Ducati Desert Sled Owners Thread

Discussion in 'Moto Bellissima: All Other Dualsports' started by TBR, Mar 19, 2017.

  1. SOCALDUCRIDER

    SOCALDUCRIDER 2014 Ducati Pikes Peak, 2016 RX3 2016 AT DCT

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    Did you find a 12volt source from the ignition or did you wire straight to the battery? I have my mount ready to go just don't no where to pull power yet.


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    #21
  2. Max Kool

    Max Kool Xtankteam™

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    The dealer installed a hookup for a battery tender, I'll be using it to feed my GPS. Easy.
    #22
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  3. SOCALDUCRIDER

    SOCALDUCRIDER 2014 Ducati Pikes Peak, 2016 RX3 2016 AT DCT

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    IMG_0142.JPG IMG_0143.JPG IMG_0150.JPG
    This thing does great power Brodie's and very easy to control from left to right ease up on throttle and the rear tire returns under neath you! This thing is the perfect size for the dirt and that fat 19inc wheel just rolls over the rocks, loving this thing!
    #23
    wilfred, danketchpel, Duke78 and 8 others like this.
  4. edo604

    edo604 Adventurer

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    So envious! Can't wait until mine gets here.


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    #24
  5. Maxacceleration

    Maxacceleration Off the grid

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    POWER BRODIES!!!
    #25
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  6. Max Kool

    Max Kool Xtankteam™

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    Ok, gents and gentilles, here's my totally biased review of my Desert Sled.

    I picked up my Sled last Wednesday and I have been riding it daily since. Commuting to work (which is like 5 miles if I don't take a detour), canyon carving in the Santa Monica/Malibu canyons, and just cruising. Odo is at 150 miles (only) now.

    My last few bikes have all been allroads (BMW G650 XChallenge, DR650SE's, Yamaha Tenere, Africa Twin 750, R1100GS), and my last sportsbikes were in the 90's. This may explain why my observations are kind of different from the journalists that rode the Sled in Almeria in January?

    Anyway, the moment you "board" the DS you feel like a hooligan. Bars are wide, and the seat is kind of low, close to the footpegs. Not annoyingly so, but just closer than normal on a dual sport. I know the regular Scrambler has an even shorter peg-to-seat distance. The bars on the other side are quite a stretch and wide.

    For me (5'10"/1m78 with a 32" inseam) this leads to a very comfortable, almost monkey like seating position. Legs are a bit pushed apart, and because of the long tank I feel forced in a slight forward lean to the wide bars. Very good, I feel alive!

    Anyway, at a cold engine the clutch can be a bit grabby, but apart from that it's really as smoort as peanut butter. No jerking, surging or anything. I nearly completely adjusted the free play out of the throttle cable which makes it even better. I have no idea how snatchy the throttle was on earlier years Scrambler, but I'm actually thinking of trying the "old" throttle tube. Just for shits and giggles. The 2017 engine is smoooooothh, and perfectly behaved in city traffic. The rpm range is amazing (midrange, midrange-midrange!!)

    Suspension. What can I say? Ducati really did a good job for this bike's intended purpose! If I were to rate the Sled's suspension I'd give it an 8 for allround use. Out of the box it's a bit lazy steering with my 210lbs on the seat. Which as such is good once you start riding unpaved roads. I have only used it on the road yet and to sharpen the steering I added around 15mm on the preload collar.

    (btw, changing preload could not be easier on any bike. Give the locking ring a tap to loosen it, and afterwards just grab the spring and rotate it in the desired direction. Screw the locking ring towards the collar. Done)

    Damping feels well balanced front and rear. I haven't dialed any adjusters yet simply because I like the damping out of the box. All I can come up with is that the front high speed damping feels a bit on the harsh side on ruts. Could also be my rotten brain from 15 years of riding all kinds of ill-suspended bikes. I am leaving it as is for now.

    Good, most of my miles were racked up in the canyons. Typically the lesser used roads like Tuna Canyon and Old Topanga in the Santa Monica Mountains. This is supermoto paradise and for me the best place to find out how well a bike handles. Very twisty, steep in- and declines. 1st , 2nd and 3rd gear only. With that nice dark Ducati sound, popping on decell every now then. I wonder if I'll replace the exhaust or not. It sounds so "bad" already stock (it is the Termi evo btw). Just a tad too quiet.

    The Sled feels well planted and never feels nervous. With the 19" front it doesn't care much if you steer into a blind turn with the brakes still on. Is it the geometry, is it the fact that I a not used to wide radial tires? Steering is quicksilver without ever feeling twitchy. Compared to the Ducati monster 900 I rode long time ago the Sled feels on the "good" side of planted, where the M900 always felt like it could jump from underneath you any moment if the roads gets too bad.

    What else can I say? Is it a dual sport? NO! I blame the riding position for this. The engine, chassis, geometry will handle fine, no problem. If you are 5'10" and under you will do fine every now and then you need to stand up. It just feels weird, you can't move forward and the pegs a bit wide apart.


    Is it a fun scrambler bike you can take nearly everywhere, including upaved, deserts roads, wide open stuff, giving you a big grin all the time? YESSSS!

