All the Duels – Duel Scrambler Vs XSR700: rififi at entry level – Ducati Scrambler against Yamaha XSR700

Duel Scrambler Vs XSR700: rififi at the entry level

All the Duels - Duel Scrambler Vs XSR700: rififi at entry level - Ducati Scrambler against Yamaha XSR700

By dusting off the mid-capacity neo-retro motorcycle segment, the Scrambler achieved phenomenal success in 2015. But 2016 promises to be trickier for the entry-level Ducati, as Yamaha launches an attractive and impactful XSR700… Duel !

Ducati Scrambler vs. Yamaha XSR700

Posted at just 785mm in height, the Italian Scrambler saddle allows everyone – and everyone! – to put both feet on the ground. Well padded, it accommodates the pilot better than that of the XSR700, higher (+25 mm), flatter and less thick.

Yet equipped with a low handlebars, the "Full Throttle" version of our Scrambler places the arms relatively high and spreads them copiously. It almost feels like "in" a small custom! The position is more natural – more roadster-like – on the Yamaha, despite a handlebars almost as wide as on the Ducati.

Much higher and more impressive – more rewarding for some – than the tank of the Ducati, that of the Yamaha is more pleasant to hug between the thighs because it is more flared and offers perfectly flat sides. Reverse of this clever cut: the Yamaha takes only half a liter of fuel more than the Ducati.

The two motorcycles are just full (13.5 liters of gasoline in the Ducati, 14 in the Yamaha) and the Motorcycle Journal from the Net is about to hit the road. According to the manufacturers, the weights of the two motorcycles are scrupulously identical: 186 kg all full..

According to Site, however, the Ducati seems a little lighter when maneuvering with the engine off, due to a lower center of gravity. However, the Yamaha remains easy to move: bikers lacking experience, confidence or presence will not be penalized..

The Scrambler and XSR700 are on a par when it comes to controls, as they allow the rider to adjust their brake lever clearance but prevent them from changing the clutch lever clearance. Ditto for the mirrors that protrude from the large handlebars – watch out between the lines! – but provide excellent vision.

Once started, however, the two machines stand out clearly: true to their reputations, the Italian is as exuberant as the Japanese is discreet. The biker will quickly choose his camp, without even having put his buttocks on the motorcycles !

At a standstill, blows of dry gas are reflected on the Scrambler by heavy snoring and backfiring, amplified by the Termignoni fitted as standard on the "Full Throttle" model. XSR700 side, the short pot – and very cute – purrs more gently, but also more strongly.

The liveliness of the Japanese parallel twin is confirmed from the first turns of the wheels: the acceleration is amazing for a mid-capacity roadster which, in addition, gives itself the false air of an old bike. On the handlebars, one would swear that the Yamaha develops more than 75 horsepower … It would be forgetting that it weighs only 186 kg, like the Ducati !

Seasoned bikers will therefore be pleasantly surprised by this delightful dynamism and the youngest will be impressed … The Ducati rider, for his part, will no doubt be jealous because if his diva sings louder, she pushes a little less vigorously in the low and mid revs.

In our 3rd and 6th gear tests, the Scrambler consistently fell behind the XSR700. The Iwata "CP2" tows with more conviction from 4000 rpm, raises the tone – including in terms of decibels – around 7000 rpm and pulls to the red zone (10,500 rpm) . What health !

(75 hp + 68 Nm + 186 kg) x 2 = pleasure

The two machines agree to cross the towns on their 6th gear but are reluctant to leave, except on a trickle of gas. By examining the illegible tachometers, we realize that to spare the mechanicals they must be kept above 2000 rpm on the first three reports, and 500 rpm higher on the following ones..

By falling three speeds, the revivals of the two motorcycles become frank to the assault of the small roads. Expressive on the talkative Ducati, the pickups are a little more efficient and above all more demonstrative on the Yamaha, as light as its rival of the day but a little taller and shorter.

Admittedly, the rider perched on the Yamaha has the sensation of riding a motorcycle longer than the Ducati due to the rectilinear trim of the tank and the oblong headlight at the front. But on the technical sheets (see next page), the XSR700 is credited with a shorter wheelbase of 4 cm.

On the road, the difference is striking: on the first two gears, a simple rotation of the right handle is enough to lift the front wheel of the Yamaha and on the third gear, the front axle is still noticeably relieved … no tightrope walkers when traffic allows !

Lower and longer therefore, the Ducati remains anchored to the ground. The drier clutch of the Ducati – undoubtedly because of the APTC system – and the less frank revving of the Italian twin-cylinder further complicate the task of the apprentice "stunters" … who are however not the heart of target of the Scrambler !

Easy to get on, the Ducati seduces precisely thanks to the balance of its front axle: the 18-inch front wheel guarantees excellent stability while its single disc limits the unsprung weight, ensuring good agility to the bike..

