The launch of the Ducati Scrambler and the Scrambler Ducati brand in 2015 followed one of the most intensive marketing campaigns in the moto industry. Ducati would release pictures, videos, had a website, made use of social media. When the bike was finally out people were experiencing, well, I was experiencing an overdose of publicity, of hipsters, beards and flannel shirts. Thank goodness that is all gone now and we can move on. It took me a while to get to ride a Scrambler, an Urban Enduro, and it only happened after the dust of the launch had settled and journalists’ and even new owners’ reports had already been out. It was worth the wait, though, what a a lovely machine it is: fast, torquey, nimble and a true Ducati with its air-cooled V-twin soul.
By the time I got to ride it there were already rumors about expansions to the Scrambler Ducati brand, how this family of bikes would have new models soon. In fact, it was announced by the Ducati officials themselves during the launch of the bike. People assumed new models would be larger, Ducati went smaller. The Sixty2 was it, named after the 1962 year, the year when the Scrambler Ducati was produced for the first time.
I actually participated on a survey on the Scrambler site, even before I got to see a first Scrambler live, and on this survey there were questions about my perceptions about the bike and one of the questions asked whether I thought the Scrambler was too powerful. There was no option on the multiple choices for this question saying “No, I want more power” or something similar. But it did ask if the bike’s 803cc motor, rated at about 75 hp, was too powerful. Ducati was gearing for the Sixty2, with the motor modified to deliver 400cc displacement, significant less power tailoring the bike to the beginner rider.
Over in Europe new riders are regulated in terms of how much power they should have at their disposal on their first years of riding. The Sixty2 complies with the European A2-class driving licenses, which restricts riders to motorcycles of up to 47 hp (The Sixty2 is rated at 41 hp). It works in Japan where 400 cc capacity of a motor (the Sixty2 is actually 399cc) is the boundary for lower level licenses. And then the bike is more affordable as well. It was a move to produce a bike to a new segment. Incidentally here in the US a beginner can show up at any motorcycle dealer and exchange cash for whatever bike they want, I believe they don’t even need to show a motorcycle endorsement on their license to make the purchase. Darwin law rules here, which is somewhat ironic, actually.
Anyway, now there is hope Ducati is going larger in the family branching of new Scrambler models. Or at least different. A new (spy?) picture circulating on the internet shows a bike of the Scrambler Ducati family, just that this time it is not about the displacement of the motor, it seems (or only), but about the bike’s shape and function. People have been expecting an 1100cc machine, Ducati has that type of motor from many iterations on other models. Maybe this is it, maybe not. What we can see from the photo is more of a true enduro machine.
Upside-down forks, rear rack, side racks, spoke wheels, maybe a larger front wheel (19 or 21, cannot tell from the photo) and we could be talking here about a more realistic Enduro version (as opposed to the “urban” enduro). Maybe it will have the same motor, it seems it still has a single disc upfront, so the 803 motor seems like a good match. Who knows, these “spy” photos may not mean anything and this bike could be a side, dead branch on the stages of the Scrambler evolution (seems like appropriate language since we mentioned Darwin earlier).
What I see in this photo seems very interesting to me. I would welcome a round headlight enduro machine with no windscreen nor front fairing, but with capacity to carry travel gear. Light weight and probably keeping the essence of what I experienced on my test ride of the Urban Enduro: a fast, torquey and nimble machine. If it is kept simple, as it seems, and it is dirt and travel oriented as well, then why not? Bring it on Ducati, we need to redefine adventure in the context of motorcycles. This revolution might as well come from someone as unexpected to ignite it as Ducati.
Thanks for your reviews and sharing your moto-experiences. I always look forward to your articles and photos. They bring a lot of joy to my mailbox. Your story of long gone Street Fighter 848 and the impressions it left on you has been haunting me for quite a few years now. I am sure I will come to the same conclusions as you did but I think I am going to try one on for size tomorrow. The Ducati dealer down in Daytona Beach has a new 2015 deeply discounted SF848 I can’t seem to shake the idea of adding to the stable. Keep up the good work and fine pictures!
If you can add it to the stable, then go for it. I wish I had never sold mine, and that one will be difficult to find as a replacement, on that color, if one day I get too nostalgic about it. I think there is a new one, red, for sale in my local shop. In the end, it is a special bike. But I’m happy with my Multistrada, and eyeing the DVT one for the future. So many choices…