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Motorcycles

on August 29th, 2016

A Ducati Scrambler Enduro on the same platform is great, but a larger engine would defeat the brand’s purpose.

During the majority of its 90 year existence, Ducati has been making brave decisions that have ended up proving just how brilliant the Italian company’s motorcycling acumen is. Over the years, products like the Monster, Multistrada, Diavel, Scrambler, and the XDiavel have proven their wit on more than one occasion. Take the case of the Ducati Scrambler; everyone had their own apprehensions about an affordable minimalist Ducati before its launch. People said, it will dilute the premium-ness of the brand, other said, Ducati is forgetting its roots and things like that. But couple of years down the line, Scrambler as a brand has grown beyond its initial goal. It has become a brand which is helping Ducati sell more affordable, retro motorcycles without diluting its premium position. And at the same time with the Scrambler, Ducati is establishing itself as a brand that has something for everyone. But a bigger, more expensive Ducati Scrambler Enduro is certainly not the way to go.

Ducati Scrambler

It was always expected that Ducati will expand the Scrambler line up, and the last years Scrambler Sixty2 proved it. However, lately, a lot of rumours have been signalling towards an arrival of a bigger Ducati Scrambler Enduro in the ranks. Most rumours pitch a 1000-1200cc new Scrambler for reveal as a 2017 model, we wonder if there should be one?

We reckon a bigger Ducati Scrambler Enduro might dilute the core idea which makes the present Scrambler such an outstanding motorcycle. Problem is, the present Scrambler range fits the perfect 60s persona that Ducati has so thoroughly tried to convey. The bike is light, has minimal body work, it is nimble, and has an engine that compliments its simplicity. These are the attributes that have resulted in the Scrambler from Ducati becoming such a huge hit in such short time. With the sales coming in from across the world, Ducati has hit a perfect spot with the positioning of the Scrambler. The affordability of the motorcycle has also played a major role in its success.

First up, a bigger engine will hurt the Scrambler’s affordability the most. Although, a bigger engine is a natural progression, but it means higher manufacturing costs and hence a higher price tag. It would be interesting to see how Ducati manages to position this more expensive Ducati Scrambler to keep its value quotient alive. Secondly, a Bigger Scrambler will surely overlap with the Base Monster models. The Monster being a more up-spec and modern model will always make more sense. Thus a bigger Ducati Scrambler will have better rivals both from inside and outside their own brand. Finally, with such strict emission norms, I would be interesting to see how Ducati will manage to make a bigger air-cooled engine meet the regulations. Clearly, there is no point in having a liquid-cooled unit on the Scrambler. Now, this would also mean, even after a capacity increase, the bigger Scrambler would still have lower outputs. So how would Ducati justify such constraints by increasing the Scrambler’s engine size would be an interesting thing to see.

Ducati Scrambler

What is more interesting is the fact that the latest spy pictures that are doing rounds of this rumoured bigger Scrambler. These clearly show off a more off-road centric version of the current motorcycle. It is being touted as the Ducati Scrambler Enduro 1100, but it looks a lot more like a 803cc based off-road focused version of current motorcycle. It seems that this new bigger scrambler has a bigger front wheel, which should at least be a 19”. The suspension too seems to have a longer travel and the chassis to seem to be a bit more robust. Now this is where Ducati might just have pulled off another master-stroke and may make us chew our words back.

With the new Multistrada 1200 Enduro adding so much more value to the Multistrada range, Ducati already has a good inroad to big ADV market. However, there is a huge gap under these that can be filled by a product like the Ducati Scrambler 1100 Enduro. The basic Scrambler ideology should keep the pricing down and might prove to be a perfect entry level fun enduro for the masses. This would be a perfect way to expand the Scrambler brand and let Ducati cover a gap in its portfolio. Interestingly, this new (old or old made new?) air-cooled engine should also let Ducati consider putting it into more models. Which might just well be the return of Ducati Classic range and it can surely be based on Scrambler architecture. However, as always time will tell.

We still are not very sure if the Ducati Scrambler brand needs a higher capacity model or not. And this, above everything else is out of a simple question, is it worth investing into air-cooled engine development any longer and if yes then for how long? We expect Ducati to answer this at INTERMOT or EICMA this year.

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