Scrambler Motorcycles reviews

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2018 Ducati Scrambler 1100 Sport

2018 Ducati Scrambler 1100 Sport

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.

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2018 Ducati Scrambler 1100

2018 Ducati Scrambler 1100

Getting Better With Each Incarnation

There can be little doubt that Ducati’s Scrambler line has been a success thus far, and after expanding the mid-displacement (803 cc) family downward last year with the 399 cc Sixty2, the factory decided to go the other direction with its Scrambler 1100 range. Larger, more powerful and arguably more mature, the 1100s bring to the table the same sassy style as their smaller siblings along with 86 grin-inducing ponies and an electronics suite (riding modes, TC, ABS) commensurate with its greater capabilities. In short, the Scrambler line is all growed up now and ready to swim in the deep end; or is it. Let’s investigate this new branch on the Scrambler family tree and judge for ourselves.

Continue reading for my look at the Ducati Scrambler 1100 and Scrambler 100 Special.

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2017 Yamaha SCR950

2017 Yamaha SCR950

An Authentic Scrambler In The Purist Sense

The retro war heats up as more manufacturers jump into the fray, and Yamaha finally took the plunge with its new-in-2017 SCR950 scrambler. Based on the Star Bolt, this bike runs the same proven 942 cc mill with a decidedly classic overall flavor dating back to the original scramblers of the ’60s and ’70s. I must confess that I have an affinity for scramblers, and I already know the Bolt is a heck of a bike, even if it is, shall we say, very ’flattering’ to a certain Sportster currently on the market, so it is with high expectations that I approach The Tuning Fork Company’s new foray into scrambler territory.

Continue reading for my review of the Yamaha SCR950.

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2018 First Look: Indian Motorcycle Scout FTR1200

2018 First Look: Indian Motorcycle Scout FTR1200

Concept Flat-Tracker For The Street

Unless you’ve been living under a rock or are in denial about your team getting completely owned by Indian Motorcycle’s flat-track racing team, the Wrecking Crew, chances are you’re aware of the recent leap from obscurity to the pinnacle of FT racing prowess under the Polaris umbrella. In honor of this recent success, and in an effort to ride the current wave of popularity and interest in this storied American brand, Indian has put together a street-legal ride fit for the masses; the Scout FTR1200 Custom. As the cleverly-ingenious name suggests, it’s based on the Scout platform, but any resemblance to the actual Scout seems to be solely in name and the general engine layout. In fact, let’s just shine on the whole Scout thing for the moment, and focus on what this bike actually is, shall we?

Continue reading for my look at the Indian Motorcycle Scout FTR1200 Custom.

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2018 Ducati Scrambler Mach 2.0

2018 Ducati Scrambler Mach 2.0

Ducati’s Newest Addition To The Scrambler Stable

Ducati made some adjustments to its Scrambler lineup this year. The “Mach 2.0” moves in to help fill the void left by the departure of the Flat Track Pro and Urban Enduro but creates a niche of its own with a particularly nostalgia-inducing look meant to call to mind the 70s on the West Coast. Roland Sands Design in Los Angeles, California, drew on its vast experience as a custom bike builder on that very coast to dream up this variant on the Scrambler theme at Ducati’s request, and the result is ’pretty cool, man.’ The differences between the Scramblers can be subtle, though noticeable; but today I’m going to take a look at the Mach 2.0 and see what RSD switched up to set this ride apart from the rest of the range.

Continue reading for my review of the Ducati Scrambler Mach 2.0.

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2017 - 2018 Suzuki VanVan 200

2017 - 2018 Suzuki VanVan 200

First out in the 1970s, the VanVan from Suzuki has that charming retro look that screams UJM. Recently reintroduced here in the U.S., the VanVan gets a 200 cc engine, an upgrade from the old 125 cc model that is still available in other markets. In typical scrambler fashion, the VanVan 200 is the dirt-road/gravel-road/loose-dirt ride that qualifies it as a “sandbike” because of the fat rear tire that keeps you going. Better than an ATV in some situations, the Vanvan is lightweight and capable, perfect for a jaunt around the ranch, a quick run up the trapline or an excursion down the beach — anywhere the ground is loose and four wheels just won’t do.

