The Wild West on a Ducati Scrambler

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by AntiHero, Mar 24, 2015.

  1. AntiHero

    AntiHero Long timer

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    Life is crazy. And good, very good. The past few days are a Scrambler-spirographed blur of sensory stimuli--sights, sounds, scenery all muddled into a sleepless, smudgy mess that I'm still trying to make sense of, like memories flashing before the eyes of a dying man. Only I'm not dying. I'm living and alive. So fucking alive!

    Like a game of word-association, when I first heard "Scrambler" I immediately thought, "Road of Bones!" A part of me said, "Road of Bones--on a Scrambler? Why would you want to do any of that, asshole?" (that was my asshole talking). So I sat my asshole down and explained how it is: when you're passionate about something you'll be forced to endure challenges; and these challenges are what makes life meaningful. I had a discussion about this very thing with Miguel Duhamel Saturday night (see what I told you about my mind being a blur from the shit that happened this weekend?). The more difficult the journey, the more profound the reward.

    Unfortunately I only have the Scrambler for a week. It's not mine. So no Road of Bones. But the worlds most extreme outdoor amusement park is just fine by me:

    [​IMG]
    #1
  2. Tim_Tom

    Tim_Tom Long timer

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    So in for this! I just moved to the edge of DV from the East Coast and I'm frantically trying to learn as much as I can about the place.

    Ohh I'm also gonna be getting myself a Scrambler :freaky
    #2
  3. RiderRick

    RiderRick Been here awhile

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    Subbed and ready :clap:clap
    #3
  4. jerdog53

    jerdog53 Crop Dusting Everywhere

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    still waiting... :lurk
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  5. AntiHero

    AntiHero Long timer

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    Side note: I'm on break from riding around Europe on my Panigale. She's in Ireland right now, waiting for my return. That ride report is far from over, but this one should be a rather exciting intermission.

    Behind the scenes: Ducati's press bikes are for the press. And when it's all said and done, I'm still just an enthusiast. I have written a few articles, though, so I proposed a "Wild West road-trip on a Scrambler' idea to a couple magazine editors who loved the idea of me taking a Scrambler on a wicked little adventure. Wasn't sure if it was going to happen, though, until I got a call on Friday....the fleet of Scramblers were being loaded on a truck at Ducati Newport Beach the following morning. If I wanted one, I had to pick it up ASAP and deliver it myself to Ducati's Cupertino HQ. Urrr...ok, not a problem!

    Now, I'm not going to lie to you or try and play it cool. I was excited. Damn excited. I'd always dreamed of what it would be like to be blessed with a key to a press vehicle for no other reason than the manufacturer being curious to see what you think of it. My opinion matters? Really? Seriously? I'm sure I'm too modest for my own good, but hey, when shit like this happens modesty just makes reality all the more friggin' incredible.

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    And they weren't kidding. These bikes were shipping out. Good thing I showed up right at 9am!

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    Now, in person, I have to say, the Scrambler just looks like it wants to play. Like a 4 month old Labrador Retriever; more of a spirited, intelligent, loyal, athletic companion than motorcycle: sturdily built, but medium sized (unlike the average Mastiff-sized ADV bike). And like a youthful lab, the Scrambler just looks so damn playful. Just look at how happy it is to not get put in the giant red box again!

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    All of my rides seem to start at Ducati Newport Beach. Big thanks to you, Adrian!
    #5
  6. Treadless

    Treadless avoiding gravity storms if at all possible

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  7. edm11

    edm11 Been here awhile

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    Look forward to reading & following. I enjoyed your Panigale thread on Ducati.ms - great stuff & inspiring writing
    #7
  8. jackalsour

    jackalsour Dreamer

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    Interesting development :lurk

    At the rambunctious pup though, I'm tilting my head a bit like a quizzical German Shepard.
    #8
  9. bluestar

    bluestar the rain maker

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    Oh yeah, I'm in. :lurk
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  10. AntiHero

    AntiHero Long timer

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    After latching a 10 liter Kriega bag onto the tail of the Scrambler (to carry spare fuel in 3 MSR .8l tanks and a truck-sized can of fix-a-flat - because Death Valley), I headed off to Spring Hill. Sin City Ghost Rider, who I've mentioned before just a few times, was doing a track day. I got a late start, but still managed to get sidetracked a couple times:

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    Stopped for fuel and H20. When I came out, these tourists were taking pics of the Scrambler.

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    They then stopped and decided it would be a good idea to climb half way on the Harley parked next to me AND put the owner's helmet on.