    I'm in love, this bike wakes up the hooligan in me big time.

    Things I see people doing in the future to their Sled?

    - higher seat and bars
    - 110/80-19 front tire instead of the 120/70-19 (could improve gravel performance)
    - 21" front wheel
    #26
  7. VuTron

    VuTron Been here awhile

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    Hello folks! just picked up my dream ride last week... see avatar pic. She rides like a dream.

    Right now I need help finding the following items.... any help appreciated. Its hard to find stuff now because most vendors have not deciphered between a normal Scrambler vs. a Desert Sled, so I do not have full confidence that parts will fit. Again, any recommendations appreciated...

    I need:

    - real bash plate
    - bark busters
    - side rack mounts (for panniers, but not the panniers themselves)
    - engine crash bar
    - small wind screen, that's not ugly as hell.
    #27
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  8. Max Kool

    Max Kool Xtankteam™

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    Screen, not ugly. Only cost me one kidney

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    #28
  9. Max Kool

    Max Kool Xtankteam™

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    btw, if you plan on playing with the suspension damping adjusters, be careful.

    The adjustment range is scary wide! Close the rebound on the shock, and it just won't rebound _at_all. Literally. The shock simply stays compressed until you open the adjuster a bit. Same with the front.

    When I looked over the suspension I noticed front rebound was not set from the factory as it should have been according to the bike's manual (4 clicks instead of 8 clicks).

    Anyway. so far I opened the front compression 2 extra clicks (10 total), front rebound is at 5 clicks now, and in the rear opened the rebound a quarter turn extra, which is one full turn from fully closed now.

    Front preload is largely left as it was, and rear preload was increased to around one inch, to get quicker steering.

    To be continued. I'm mainly satisfied, just looking for a little less high speed damping without sacrificing low speed damping.


    Anyone else been playing with the suspension?
    #29
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  10. Maxacceleration

    Maxacceleration Off the grid

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    This seems like a failure by your dealer to do a proper PDI. With the wide range of settings as you say, the bike could of been unsafe for someone IMO.
    I'm sure most of us would figure it out quickly, as you did, but still. I will make sure mine is setup properly from the dealer.

    Also, its been though that suspension need breaking in from new as other components do also. I will have the rear jacked slightly for sharp cornering too, But I will keep in mind the suspension will soften as it breaks in.
    Keep after it Max. :thumb
    #30
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  11. Max Kool

    Max Kool Xtankteam™

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    Well, if something was really wrong, I would have felt it. :thumb
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  12. ADVBedouin

    ADVBedouin fly pelican!

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    Nice stable & beautiful new 'sled MaxKool...you recall what fork boots & front fender you've got on that older (purple frame) DR, & if those older headlight covers fit the newer DR's? Redirect me if you've got a build thread or similar..Thanks!

    #32
  13. oalvarez

    oalvarez Resident Raggamuffin

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    So to avoid paranoia, four clicks difference from the user manual's prescribed eight clicks is hardly "unsafe" in any way, especially when the range is wide. It's best to do exactly what Max is doing and that is to feel the difference throughout the damping range as opposed to sticking with what the manual suggests. The best course of action is to MEASURE the sag, adjust the preload accordingly (and to user preference), along with carrying the necessary tool to adjust the damping while on the road to get to where you want the bike to be. The more experienced can "feel" the nuances of the suspension's actions while parked and using force to push down the front and rear of the bike.
    #33
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  14. Max Kool

    Max Kool Xtankteam™

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    Tbh, I don't know about the fender, it came with it. DR350 maybe?

    The headlight shroud is a direct replacement, no changes needed. I bought it at bikebandit.

    Looks much better than the newer model imho.
    #34
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  15. Maxacceleration

    Maxacceleration Off the grid

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    I will be feeling my suspensions nuances when my bike arrives, and I will start with the stock factory settings. No paranoia, just odd to me as my past KTM's have come set at standard settings, which is usually a good ballpark start.
    I'm doing a particular mod which my dealer ok's - we'll see if it makes a difference. My Evotech stuff has arrived also.
    All my dealer will say at this time is 'end of month' for my bike to arrive, with apparently a lot of deposits down.
    Just playing the waiting game!
    #35
  16. VuTron

    VuTron Been here awhile

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    speaking of suspension... the back part of my thigh hits the yellow spring when I put my foot down at stops. I love the overall ergonomics of the bike, but this one is annoying. anyone else?
    #36
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  17. Max Kool

    Max Kool Xtankteam™

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    Yep, same here. And ergonomically speaking the frame is too wide near my ankles also.

    But I don't give a shit, love this bike!
    #37
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  18. SOCALDUCRIDER

    SOCALDUCRIDER 2014 Ducati Pikes Peak, 2016 RX3 2016 AT DCT

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    Scoot up! You will be fine! LOL!!!


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    #38
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  19. VuTron

    VuTron Been here awhile

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    I absolutely love the bike too... just a little nitpicking.
    #39
  20. Yossarian™

    Yossarian™ Deputy Cultural Attaché

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    You might see if R&G has a shock tube available that will fit. It would cover the spring.
    #40