The Dawn of a New Era, The Ducati Scrambler

Ducati: a highly aspirational brand in the motorcycle world, famous in motorcycle racing and well known for its lustful looks that Japanese brands seldom achieve. However I never thought it would be the brand for me; for a long time I called it “nevercati” as I claimed I’d never own one. It was the 2008 and the brand was going through rough time in Colombia, no clear representation, high prices and technical issues didn’t speak highly of the brand. On top of that the only Ducati I had near me was the 2007 Multistrada 1000DS, one of the worlds ugliest bikes, in my opinion. However much would change when Audi bought Ducati, and a new chapter for Ducati in Colombia would make the brand ownable again.

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The Ducati Scrambler comes in 4 versions, the Icon (on the right) is the standard one. The great thing about the bike is how easy it is to customize.

The new Multistrada was an engineering prowess, creating the “Touring superbike” surname, creating new technologies like the skyhook, the dynamic suspension now found in KTM or BMW – best part is that it stopped being fugly! The superbike family got bigger, better, prettier, with the 848 evo, the 899 Panigale, the 1098, 1198, 1199 and the current 1299 Panigale reclaiming it’s spot at the top of the Superbike game. The Hypermotard is one of the most fun bikes ever made even if it’s just a hooligans toy, the monsters got even more refined and they even got into the cruiser game with the Diavel. Adios Ducatis with technical issues (mostly), and electronics gave them the edge they desperately needed. Move over BMW, there’s a new high fashion girl in town. Ducati became once again a serious player all over the spectrum, however still not the brand for me. There wasn’t a bike for me. Of course I love most of the bikes I named, but superbikes are not for me, I commute, when tour I always wind up going off road. Wheelies on a hypermotard? Great! but no.

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A new wave of motorcyclists was borned out of the new Scrambler, hipsters, women, and old timers who wanted to come back.

So 2014 was a great year for Ducati, launching a model based on retro tendencies that silently grew all over the world; the retro modern trend that accompanied the hipster fashion trend gave them the perfect opportunity to relaunch one of their most iconic models. The Ducati Scrambler. The bike made it’s way to the market back in the 60’s when almost every bike was a all rounder, a big hit then, a big hit now. Today the Scrambler is born as a lifestyle bike rather than a technical specs one, looking for an audience focused on emotions and philosophies in the brands they purchase.

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More and more women are being attracted to the freedom that only bikes can provide.

Ducati has created the cool motorcycle of this generation and in the process they gave us, the users, the opportunity to have our first sexy Italian in our garage. The Scrambler is possibly, as it is in my case, the first Ducati a lot of people will own – also thanks to it’s pricing – and brought in a lot of people who would have never imagined riding a bike, least of all a high powered Ducati. Women too! Marketing at its best. Just take a look at the whole accessory  and apparel line and you will see how it clearyl wasn’t designed as an afterthought, but as a cornerstone of the Scrambler experience. Ducati won this battle by fighting bravely. Bravo Ducati.

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A roomy and spacious seat position is not only comfortable for the rider, but for the pillion also.

I’ve been with the bike for about 3 months now and I still have trouble describing it. Like most Ducatis the bike has a lot of character, a lot of torque and it’s fast. The throttle can be a little rough at first, but it’s mostly just getting used to it rather than a technical issue. It’s a roomy bike, comfortable and easy to ride. It’s full of little design details made for looking rather than riding, which is not bad considering how well it’s made. The gas tank, the display, the license plate holder or the rims. Photographing the bike wouldn’t be a problem if it wasn’t so fun to ride. More than capable to get you into trouble in the twisties. Tall enough for some light off roading, and the tires that go with it. Technologically pure, air cooled engine with only ABS to show off.  803 cc that makes75 hp. A bike you just want to ride and that will get you tons of looks while commuting. In the almost 2.000 kms I’ve ridden in her I haven’t been able to complain about much really, other than my shallow pockets than prohibit me from buying everything from the Ducati and Rizoma catalog to really make it my own design.

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Commuting has never been so much fun.

Ducati has created not only an amazing bike and a new standard in the category, but it has found the way into the homes of motorcyclists new and old. They have created a new way of marketing that has reshapped the way things are done, in fact demonstrating that after market pieces and apparel are as important as the bike itself. Competitors  took notice with BMW and the R Nine T or Yamaha with the SR400 and the brand new XSR 700 that follow roughly the same line and philosophy.

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The Scrambler is no slouch, with powerful torque usually absent in the retro category.

Brands like Speed and Strength and Shark have also taken notice and have created retro collections, casual apparel for the city, but with protection standards needed for riding. What better way to close the gap between fashion and motorcycles that being led by Italians?

About the Bike:

Fuuuuuuuuucccccck yeaaaaaaaaaah…

Emotions run way stronger that the technical data sheet. A Ducati at heart for a new, younger, different audience. Feels like a lot more than 75 hp. A bike that will grow old with a lot of people as a collection piece. Amazing.

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