Continue reading for my review of the Suzuki Vanvan 200.

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2017 BMW R NineT Urban G/S

2017 BMW R NineT Urban G/S

A sophisticated nostalgia kicking some dust.

Success was not a problem with BMW, especially for their R NineT. It has absolutely been a hit story for the German ever since it launched the R Nine T in 2013. It was so good that BMW struggled initially to keep up with the demand and they released one version after the other in succession to the world stage that includes the Pure (roadster) and Racer (café/endurance-style), as well as the Scrambler. It is a no brainer that BMW Motorrad will see it fitting to extend their range even further.

The GS motorcycles refer to either Gelände/Straße (German: off-road/road) and are distinguished by their long travel suspension, upright riding position and larger front wheels. Taking up the same moniker is the Urban G/S which is a purpose built street-oriented motorcycle that has a charm bound to resonate with onlookers. Based on the ‘Lac Rose’ concept seen at Wheels and Waves earlier last year, the German finally took the wraps off their new 2017 BMW R nineT Urban G/S at the previous EICMA in Milan.

Paying homage to the original 1980 BMW R80G/S, this urban combines the classic motorcycle with modern technology and sophisticated craftsmanship that can transport anyone back to the days when the GS abbreviation meant a sense of freedom and the passion for adventure on two wheels, both on-road and off-road. But this time they’re for looks and not for bashing your way across unpaved expanses of Africa.

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2017 Ducati Scrambler Café Racer & Desert Sled

2017 Ducati Scrambler Café Racer & Desert Sled

Ducati’s Scrambler line grows yet again in the ’17 model year with the addition of the Café Racer and Desert Sled. The Scrambler range has proven to be a veritable mine of possibilities as Ducati mixes and matches equipment to fit specific purposes. For instance; the features on the Desert Sled make it arguably the most off-road capable model in the entire range, and the Café Racer, well, it comes set up to look cool in an urban environment. Both rides get the same 803 cc mill that powers the rest of the Scrambler variants along with much the same chassis, but the differences, however minor, make all the difference in the world. I’ve been eager to take a look at these bikes, and I look at this as a chance to gauge what all Ducati has learned from a few years of customer feedback and factory testing, so let’s check it out.

Continue reading for my review of the Ducati Scrambler Café Racer & Desert Sled.

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2016 Moto Guzzi V7 II

2016 Moto Guzzi V7 II

Back in 1977, Moto Guzzi struck upon a winning formula with the V750 cruiser/tour bike. The original V7 was a hit with riders, and the evolution of that line leads us through the ’08 V7 Classic up to the current V7 II lineup. This lineup includes three sub-models: the 2016 V7 II Stone meant to succeed the V7 Classic, the Special “Scrambler” built to resemble the old-school scramblers from back in the ’70s and the Racer “America” that captures the essence of the cafe’ racer culture from the same era.

Since these markets are once again booming, as if it were their turn again on some great, cosmic wheel of recurring fashions, this line from MG seems to be right on time.

Continue reading for my review of the Moto Guzzi V7 II Stone, V7 II Racer and V7 II Scrambler.

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2017 Triumph Street Scrambler

2017 Triumph Street Scrambler

Triumph has been getting some mileage out of its new 900 cc engine, and this mill drives yet another mid-size ride for the “Street Twin” family; the Street Scrambler. As the name implies, this bike is built mainly for urban use but comes with an off-road capability one simply does not get from a straight-up streetbike. The Street Scrambler brings rider-friendly performance and stable handling to the table, but in a market glutted with scrambler models from all over the globe, one has to wonder if that is enough to stay competitive. Let’s delve into this new Triumph and find out.

Continue reading for my review of the Triumph Street Scrambler.

