The Ohlins suspended Scrambler has a lovely balance to it. It’s composed and naturally wants to roll into corners. The new suspension holds the chassis; it doesn’t wallow or move around even when you up the pace. Equally, the suspension doesn’t jar over imperfections.
It doesn't dive like a faintly tackled world cup player
The twin 320 discs with Brembo radial calipers offer real stopping power, and can be used to the full effect as the new 48mm forks keep everything under control, they don’t dive like a faintly tackled world cup player. Stability is impressive; the back doesn’t want to overtake the rear in emergency braking situations.
The new springs allow you to make full use of the Ducati’s easy handling. It handles far better than it should, and all the time you have excellent rider aids, like cornering ABS at your fingertips. Even the off-road looking Pirelli rubber is impressive.
Same as the standard 1100 Scrambler, Ducati claimed 100bhp and 77ftlb of torque when this faithful old 1100 EVO V-twin lived in the 2011 Monster, so it’s been tamed for its new retro home.
The tried and tested two-valve air-cooled motor now wears its Euro 4 shackles, has a ride-by-wire throttle, a 16-degree valve overlap (for extra grunt) and a single 55mm throttle body.
It may not rip your arms out of their sockets, but Ducati can boast some of the best ride-by-wire throttle responses in the business and the Scrambler 1100’s is up there with the best.
A power delivery as flawless as un-trodden snow
Power delivery, even from walking pace, is as flawless as un-trodden snow and a lesson to just about every Japanese manufacture out there.
A light clutch makes town work easy, but gears are widely spaced compared to Ducati’s modern engines. It needs a slow, positive shift on the gear lever to avoid finding nuisance neutrals between cogs.
The Scrambler 1100 is plenty fast for the road, of course and has just the right amount of easy to manage power for cruising on a sunny Sunday morning, but you’d expect a bit more from a 1.1-litre lump.
So far, there have been no real reports of issues with the Ducati Scrambler range. The original Scrambler has been out since 2015 and there have been no major issues, so expect more of the same from the 1100 with its tried and tested 1100 EVO engine.
The Ohlins suspension improves the ride quality, provides you with more adjustment and gives the Scrambler even more exclusivity.
The £1600 extra over the base bike is a little steep, but if you’re used to sophisticated multi-adjustable suspension, and regularly play with your settings, then upgrade to the Sport.
If not, then the standard bike is still fine and a brilliant road bike. The engines are the same and the base bike is actually 3kg lighter.
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The Scrambler's electronic rider aids are the most advanced of any retro, thanks to the Bosch Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) calling the shots. That means ABS, traction control and even the self-cancelling LED indicators are lean-sensitive, which isn’t just clever, it all works superbly, too.
Traction control is a useful safety blanket to have, especially in the rain, but despite it being there ready in the background, the Scrambler 1100 has so much mechanical grip and poise it’s rarely called into action.
Varied levels of traction control
There are three riding modes with varying levels of traction control (which also can be adjusted separately) and throttle responses. The modes are renamed Active, Journey and City (from say, the usual: Sport, Touring and Urban). All have full power, except City, which clips the motor’s output to 74bhp.
The Sport features tapered bars, but more importantly comes suspended on Ohlins fully adjustable suspension. The new 48mm Ohlins USD forks substitute the 45mm-adjustable Marzocchi items and the side mounted direct rear Kayaba shock with preload and rebound adjustment is replaced by a fully adjustable Ohlins unit.
Parts shared with the standard bike
Apart from the ‘Sport’ seat, it has the same brakes, wheels and engine (and therefore power) as the standard bike. The beefier suspension has added a little weight, now up to 189kg, from 186kg standard but not as heavy as the Special at 194kg.