Much less fickle under acceleration than that of the Yamaha, the front wheel of the Ducati perfectly guides the bike in the series of small turns. It is hardly that on degraded coating that the pilot gives the hand because of the twitching of the wide handlebars..

Under the same conditions, the Yamaha fork better erases rough edges. Its rear shock absorber bounces a little too much on big breaks, that of the Scrambler not enough … Overall, MNC preferred (badly) to lead the XSR700 on the sometimes rutted back roads of the Champagne-Ardennes-Alsace-Lorraine region-etc.

When braking, the Ducati rider can count on its solid inverted fork and its radial caliper – Brembo logo, "per favore"! – to surprise his friend until then sure and certain that the double discs and calipers – axially mounted but 4 pistons – of his Yamaha would allow him to brake twice as hard…

To his own surprise, Site was more convinced by the more pronounced bite of the Scrambler’s single disc and the better feel when taking the lever. On the Yamaha, the power is slightly higher, but the control sinks too softly, which affects the braking precision..

Ditto at the rear, where the Ducati pedal – less low and harder than that of the Yamaha – allows a better dosage. The too long and too spongy race of the Yamaha control also resulted in some interventions of the ABS at the rear.

We note in passing that the task of the ABS of our two motorcycles was greatly facilitated by our good driving conditions: completely dry roads and mild temperatures. The good grip of Pirelli tires in the dry is no stranger to this either..

To close the chapter "Arsouille", the Journal moto du Net would like to point out that despite its excellent front axle and its surprising brake, the Ducati is less obvious to lead strongly in the winding because of its driving position less focused on the before.

In addition, the ground clearance appears to be more limited on the Ducati: to compensate for the low saddle and not to bend the rider’s legs too much – barely more than on the Yamaha – the footrests are placed at the lowest level, without lugs and their width is limited to the strict minimum. Be careful not to file your boots too much. !

MNC in arsouille mode … then mop

However, it must be admitted that on the handlebars of these two neo-sportivo-retro (!) Medium-displacement roadsters, Site has often exceeded the cruising speed adopted by the owners of this type of machine "m’as-tu-vu- heard-and-taken-in-selfie ".

Looking wiser on the road (or in town), the smoothness of the controls of the XSR700 is very appreciable. Likewise, the more flexible setting of Yamaha suspensions will be preferred by the majority of users to the more rigorous compromise selected by Ducati..

We will not take into account the jolts distilled by the transmission of our XSR, undoubtedly tired by the facetious journalists … Site must admit having requested the Yam ‘quite a bit from this point of view, while having fun making take off the front wheel !

With its 17-inch front wheel and 2.2 cm less chassis, the Japanese car is a great ally in an urban environment. A little less agile, the Italian sins especially by the heat given off by the engine and the pot after a few minutes.

Appreciable on cool winter mornings, the heating of the buttocks and right calf may well be unbearable in the middle of summer to go down to the beach! Yamaha’s liquid-cooled engine and low pot will undoubtedly be more livable.

Likewise, forays on expressways are more enjoyable on the Yamaha’s handlebars, because the riding position more forward allows you to better fight against the wind. The rubber that adorns the footrests filters all of the vibrations of the CP2 and the handlebars mounted on silentblocs absorb most of them.

On the Scrambler, the L-twin turns a little faster to hook up a reasonable 135 km / h "counter" (6000 rev / min against 5500 on the Yam ‘). His palpitations, pleasant when walking on the road, are too present on the motorway, while the pressure of the wind on the chest and the arms outstretched is quickly unbearable..

More penalizing on a roadster: the side stand is not easy to get the tip of the foot on the Ducati while on the Yamaha, the lug of the side naturally falls under the heel. You certainly don’t buy your bike based on such a small detail, but it is appreciated every day..

It should also be remembered that neither of these two motorcycles allows a U to be slid under the saddle. The Ducati, however, makes the effort to accept a disc lock, while the Yamaha refuses to take any yellow vest, even in size XXS !

Before returning the two motorcycles to their importers, Site carries out a final refueling and calculates that over the entire 550 km traveled with them, the Yamaha has consumed 0.6 liters of fuel less than the Ducati. The autonomy of "our" XSR thus reaches 280 km, against 240 for "our" Scrambler..

The XSR700 therefore hits hard and fair because it is at the same time efficient, very pleasant to handle and relatively cheap (compared to "Scramblers" of all brands, less compared to the MT-07). And the Japanese manufacturer is driving the point home…

Firstly by respecting the Euro4 standard, which matters to some customers today … and could count for users in large cities tomorrow? And secondly by playing the tricolor card with the label "Assembly in France", in !

The Scrambler nevertheless retains a crazy charm and its assertive personality makes it very endearing. It also benefits from a "brand-full-fledged" image carefully crafted by the Ducati marketing department, which surfs on the neo-bobo-coolo-retro phenomenon. They would be wrong to deny it … and bikers to complain: the more the merrier…

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