Ducati Scrambler 1100 test


Authentic sensations

Ducati knows how to offer models that transcend its history, such as its Monster, in its range. The success of the latter is based on an effective recipe: charming aesthetics, sparkling engine and light, obvious and accessible cycle part.. A precious formula, cleverly taken up since 2015, especially in mechanics, for another machine: the Scrambler 800. With 46,000 copies sold available in 9 versions, the new Italian muse can be proud of an enviable success, that the new version 1100 should not brake.

First of all, a little historical reminder of the origins of the Scramblers, whose eponymous Italian ancestor appeared in 1962. Freedom, space…. principles inseparable from the concept of motorcycling. It was in the 1960s that the translation of this ideal appeared, a sort of absolute synthesis of an ultimate mobility defined by the word scrambler: to climb, to advance with difficulty and therefore defines the concept of off-road evolutions quite well..

Escape the asphalt and return to nature, a simple idea that results in the creation of a suitable machine. A roadster, often a twin then, equipped with a large handlebar to facilitate piloting, nipple tires and exhaust in the high lateral position to improve crossing. Such is the engine of a handful of anti-conformists, passing indifferently from the road to the earth to give the motorcycle full and complete freedom. Steve McQueen and his modified Triumph TR6 will be the personification, both in competition (International Six Day Trial of 1964) and in cinema (the Great Evasion, 1963). Forgotten to make way for the trails of the 80s, this style of machine returns more recently with the Voxan Scrambler (1998), but does not know how to find its audience, still not very sensitive to the charm of vintage.

Vintage, another word that cradles the success of the Scrambler 800, a new transalpine icon. A hymn to the manufacturer’s history, Ducati has added a more muscular sister to it for 2018, the Scrambler 1100. Same recipe, same origins, but will the flavors be authentic? To taste the novelty, it is in Lisbon, Portugal, that we take the orders of the Italian.

Ducati Scrambler 1100 review


Aesthetically, the Scrambler 1100 is one of the most successful neo-retro sculptures. And it is to a young French designer that we owe it: Jeremy Faraud. But we don’t transform a successful formula, we sublimate it, we improve it. From the outset, the affiliation is obvious, the 1100 taking over almost all the volumes and lines of its "little" predecessor. But the novelty adapts his physique to his higher standing. In fact, the Scrambler is more opulent, more muscular and admits some essential differences.

The Ducati Scrambler 1100

Nevertheless, the family resemblance is obvious. First of all, under a wide handlebar, we find the compact front optic and its internal X-shaped covering mimicking the historic headlight protections. But it is adorned with a circular band of daytime LEDs (DRL) and an automatic ignition of low beam. Of course, the steel teardrop tank, with removable aluminum sides, is the iconic element. Gaining 1.5 units, its capacity of 15 liters is better suited to the increased displacement. Another essential piece of equipment is the long and thick saddle with textured patterns extending the bottle. It is based on a new aluminum rear buckle made up of two massive die-cast aluminum plates. Bolted to the main frame, they are suitable for customizing the machine. Their slender shapes energize the rear while their polished upper edge emphasizes the seat. Finally, a recess in the seat forms passenger handles and a LED light concludes the stern..

Ducati Scrambler 1100 headlight

Specific feature, the latter benefits from a diffuser giving an unexpected softness to its shine.

It is obviously the double tailpipe that makes the major aesthetic difference. Framing the long seat, short and stocky, these elements however evoke much more fire the Monster 1100 Evo. An astonishing choice as the name Scrambler requires rather superimposed silencers, locking the machine in the lateral position. Termignoni of this type are available in the catalog, reducing the aesthetics of the machine by freeing up the left side. However, the finish of the exhausts is remarkable, combining brushed stainless steel surfaces and satin aluminum protection plates. .

Muffler of the Ducati Scrambler 1100

Always so discreet to highlight the mechanical and cycle parts, a brand new tubular steel trellis frame supports the machine. Wider and reinforced, it includes the essential L-twin as a load-bearing element. As the Scrambler 800 was fitted with the block of the Monster 796, the 1100 takes over the obsolete roadster of the same displacement. Air-cooled, the block proudly sports its fins and desmodromic distribution. Cubant 1,079 cm³, its 98 x 71 mm bore stroke ratio testifies to a sporty character. But the mechanics follow, unfortunately, the suffocating directives and lose a little of the verve that we knew him. Despite a standardized castration, it still delivers a power of 86 hp (63 kW) at 7,500 rpm and a torque of 8.8 da.Nm at 4,750 rpm. A very beautiful promise of character. The ignition is doubled and the injection is added to the 55 mm butterfly bodies with complete Ride by Wire type electronic connection. A modernization that allows many services.

