All Duels – Duel Scrambler: Icon Ducati versus Icon Triumph – Static: Bella Ducati versus So chic Triumph

Duel Scrambler: Icon Ducati vs. Triumph Icon

All Duels - Duel Scrambler: Icon Ducati versus Icon Triumph - Static: Bella Ducati versus So chic Triumph

With its new Scrambler, Ducati in turn plunges into the past to take advantage of the vintage trend, adding to the charms of retro motorcycles the dynamism offered by a few modern solutions. Something to worry about the timeless Triumph Scrambler ? Duel.

Static: Bella Ducati against So chic Triumph

Like BMW with its, Ducati is investing in the vintage segment by combining old lines and recent technologies. With the same objective: to offer a return to the basics of motorcycling and the basic pleasures experienced with the handlebars in hand.

Although closely linked to the past, the approach does not therefore consist of bringing to life – or reliving – classics, as Moto Guzzi does with, Triumph with its or Kawasaki with its. Visually and technically, the 2015 Scrambler is the modern extrapolation of the eponymous model produced by Ducati from 1962 to 1974, and not its replica.

Admittedly, the two generations of Scrambler have in common tires with cobblestones, a wide and raised handlebars, a long tank dressed in metallic scoops, a round headlight and the desmodromic distribution characteristic of the Bologna mechanics. But the similarities end there.

Not to mention that the last born "recycles" the 803 cc air-cooled twin cylinder of the – not so – old Monster and Hypermotard 796, while its ancestor was driven by a mono declined in 250, 350 and 450 cc. Under these conditions, the mention "Born Free 1962" (born free 1962) engraved on the cover of the tank cap of the novelty 2015 evokes more marketing artifice than a real link of kinship with the original….

The generational split intensifies as the 2015 Scrambler details its modern curved aluminum swingarm and sporty-looking 41mm inverted fork – although not adjustable. Its sophisticated LED position lights at the front, its digital instrumentation with handlebar control and its deported license plate holder are all elements that firmly anchor it in the present.

And if the 18-inch front wheel and the simple brake disc are indeed "vintage" (at Ducati anyway), the Brembo radial brake caliper and ABS – standard and deactivatable – have nothing of "has been"! Neither does the practical USB socket located under the saddle, where a disc lock can slip alongside a pretty fabric tool bag marked "Scrambler"..

The great (and attractive) illusion

Visually, the whole is pleasant to contemplate and quite refreshing in terms of style. To avoid spoiling anything, the finish of the Italian is polished: the polished housings and the careful electrical integration highlight the mechanics, while the quality of the welds inspires confidence..

Only the "rough cast" throttle stopper of the accelerator cable (above the starter) and the lack of adjustment of the clutch lever annoy when settling on the handlebars. Mention well for the mirrors, as stylish as they are effective, and for the motocross-style handles, completely in line with this kind of motorcycle.

To treat the atmosphere, a belly pan would nevertheless have been appreciated, especially as the fairly generous travel of the suspensions (150 mm front / rear) is an invitation to leave the asphalt. Likewise, the absence of spoked wheels and a raised exhaust can make you tick, especially since the short silencer is more reminiscent of a sporty roadster than a Scrambler..

In contrast to this attractive mix of genres, the Triumph Scrambler 900 perfectly interprets its role as a legend in motorcycle production. Its timeless silhouette harks back to the 1960s, when manufacturers began to graft wide handlebars and high exhausts onto their road bikes, as well as off-road tires and suspensions to make them small adventurers..

Extremely popular, this genre called "Scrambler" will give way during the following decade to "trails" with superior off-road skills, like the cult Yamaha XT500. Pampered in every detail, the Scrambler 900 offers a quality of construction above all suspicion, like its quality screws (a constant at Triumph), its perforated aluminum shoe and its careful surface treatments.

Its domed 16-liter tank with knee grips, its padded saddle, its fork gaiters and even its chrome shock absorbers transport at first glance several decades back … before a closer glance detects it. injection ingeniously camouflaged in fake carburetors !

Whatever this subterfuge: the magic operates and fans of Steve McQueen will even replay under their helmets the impressive cult scene from the Great Escape of 1963, when the American actor (or rather his understudy, Bud Ekins) jumps over ‘a barricade with a TR6 made up as a German army motorcycle !

This imaginary "throwback" continues at the sight of the splendid embossed chrome "Triumph" logo on the tank, partially polished fins, wire wheels (in 19 at the front) and the wraparound rear fender. . The switch located behind the left fork tube and the steering lock located in the same place on the other side will even give rise to a smile of nostalgia….

This grin will inevitably freeze on a daily basis as this arrangement proves to be impractical. Same observation for the tank cap without hinge and lock, the crutch painful to unfold (as on the Italian) and the lack of storage space under the saddle! We will console ourselves with its analog instrumentation, admittedly less extensive but much more readable than the Ducati’s remote dial and its tiny numbers..

Technically identical to the Bonneville, the Triumph Scrambler is distinguished essentially by its engine timing: its air-oil-cooled twin cylinder 865cc is set at 270 °, and not at 360 ° like that of the "Bonnie" and Thruxton. By the way, the power of the Scrambler 900 stands at 59 hp – against 68 hp for the other two representatives of the "Classic" Triumph range..

This different timing also affects the sound of the block mounted rigid in the single steel cradle frame, making it slightly less "round" and more bursting. Nothing reversing however, because the sympathetic soundtrack remains very – too – muffled despite the improvements theoretically made in this area. .

This sound shyness is all the more frustrating as our test model was optionally equipped with a complete approved "2-in-1" exhaust line, including at pollution level thanks to specific lambda sensors. Not excessively expensive (1029 € excluding installation), this equipment is specially designed by Arrow for the Scrambler Triumph and consequently keeps the "crossed" collectors in front of the front cylinder.

Too bad it does not give more voice to the engine (at least with the "DB Killer" chicane required for homologation …), because this exhaust is simply magnificent. And if some prefer the charm of the original double output but rail against its heat release, they can be reassured: both burn their thigh as much when stationary !

Beware of plastic-coated textile pants which can melt on the pipes of the Arrow line, for lack of a sufficiently long thermal protection plate. An inconvenience experienced by MNC and his winter pants…

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