Ducati Scrambler 800 Icon test


Uninhibited rebel

L-Twin of 803 cm3, 73 hp and 67 Nm, 189 kg, from 9,350 euros

Long the main muse of the Italian manufacturer, the Monster has found an equally popular little sister with a model that has become a brand: the Scrambler and in particular the Scrambler 800. The success of the latter is based on an effective recipe: attractive aesthetics, sparkling engine and light, obvious and accessible cycle part. A precious formula, skilfully maintained since 2015 through 6 versions without forgetting the two 400 cm3 models and three 1100 cm3 versions.

And the youngest does not go into detail, with 55,000 copies sold, ie, for Ducati, 30% of world sales….! The new icon of Bologna can play the starlets. Its sparkling universe of the Land of Joy also offers a wide choice of machine and pilot equipment to be styled to the end of the tires and the beard..

2018 marks the beginning of the age of reason for our Scrambler, with a first soft evolution, but more complete than it seems for the flagship model: the Icon. Aesthetics, electronics and reworked ergonomics reinforce the coolness of this 100% attitude machine.

Ducati Scrambler 800 Icon review

It is in Tuscany, Italy, around Siena, that we take control of the neo-retro-fun Ducati toy..

Scrambler: origin of a phenomenon

Freedom, space…. principles inseparable from the concept of motorcycling. It was in the 1960s that the mechanical 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 developments quite well. The origin of the Scramblers begins, at Ducati, with the eponymous Italian ancestor of 250 cm3, which appeared in 1962.

Ducati Scrambler from 1962

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. A machine passing indifferently from the road to the ground to give the motorcycle full and complete freedom. Forgotten to give way to the trails of the 80s, this style of machines now surfs on the nostalgic trendy wave of vintage.


Designed by Frenchman Julien Clement, the Ducati Scrambler 800 is a model of finesse and compactness. The 2019 evolution is not in aesthetic boldness, largely taking up the successful formula: simple, light, authentic and fun. It is by looking for details and finishes that we will discover the differences, as well as in electronics.

The new Ducati Scrambler 800 Icon

First, there is this new color Atomic Orange whose pop acidity takes up the essential color of the 60s. The other color is called 62 Yellow…. Under the wide handlebars, the compact front lens with interchangeable aluminum cover incorporates, as on the 1100, a circular daytime running light strip (DRL). Its internal X-shaped cladding mimicking the historic lighthouse protections. All lighting is now led.

Ducati Scrambler 800 Icon headlight

An important element, the 13.5-liter water drop-type steel tank receives new, thicker removable aluminum side panels. As an extension, the padded and thick monobloc saddle is barely more flattened. It rests on a tubular steel rear buckle, sheathed with plastic covers mimicking the massive aluminum plates of the Scrambler 1100. Finally, a recess in the seat forms the passenger handles and the stern trim is capped with a light- elegant stop. The latter benefits, like that of the model 1100, from a diffuser giving an unexpected softness to its shine. The whole discreetly optimizes the profile of the machine. Especially since the rear fender supporting the registration is fixed on the swinging arm, lightening the stern.

This is the first evolution for the Scrambler 800

Mechanics and cycle part

Genetics oblige, the Scrambler 800 is still based on a tubular steel frame surrounding the famous 803 cm3 L-twin, taken from the old 796 Monster and Hypermotard. Air-cooled, the block incorporates its desmodromic distribution and its new surfaces and black lacquered heads. Thus, fins and lines of the housings in machined finish now contrast against this dark background. With its super square bore / stroke ratio of 88 x 66 mm, the two ACT boiler and 2 valves per cylinder delivers 73 horsepower at 8,250 rpm and 6.7 da.Nm, at 5,750 revolutions / minute. The injection is joined by 50 mm throttle bodies. Intended to be simple and easy to maintain, the engine does not receive electronic throttle management.

Ducati Scrambler 800 Icon twin

These are captured by the arabesques of the manifolds, whose satin aluminum protection plates feature openings and a new, more dynamic design. Same treatment for the exhaust silencer. The latter adjoins an aesthetic banana-type aluminum swing arm, with elegant lines. Its movements are entrusted to a shock absorber always placed in the left lateral position. Sporty styling, complemented by a 41mm Kayaba inverted fork. Both elements provide 150mm of travel. Ducati indicates that it has completely revised the suspensions of its Scrambler: springs, hydraulics, piston. However, these elements are kept simple; only the rear handset is adjustable in preload.

