic control. Self-servo action on drive, slipper action on over-run

Pricing

2018 Ducati Scrambler 1100 Sport
- image 767094
MSRP starts at just under $15k, which puts it on the high side of the market.

The all-new 2018 Ducati Scrambler Sport rolls in Viper Black for $14,995. Warranty packages range from a base, 7,500-mile tier to a 24-month, unlimited-mileage plan.

Warranty: 24 months unlimited mileage
Colors: Viper Black
Price: $14,995

Competitors

2017 - 2018 Triumph Street Scrambler
- image 767093
2018 Ducati Scrambler 1100 Sport
- image 767114
Both pay tribute to the scramblers of old, but Triumph maintains an air of dignity with a dash of recklessness that I find very appealing.

Ducati has some deep roots, that’s not to be denied, and so when I went looking for a worthy competitor I was hoping for another venerable marque. Since it seems as though most manufacturers have something with scramble-tastic tendencies on the market nowadays, I had plenty from which to choose, but the Triumph Street Scrambler really grabbed me, so here we go.

Trumpet’s SS carries itself with the same stance as the Duc — a tribute to the scramblers of old — but rather than go for a fresh-and-young look, the SS maintains an air of dignity with a dash of recklessness that I find very appealing. Blackout touches are prevalent across the board for that crucial tie-in to the custom culture. Though similar at a glance, the details quickly set them apart. Triumph runs with the classic shotgun exhaust that sees both pipes on the right side with ample heat shielding to protect the legs of rider and passenger both. However, the best protection is avoidance, and the routing of the Duc’s pipe should keep it clear of leg and foot. A downtube/cradle frame serves as the skeleton for the Street Scrambler for an entirely different look close up.

Ducati enjoys the advantage in the suspension as the SS rocks a non-adjustable KYB fork up front with KYB shocks out back that come only with the obligatory preload adjustment. The pain continues for Trumpet with only a single front disc versus the dual anchors on the Duc, but at least they got the ABS on board.

Power comes from the 900 cc, parallel-twin plant, and it predictably falls a skosh short with 55 ponies and 59 pounds o’ grunt. Triumph keeps up in the electronics department though, with TC and an immobilizer feature to go with the switchable ABS as standard features. Equally unsurprising is the price advantage enjoyed by Triumph at only $10,800 for the bottom-tier Jet Black model.

He Said

“As cool as the Scramblers are, I still have to wonder if Ducati is trying to get too much mileage out of the line. A liter-plus mill seems like it’s really pushing the boundaries of the genre, but at the end of the day, it’s all about what the buyers want. As for me, at that displacement and pricing point, there are plenty of other options available, just none that have those Scrambler looks.”

She Said

My wife and fellow motorcycle writer, Allyn Hinton, says, “With rider modes, traction control, and cornering ABS, the 1100’s are really stepping up the scrambler game. This ’Sport’ model is the bad-boy sibling of the new 1100 Scrambler family with the upgraded suspension, but understand that Marzocchi and Kayaba are nothing to sneeze at. It’s early in the game, but itll be interesting to see how these larger scramblers play out in the market.”

Specifications

Engine & Drivetrain:
Engine: L-Twin, Desmodromic distribution, 2 valves per cylinder, air cooled
Displacement: 1,079 cc
Bore x stroke: 98 x 71 mm
Compression ratio: 11:1
Power: 63 kW (86 hp) @ 7,500 rpm
Torque: 88 Nm (65 lb-ft, 9.0 kgm) @ 4,750 rpm
Fuel injection: Electronic fuel injection, Ø55 mm throttle body with full Ride by Wire (RbW)
Exhaust: 2-1-2 system with catalytic converter and 2 lambda probes, twin stainless steel muffler with aluminum covers and end caps
Gearbox: 6 speed
Ratio: 1=37/15 2=30/17 3=28/20 4=26/22 5=24/23 6=23/24
Primary drive: Straight cut gears; Ratio 1.85:1
Final drive: Chain; Front sprocket 15; Rear sprocket 39
Clutch: Light action, wet, multiplate clutch with hydraulic control. Self-servo action on drive, slipper action on over-run
Chassis:
Frame: Tubular steel Trellis frame
Front suspension: Öhlins fully adjustable Ø48 mm usd fork
Front wheel travel: 150 mm (5.9 in)
Front wheel: 10-spoke in light alloy, 3.50" x 18"
Front tire: Pirelli MT 60 RS 120/70 ZR18
Rear suspension: Öhlins monoshock, pre-load and rebound adjustable
Rear wheel travel: 150 mm (5.9 in)
Rear wheel: 10-spoke in light alloy, 5.50" x 17"
Rear tire: Pirelli MT 60 RS 180/55 ZR17
Front brake: 2 x Ø320 mm semi-floating discs, radially mounted Brembo Monobloc M4.32 calipers, 4-piston, axial pump with Bosch Cornering ABS as standard equipment
Rear brake: Ø245 mm disc, 1-piston floating caliper with Bosch Cornering ABS as standard equipment
Dimensions & Capacities:
Wheelbase: 1,514 mm (59.6 in)
Rake: 24.5°
Trail: 111 mm (4.4 in)
Total steering lock: 33°
Fuel tank capacity: 15 l - (3.96 US gal)
Dry weight: 189 kg (417 lb)
Wet weight*: 206 kg (454 lb)
Seat height: 810 mm (31.9 in)
Max height: 1,290 mm (50.7 in)
Max width: 920 mm (36.2 in)
Max length: 2,190 mm (86.0 in)
Number of seats: Dual seat
Details:
Standard equipment: Riding Modes, Power Modes, Ducati Safety Pack (Cornering ABS + DTC), RbW, LED light-guide, LED rear light with diffusion-light, LCD instruments with gear and fuel level indications, Steel tank with interchangeable aluminium side panels, Machine-finished aluminium belt covers, Under-seat storage compartment with USB socket
Warranty: 24 months unlimited mileage
Colors: Viper Black
Price: $14,995

References

Ducati Scrambler 1100

2018 Ducati Scrambler 1100
- image 756328

See our review of the Ducati Scrambler 1100.

Triumph Street Scrambler

2017 - 2018 Triumph Street Scrambler
- image 767091

See our review of the Triumph Street Scrambler.

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

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