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2016 Ducati Scrambler

2016 Ducati Scrambler

The 2015 model year saw four new Ducati products built for a rather niche market; the Scrambler family that includes the ’70s-themed Classic, the flat-track race inspired Urban Enduro, the Full Throttle which combines an amped-up, flat-track race look with an urban hooligan touch and the Icon, a basic, modernized version of a traditional scrambler that serves as a blank canvas for riders looking to make a statement.

Ducati treated us to another branch on the Scrambler family tree in 2016 with the Flat Track Pro, another oval-dirt tribute bike that takes the racing references to the Nth degree. So far, it seems the Scrambler family is popular with a younger demographic, and I have even heard old-school styled Scramblers referred to as Hipster bikes. It figures, considering the dual-purpose nature of the family that provides decent road performance and maintains the ability to access, shall we say, alternative routes? Today I want to take a look at these five models, and check out the various subtleties and nuances that make each one unique.

Continue reading for my review of the Ducati Scramblers.

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2016 Triumph Street Twin

2016 Triumph Street Twin

No matter what style of bikes you prefer, if you are old enough to legally ride street bikes, chances are pretty good that you’ve heard of the Triumph Bonneville family. Originally released in 1959, the Bonnie quickly became popular with speedsters in the U.S. and abroad, and it inspired numerous incarnations spanning decades, and even Triumph brand-name and factory owners.

The line underwent numerous redesigns over the years, but always kept that classic British flavor and dated panache that is both aesthetically pleasing and rooted in its own past. The Bonneville Street Twin joins Triumph’s new-for-2016 Modern Classics group that includes the Bonneville T120 family and the Thruxton R. Today, I want to take a look at the Street Twin and see how well Trumpet did in upholding the reputation of the venerable Bonnie line.

Continue reading for my review of the Triumph Street Twin.

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2016 Ducati Scrambler Sixty2

2016 Ducati Scrambler Sixty2

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.

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.

Continue reading for my review of the Ducati Scrambler Sixty2.

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2016 Triumph Scrambler

2016 Triumph Scrambler

The scrambler market is in the midst of a boom, with everybody and his uncle jumping on the bandwagon this year. Unlike many of these Johnny-come-lately manufacturers, Trumpet has been quietly producing their modern version of the classic scrambler concept, in the form of the aptly named Triumph Scrambler, since 2006.

Also unlike many of the competitors jumping into the fray, Triumph has its own long-running history to draw upon for inspiration and design characteristics. The 2016 Scrambler should be viewed as a continuation of the natural evolution of the brand, not as a reactionary offering by an upstart company looking to capitalize on the resurgent classic-bike market.

No offense intended to said upstarts, of course. The market pressure and progressive styling they bring to the table ultimately benefits the consumer, and helps to bridge the gap between classic and contemporary designs.

Continue reading for my review of the 2016 Triumph Scrambler.

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2015 Ducati Scrambler Urban Enduro

2015 Ducati Scrambler Urban Enduro

The Ducati Scrambler Urban Enduro is a modern motorcycle that deals great with the requirements of city riding, but also feels pretty comfortable on the open road.

As far as style is concerned, the Ducati Scrambler Urban Enduro features a classy brown seat with a ribbed design, lined with technical fabrics, a big, round headlight protected by an old school grill and aluminum 10 spoke wheels that measure 3’’ x 18’’ up front and 5.5” x 17” at the rear.

The motorcycle is also equipped with a high mudguard made of plastic fibre, LED lights, an LCD dashboard and an off road handlebar with cross bar.

The Ducati Scrambler Urban Enduro is propelled by an 803 cc, L-twin, Desmodromic distribution, 2 valves per cylinder, air cooled engine which generates a maximum output of 55 KW (75 Hp) at 8,250 rpm and 68 Nm (50 Lb-Ft) of torque at 5,750 Rpm.

Hit the jump for more information on the Ducati Scrambler Urban Enduro.

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