All Duels – Duel Scrambler: the Icon Ducati against the Triumph icon – Action: the Ducati goes Italian!

Duel Scrambler: Icon Ducati vs. Triumph Icon

All Duels - Duel Scrambler: the Icon Ducati against the Triumph icon - Action: the Ducati goes Italian!

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.

Action: the Ducati runs Italian !

Clearly more present from an acoustic point of view, the Ducati is an Italian "pure strain": its flow is fast and its range impressive! At its side, the Triumph is simply inaudible. Neighbors will appreciate it, music lovers less…

The vertical twin makes up for it in the city with its superior smoothness and roundness, as well as its absence of low and mid-range vibrations. Its excellent turning circle (measured at 4.87 m) is also a valuable asset, shared by its rival from Bologna with a very correct 4.96 m.

Only the hard clutch lever, the rather slow – but rather precise – selection and the perfectible injection at the go-around tarnish the picture. Endowed with an inertia sensitive to acceleration as to deceleration, the twin of His Majesty takes its time to climb in the towers and does not like to be jostled or whipped.

Its 68 Nm of maximum torque are reached at 4750 rpm and it is not necessary to push it much more, because the power stagnates and vibrations appear. And that’s good, since our test model has only 96 km on the odometer. MNC hates mistreating mechanics in general … and running-in engines in particular !

On this kind of motorcycles, the important thing is not there anyway: a suitable range of use, pleasure and character are much more determining. The Triumph block certainly has the first two qualities, but its too smooth temperament leaves you hungry for more.

Able to descend to 50 km / h on the 5th and last gear (just under the 2000 rpm mark), it thus offers wise and smooth revivals, although strong enough to blend in with the traffic. Sufficient also, to our surprise, to temporarily keep contact with the light and "powerful" Ducati between 2000 and 3000 rpm (75 hp and 186 kg against 59 and 230).

Much rougher and more vibrating, the twin at 90 ° knocks under 2000 rpm on the first three reports and struggles to relaunch smoothly on the following three before 3000 rpm. Pulling very long, the Scrambler of Bologna also obliges to "return" the first to maneuver, where that of Hinckley twirls in slow motion until third in the undergrowth..

Although softened by Ducati (with a heavier flywheel, a revised intake and exhaust in particular), the "Desmodue" has retained certain Monster genes, such as ease measured at low revs and a "sporty" selection: fast, sound and firm !

Finally, the heat given off by the rear cylinder manifold travels directly to the right thigh via the side pillar of the tubular steel frame designed specifically for the Scrambler. A "rotisserie" atmosphere guaranteed in the corks !

It is from 4000 rpm that the transalpine twin expresses itself, propelling the crew with a vigor which leaves the Scrambler 900 completely on the spot. A rather sympathetic wake-up call "little kick to the heart …" , which continues up to 7000 rpm before decreasing in intensity when approaching the breaker located at 9000 rpm.

We then appreciate its softer clutch and finely calibrated injection, as well as the devilish handling and reassuring naturalness shown by the Italian Scrambler. These qualities can in part be attributed to its lower front rim size and weight..

Its "modern" geometry also explains its more playful behavior: its hunting angle and its wheelbase are contained at 24 ° and 1445 mm, against 27.5 ° and 1500 mm on the Triumph. Oversized taking into account the power to pass on the ground (but so "looke" when stationary!), The tire in 180 mm offers unsurprisingly a traction much higher than that of the "small" 130 mm of the Triumph.

The finding is all the more obvious as the novelty benefits from excellent twin-compound tires at the rear: the new Pirelli MT RS 60, much more "catchy" – especially in the wet – than the Bridgestone Trailwing shod with the Scrambler British.

Obvious to register in curves, the Ducati shows itself infinitely more playful and precise than the Triumph, clumsy on the angle and penalized by a ground clearance of custom. The Italian also benefits from its more "sporty" ergonomics: its footrests are located much further back, causing in return a significant bend of the legs for bikers over 1.75 m.

Better designed and much closer to the bust, its wide handlebars fall naturally into the hands, also promoting control of the front axle. Sitting much lower (790 mm against 825), the rider is one with this compact motorcycle thanks to its elongated tank which leaves room for the knees.

The two rivals have in common a spartan seat comfort: the Ducati because its saddle is so hollowed out to make it accessible to all that it necessarily lacks padding, and the Triumph with its flat saddle which seems to be pulled from a cinder block…

The Italian largely eliminates this defect thanks to its fairly flexible suspensions at the start of the race, a "comfort" setting at the origin of some movements under strong constraints. The irregularities are thus remarkably absorbed, which is far from being the case on the English for lack of progressiveness, especially at the rear. The elegant handsets are a real slapstick… !

By increasing the pace, Borgo Panigale’s Scrambler confirms its dynamic advantage by advancing convincing and dosable braking at the front, two adjectives impossible to associate with its rival. The reinforcement of the rear element of the Hinckley Scrambler – fortunately quite powerful – is mandatory during heavy slowing down.

The unique 2015 Ducati equipped with a single front brake disc has no difficulty in gaining the upper hand and drives home the point by also offering an effective rear brake, and especially reassuring ABS (not available at Triumph). Even on a vintage motorcycle, the modern is good !

Verdict: Ducati heckles retro references

Very successful, the Ducati Scrambler brings together practically all the advantages expected of a vintage motorcycle (classic engine and look, skilfully crafted stripping), while offering performance rarely achieved in the category – if ever, if we rule out the nineT for focus only on the "average" displacement.

Pleasant to ride and comfortable suspension, the Italian is handled with the tips of the gloves and operated without particular instructions or physical commitment. In this, it differs from a Monster that is certainly more rigorous but also more demanding. So many qualities likely to make it the ideal entry door to Ducati !

This status is all the more logical as it is the cheapest motorcycle in the Bologna range: at € 8,590, the standard Icon version of the Scrambler is almost € 2,000 less expensive than the! Beginners will nevertheless have to deal with some of its mechanical requirements, especially in town where its large mirror width (more than the handlebars) will also require attention..

Selling its charms at a high price (€ 9,990, or 700 euros more than a Street Triple R!), The Triumph Scrambler certainly does not offer the same dynamic performance as the Ducati. Exceeded in terms of braking and suspensions, it is a classic motorcycle to the end of its spoked rims … with its advantages and disadvantages. But its timeless look, its superb finish and the voluntary roundness of its engine make it irresistible and irreplaceable….

Between the two, it’s impossible to decide: it’s a matter of taste, crush and passion. "That things not commercial"in short, as Alain Souchon sings in his hit Sentimental crowd !

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