unless you've had your eyes and ears welded shut for the past two years you'll be well aware of two catties scrambler it's a mix of rugged 60s dirtbike style and authentically traditional air-cooled engine wrapped up in a pleasant easy to ride easygoing fun stylish trendy Street bike and it's that sounds appealing well you're not alone this is jus Cathy's biggest selling bike by a country mile in the two years it's been around they've sold more than 30,000 of the things and that works out to something like one every half an hour ration selling a bike every 30 minutes non-stop night and day around the world somewhere for two straight years now Cecchetti are building on that popularity with the latest model in the family dish the Ducati scrambler desert sled now we'll come back to exactly what a desert sled is a bit later on but the most important thing to understand is that this isn't just another variant of the existing bike dressed up with some fancy bits out of the bulging accessories catalog this is a completely re-engineered scrambler it stands aside from the rest of the range the only thing that seems to have in common with the basic model is the engine even though even that's been modified slightly and the fuel tank everything else you see here pretty much is new Jakarta has made it tougher they've made it taller and they say this now gives it the ability to head off into the wilderness and live up to its desert sled name so what exactly is a desert sled well it comes from California in the 1960s and 70s made by taking a regular road bike with a large capacity engine and modifying it just enough to head off into the desert to prove just how good this is in a desert the captive decided to launch it in what we're in the southeast corner of Spain near El Maria and this is apparently the driest warmest spot in Europe although you could fool me today we're just about to head into the technical presentation to find out exactly what the khaki have done to this bike but in typical quirky scrambler fashion this isn't going to be done in a boring conference room to Kathy can you give us the information in the local saloon so the biggest change to the desert sled over the regular scrambler is its height the cat you've jacked the whole bike up front and rear with bigger thicker longer forty six millimeter fully adjustable curb of forks and an even longer shock which around this side seat height has gone from a nice low manageable 790 millimeters on the regular scrambler up to a massive 860 millimeters that's about 34 inches so is worth bearing that in mind if you're not exactly gifted in the leg Department there's an extra fifty millimeters or two inches of suspension travel at both ends which is essential for absorbing all those lumps and bumps and battering over rocks in the desert and as well as that the frame has been reinforced on the regular scrambler the frame sort of stops around here at the rear engine mount but on this one they've added some forged steel sections to continue the frame on through the swinging arm pivot and round to the bottom of the engine and that helps spread the load throughout the bike in addition the swing arm is stiffer and longer and that not only increases the wheelbase for better stability but also gives the rear wheel a bit more room to move up and down and not cash into the number plate wheels and tires are new too as you can see there spoke to not cast the front is now larger at 19 inches and the rear tire is slightly slimmer at 170 section not 180 and that helped cut through the dirt and Sam tires are Pirellis scorpion rally STR if you haven't heard of it before that's because a brand new tire especially for this bike it's a semi nobly design so it's a good mix of both on-road and off-road performance and there are loads of other detail changes to the mud guards our new front and back the handlebars are new the foot pegs are new the exhaust end can the silencer is new basically it is a brand new bike well other than the engine this is the same 803 CC two-valve air-cooled v-twin that's in the existing scrambler the only changes of Tecate have made are a couple of little tweaks to get it through the latest emissions standard one of them in fact is up here at the throttle the shape of the tube has been changed to give it a slightly slow action in the first few degrees of travel and that will hopefully also cure the slightly snappy throttle the standard bike has now despite those changes Ducati say that the engines performance haven't changed at all it still makes sense for or South with 50 foot-pounds of torque there's still no rubber wire no traction control no cruise control the only ride around this bike has is ABS which you now have to have legally but even that can be disabled seems like the only thing left to do is to get out of Dodge and go and see how this bike handles the world west or Kathy said they were serious about giving the desert sled some real off-road ability and today's test routes certainly back to that arm I think we've ridden more miles off the roads and Onix today on the right of mixture and pipe tricky sandy trails through to wider faster rocky routes let's start with on the road that's where most people will spend most of their time with one of these bikes first change you notice as soon as you set off is the desert slave new right intuition because you sat so much higher up because the bar set a bit further forward so it's more of the reach over the bike the whole thing feels a lot more substantial this kind of scrambler can feel a little bit to like at times but on this you feel a lot more dominant the bike feels a lot more solid and despite the bikes extra length and an extra 21 kilos in weight you don't actually notice any of that when you're riding it just feels really intuitively really sweetly into the corners another huge improvement is the suspension it might be fully adjustable front and rear now but that isn't what really makes the differences the internals and the quality of the damping again on the standard scrambler it can be a little bit patchy at times especially over some of the harsher lumps and bumps you come across the desert sled absorbs them really well it's quite a soft setup and that does mean that when you're changing direction really aggressively from side to side it can be a little bit vague at times the front brake itself is the same brembo 4-piston caliper as on the regular scrambler and just as there there's a good amount of power but not an excessively strong vice it's actually quite a gentle set up when you squeeze the lever that's definitely a good thing when it comes to the offroad side of the riding the other thing that's new worth mentioning is the improved throttle response and normally when manufacturers say that they've made some engine changes to get it through a tougher emission standard you worried that the truffle is going to be made snatcher but in this instance it's fast mover than the existing or outgoing euro 3 screamer the engine isn't super powerful but it does have a lovely lowdown punch it's really at its best concern for thousands about 7,000 s and it's not really worth taken beyond that best to keep it in the mid-range the engines polite predictable punches well suited to when you're riding off-road to never going to get carried away with itself but it is responsive enough to give you an extra burst of power when you need it to help you drive up a little climb or just help you get out of a bit of trouble the riding position is really nicely balanced when you stood up – and that's the trick but not a lot of adventure bikes actually get right and you stand up straight the handlebars are exactly where you expect to find them the brake and clutch lever is so light you only need one or two fingers to operate them and even foot pegs for your liking the right position however the one fly in the ointment when you're standing up is the rear shocks top mounting bolt actually digs into your left calf as you're rowing along starts off as slightly irritating but by the end of a full day's riding it's really really annoying the base terrain was fairly easy going it was a good match for both the bikes ability on my own but if you're a veteran off-roader used to light nimble motocross bikes and far more challenging terrain you're going to struggle that was interesting yeah bit giddy and just decided to take the desert sled then little dried up rigid ever found got myself into a bit of a pickle really bike and a bit right they just remind you that is first and foremost a road bike with some light off-roading not necessarily serious off-road if you're very good that is 207 kilos fully fueled and that puts it sort of one apart with some adventure bikes so it's no little motocross there just yet dynamically it's a far better bike than the standard scrambler and now that it's not afraid to get its tyres dirty you have an extra or anticipating credibility but I think slightly lacking from the original the desert sled cost nine thousand five hundred and thirty-two pounds on the road for the red version with an extra hundred pound premium on this white model to me this is the scrambler Ducati should have built from the start as all the charm and character of the standard stronger you now has a newfound sense of purpose and of course because it is a scrambler there's still an enormous mountain of accessories you can choose from including exhausts and indicators and engine guards and t-shirts and cuddly bears anything else you can think of well after a great day in the desert enjoying the new desert sled it's time to put this deed back in its table and head off Sicily Oh [Applause]