Ducati Scrambler 1100 engine

Because the technology fairy has leaned hard on the maxi-Scrambler. Three injection maps, DTC traction control (traction control) on four values ​​and can be deactivated and ABS with cornering regulation! Find detailed information in the Technical section.

Sleek, dynamic, the machine has a remarkable finish. Layout and welds of the frame and swingarm are flawless. As you noted, aluminum is widely used. It is also available in radiator sidewalls, side covers with the airbox, swingarm, front fender support and rear footrest, forged foot controls…. In fact, only 5 plastic parts are used on the Scrambler 1100! And the elements alternate sanded or polished surfaces, especially on the Special version.

Rear wheel of the Ducati Scrambler 1100

Also, this bauxite derivative is machined to form engine casings and timing belt cover. With their milled details, these elements are dressed in contrasts and further enhance the richness of finish of the vintage Ducati..

Despite its naked status, the Scrambler skillfully hides unsightly cables and wires. With its air-oil unit, the novelty also frees itself from the large inelegant hoses often pointed out at the Monster. We also note the excellent integration of the oil cooler, very reduced, at the front of the machine and the original position of the shock absorber, always offset in the left side position. The turn signals are also deactivated automatically. A reproach: the electric wire of the brake switch at the lever output, the blue of the sheath betraying the unworthy presence…. but, in view of all the rest, we forget this detail.

Ducati Scrambler 1100 frame

20 kilos separate the Scrambler 800 from the 1100 which admits only 206 kilos in running order. They come in three versions: Standard, Special (spoked rims, brown saddle and specific handlebars, swingarm polished on its external faces, aluminum mudguards) and Sport (among other Ohlins suspensions against Marzocchi and Kayaba on Standard and Special ).

The Scrambler 1100 Sport, Special and Standard

The belts overhaul and maintenance intervals are 12,000 km.

In the saddle

With 810 mm, the seat height is up by 20 units compared to that of the Scrambler 800. The rider gains more space between the saddle and the footrest. However, the crotch arch is quite wide, as is the reservoir which significantly spreads the thighs. This limits access to older children if you want to have both feet flat. Rather welcoming, the saddle houses a very small storage compartment and a USB connection. Slightly set back, the controls gently tilt the bust forward on the wide handlebars and its adjustable levers..

Ducati Scrambler 1100 handlebars

Minimalist, the cockpit skilfully combines old and contemporary. The ignition key cylinder positioned above the front optic thus rubs shoulders with a new instrument block. Shifted to the right, the display appears to be in two parts, but is in fact only composed of an LCD matrix! Unparalleled feat to date. The horizontal window concentrates the tachometer and gear indicator engaged. The circular display includes tachometer, fuel gauge clock, selected engine mode and traction control level (DTC). And by pressing the button dedicated to the left chest of drawers, odometer, two partials, autonomy, outside temperature and settings. The latter is used to configure the piloting maps (Mode) and the DTC in particular..

Ducati Scrambler 1100 speedometer

In the city

Waking up an air-oil cooled unit is always a pleasure, as the mechanics distill lively vibrations and other delicate metallic noises. Less filtered than in a "liquid" engine, this symphony just lacks the hiss of the dry clutch, because it has become wet…. And the sound of the exhausts is not to be outdone, the two large silencers creaking badly on each gas stroke.

Ducati Scrambler 1100 road test

In spite of a cartography chosen the softest, the omnipresent driving force surprises from the first urban evolutions. Rumbling and hectic, the two-valve twin takes the crew along, muttering merrily. Deceptively gruff, it is also its availability at low speed that we note: moving in fourth at less than 50 km / h and 2,000 rpm with this engine, without protest or hiccups from the block is a novelty. When the clutch lever, we could actuate it by blowing on it. Associated with an obvious cycle part of grip, the Scrambler 1100 thus plays of the city. Easy to take in traffic, it slips easily between vehicles. How far are the days of the ill-bred and demanding Italian ….

