Scrambler Ducati....yep...its back!

Discussion in 'Moto Bellissima: All Other Dualsports' started by Jbone11 11, Jun 9, 2014.

  1. DesertPilot

    DesertPilot Long timer

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    Maintenance hasn't been an issue on mine, but you do have to think a little bit before picking up a wrench than you might have with the DL 650. It's no big deal, but you do occasionaly find yourself scratching your head and chuckling, "Wow, that's sooo Italian!" :D

    As for those forks. Yes. I budgeted the money for full Ohlins before I even bought the bike. This was overkill, but I was curious, you have to try sonmthing like that at least once in you life, and this counts as gift to my wife, who has dibs on the bike. There are chepaer alternatives just as good -- cheaper than the aftermaket exhausts no one seems to bat an eye at. And who knows, you might turn out to be one of those lucky people who's happy justgoing to different fork oil or springs.

    That's a nice looking bike, and he really nailed that rear rack installation!
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  2. JohninVT

    JohninVT Long timer

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    He’s asking at least $1000 too much. I paid less than his asking price for a New/leftover 2018 Street Classic last November. The seller has addressed all the minor stuff(snatchy throttle on 2015’s, better sounding exhaust, etc) but not the biggest issue...the suspension.

    I owned a DL1000 and VT backroads are a lot like GA backroads..except ours are probably rougher so I think I can offer some relevant feedback.
    -The forks are primitive. Lean the bike over on a rough road and the front end will skip and stutter towards the weeds. You could spend a lot of money on them to make them good(They’ll never be great) or you can spend $100 on a spring and mess around with oil weight and the air gap. I’m going with the latter approach.
    -The shock is atrocious. It’s sprung for someone who weighs 800lbs. An Ohlins d505 is $500.
    -There’s a reason the guy has three seats. The stock Scrambler seat is a medieval torture device. It makes the stock Strom seat feel like a Russell Day-Long in comparison.
    -Tank range sucks. The tank needs another gallon.
    -A lot less legroom than a DL.
    -It’s not fair to compare DL maintenance costs to any Italian motorcycle, especially a Ducati. You have to either resign yourself to a $6-800 desmo service every 7500 miles or learn to do it yourself and buy a Rapidbike kit to turn off the service light. Other than the desmo service the Scrambler is low maintenance.

    Those are my biggest gripes. On the plus side:
    -The engine is a peach. It’s powerful enough to be entertaining but isn’t remotely scary. It’s really flexible and absurdly low geared. It’s borderline annoying that it spins 6,000rpms at 80mph but that also means you can make quick passes on two lane roads with either no down shift or just one gear change.
    -The suspension sucks but it’s less than $700 to make significant improvements. The rest of the chassis is really, really good. It’s very light, supremely flickable, it stops and goes like an older Monster.
    -They’re fun to ride. The seat sucks, the fork is horrible, the seat kills your ass and the shifter has a foot long throw between gears...but none of that matters when you have the right mindset and you’re on a good road. It’s not a Swiss Army knife like a DL. It’s not a true dual sport and it’s not a tourer and it’s not a lot of things some people on ADVrider seem to think they need. If I was to compare it to another bike it would be an Italian Yamaha RD350. Anyway, hope my ramblings help. I think everyone should own at least one Ducati in their life and the Scrambler is the easiest one to live with that they’ve ever built.
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  3. HiJincs

    HiJincs Dreamer Supporter

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    Thanks for the detailed replies. One other quick question: I have a line on a 2019 Full Throttle. How much better is the 2019 over the 2015? Any significant changes to be aware of?
  4. JohninVT

    JohninVT Long timer

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    I think the biggest change is the hydraulic clutch vs. cable. I believe they also changed the suspension rates after 2018 so it might be a little better. They have cornering ABS.
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  5. LuciferMutt

    LuciferMutt Rides slow bike slow

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    Well, if you read the thread, you already know there is no really easy fix for the forks. For a really proper fix, at minimum, you need to do what I did and replace the cartridge and spring in the RH fork, and that cost me about $340 with shipping from the UK, which I consider pretty reasonable. Costs jump significantly as soon as you start thinking about adding a cartridge the LH leg (like Andreani or Ohlins). The rear shock is a $500 and up replacement. I will say I only put 5000 miles or so on the bike before I'd had it with the rear shock and replaced it with an Ohlins DU505, but I tolerated the stock forks until almost 20K miles. It is possible you may be happy with different springs in the forks and different oil...but the stock damping cartridge really is garbage. Also keep in mind that I installed my cartridge myself, but you might be thinking of paying somebody to do that, in which case figure another $150 per fork.

    Maintenance is more frequent that you may be used to. Valves every 7500 miles and belts ever 15K or 60 months...so the example you're looking at is due for a belt change on time alone. If you have a good indy shop to do the work, the maintenance isn't TOO pricey, but it adds up if you ride the bike a lot. Or of course you can do it yourself if you're the type. I have no desire to mess with Duc valves, so I've been happy to pay people to do that while I've owned mine. Dealer service is ridiculously expensive given the cost of the bike. It should never cost $1200 to regularly service a motorcycle that cost $9000, but that's roughly what the "major" 15K services run at the dealers. Indy shops will be about half that.