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    Hilarious. Wish I could have understood 'em. Looked like they were having more fun than any American families I'd ever seen on a road trip.

    Another detour:

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    Getting closer:

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    Disco!

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    #10
  11. MojoToot

    MojoToot Been here awhile

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    :lurk

    Something to do whilst I wait for my Scrambler to arrive.

    Looks like my first long ride will include a stop for a fully adjustable suspension upgrade...
    #11
    AntiHero likes this.
  12. AntiHero

    AntiHero Long timer

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    Would have loved to take the Scrambler out at the Spring Mountain track, but it's my first real press bike and don't want it to be my last. Y'all will have to wait to read about how she does at the track from someone else.

    Lots of eye candy, though.

    [​IMG]

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    And this, believe it or not, at one point in its history, was the bike I was supposed to do my original Coast to Coast trip on. She might have missed out on a leading role, but is still enjoying life.

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    Around this point the questions began.

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    One group of two guys would walk away, then another two guys would stop in and take their place. Everyone was curious what the bike was doing there and at least everyone who came by really dug it. "Much better looking in person" was the #1 comment, but mostly everyone had questions about ride, power, price, etc. I'll post a full review of just the bike when the trip is over on my blog, but as I'm sure most of you are quite curious, here's the cliffs notes version:

    Brakes (ABS, which can be switched off): outstanding.
    Engine: more power than I thought. Does everything you need it to without making a fuss. Passes cars from 75-90 with much ease (no downshift needed--thank the torque of a Ducati twin). Cruises at 90 with ease, too.
    Wind Protection: Way better than I thought. Cruising at 90 requires a little bit of neck muscles, but even through a super insane headwind on the 15 South I averaged at least 80.
    Suspension: Firm, but comfortable and handled all lean angles without getting bent out of shape. Only negative is that the front was harsh over harsh bumps. Hi speed compression, I suppose, could use a little softening. But I'll take an abrupt bump as my reminder to pay more attention when I fuck up and hit something I should have been watching out for.
    Handling: Wow! Steers way faster than my Panigale. Super accurate, easily changes direction at any lean angle. Never got skittish or sketchy, never felt floaty. Very secure. That's saying a lot from someone who rides on in Race Mode on R compound tires most of the time.
    Off-road: Stay tuned, my friends:

    [​IMG]
    #12
  13. AntiHero

    AntiHero Long timer

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    I'm not sure if it's a good or a bad idea to keep reading. It may satiate your need, or it may make you really anxious, depending on how good of a job I do from here on out!

    As for adjustability....hmmm....if adjustability was there, I wouldn't have touched it at all (I'm about 185 in gear and all the stuff I had with me probably weighed another 15-20 lbs). That's partially because it was 90% dialed in and partially because there's 100 ways to screw up suspension settings and 1 way to get it right. If it was my permanent bike, though, yes, my first upgrade(s) would be to slap on a throatier slip-on and massage the front end so it'd handle on-then off-road with more finesse. But considering the entry level price of the bike, damn, I must say, outstanding job.
    #13
  14. RedDogAlberta

    RedDogAlberta High Plains Drifter

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    Naturally I'm in.
    #14
  15. Thumperman

    Thumperman love the one lungers

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    The Scrambler Ducati looks like a great mid sized bike. All the little pieces look like quality. Being I just spent 25 grand on a 1299 I'm thinking I should pass on a Scrambler! I still think the ultimate test would be to take it on the Tour of Idaho! Come on! It's just a tour, how hard can it be! :deal

    Take care of yourself there AH. I'm glad to hear that the balance is going well. Keep it shiny side up
    #15
  16. martin_nj

    martin_nj czesc!

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    should be a good read, i'm thinking these might be fun to pick up used after someone bought it and never rode it :evil
    #16
  17. MojoToot

    MojoToot Been here awhile

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    Thanx for that info, I'm at least 10 pounds lighter so maybe the suspension can wait a bit...

    I already have the slip on Termignoni on order. According to some lucky Scrambler owners in Europe, that already have their bikes, it's a must-have. It comes with a downloadable unrestricted ECU tune as well.

    :clap Carry on...
    #17
  18. greer

    greer Long timer

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    I really need to calm down, this ride report ain't helping.

    Sarah
    #18
  19. Pussboy

    Pussboy 'Zed's dead, baby. Zed's dead.'

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    In! You had me at "life is crazy." Nice writing.
    #19
  20. jerdog53

    jerdog53 Crop Dusting Everywhere

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    :poser
    #20