on behalf of the motor forum I have been looking after this absolutely gorgeous Ducati scrambler desert sled for the last week and to be very honest with you it's raised rather a lot of questions it's no secret that Ducati has launched its scrambler sub R and very much as a lifestyle brand to give you an impression of that if you go to the regular Ducati website so the one that it's got the the penny galas the monsters the Multistrada z– you will not find any of these surrounding models on it instead you have to go to the scrambler Ducati website which is filled with t-shirts with music and stuff like that and it kind of raises the question should we be looking at this as a lifestyle products or should we be looking at this as a motorcycle while I definitely pretend to know what I'm talking about when it comes to bikes I can assure you that I know absolutely nothing about lifestyle products what I can tell you about this gram the desert sled is that it's Italian it is achingly pretty and at 12,000 euros here in the Netherlands it is definitely not cheap so given the price given its heritage and given its appearance I'm willing to bet it probably does quite well in the lifestyle department the general consensus is that a scrambler is a road-going mode cycle that has been adapted for offroad use with stuff like normal tires long travel suspension of wide bars and a high exhaust and if you look at it that way the scrambler desert sled is more of a scrambler than Ducatis regular scrambler which I find quite confusing so the question is give us a road bike is this an off-road bike you know how should we see the positioning of this well to be honest I haven't quite figured it out I think the best way to describe it is it's probably a soft rotor so I did take it to a dirt track and apart from the fact that I haven't really bad off-road skills well the ties are very normal enough it's a little bit too happy just bit too clumsy so it's definitely not a dirtbike but in Ducatis defense it's not presented as a dirtbike so we can't really hold that against them either so we also typically Belgian Ardennes where we found feels gravel roads unpaved Road forest and it was absolutely fantastic the tires provide plenty of grip the suspension has quite a long travel it's very supple it kind of absorbs the bumps yes the less you know what the bike is doing it's got these wide bars makes it really easy to control if you're standing on the pegs it's nice and maneuverable between your legs and definitely comparison to the other scrambler bikes we have there there was a triumph and a Yamaha this was definitely the best off-road it's a really really fun off-road bike it doesn't bite in any sense of throttles very soft that's something I'm gonna come back to in a moment the ABS can be switched off the brakes are really bringing nice you can feel what they're doing you can dose them really well and it's just a really fun bike offroad it was definitely the winner of the three when you take it out of the forest and off the roads there are two things that live it down a little bit and the first of which is the tyres it's got these really fat really meaty semi off-road Parenti scorpion tires and they look the bit so they really complement the all-round offer a look of the bike however if you look at the tread you'll see there's quite a groove in between the knobbly bits and when you're on regular asphalted rows if you're turning into a corner there is most definitely a dead spot just wear that groove is in all fairness it hasn't lost any grip it's never washed out there it's not very confidence inspiring and it has to be said on the other hat if this is my bike and it did need new tires it must definitely put the same tires back on simply because they do look so good and it is a bit of a lifestyle bike and I do like that stuff the other issue I have with a desert sled is the throttle response so this is an 800cc 75 horsepower engine which has mountains of torque and if you crack open the throttle it should be able to put a wheelie especially in first gear it shouldn't be a problem and Ducati has a artificially soften the throttle so much then it's simply impossible to get the front up there are kind of two sides this storix on the one hand the software response means that it's really accessible for more novice riders however the Viking itself has quite an Aussie character it's the kind of bike that tends to be a lot more fun the more you misbehave on it and the softer throttle response really puts a damper on that kind of behavior which is a shame [Applause] objectively speaking this is not the best bike I've ever ridden but there's something about it and I can't really put my finger on it maybe it's that typical you know undescribable yet undeniable Ducati magic maybe it's the air called engine maybe it's the general fun factor maybe it's the way it looks the way it sounds and it does really sound fantastic the attention to detail is really nice the finish is absolutely sublime but despite it being a bike that definitely has a few compromises if you look at it both as an off-road bike and road bike it has completely won me over both off-road and on-road I can't really describe it maybe it's the lifestyle appeal maybe it's that x-factor that Ducati is so well known for but they've totally done it again and you know despite it being a pipe of compromises despite the fact that I have written objectively better bikes maybe from a technical point of view this is going to be a really hard fight to get back to Ducati later and to be honest I'm dreading the moment when that has to happen it's it's a bike that you just kind of gel with and in that respect it's reminding me that you know it doesn't need to be really technologically advanced it doesn't need to be extremely fast what's important is that how it makes you feel which for me is why I started riding bikes in the first place so I'm really dreading the moment that I have to give this back it's going to be in a few hours but so far I'm absolutely smitten with this thing

