DUCATI SCRAMBLER SIXTY2 (2016-on)
At a glance
Overall ratingNext up: Ride & brakes
Judging by Ducati’s promo launch videos, hot pants, tight denim shorts and an ability to skateboard are a prerequisite for ownership of the latest addition to the Scrambler family - the Sixty2.
The marketing hype was the same when the original Scrambler was launched in 2014, except it was surfboards strapped to the bikes instead of skateboards. Perhaps that’s something to do with the Sixty2 being the smaller brother of the 803cc Scrambler, but who knows?
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Anyway, beautiful 20-somethings are plastered all over Ducati’s videos for a reason; the bike is specifically targeting new, young and urban riders. Confusing marketing hype aside for a moment, the Sixty2 signals a clear effort to expand the Scrambler range, and rightly so.
The Sixty2 is a premium product. It feels and looks like its older brother, except with half the engine size, power and probably half the fun. If you’re downsizing from a sportsbike or bigger capacity bike and want something to whizz around the city and the odd country lane on then opt for the bigger Scrambler with its 75bhp.
The Scrambler Sixty2 is purely an entry-level machine, specifically suited to younger riders. And it does that job well; it’s an easy- going, exceptionally fashionable and fun little bike – even if you do have to own a skateboard to ride one.
Ride quality & brakesNext up: Engine
Ducati reckon the changes to the Sixty2's suspension make the bike more accessible and easier to ride. And that’s a fair point; despite changing to a conventional, non-adjustable 41mm Kayaba fork set-up, it is softer.
And while the rear shock is the same preload-adjustable unit, the damping has been tweaked to compliment the softer front. Weight is down from 186 to 183kg making it agile, nimble and manageable. And when you want to push it the suspension and brakes will still look after you.
Despite the 10mm drop in disc size, there’s plenty of feel and bite from the twin-pot floating Brembo up front and single-piston rear. And the standard Bosch 9.1 MP ABS system does a superb job of assisting the anchors in emergency stops.
EngineNext up: Reliability
The most important change is the engine. Derived from the 803cc Scrambler motor, the new 399cc air-cooled, V-twin now pumps out 41bhp, making it A2-compliant. But the strange thing here is that the current 803cc Scrambler can already be restricted for A2 compliance. And the restrictor can be removed once you’ve passed your test.
Nevertheless, it’s a softer, far less powerful engine that won’t catch out even the most eager wrists. Torque is also down from 50ftlb@5750rpm to 25.29ftlb@7750rpm and is somewhat flat in delivery. Plenty for urban riding, but if you’ve got more experienced hands, you’ll soon yearn for a little more juice – especially if it’s taken out of the city and onto quick country roads. But then again, it’s not for you - it’s for those skateboard-riding youngsters, remember?
The majority of our test ride was through bustling Barcelona which brought up a couple of niggles. The left side of the engine can leave you with a pretty hot inner thigh – the cambelt cover stops this on the right. And even more annoying is that Ducati have retained the Scrambler’s slightly snatchy throttle response.
It’s especially evident in first gear, which makes it either on or off in crawling traffic. But get a move on and catch up with the mental moped riders and that snatchy feeling is soon lost.
Reliability & build qualityNext up: Value
With a strong dealer network and a two-year warranty as standard, reliability on the dink Duke should be good. Being an air-cooled low-capacity twin, there should also be very little to go wrong.
That said, a number of early models were affected by a recall due to problems with the fixing nuts on the side stand. If you're purchasing a used model, be sure to check this has been rectified.
Value vs rivalsNext up: Equipment
The Scrambler has proved a phenomenal success for Ducati; with 16,000 sold worldwide, it has earned Ducati a place in the top 10 best-selling bikes list for the first time in the firm’s history.
So, in their effort to attract even more people to the brand, Ducati halved the original Scrambler’s capacity from 803cc to 399cc and are pitching it as an entry-level variant. But despite the cut, you’d be forgiven for not noticing any changes on first - or second – glance.
It still has that premium quality look and feel to it. In fact it looks exactly the same, which is brilliant as smaller- capacity variants tend to take a dip in the parts bin. But in return Ducati are asking a premium price tag of £6450, just £900 less than the base model 803cc Scrambler Icon.
The Sixty2 hangs onto the smart switchgear and swish round digital clock (although a fuel gauge would be handy). Marks of quality are peppered all over the bike, from the Ducati logo on the grips, seat and stamped on the oil casings to the cliché 'Born Free' engraving on the filler cap.
It also keeps the same swish round headlight with LED rim light, which doubles as a cool looking running light. It retains around 70% of the original components according to Ducati Project Manager, Federico Sabbioni.
The only two obvious giveaways are the rear tyre and the forks. The Scrambler’s 180-section rear has been dropped to 160 and the USD fork on the bigger Scrambler has been ditched in favour of a conventional set-up. Oh, and the tank is a little different as it no longer sports changeable aluminium side panels.
But the benefit of that is a capacity hike from 13.5 to 14 litres. There are also subtle differences like a re-routed header pipe, which now runs underneath the bike for a low-slung effect instead of along the engine. And it also has a smaller front brake disc, down from 330 to 320mm.
|Engine type||Air-cooled 4v V-twin|
|Frame type||Tubular steel trellis frame|
|Fuel capacity||14 litres|
|Front suspension||41mm conventional forks|
|Rear suspension||Single shock, pre-load adjustable|
|Front brake||320mm disc with two-piston floating caliper. ABS.|
|Rear brake||245mm disc, one-piston floating caliper. ABS.|
|Front tyre size||110/80 x 18|
|Rear tyre size||160/60 x 17|
Mpg, costs & insurance
|Average fuel consumption||61.41 mpg|
|Annual road tax||£44|
|Annual service cost||-|
How much to insure?
|Warranty term||Two years|
Top speed & performance
|Max power||41 bhp|
|Max torque||25.3 ft-lb|
|1/4 mile acceleration||-|
|Tank range||190 miles|
Model history & versions
- 2016: A2-compliant Ducati Scrambler Sixty2 launched.
- Scrambler 800: Launched in 2015, Ducati's middleweight Scrambler has appeared in a number of guises, including a Cafe Racer, Full Throttle, Icon and more.
- Scrambler 1100: Power and torque is up on the 800, thanks to an increased capacity of 1079cc. Also changed is the suspension, whilst retaining the classic Scrambler looks.
Owners' reviews for the DUCATI SCRAMBLER 400 (2016 - on)
No owners have yet reviewed the DUCATI SCRAMBLER 400 (2016 - on).