The one the newest babies from the Scrambler Ducati line is somewhat of a black sheep of the range. It’s definitely a black bike, there’s not mistaking that. Introducing the Scrambler Café Racer – don’t let the name confuse you.
With the booming success of Ducati’s Scrambler range that pounced into the motorcycling market in 2015 we’ve been seeing slight modifications in this line of bikes, be it in engine capacity with the Sixty-Two, or styling. The brand new Café Racer breaks away from this in a much more nimble, corner-hungry, little demon-machine with a serious face-lift kind of way.
While the Scrambler Icon and its subsequent models have proven to be a great base for a custom build, some folks are opting for a more café racer style, you can now get that aesthetic straight off the bat. It’s not just the aesthetics that have been tweaked of this pocket-rocket, but a few subtle yet great changes that make this an enjoyable little ride.
While the name can be somewhat confusing with Scrambler being alongside Café Racer, which could seem like an oxymoron (actually that’s exactly what it is), this is much more than just a few changes to the Scrambler Classic. Harking back in Ducati’s own history, the iconic black and gold scheme is a throwback to the original Ducati 900SS. To add to the Ducati heritage of this machine is the number 54 emblazoned on the side, a nod to Bruno Spaggiari who used this racing number when he rode the Mototemporada Romagnola in 1968.
The Café Racer model features the same 803cc L-Twin engine as the previous Scrambler models, alongside many other parts including tank, headlight, frame, and the same Termignoni exhaust set up that the Scrambler Full Throttle comes standard with. There are new bits though, I mean, this is a new bike after all. The new 17” wheels come with Pirelli Diablo Rosso II tyres, radial-mount front master cylinder, new suspension and of course, some clip-on bars to complete the café racer look and feel.
Riding this bike you’ll instantly notice what makes it stand out in the Scrambler pack. The rack has been adapted to suit a more racing nature, with the angle of the steering head and the frame being tweaked to a rake of 21.8 degrees. This results in the bike cutting into corners like Anakin into a room full of Younglings (See: Revenge of the Sith). The bike is incredibly manoeuvrable, it isn’t a machine that has had clip-on’s attached and claims to be a Café Racer while struggling to perform its goal. This bike lives up to its name in both look and performance.
The Termignoni exhaust, which the bike comes standard with, looks good, and sounds good – to a degree. These are completely legal pipes, which means just as you’re starting to hear those sweet tones and notes, it cuts out and becomes friendly to even the sookiest neighbours. This is a fairly small bike, with a shorter and lighter riders loving the clearance and handling. I’m not a particularly tall person (read: bit short) so I asked Scrambler Ducati Ambassador Danny Clayton, who is a bit of a tall boy, what he thought of the machine after hours of riding. “As a taller gentleman I’m not usually drawn towards café styled bikes, but found this model to be incredibly comfortable and thoroughly enjoyable.” And there you have it.
The new Café Racer model also features a new Brembo braking system, with a Bosch 9.1 MP ABS system and pressure sensor. There is also a radial-type front brake pump, which is the result of a decision to mount a power single-disc front braking system. The market is still hungry for heritage and classic styled bikes, and it’s not an easy thing to pull off when you’re trying to mix vintage with contemporary. If you get the ratios wrong, you can end up with a bike that fits neither bill. This bike ticks off a lot of boxes. It looks fuckin’ great straight out of the factory, with plenty of room to customise it yourself.
It’d be nice to see the side number plate come blank, with the owner being able to add their own number in (shotgun 69) but Ducati have pulled off a lightweight, nimble as hell bike.
RRP for these badboys is $16,990 AUD
Ducati Scrambler Café Racer
o Black Coffee with black frame and gold wheels
o Desmodue twin-cylinder engine, EURO 4-compliant, with black finish and machined cooling fins.
o Termignoni exhaust with dual tailpipes and black anodized aluminium cover
o 17” Pirelli DIABLOTM ROSSO II tyres, 120/70 ZR 17 up front and 180/55 ZR17 at the rear
o Dedicated seat with cover for passenger section
o Lateral number holders
o Separate aluminium handlebars
o Fully adjustable upsidedown fork with black anodized sleeves
o Sporty front mudguard
o Rear-view mirrors mounted on aluminium handlebars
o Steel tear drop fuel tank with interchangeable side panels