The Scrambler series of motorcycles are really important for Ducati as this series has garnered good sales from almost all corners of the world. The reasons are simple – first, that the motorcycle has an accessible price tag. And second, that the motorcycle itself is really accessible for those who are aspiring to get their first big motorcycle. Now, though, there is a 1100cc version of it but does lose any of these characteristics? And is still a good value for money offer? Let’s find out.
While the Scrambler 800 still remains as an option for those looking to step up to a big motorcycle, the 1100 come across as a promising second step for those wanting to get their first experience of having a litre-class motorcycle. The 1100 is also a case of ‘if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it’ when it comes to the design and rightly so, because the Ducati Scrambler has managed to create a unique identity for itself.
The biggest give away are the under-seat exhausts on the 1100 which gives the motorcycle so much more character.
But once you look closer, then you realise that the 1100 has grown in dimensions in every single way and it looks a lot wholesome and complete as an overall package. One of the reasons for that is the radiator fins and the tank extensions which give the motorcycle a muscular look. The fuel tank itself is also now bigger and also sports a chiselled side panel that looks great. The under-seat exhausts with the new number plate housing also fill up the gap between the seat and the rear wheel making it look bigger visually.Ducati Scrambler 1100 Sport's tail section looks great, thanks to the shotgun exhausts. (Photo: News18.com)
And talking about wheels, the Sport model gets aluminium touches on the spokes which are a nice addition, just like the fuel tank cap that is an ode to the first Scrambler Ducati made in 1962.Ducati Scrambler 1100 Sport has a neatly placed ode to the original Ducati Scrambler. (Photo: News18.com)
Look even closer and you will see the fantastic build quality and top-notch quality of materials which have been used throughout the motorcycle. I particularly loved the paint job and the contrasting highlights on the fuel tank. Other than all of this, the 1100 packs the quintessential Scrambler design elements like the minimalistic tail light, the large on-off road tyres and the round headlamp with ring-shaped LED Daytime running lights.Ducati Scrambler 1100 Sport gets ring-shaped LED DRL. (Photo: News18.com)
So aesthetically, it’s a job well done by Ducati as the Scrambler feels similar and yet different from its smaller sibling. But let’s talk about the biggest change of all – the engine – which may not impress you right away.
That’s because if you were to focus on the power and torque figures, on paper, you might think that it doesn’t sound like it is coming from an 1100cc motor. But it is in the way that this power and torque is delivered that makes it so much more exciting.
The engine powering the Scrambler 1100 is a 1079cc L-Twin unit that develops 86 hp and 88 Nm of torque and this comes with a 6-speed transmission. The stand-out characteristic of this engine is the way it serves up torque in the lower end of the RPM band and is spread evenly all the way to the top.
And unlike the 800, the Scrambler 1100 gets Ride-by-Wire system that allows for the choice of three riding modes – Active, City and Journey, and to be really honest, I know they are just riding mode names but they sound too marketing-ish and I would have rather had the simple City, touring and sport instead. But then, I guess that’s just me. Anyway, the City mode cuts down the power to 75 hp which is with very mild throttle response, whereas the Active mode gives you the sharpest throttle response with the full 86 hp on offer. The Journey mode finds the sweet spot in terms of throttle sensitivity while still letting you enjoy the 86 horses and that was the mode that I ended up riding this motorcycle in the most.
That’s not it, there’s also a traction control system that is adjustable to four levels and can thankfully be turned off completely in case you want to. And Ducati didn’t stop here – they also fitted an IMU that allows for cornering ABS, on a scrambler! That sounds crazy and fantastic at the same time.
Now since we were riding the top-of-the-line Sport version of the Scrambler 1100 series, this one comes with a different handlebar and that makes a big difference.Ducati Scrambler 1100 Sport gets tapered handlebars. (Photo: News18.com)
The handlebar on the Sport variant is a bit tapered-off and positioned lower than the regular 1100 which really makes you feel like you are on top of the motorcycle and in complete control. A slight input on the handlebar and the 1100 Sport feels keen to lean into corners and I absolutely love that.
Speaking of corners, the Sport model comes with Ohlins suspension at both front and back that is fully adjustable and has 150mm of travel both front and back. As for the brakes, they offer fantastic bite and feedback. Now while I love the way the suspension behaves on both smooth tarmac and rough roads at whatever speed you may be carrying, the nosedive that you get while braking even slightly hard was a bit unsettling. The first thing I would do is put in thicker fork fluid and I believe that should make it feel a lot more pleasant. Also, being an air-cooled L-twin layout engine, it does get warm in choc-o-bloc traffic.Full ajdustable Ohlins forks on the Ducati Scrambler 1100 Sport. (Photo: News18.com)
And yes, last but not least, I am so glad for the updated instrument cluster as it now shows everything that you would need to know and yes, that also includes a fuel gauge. However, the range calculation is all over the place and it is best if you stick to the fuel level indication as that gives a better sense of the actual fuel level in the tank.Ducati Scrambler 1100 Sport's updated instrument cluster shows everything you would need to know. (Photo: News18.com)
But at the end of the day, all of this is just nit-picking, really. The Scrambler 1100 feels impressive in almost every type of riding scenario and offers great versatility too. And add to that the impressive electronic rider aids and better equipment, and as a whole, the bike does paint an impressive picture. So much so that it might very well be your everyday motorcycle if you are bold enough.
Now, it’s time for the verdict. The 1100 Sport serves a lot of purposes really well and given the price tag that it comes at, well, it is priced well too. So if you’re not planning to do anything extreme with your motorcycle and you want something that’s good at a little bit of everything, then the 1100 Sport is actually a good option to consider.
Gear Courtesy: Rynox Gears