    If you are interested in the bike, I'd check to see what shops or individuals in the area have experience working on 2V Ducs. If there are good options, I wouldn't be too worried about the maintenance aspect, particularly as the bike is extremely reliable otherwise and doesn't really need much besides the desmo/belt services. Only you know how long you can deal with the stock suspension before you need to do something about it.

    I think a lot of people bought these bikes for the affordable entry price, and then got discouraged by maintenance costs and the crappy suspension, on/off throttle, and miserable stock fueling, so sold or traded the bike. The activity in this thread alone seems to indicate that. I think I might have more miles on mine than most, because I've convinced myself I'm better off fixing the problems with the bike than trying to replace it right now. Fortunately the bike you're looking at already has an ECU flash and different exhaust, so the fueling is probably pretty decent.

    As for the $7000 asking price, it seems a bit high, but the bike has a lot of desirable mods and low mileage. I won't comment on that further.

    You might see if you can test ride that 2019...I hear from a variety of sources that the stock suspension the new generations is better, as is the fueling and throttle behavior.
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  6. DesertPilot

    DesertPilot Long timer

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    Spot on about the fueling and throttle on the 2019s. They got those right. My take on the Scrambler is that if you want a sensible multi-role mini-adventure bike, it can't be done. Even the Desert Sled seems problematical in this regard. But if you want something that's sexy, fun to ride, is reasonably practical around town and for day rides, and passes the 'go out to the garage late at night to look at it' test with flying colors, the Scrambler is a win. Nearest equivalents are probably the MT-07, the XSR700, the new SV650, and maybe (or maybe not) some of the smaller KTMs. Which I also looked at... but might not go out to look at in the garage late at night.

    But yes, the suspension isn't as good as the rest of the bike. If they'd offered an 'R' version, I'd have snapped it up in an instant!
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  7. JohninVT

    JohninVT Long timer

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    They have strong resale. Buy one and if you don’t like it flip it. It won’t cost much to try one. I took a 100 mile ride yesterday and had a ball.

    BB68FCCD-867B-475E-B87D-6D09EA5C17C7.jpeg 7E2C9DE2-13FD-4412-A74B-326E4FC70393.jpeg
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  8. JohninVT

    JohninVT Long timer

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    For me, going all out on the suspension would be like trying to turn a sow’s ear into a silk purse. I’m going to try the Hyperpro Streetbox kit. It addresses the forks and replaces the shock for about $550 at current exchange rates.

    I’m not so sure the Scrambler is different than any other sub $8,000 bike when it comes to people riding them for a few years and moving on to something else. Everyone on ADVrider seems to think a motorcycle is completely unrideable unless it has Ohlins front and rear. I’ll also say that the fueling on my 2018 Street Classic is eleventy billion times better than it was on my last Moto Guzzi.
  9. LuciferMutt

    LuciferMutt Rides slow bike slow

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    I get where you coming from, but the problem with the Scrambler's suspension is how uncomfortable and harsh it is. I've owned about a half dozen motorcycles with suspension I didn't ever mess with other than some adjustments and fluid changes. The Scrambler just beats the shit out of you. For something with "long travel" suspension that has any pretense of ever going off road, it's unacceptable. My TU250 rides like a cloud in comparison and it has the stock, 80s tech suspension with about 2/3 the travel of the scrambler.

    I don't need super high-zoot suspension, but I do need it to actually absorb bumps instead of sending them straight up your arms or spine. Honestly, damper rod forks with worn out fluid work better than the "cartridge" on the Scrambler.
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  10. JohninVT

    JohninVT Long timer

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    This is a very good price on a Scrambler with excellent mods:
    https://www.scramblerforum.com/threads/2015-icon-w-2k-in-upgrades.39045/
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  11. HiJincs

    HiJincs Dreamer Supporter

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    Assuming the ad is accurate, I'll be bringing home the 2019 Full Throttle this evening. Prepare for an overwhelming amount of questions and observations. Thanks for the replies to my questions and sharing your opinions and suggestions.
  12. HiJincs

    HiJincs Dreamer Supporter

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    IMG_3970.JPG
    All mine. Only 50 miles when I got it at 7:30pm. Quite a few more already :-)
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  13. LuciferMutt

    LuciferMutt Rides slow bike slow

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    Welp, got my fork put back together for the second time, this time with an M6 hole drilled and tapped through the center of the RH fork cap and a fork oil with the right centistoke viscosity, ie comparable to the HPX 5w Maxton spec'd. Just waiting on my M6 screws and sealing washers, which are supposed to be here today. More details to come...
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  14. LuciferMutt

