Ducati Scrambler well underway

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Ducati’s old Scrambler 250 was built from 1962 through to 1968 in various 250, 350 and even 450cc single-cylinder guises and managed to create a cool, accessible bike that was completely of the time. Now the Italian firm wants to recapture this brand with a new Scrambler which will take the old styling and bring it bang up to date with a 796cc V-twin.

Ducati is already well advanced with a new version of the iconic Scrambler model but it won’t have a single-cylinder motor but use a 796cc air-cooled V-twin from the current Monster range.

Rumours of a new Scrambler have been knocking about for at least the last five years but recent information from people close to the project has confirmed we will see a finished bike next year and the Ducati is just one of a flurry of new modern classics in the offing from lots of manufacturers.

The bike will be shown in finished form at the end of 2014 to go on sale for the following year along with a load of lifestyle accessories as the firm will be trying really hard to create a whole brand around the Scrambler name.

The bike will not be using the 696 Monster engine as many internet rumours suggest; Ducati will use the bigger and more powerful 87bhp engine from the 796 Monster as it will not be aimed at the lower end of the market; rather a more wealthy type of buyer.

MCN revealed Ducati had trademarked the ‘Scrambler’ name back in March 2013 and explained it was is intended to cover a wide range of goods, including not only motorcycles but toys, clothing, leather goods and even cosmetics. It’s that breadth that explains why Ducati has made the application so early; on launching the new model it will want to have a full range of parts and accessories, and must be sure that it holds all the relevant trademark rights before it can launch headlong into designing things like T-shirts, gloves or leathers that might carry the same branding as the bike.

We’ve taken all of the information we’ve been able to glean about the new bike and worked up a computer-generated image to show the direction we think Ducati is heading.

The new Scrambler is an important bike for Ducati as for all the high-end bikes like the 1199 Panigale it sells it still needs an affordable bike to grab new owners and it’s hoped by sliding the Scrambler into the range below the Monster it can broaden the appeal of the Ducati badge.

It appears the firm is shifting the focus of the Monster range to make it more powerful and ‘technical’ in line with other Ducatis like the big-selling Diavel cruiser. Recent spy shots show the new Monster, to be launched later this year, will be getting the water-cooled150bhp and 1198cc V-twin from the Multistrada for the range-topper. The middle of the range, air-cooled Monster 796 looks likely to be replaced within a year or so with the 821cc water-cooled motor from the Hypermotard and the current 696 Monster will be joined by the new Scrambler.

Ducati has been down this path before with the slightly ill-timed SportClassic range. It has been publicly accepted by Ducati bosses the SportClassic range were just too early and would have been far more successful if they had been launched now rather than in 2006 as first seen. The SportClassic range was started with the limited edition MH900e and added the Sport1000, Paul Smart LE and GT1000, but never took off as the firm had hoped and was dropped in 2010 just four years.

No one from Ducati was willing to go on the record about the new Scrambler. An official comment of “We do not discuss any potential rumours surrounding forthcoming models,” was all MCN could get from the factory in Bologna.

For new Ducatis in action check out Ducati: A Story of Passion and Superbike Ducati on MCN-TV.com.

Andy Downes

By Andy Downes

Former MCN Senior Reporter