The Kayaba suspension is completely new front and back. From the outside they appear the same, but the front now has hydraulic bump stops not mechanical, and the rear spring is completely new. Static sag has increase, which means the bike sits more with the rider on-board.
This results in a softer ride, the bike doesn’t jolt over bumps and takes everything in its stride. The increased suspension travel hasn’t affected stability, but the bike has more tendency to sit on the rear spring when ridden aggressively.
In extreme situations over undulations ground clearance has been reduced, which is a result of the softer spring. Although the new Scrambler has gained a few KG it’s light, easy-to-ride and manageable. The off-road looking Pirelli rubber is also impressive – as on the old bike.
Ducati have played around with the fuelling and added a hydraulic clutch instead of a cable, otherwise it’s unchanged. On paper, power is 2.5bhp down, but this is more than likely due to the new agreed way of measuring power across the industry.
The 803cc air-cooled motor is based on the old Ducati 796 Monster engine. The bore and stroke has remained the same, but the valve overlap, injectors, air-box and exhaust are all-new compared to the Monster.
Power is linear, starts from low down and is more than enough power for an entry-level bike, however more experienced hands may want a little more top end urgency and it lacks character; a disappointed soundtrack from the tweaked exhaust.
Reliability shouldn’t be a problem as the motor is based on the proven Ducati 796 Monster – service intervals are long every 7,500. The level of finish is very high – there is some lovely attention to detail.
Technical improvements and tweaks to the styling have meant an unfortunate price hike. The first Ducati Scrambler, back in 2015 was affordable, costing less than £7000.
Subsequent versions have edged over £8000, with the 2019 bike costing £8150 (£8250 in orange) - it’s arguably no longer the ‘affordable entry-level’ option the first bike was. You’re buying into an exclusive brand, but now it’s going to cost you a little more.
Ducati have installed cornering ABS, which means they’ve also added an IMU (internal measurement unit) to measure lean angle. The single disc Brembo braking is impressive; you can only feel the new system intervening off-road.
But, despite adding an IMU, Ducati haven’t added any traction control. The revised Kayaba suspension only has pre-load adjustment, but DRL lights now come as standard, the clocks are more informative with a clear gear position indicator and fuel gauge, plus there’s new switchgear.