Long term update: Scramble-up the Scrambler

Published: 02 September 2015

Yes I am 45 and yes, I am playing with a jigsaw. And for the record, I’m having fun. But this is no ordinary kids’ puzzle, it’s a way of checking out how the Scrambler might look with different mods from Ducati’s accessories list. 

The puzzle itself isn’t for sale, it’s a promo tool for use in dealers – drop into your local Ducati showroom and ask for a go. Right now, I’m taken with the classic-style black tank panel and maybe a black seat. The tank decals come in at £52.31 including VAT and are a simple task to fit.

The only sadness is that you can’t spec-up your Scrambler from the word go. Instead, you have to order one of the four base models as a complete bike and then buy the other parts as extras. So if you desire a different seat or alternative tank, you are left with the standard bits. Of course, you could always trade them with other Scrambler owners in a sort of recycling manoeuvre. Perhaps allowing people to configure their bikes when they order is something the factory should look at in the future, especially now the Scrambler has become established.

Even before the advent of the puzzle I’d already made a few changes. The first two are official Ducati mods and the other items I’m trying out right now are from UK firm Evotech. First up is the headlight grille from the Urban Enduro model. I had it fitted during a trip to Ducati UK, but it’s something you could do at home if you’re reasonably spanner literate. It’s not cheap though, the grille is just under £74 and you need clamps for £80. The result is cool though, even if it does make the headlight a pain to clean.

I also had a set of Full Throttle luggage fitted. Again, rather eye-watering in price, the panniers are £639 and just about carry enough for a few days away. Cheaper options are available and the bags from the Urban Enduro are about half the price. Evotech (www.evotech-performance.com) have an enticing range of Scrambler parts on offer. I was put on to them by Scrambler FT owner Tim Griffin, whom I met while we were both having our first service done at Ducati Coventry back in the Spring.

Right now I am trying out the tail tidy (£99.99), crash protectors (£79.99), engine guard (£74.99), oil cooler and reg-rec guards (£39.99 and £29.99) plus bobbins for the forks and swingarm (£32.99 each end).

The quality is good, although it’s a bit of a fuss re-routing the rear light cabling for the tail tidy. What is good is that there’s no cutting or drilling at any stage, so it’s all completely reversible. The crash protectors are more practical than beautiful (which slightly goes against the Scrambler ethos), but otherwise I am happy.

I’ve also changed the tyres. The Pirelli MT60s had squared-off badly after 3000 miles with the rubber tread blocks performing a bit of a vanishing act. I loved the look of the Pirellis – giving the Scrambler that VanVan on steroids vibe – but, in the name of science, have gone with a set of Avon TrailRider tyres (£215). They feel OK on the road and I’m hoping the deep tread pattern will offer a longer life.

Of course, there’s no reason why you couldn’t go for a stickier option for the Full Throttle and go off in a bit of a supermoto direction. That’s one of the enticing things about the Scrambler, and rivals such as BMW’s R nineT: you really can do what you like with it but without resorting to hacksaws.

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