In 2015, the new Ducati Scrambler went on sale, an air-cooled V-twin roadster that incorporates design elements from the company’s original Scrambler series of single-cylinder enduros: off-road handlebars and footpegs, as well as fork guards, bash plates, headlight grills, and wire wheels on some models. Despite the name and inspiration, the Ducati Scrambler is not really intended for heavy off-road use — barring the more aggressive Desert Sled version. But that’s not uncommon for today’s production “scramblers,” which are basically street bikes with some extra rock protection, dual-purpose tires, and possible longer suspension travel.
The bike has been available in displacements ranging from 399cc to 1079cc, and in configurations such as the Café Racer, Classic, Urban Enduro, Icon, Flat Track Pro, Full Throttle, Italia Independent, Sixty2, Desert Sled, 1100 Special, and 1100 Sport. The 803cc Scrambler has been clocked with a 0-60 mph time of 3.7 seconds, running the quarter mile in 12.5 seconds at 106 mph. Horsepower figures are as follows:
- 399cc: 40 hp
- 803cc: 60 hp
- 1079cc: 86 hp
Strange as it might seem given the name, the Scrambler has become a popular donor for cafe racer builds. The bike was intentionally designed as a good platform for customization, and the air-cooled engine and naked styling bend the mind toward modification:
“The fact that the Ducati is so bare is one of its greatest assets. It sparks your imagination. You can’t look at it without making mental modifications.” —Dirt Bike Magazine
Below are a few of our favorite custom Ducati Scrambler cafe racers we’ve featured.