Without a doubt, retro-styled motorcycles, rich in flavour and looks are proving to be a hot favourite globally. And one of the most popular retro models on sale in India and abroad is the Ducati Scrambler, which was launched about 4 years ago. The Scrambler is a sub-brand from Ducati and where the design is inspired by the old scrambler motorcycles of the 1960s and packaged in a fully modern motorcycle. The concept sat well with motorcycle enthusiasts and hence, the Ducati Scrambler became a best-seller for the company. But four years down the line, it would be about time for a Scrambler owner to upgrade and this is where the Ducati Scrambler 1100 comes in. It is a bigger and more equipped than the Scrambler 800 and offers the feel of a bigger bike. We ride the Ducati Scrambler 1100 Sport and come away impressed.
Also Read: Ducati Scrambler 1100 Launched In India
Scrambler gets bigger
So, getting straight to the heart of the matter, the 1100 is substantially bigger than the 800. The chunky dual-sport tyres along with the fat 48 mm USDs and the round LED headlamp with an 'X' on it give the bike a 'Don't mess with me' kind of a look. The other good part is that the fit and finish on the bike is gone up a few notches. The high quality switchgear, adjustable levers, brushed metal finish along with polished screws and fitments offer a good sensory experience along with the overall design of the Scrambler 1100. The seat gets a ribbed finish and is wide, making for a comfortable perch along with a wide handlebar and easy-going ergonomics. It gives you the proper 'big bike' feels which the Scrambler 800 may have not given.
Also Read: Ducati Scrambler 1100 Variants Explained
Sit on the motorcycle and as your eyes go up to the instrument console, you begin appreciating the cool meter-on-meter design with the main pod getting a rev counter, fuel gauge, ambient temperature and so on. The tiny branched on meter shows the speed and the gear. One of the best bits about the Scrambler 1100 is the fact that it is packed with electronics and high quality cycle parts. Up first is a Bosch Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) which feeds information to cornering ABS, in case you overdo it while braking.
Plus, you also have a 4-step traction control, which can be switched off or selected as per need. Then you have three riding modes, which are Active, City and Journey. In the active mode, you have full 86 bhp to play with along with crisp throttle response and the traction control is dialled down as well. In the city mode, the power is toned down to 75 bhp and throttle response is almost lazy. Select the city and power goes back up to full, but the throttle stays on the dull side and that's not a bad thing at all.
We had the top-spec model of the Scrambler 1100, which is the Sport and it had thick 45 mm Ohlins USDs up front along with a Kayaba monoshock at the rear, which is adjustable for pre-load and rebound. The front end gets twin 320 mm discs gripped by Brembo M4.32 4-piston monobloc callipers while the rear gets a 245 mm disc with a single piston calliper.
Bigger engine, better performance
Push the starter and the motorcycle comes to life with a throaty burble which only gets better as you start going faster. That's because Scrambler 1100 Sport models are fitted with twin Termignoni exhausts as standard. As you shift through the gears, you realise that the 1,086 cc L-Twin is not quite smooth and there are hints of vibrations on the palm grips and the footpegs if you are revving hard. Although as far as picking up speed is concerned, the Scrambler 1100 does that beautifully. Compared to modern performance bikes, 86 bhp may seem less but it is more than adequate whether you are riding in the city or on the highway.
The engine produces a maximum torque of 88 Nm at 4,750 rpm and most of it is available right from 2,000 rpm. The torque curve stays flat, ensuring you have enough shove throughout the two ends of the rev range. Plus, we like the fuelling and the way the throttle responds, especially in the Active mode. The downsides are that the heat from the engine and the side mounted exhaust pipes is going to roast your leg in summer and bumper to bumper traffic, plus the engine is air-cooled! And the top-end performance could have been a bit better, in order for you to get a proper superbike feel. But by no means, is it a bummer!
Better ride and handling too
The ride quality on the Scrambler 1100 came as a pleasant surprise. It simply sails over the regular bumps and potholes without a hiccup and you wouldn't feel a thing. The seat itself is comfortable and allows you to ride for long hours. And thanks to the wide handlebars and a sporty rake angle, it is up for quick direction changes and even in the city, you feel like aiming for the tiniest of gaps when filtering through traffic.
The grip from Pirelli MT60 tyres is pretty good, which again makes you take corners at a decent clip. The fat 120-section tyre up front is step up from the 110 section unit on the Scrambler 800. And lastly, the brakes are spot-on in terms of bite and progression. Hard braking is without drama as well!
At a price of ₹ 11.42 lakh, you get a motorcycle which is seriously good-looking. And while it may not be a proper scrambler, because this one is better off sticking to tarmac, it sure does have grin-inducing performance. Plus, the motorcycle is packed with technology and exotic cycle parts and the quality is top notch too. Can it be used as a daily ride, yes absolutely! Would it be fine with going off-road? Not quite, because it is simply not meant to! But if you do buy one, you are in for a good time.