The Ducati Scrambler 1100 on a curve

However, the machine is not yet the queen of U-turns, with its turning radius of 34 °. But not enough to spoil the pleasure of riding between cities on its handlebars. Free of vibrations, the mirrors could reflect a less narrow field. By the way, speaking of space, it’s time to get away from it all. A Scrambler is made for free riding.

Motorway and expressways

Ideally arranged, torque and power curves energize the frame at all times. Getting out of the access roads is a formality, the driving force valiantly pulling the machine towards high speeds and the power takes over after 6,000 revolutions. Without a kick in the ass, without a sudden start. But without disappointing linearity either, as the twin stirs up good vibrations. The 200 km / h can be reached without difficulty (not in France of course). Sparing a good place on board, the Scrambler 1100 allows its pilot to move back on the saddle and stash his helmet near the tank. The smartest will place their boots on the passenger footrests to gain aero-dynamism. Hou, that’s wrong. And especially not very comfortable.

The Scrambler 1100 in a fast curve

At these speeds, the mechanics of the Scrambler 1100 are not at ease in high revs either, as we can imagine, nor pleasant. If you wanted sport, you had to sign a Panigale V4. Once gauged its vigor, we return to the legal to take advantage of an engine speed at the peak of its force at 4,200 revolutions.minute. We are therefore always ready to restart the machine.

The Ducati Scrambler 1100 on the fast track

Whatever the speed, the course is flawless. So we wait for the exit in the impatient roar of the exhausts.


The Lusitanian secondary network – when it is not soaked with rain – offers very beautiful curves along the coasts bathed by the Atlantic Ocean. After two hours of rain and mud, the crew looked (a little) less proud. But always a smile at the controls of the Scrambler 1100. Depending on the narrowness of the network and the desired pace, we can stay in one or two gears as the twin cylinder is available. He is one of those who increase speed much faster than engine rotations. From 90 to 130, the speed varies by less than 700 revolutions in sixth. Well staged, the box allows to use the mechanics intuitively. It will also handle, much better than you, the 80 on the last report. An Édouard Philippe approved motorcycle? hopefully not.

Ducati Scrambler 1100 on the road

Full as an egg, the desmodue is piloted by the ear, as much by its pleasure and its vigor as by the delicacy of the display of the instruments. On the intermediaries, the engine plays with the bungee, relaunching the machine without savagery, but with an intoxicating force. All cradled by the deep vocalizations of the Italian. What charm ! And as the raises tear the air with an angry roar, we do not hesitate to play straight rubber. Under the control of a high-performance traction control, the almost 9 da.Nm of torque energizes the exits of turns, propelling the machine to the assault of the following curve. What to appreciate the DCT traction control, very useful on our track wet or covered with a deceitful dust.

The Ducati Scrambler 1100 in a corner

On the other hand, if the engine response varies significantly between the City and Sport riding modes, there is little difference between the latter and the Journey intermediate. In any case gorged with torque over a wide speed range, the engine responds to each rotation of the right handle..

Correct, the ground clearance allows to keep a good rhythm and to work the rubber. But the collector can, after the footrests, rub the ground if one plays sagouin. Precise and rather agile despite an 18-inch front wheel and Pirelli MT60 RS typed casings and 180 at the rear, the Scrambler 1100 is placed without forcing too much on the wide handlebars. A smaller width on the propeller wheel would improve liveliness. Likewise, the suspensions can be improved, but we have little time to adjust them finely. However, the beginnings of the changes made appear to be effective. With its significant travel, the fork is not sufficiently braked at the start of the race and sinks significantly when the brakes are taken. Moreover, the rear element very closed in relaxation proves the already felt existence of this point. A simple story of tuning will also improve the behavior when driving a little more engaged. That few pilots will adopt, it is likely.

Virolos on the Scrambler 1100

Without ever breaking up, the transalpine does not like to be abrupt, thus delivering more movements on deceleration phases. Here again, driving sport on your handlebars is a casting error. The Monster 1200 is there for that. It is in dynamic coiled driving that the Scrambler 1100 gives the best of itself and allows you to drive at a good pace. By using the engine brake, little is affected by the brake, thus limiting mass transfers for the benefit of general approval. The Ducati then offers a more convincing behavior and conforms to its sphere of use..

