Jeff Pamer: I have written up a quite a few pieces on modern classic style bikes. I’m a fan, having owned one in the past, and still find myself drawn to them now. It seems that every major manufacturer has jumped on the trend, which in my humble opinion is smart, because I don’t think it’s going away any time soon. Ducati was on the tip of the spear with their Sport Classic line beginning in 2006. In 2015, the company jumped back into the segment with the Ducati Scrambler. Unlike other manufacturers, I don’t think they did this for the cool factor, because Ducati doesn’t need to be cooler. They did, however, need to be more accessible. They needed a younger rider, that didn’t feel like they were throwing their leg over something that would require another loan for their maintenance bills. Although the Scrambler didn’t need to inject any extra cool into the brand, the name didn’t hurt the cause. Just the word Scrambler make you think of Steve McQueen, in the middle of the California desert on, I don’t know, like a Sunday. Or something like that.
The Ducati Scrambler is cool and does seem more accessible. Although, by all reports it’s still a Ducati, with Ducati part pricing and a Ducati maintenance schedule. I digress. The first bike that Ducati released under the Scrambler name badge was in 2015 and was not really a Scrambler at all. Low slung pipe, street tires, zero engine protection. Suffice it to say, it wasn’t meant to be off-road, or if it was some light duty off-roading. This isn’t out of the norm at all though. The Triumph Scrambler up until last year had basically the same story. In fact, the new Triumph Scramblers (which are extremely capable off road) are the exception for the namesake. A year prior to that, Ducati started to expand the line including the Desert Sled variant of the Scrambler. It got my attention. It wasn’t just a cosmetic job, either. The Desert Sled came with more suspension travel, skid plates, reinforced frame, and swing arm pivot points. Equipped with the same 803cc engine that the standard Scrambler comes with, it’s an attractive package. I don’t think that this bike is more capable than the Triumph Scrambler XE, but I do think it’s better looking.
This 2018 Ducati Scrambler Desert Sled is basically brand new with only a claimed 700 miles on it. It is essentially stock with the addition of some hand guards, which are not only functional, but look great too. In my humble opinion, if you are thinking of picking up a Scrambler, this is the one to get. It has by far a better paint job than the newer model year, but you’ll also save some cash while still walking away with a basically brand-new bike. The seller claims that the first service will be done before it is sold. I’m sold on that, funds and reality notwithstanding.
Find this 2018 Ducati Scrambler Desert Sled in San Diego California for $9,450 here on Craigslist.