Ducati Scrambler 1100 Road Test Review – The Bigger the Better?

What does the bigger Ducati Scrambler brings to the table and should you spend almost Rs 3.5 lakh extra for it over the standard 800cc Scrambler Icon? Also, while Ducati already has an extensive line up of 800cc Scramblers on sale in India, why the Scrambler 1100? We find out in this review.

By: | Updated: March 29, 2019 2:04 PM

 

Ducati Scrambler 1100 - What is it?

The Ducati Scrambler family has been in India for almost four years now and last year, the company decided to add a new chapter to this story. The Scrambler 1100 is the most powerful Scrambler ever sold by Ducati that is being offered in three variants namely 1100, 1100 Special and 1100 Sport. We recently spent a few days with the 1100 Sport that is the flagship model of the Scrambler series. Before we get any further, Ducati Scrambler is not something completely unheard of as the Italian brand used to make these motorcycles for the American market with single cylinder engines during the 1960s. Compared to the first ever Scrambler that was born in the year 1962 and was humble enough to fulfill the basic necessities, the current one is highly advanced, brimming with electronics that try best to make sure you are alive even in the most tricky situations. While Ducati already has an extensive line up of 800cc Scramblers on sale in India, why the Scrambler 1100? Also, what does bigger Scrambler brings to the table and should you spend almost Rs 3.5 lakh extra for it over the standard 800cc Scrambler Icon? Let’s find out!

Ducati Scrambler 1100 - Design and Appearance

Before we get on to the riding part, first, let’s talk about the way it looks. Like its younger siblings, the Ducati Scrambler 1100 has been designed with a simple and minimalistic approach but despite that, it looks modern and cool. The bike gets X-styled headlamp with circular LED DRLs that look stunning in the dark. The fuel tank looks neat and has character lines that give it a bolder look. The 1100 Sport variant, in particular, comes with dual Termignoni exhaust set up that not only looks a class apart but sounds loud and furious. Further favouring the minimal approach is an off-set instrument cluster that now offers more information compared to Scrambler 800 and has a quirky yet appealing layout.

Speaking of the overall attention to detail and fit and finish, this is one motorcycle that will certainly not disappoint you as the levels are just what you would expect from a Ducati. The Scrambler 1100 has good road presence and it looks considerably bigger as it actually is wider, longer and taller than the younger Scrambler Icon. The fuel tank capacity has seen a hike as well at 15 litres as compared to 13.5 litres on the smaller Scrambler.

Like most figures, the seat height has also gone up at 810 mm and this can be a bit of a problem for shorter riders. Ducati Scrambler 1100 Sport is offered only in matte Black colour and the bike looks striking with yellow racing stripes.

Ducati Scrambler 1100 - Engine performance

The heart of the Ducati Scrambler 1100 is a bigger displacement 1079cc, L-twin engine that produces 86 hp of power and 88 Nm of torque. The engine has an aggressive mid-range and there is plenty of torque available at almost any point of time. All thanks to this, the Scrambler 1100 certainly keeps you entertained on the streets and open roads as well. The clutch feels light and gearshifts are smooth and precise, further enhancing the riding experience. The motor shows its true character above the 4,000 rpm mark after which it just pleads to be pushed further. However, things start to get vibey after 8,000 rpm and this is when you start feeling some serious vibrations reaching you through the footpegs and handlebar. The Ducati Scrambler 1100 doesn't like to be ridden below 2,000 rpm as the engine starts to feel a bit jittery, however, things are better than the Scrambler 800. Also, in bumper to bumper traffic, the heat from the engine becomes apparent which is why you won’t find yourself comfortable riding this motorcycle in peak city traffic for long, a purpose it isn't solely made for.

The Ducati Scrambler 1100 comes with three riding modes namely Active, Journey and City. The Active mode offers the maximum power with the most crip throttle response and hence, you can have maximum fun in this setting. In the Journey mode, the power output remains the same but the throttle response gets a bit gentler and this mode is apt when you wish to go touring. Last is the City mode that offers the maximum electronics intervention for maximum safety. The power output in this mode gets restricted to 75 hp and the throttle response gets reduced even further. Furthermore, you get four levels of traction control and this can be switched off as well.

Ducati Scrambler 1100 - Ride Quality and Handling

Despite weighing 206 kg, the Ducati Scrambler 1100 feels surprisingly agile. Show it some corners and you will realise that the Ducati Scrambler 1100 remains ready for quick directional changes. Further complimenting the handling is the excellent grip from the Pirelli MT 60 RS tyres and these are indeed confidence inspiring especially around the corners. These are knobby units and hence, taking the bike off-road won’t be a problem either.

The Sport variant comes with higher spec fully adjustable Ohlins set up at the front and rear. The suspension is set on a stiffer side and smaller potholes are absorbed rather easily. However, you will clearly feel the impact while going through some seriously bad broken surfaces. While the stiff suspension does contribute to the brilliant handling of the motorcycle, riding the bike for too long on seriously broken patches does not seem a good idea.

Braking on the Ducati Scrambler 1100 is done with the help of twin 320mm disc brakes up front along with a single 240mm disc brake at the rear. The set up is paired with an ABS and even a cornering ABS is on offer for additional safety. The braking performance is just spot on as the brakes provide exceptional bite and instant feedback at the lever and you can easily rely on these during panic situations.

Ducati Scrambler 1100 Verdict - Should you buy one?

Scramblers are meant to be fun to ride motorcycles and the 1100 only justifies this statement further. But first, let's address the elephant in the room which is the pricing. At a starting price of Rs 10.91 lakh for the standard 1100 and Rs 11.42 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi) for the top end Sport variant, this Ducati is indeed an expensive one to buy. What adds to the problems of the Scrambler 1100 is the fact that there are multiple motorcycles in the market that offer a lot more features at the same price point, have better power output and are more purposeful.

So, where does the Ducati Scrambler 1100 fits in and whom it is for? Well, if you are an existing Scrambler 800 owner and are looking for an upgrade, the Scrambler 1100 makes perfect sense for you. Also, if you are someone who has been longing to park a Ducati in his or her garage but does not want an intimidating or frightening performance, this is the bike to go for, only if you are comfortable spending Rs 3.5 lakh extra.

The Scrambler range accounts for almost 25 percent of Ducati India’s total sales to date. The reason behind is not entirely because we Indians love Scramblers but due to the fact that these are the most affordable offerings by the exotic Italian brand in India. So, will a bigger and better Scrambler be able to receive the same level of admiration? We’ll have to wait and watch!

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