First ride: Ducati Scrambler Mach 2.0 'effortlessly cool'

Published: 04 December 2017

Roland Sands gives the Ducati Scrambler some 1970s Californian West Coast style.

At this time of the year we are bombarded by adverts from perfume companies, all promising a Hollywood lifestyle if you buy their fragrance. Backed up by glamorous movie stars, these marketing campaigns serve to hype up a brand name, adding value by creating a mystique around the product. In many ways the Scrambler Mach 2.0 was born in a similar vein…

Hyped up as a tribute to the 1960s Ducati Mach 1, and according to Ducati evoking the ambience of the West Coast of the 1970s, the Mach 2.0 is a bit of a marketing ploy. Essentially a Scrambler Icon with flatter bars, a flat track seat and some blacked out details, the Mach 2.0 sells on the back of the fact that rather than the standard Icon single colour paint schemes, you get one created by Californian bike designer Roland Sands and based on the Bell Cross Idol helmet. But it has to be said, marketing crap aside, it does look fabulous.

In the flesh the retro paint job is simply beautiful, giving the Scrambler a lovely old-school appearance without going over the top. It’s not emblazoned in RSD (Roland Sands Design) logos and instead there are just a few subtle ones here and there. It’s cool, classy and a serious head-turner without being too hipster.

The flat track-inspired bars, which are a little lower than the standard Scrambler ones, give you a bit more of an aggressive riding position without compromising comfort. It’s not off-roady like the Desert Sled, it’s just a touch more focused as your arms are spread wider, an impression that adds to the bike’s cool character. And it’s a similar story with the new seat unit, which is just as padded as the standard unit but better looking.

Unsurprisingly seeing as it is unchanged aside from a few splashes of black here and there, the rest of the bike feels identical to the Icon. It’s the same spirited desmo V-twin, the same agile chassis, the same fun handling characteristics, same cast wheels and the same strong single front brake with a good ABS system. What else did you expect, it’s basically the same bike!

In many ways the Mach 2.0 is a cynical money making machine that cashes in on Roland Sands’ name with minimal alterations to the basic Scrambler base. But it has to be said, the paint scheme does look fantastic and the lower bars add more of a butch feeling to the bike while the other mods are subtle yet classy. Is it worth £1245 more than an Icon? That depends on how much you value fashion and it is worth remembering that for £100 less than the Mach 2.0 you can own the also retro-styled Classic with its period-correct wire wheels…

Scrambler Mach 2.0 highlights

  • Unique Roland Sands designed paint scheme
  • Low aluminium handlebar
  • Flat track-style seat
  • Blacked out exhaust cover and engine heads with brushed fins
  • Underseat USB plug-in socket

The Mach 2.0 facts

Price: £9195
Engine: 803cc (88x66mm) air-cooled, SOHC, 2 valve, desmo V-twin
Frame: Tubular steel trellis
Seat height: 790mm
Suspension: 41mm inverted Kayaba forks, non-adjustable. Rear: Monoshock, adjustable preload and rebound.
Brakes: 1 x 330mm disc, four-piston radial caliper; 245mm disc, one-piston caliper. ABS
Colours: Mach 2.0
Weight: 186kg (wet)
Tank capacity: 14 litres
Power: 72bhp @ 8250rpm
Torque: 49ftlb @ 5750rpm

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