The other release at Eicma this year on the Scrambler front is the Desert Sled. It’s a much more off-road focused version replacing the Urban Enduro (which I regret seeing go, it was the other one I considered when I purchased my Icon). It has much taller suspension, significantly more ground clearance, a beefed up chassis and looks that immediately bring the old Yamaha XT500 of the early eighties to mind. I saw it in the flesh at Motorcycle Live and it’s amazing how different it looks to the rest of the family. Jacking up the height makes it a whole lot less friendly looking, almost intimidating. This being said, it does seem a logical move on the part of Ducati and I’m sure riders like Jamie Robinson from Motogeo will put it to great use. In my opinion, it’s too heavy to be a real dirt bike and it will now be carrying it’s weight up high making it a lot less fun. Definitely not a model that I would consider but each to his own. Cool video below though 🙂
I went to Motorcycle Live (the biggest UK motorcycle show) today and got to to see the two new Scramblers in the flesh. What immediately struck me upon arrival is that Ducati are now definitely marketing Scrambler as an almost separate brand entirely. They had a huge stand all in yellow dedicated to the Scrambler models and apparel and it was very much separate from the Ducati stand all in red with all the other bikes. I don’t love this marketing approach but that’s the way they’re going. I also don’t like the general hipster vibe that they give to the “yellow” brand. That said both new bikes are very nice and first up we have the new road oriented Cafe Racer (see the video below). It’s not a bike I would buy as what attracted me in the first place to the Scrambler is it’s easy go anywhere (including light off road) attitude but it does look good.
Well, the much awaited article on Paul and Pau’s trip through the Scottish Highlands has been published in issue 14 of Motorcycle Explorer Magazine and it doesn’t disappoint. A great article with Paul’s very well explained “Road to Damascus” moment on why smaller lighter bikes bring us back to the joy of riding. Also a great and detailed packing list for the Scrambler. I was particularly happy to read that even with 80 litres of luggage on the bike, the Scrambler remained a joy to ride. This is a must read for anyone interested in Adventure riding and who wants to hear about alternatives to the giant bikes that all manufacturers now make following the (admittedly well deserved) success of the BMW R1200GS.