"LAUNCH SEASON is upon us, and I’m in Tuscany to ride Ducati’s updated Scrambler Icon, which comes four years and 55,000 worldwide units after the first of its kind emerged from Borgo Panigale.
"We took a brief ride last night into the picturesque old town of Colle Val d’Elsa nearby, where we indulged in alcohol-free cocktails and watched a Scrambler heritage screening (Bruce Brown eat your heart out). It doesn’t get any more lifestyle than this. Unfortunately the presentation was a little short on the new bike’s details, and so I’m yet to find out the price.
"So what is new? On first impressions, it appears not much, but as usual the diavolo is in the detail –plush switchgears, a new multimedia dash, updated headlight with daytime running lights and auto-off LED indicators.
"To my mind, this new dash is a little too high tech for the carefree Scrambler spirit. Who wants to read a text while riding along lost in the moment (as all of the Scrambler poster girls and boys seem to be)? It does display a gear indicator and fuel level, however, which are handy 21st century additions.
"The Icon is still powered by Ducati’s 803cc, 90° V-twin, four-stroke, air-cooled engine, making 75bhp and 68Nm of torque. It’s got plenty of low down grunt, and the six-speed gearbox now features a new ‘softer-feel’ hydraulic clutch control which seems smooth and snag free. The clutch bite point is quite far out, which makes me wonder how two fingers will fare when we take it off-road later today...
"Cornering ABS is one of the biggest changes to the model, although strangely it still doesn’t have traction control. But we’ll put that to the test later, too.
"This is my first Scrambler experience, and after I got over just how much effort is put into the Lifestyle surrounding it, I’ve got admit that I’m quite impressed. Ducati has created a brand for the young, fun and carefree, and it’s already proven itself ten times over. The Scrambler is undeniably a good-looking and capable bike, and I’m looking forward to our longer test ride today."