Ducati Scrambler Desert Sled Launch Review
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22 thoughts on “Ducati Scrambler Desert Sled Launch Review

  • July 28, 2019 at 1:45 am
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    I really love the looks of the bike!

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  • July 28, 2019 at 1:45 am
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    This bike needs to have a big mileage

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  • July 28, 2019 at 1:45 am
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    Test rode one a couple of weeks ago. Want one. Preferred it to the M797 that i rode as well. Differently geared as well.

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  • July 28, 2019 at 1:45 am
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    a mounth ago I bought brand new desert sled, after 6 thousand km 5% offroad the rest 95% regular riding, clutch is dead….!! any comment on this????!!!! do U think its normal for Ducati because I'm seriously consider to switch to other brand, too bad because I like it a lot

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  • July 28, 2019 at 1:45 am
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    I say the desert sled needs a 20in front

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  • July 28, 2019 at 1:45 am
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    So ducati turned their scrambler into a scrambler… About time…

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  • July 28, 2019 at 1:45 am
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    It's a supermoto for mature people! I LOVE IT!

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  • July 28, 2019 at 1:45 am
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    This is such a functional and proper scrambler. I'd like to own one

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  • July 28, 2019 at 1:45 am
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    another failure by ducati

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  • July 28, 2019 at 1:45 am
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    Nobody gets it. This is 2017. WHY is everybody out there (with the sole exception of BMW, and then only on the big GS1200) still using tube type tires? And they don't even have a centerstand? I have almost died in the desert a couple of times because I had a flat tire, and no way to fix it. I was riding alone, tired, overheated, and had no way to support the bike so I could remove the rear wheel. These days I ride a lowly Yamaha XT225 (though with over $3000 worth of improvements, one of them being a centerstand) and I have a SPOT device. Still, if bikes had tubeless tires (Honda had them in 1986 on wire spoke wheels on the 450 Rebel) and BMW has them today, so they are certainly possible) repairing a flat tire would be a simple matter of plugging the puncture and reinflating the tire. You could use Ride On, and maybe never get a flat tire. This one glaring issue makes what could be a pretty neat bike completely worthless.

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  • July 28, 2019 at 1:45 am
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    Either slash 20kg off the weight or add 10-20hp to the power output and it'd be an amazing machine. I love the styling

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  • July 28, 2019 at 1:45 am
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    Best review I've seen in years!!

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  • July 28, 2019 at 1:45 am
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    I ll take my A licence and i ll struggle to make some money only because of this bike. Is amazing and the most beautiful bike i have ever seen and i was never a fan or two weells

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  • July 28, 2019 at 1:45 am
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    He looks like he should work in IT…

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  • July 28, 2019 at 1:45 am
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    Great review. Very informative.

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  • July 28, 2019 at 1:45 am
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    Is this a good starter bike

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  • July 28, 2019 at 1:45 am
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    Can you do a review on the new BMW R nineT Urban G/S, please?

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  • July 28, 2019 at 1:45 am
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    I yelled "THAAANK YOOOU!" out loud when you said "this is the scrambler Ducati should have made from the beginning." you know, something that you take take from the showroom off to a dirt trail and camp site

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  • July 28, 2019 at 1:45 am
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    next time maybe with less music. it was too loud. i could not feel the sound 😀
    but beside that it was awesome. you spoke clearly so a german guy could understand you quite well. Thank you!

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  • July 28, 2019 at 1:45 am
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    HAHAHAHA the random horse at 4:50 caught me so off guard

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