Shock absorber of the Ducati Scrambler 800 Icon

The main technical development comes from the adoption of an electronic inertial unit. The latter allows the integration of automatic return indicators…. Cool, right? But above all a Bosch 9.1 MP ABS allowing modulation of the brakes in bends. Yes, that’s what is cool above all. Especially since the Brembo front caliper with radial mounting and four pistons is not there for the decoration. It attacks a single 330 mm disc paired with a 245 mm rear element and single piston clamp.

The steering gear is based on a 10-spoke alloy front wheel, with countersunk feet, 18 inches, while the rear is 17 inches. A combination that contributes to the Scrambler’s "all-road" style. In this sense, it wears Pirelli MT 60 RS, in 110 at the front and 180 at the rear. A little wide…. ? We will see in dynamics.

Ducati Scrambler 800 Icon rims

Always racy, the Ducati Scrambler 800 presents an appreciable finish, in particular at the engine level. Layout and welds of the frame are flawless and the typical swingarm energizes the line. Likewise, the machine skillfully masks unsightly cables and wires. Only the lambda sensor cable is slightly visible. With its air-oil unit, the Icon also frees itself from the massive inelegant hoses often criticized on the Monster. Finally, the Scrambler 800 admits a very slight weight gain, 3 units, for a total of 189 kg all full. A very acceptable value. The inspection and maintenance intervals for the belts of the desmodromic transmission are 12,000 km.

Silencer of the Ducati Scrambler 800 Icon

In the saddle

Ergonomic development is also measured. The 2019 vintage admits a new saddle whose height is increased by 8 small units, now culminating at 798 mm. Same treatment for the optional low version allowed, whose value is 778 mm. However, the flatter seat is also significantly more comfortable. The set also allows older children to gain a little more ease, the bending of the legs then being a little less. These will find that the top of the tank is almost next to the top of their knees..

Ducati Scrambler 800 Icon fuel tank

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..

The bust tilts in light support on the wide handlebars with variable diameter and the long horns pointing towards the pilot. New controls with push buttons now the size of human hands, even gloved ones, are fitted to the machine. The clutch is now hydraulically operated for more flexibility and the levers are adjustable in spacing by micrometric screws.

Ducati Scrambler 800 Icon Commodos

A good old cable accelerator, with optimized rotation, takes its sheath and the front brake hose in a nice arch above the instrument cluster. Completely digital, the latter now incorporates a fuel gauge and a gear indicator engaged. There are of course the usual functions: tachometer, tachometer, clock and via a sliding odometer cursor, two partials, outside temperature and a general adjustment mode. Finally, the Italian is ready for the Ducati Multimedia System and its Bluetooth connection.

Instrumentation of the Ducati Scrambler 800 Icon

In the city

With a hesitant cough, the desmodue wakes up in a discreet and, frankly, a little cutesy chant. The gas shots give it a little more presence, but we would have appreciated a little more sound nonconformism. It will be necessary to go through the shop of joy…. or be content to be a hypster 2.0, rebellious, but discreet. Few noises also filter from the air-cooled block, so the mechanics are also felted.

Protection of the Ducati Scrambler 800 Icon

In fact, the Scrambler 800 Icon seems to cultivate a certain sweetness. Controls, clutch and accelerator contribute to its obvious handling in an urban environment. Especially since the twin in L is also proof of good session. Available from 2,000 laps on intermediates, it even accepts to relaunch without bumping too much on the last report, at 50 km / h. Free of vibrations, the mirrors could reflect a less narrow field. Ergonomic, the new controls are pleasant to use.

Docile, the Italian steers naturally, her large handlebars and a steering angle of 35 ° helping maneuvers. Rather manoeuvrable, the transalpine is light and low, ideal for strolling on saturated boulevards or small streets, in the dense traffic of cities. The only bitterness in these marshmallow-flavored evolutions, a somewhat rough selection, sometimes lacking in precision. But our motorcycles showing 200 km on the odometer, this should improve after break-in. To speed it up, let’s take a look at the behavior of the Icon below..

Test drive of the Ducati Scrambler 800 Icon on the roads of Tuscany

Motorway and expressways

The 803 cc demodue takes its turns with ease and shows more character beyond 5,000 turns. Voluntary until then on the intermediaries, the twin is then more biting, but without any ferocity by reaching the peak of torque, almost 1,000 revolutions higher. The power then takes over and twists the air with a more pronounced metallic sound when the twin flirts with the red zone and the breaker, at 8,500 rpm. Almost 200 km / h peak, but frankly not ideal for this pleasure mechanic. Ergonomics either, forcing you to hang on to the large hanger.

Protection of the Ducati Scrambler 800 Icon

At the legal motorway, at 5,800 rpm, the engine speed is therefore ideal for boosting the crew while taking advantage of maximum torque. On the last gear, the quiet rumble of the Scrambler 800 makes the time pass nicely. The long saddle allows older children to step back and find a more comfortable position for the legs. Perfectly stable, the machine is waiting for your good will to leave this place where its charm is struggling to express itself.