    LuciferMutt Rides slow bike slow

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    Very nice! I really like the design/color scheme and seat cowl on the new generation of FTs. Interested to hear your thoughts once you get some miles on it. The absolute best part about this bike is the engine. The Ducati aircooled 2V is just lovely for street riding with huge midrange. Plus it's a perfected design, time-tested, and extremely reliable and produces one of the best sountracks in motorcycling.
  15. HiJincs

    HiJincs Dreamer Supporter

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    Haven't got a lot of miles on her yet but compared to the 2105 Icon with the aftermarket exhaust and DDS map, this is much more docile (which I like). The exhaust note is too soft though. Still working through the break in and scrubbing the tires in a bit more.
  16. LuciferMutt

    LuciferMutt Rides slow bike slow

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    So here is the fork spring compressor I made yesterday. Just dug around in the scrap pile at work and found a length of 80/20 extrusion riddled with holes that I cut into three pieces to make the frame, a piece of 2.25" ID steel pipe, and I supplied the 1/2-13 threaded rod, and eye-bolts to mount it to the wall. The only machining here was to clean up the steel pipe piece, drill and tap two 1/2-13 holes in it, and turn down the ends of the 1/2-13 rod to 8mm diameter so they would fit in the holes in the spring spacer. I also had to drill some holes in the extrusion. Took about an hour to make this thing.
    [​IMG]
    To use, it, first you place a rag or soft thing on the floor beneath it, put the fork on that, standing upright, then raise the tool so you can get the steel pipe (the ring) over the fork. At this point the fork cap is unscrewed from the tube, but still attached to the damper rod. The purpose of a spring compressor is to compress the spring by lowering the preload spacer which reveals the jam nut holding the damper rod to the fork cap. Anyway, it's a bit of monkeying around, but you engage the threaded rod ends into the holes in the preload spacer, then lower the lever arm, which compresses the spring. While holding that with one hand, you can put a wrench on the jam nut with your second hand, then with your....third hand, you put another wrench or socket on the fork cap it unscrew it from the jam nut. I ended up kinda wedging my body against the lever to hold it down while I worked with my hands. :lol3 Still not idea but it actually works very well. Also, the threaded rods and ring part are removable to be used a regular hand powered fork spring compressor, just like the cheap tools you can buy, but I wanted that sweet, sweet, mechanical advantage. This tool made taking the fork back apart super easy, and also worked great for putting it back together.

    Skipping a bunch of steps, here is the fork reassembled and back on the bike magically, with the newly modified fork cap with an M6 hole drilled and tapped through it. That took me 5-10 minutes on the lathe during break. So the rebound adjusting screw is about an inch under the this hole, in the top the of the damping rod, which is screwed into the cap. Please excuse the tool marks on the fork cap -- you can't get a socket on this side because the instrument cluster is in the way, so you have to use a wrench, and the box end put some marks in the aluminum.
    [​IMG]

    And here is the stainless dome-head M6 and copper sealing washer installed:
    (also notice I raised the forks 5mm in the clamps last week. Not sure about how I feel about that just yet).
    [​IMG]

    I doubled checked Maxton's initial setting and found it be where they said it was, 1 turn out. Test ride will be after work today, but the fork behavior just sitting still seems a bit better with the right oil in the fork now.
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  17. JaySwear

    JaySwear Been here awhile

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    Nice work! Wish I had the ability to do that level of work on my own. Mechanics love me
  18. LuciferMutt

    LuciferMutt Rides slow bike slow

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    Put about 60 miles on the bike this afternoon. Had an absolute blast; I think I've got the fork dialed in nicely.

    Now that the fork has the correct weight oil in it and the rebound is just a smidge under 1 turn out (like 9/10 turn), it feels really good! I'm pretty happy with it now. Last week it was kinda like "ok it's better, but something isn't quite right." Now, it feels composed and settled, and it no longer feels like the fork can't keep up with the rest of the bike. It's definitely plusher but never wallows, it just follows the road surface and gives feedback without being punishing. Big impacts are still big impacts, but they are nice and dulled and the fork never reacts violently anymore. Also, most surprisingly, it's WAY more stable at higher speeds, like 65+mph. I never realized it until now that it's gone, but the stock fork felt SO nervous at high speeds and felt jittery all the time, like an uncontrolled vibrating spring. Also, I can trail brake with much better feel and turn in is better (which might also be due to raising the forks in the triples). Nice job Maxton! :thumb
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  19. JaySwear

    JaySwear Been here awhile

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    So I know you've said in a few previous posts, but what all did you do for the fork? It looks really good. Thinking that needs to be my next real upgrade
  20. LuciferMutt

    LuciferMutt Rides slow bike slow

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    https://www.maxtonsuspension.co.uk/files/gp20.htm

    You can fill out an inquiry form and they will send you more info. The will custom build it and supply the right spring for your weight and riding style and preferences. All in, it was about $340 shipped; expect another $100-150 if you are going to have somebody put it in the fork for you, which is totally straightforward for anybody who's worked on forks. I didn't have some of the tools I needed so had to get creative.
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