We didn’t test any outings along the way, but the performance of the Scrambler 1100 should be like that of its predecessor 800: limited, but fun..

Scrambler 1100 road test


Rigid trellis frame, load-bearing engine, large-caliber suspensions, the Scrambler 1100 is a true Ducati where sport is never too far away. It admits that hydraulics are too loose, but easily adjustable to completely seduce the most dynamic. In addition, inherent in its design, mass transfers are logical. In large curves on the angle, the bike keeps the course, but moves a little on the defects of the asphalt, while maintaining its trajectory. But again, it is at a (too) high rate that we note these movements.

Shock absorber of the Ducati Scrambler 1100


In sporty driving, with its superlative equipment on the front axle, the Scrambler 1100 undermines its too flexible fork. The feeling when braking is also a little hampered by the sensitive mass transfer. Thus, the deceleration when taking the lever seems to lack bite. Then the power of the Brembo M4.32 arrives and slows down the machine without difficulty. Some will appreciate this relative progressiveness, more adapted to the usual evolutions and completely in phase with the design of the Scrambler. In addition, actuated on the angle, the stirrups do not freeze or raise the Italian.

Front brake of the Ducati Scrambler 1100

The rear clamp is flawless, providing a lot of (true) progressiveness and control and even struggling to trigger the ABS. The latter is more at work at the front and is activated wisely.

Comfort / Duo

The riding position provides good ease, in particular due to less leg flexion. But the saddle turns out to be a little firm after 200 km. Increased on the 1100, the space for the passenger will allow short and quiet journeys. Its welcome grab handles still do not grow on long trips. And then you are so much more seductive in solo…

Ducati Scrambler 1100 seat


We recorded an average of 6.3 liters per 100 km for our 210 km of varied pace tests. A fairly decent result considering the displacement and performance of the Scrambler 1100. With less fun driving, the fuel tank should give 250 km of autonomy..

Ducati Scrambler 1100 fuel tank


With its new Scrambler 1100, Ducati brings out the shock charm asset. Without a doubt, it is its mechanics that capsizes the heart. Lively, sound, temperamental, but quite frequent, the two-valve unit has succeeded in its last transformation. Its meticulous aesthetics add to the lifted finish of this falsely vintage model. Because it is also its equipment and its high-performance electronics that position the Italian as a possible leader in the segment. Especially since the price of the standard version, already provided with all these advantages, is set at € 12,990. In the Special version tested, the price soars significantly, but only brings aesthetics and a slightly lower handlebars for € 14,290. Finally equipped with Ohlins suspension, the Scrambler Sport requires € 14,990.

Enough to shake the competitor BMW Nine T Scrambler priced at 13,550 €. Devoid of ABS regulation on the angle and variable maps (it is true of little use) it will be able to count on its gimbal and its superior performance to counter the Italian. But, lighter, the Ducati should not suffer too much from the dynamic law of Munich. The air-oil comparison smells good ….

Across the Channel, the Triumph Scrambler 900 asks for € 10,295, but does not play in the same dynamic or price category. However, its authentic style is a real asset. It is rumored, moreover, that a 1200 version would soon see the light of day ….

But for the moment, sparkling, attractive and technological, the Ducati Scrambler 1100 may well strip the competition of the key to cities and fields..

Ducati Scrambler 1100

Strong points

  • Mechanical personality
  • Sleek aesthetics
  • High end finishes
  • Personalization concept
  • Engine character and availability
  • Captivating sound

Weak points

  • Hardly legible instruments
  • Comfort a little tight
  • Management of mass transfers
  • Tank width

The technical sheet of the Ducati Scrambler 1100

Test conditions

  • Itinerary: Lisbon, Portugal
  • Motorcycle mileage: – km
  • Problem encountered: none


  • Scrambler 1100: Yellow, Glossy Black
  • Scrambler 1100 Special: Gray
  • Scrambler 1100 Sport: Matt Black

Availability: April 2018

Standard equipment

  • Ride by Wire – 3 Riding Modes
  • Four-value, disconnectable anti-slip
  • Configurable engine responsiveness
  • ABS with angle regulation, but not disconnectable
  • All led lights
  • Aluminum rims
  • Steel tank

The Ducati Scrambler 1100 video test

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