2017 Ducati Scrambler Desert Sled – Motorcycle or lifestyle product? – Review
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14 thoughts on “2017 Ducati Scrambler Desert Sled – Motorcycle or lifestyle product? – Review

  • July 28, 2019 at 9:02 am
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    I really wanted to like this bike, but it's dog compared to the KTM 690 Enduro or Husky 701 which feel like rockets in comparison and are twice a capable off-road. So much muffled torque, what a waste.

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  • July 28, 2019 at 9:02 am
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    I saw this bike and fell in love.

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  • July 28, 2019 at 9:02 am
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    Good job on the review. Own one six months now. Driving it every day on country (Greek island) and dirt roads. Perfect daily bike for me. Comfy ride and fast enough if you stay between 5T and 8T rpm. Braking is very good. Suspension is excellent for road and some dirt. Maybe the rear one needs some adjustment for off road, but that's doable and easy. Looks and sounds amazing for my tastes. It's a keeper! Zero issues until now (9000km).
    Ps: Try not to wear a ring while tapping the tank so often…;-)

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  • July 28, 2019 at 9:02 am
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    Get the official remap as it turns it into the bike it should be straight out of the factory.

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  • July 28, 2019 at 9:02 am
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    Don't listen to the hate man, great attempt if its your first? Like the mix of static, POV and tracking shots. Also gotta say I'd love to have one of these in my garage. Currently running the baby GS and it too is fun but this would be funner!!

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  • July 28, 2019 at 9:02 am
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    Good review. …it's such a tempting bike! Steve

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  • July 28, 2019 at 9:02 am
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    Live the hair. It kinda puts me off that hipsters have adopted scramblers

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  • July 28, 2019 at 9:02 am
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    Pretty clueless review.

    These bikes are capable of serious off-road performance.

    Just watch the videos.

    There are people adventure touring them in all kinds of terrain.

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  • July 28, 2019 at 9:02 am
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    Too heavy. Must be sluggish compared to the standard Scramblers.

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  • July 28, 2019 at 9:02 am
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    Awesome review

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  • July 28, 2019 at 9:02 am
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    The 2015 and 2016 scramblers had another gas grip, with a much more agressive curve at the beginning.
    We have a 2015 Full Throttle Scrambler and a 2018 Desert Sled, so I do know that subject very good.
    There you had your torque to go on wheelies, but it was disliked, because of its awkward behaviour especially when you had to turn the throttle a lot, like in city-stop-and-go-traffic for example.
    Just a veeery little turn on the gas, and the bike went off, nervy at stop-and-go, because you had to use the clutch all the time, and sometimes dangerous if you had to make a near turn at crossroads and so on.
    From 2017 on, Ducati used another gas grip, which a very progressive curve, flat at the beginning and rising up to the end.
    The Desert Sled came out 2017, so all of them have that progressive grip.
    And to be honest, because it was a pita with our Full Throttle, we have changed the gas grip to a progressive one, which feels like you are driving another bike, pretty smooth in the lower rpms.
    BUT, you can make wheelies with the Desert Sled in 1st gear, when you use the clutch (let it snap a bit).
    Therefore, alway keep your foot on the rear brake 😮 )

    Motorcycle or lifestyle product?
    Honestly I don´t care.
    She´s a beauty and it is a joy to ride it, I love mine.

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  • July 28, 2019 at 9:02 am
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    Great review! I'm interested in this bike and really value your opinion. Thanks for posting. Ride safe.

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  • July 28, 2019 at 9:02 am
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    I’d have that…as a 6th bike. Great work on the review tho👍🏻

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  • July 28, 2019 at 9:02 am
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    Great review. I have seen the Desert Sled in the flesh at a bike show and a regular Scrambler on the street. Unfortunately, these bikes do not have a lot of road presence. Also, they look a little too good. I want more of a raw experience from a bike. These are somewhat sanitised for, dare I say it, the hipster crowd. Still, they are pretty things, but give me something with a bit more bite. More please. Subscribed.

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