Departmental and paths

In addition to the cafe terraces, avenues and the edges of beaches bristling with surfs, the Scrambler 800 Icon appreciates the adventure offered by the asphalt of the county roads. This is, of course, that we take advantage of the charm of the Italian. As long as you stay on the intermediaries to benefit from the liveliness of the twin. At 4,000 revolutions, the mechanics are soft. This is precisely the Edouard-Philippe regime, ie 80 km / h in sixth. Impossible then to overtake without entering two reports ….

Ducati Scrambler 800 Icon road test

Apart from this unfortunate observation, the Ducati is revealed on the couple, tilting a block in the curves of the roads of Tuscany. In contemplative mode and despite a somewhat wide rear envelope, a 170 would bring more liveliness to the whole, the Scrambler is charming. Fortunately, the closed column angle, 24 °, keeps it agile. Easy to take, it surprises with the ease of its suspensions to swallow all the faults of the road.

The Ducati Scrambler 800 Icon on a curve

And when the pace increases, efficient damping combines with the excellent grip of the Pirelli MT 60 RS. What endanger the footrests and the exhaust silencer…. Healthy on all occasions, offering a remarkable suspension tuning, the bike holds the pavement without generating parasitic movements. With the large lever arm of the handlebars, the Icon shifts from angle to angle without downtime. Admittedly, the fork with the important displacement plunges of advantage, but the good work of the hydraulics front and rear makes it possible to attack without qualms. Especially with an ABS managing the inclination and braking on the angle retaining its attitude to the Scrambler 800 Icon. The second goes to 115, the three pulls to 135…. enough to face the shell with sustained revivals, letting the 6.7 da.Nm of torque pull on the tires. At this very / too fast pace, the box sometimes seemed a little slow to us. But it’s our job to "hit" the machine to see its limits. No reserve in normal use.

The Ducati Scrambler 800 Icon on the road

The more you ride with the Italian, the more you appreciate its ease and versatility. Do you want to get out of line and have a few slides? Take the path, there and gas! The Icon then offers you another facet of its ability to have fun. Its limited power and very progressive accelerator give you confidence. The joys of rear wheel slips and skids are yours. Mollo anyway; intrusive ABS can be difficult to slow down the machine. Do like the Scrambler, stay cool.

The Ducati Scrambler 800 Icon on the roads


Combined with the rigid trellis frame and the carrier engine, the optimized suspensions give a remarkable pleasure to the Scrambler 800. The whole allows very honest performance on the road network. Only the diving of the fork is felt on the strongest decelerations. But, on this versatile machine, capable of taking its pilot off the bitumen, the mass transfers are logical, limited and rather well managed. On the corner, the machine keeps the course perfectly and does not become disunited during any piloting phase, even on rough roads. It is only at a very (too) high rate that we notice more movements.

Ducati Scrambler 800 Icon chassis


The feel of the front brake is a little hampered by the mass transfer. When driving, the Scrambler 800 Icon damages its fork, with fairly large travel, on heavy braking. Thus, the deceleration when taking the lever lacks a bit of bite if you hit the caliper. The single disc does its job at the usual pace and intended for this type of machine. The progressiveness of the elements allows a smooth driving, in full agreement with the Land of Joy philosophy. In addition, actuated on the angle and even at high speed, the caliper does not freeze or raise the Italian when taking the levers. And the central ABS active in inclination finely manages the losses of grip. It is triggered very discreetly, but is a little intrusive on the way. An associated mode would be nice. Without reproach, the rear clamp delivers (real) progressiveness, very useful in bends.

Front brake of the Ducati Scrambler 800 Icon

Comfort / Duo

You can ride cool and long on the handlebars of the new Icon. Relaxed position and ease of piloting encourage the pleasure to last. Surtotu with a better padded saddle and efficient suspensions.

The passenger’s handles are effective and his seat comparable to that of the pilot. Take the opportunity to catch up…. with style.

Ducati Scrambler 800 Icon seat


Not measured with precision, but the readings indicate a 6 liters per 100 km in test mode: sustained pace, a lot of starts and acceleration. Autonomy is therefore around 220 km. The most placid, cautious or contemplative (cross out the unnecessary mention) will make 270 terminals before the blackout.


More seductive, always easier to handle, comfortable and now incorporating latest-generation ABS, the Ducati Scrambler 800 Icon shines through the work of its suspensions. Unpretentious, these simple elements prove that, well studied, their harmony can do wonders and boost the handling of a simple machine. Mobile pleasure, stylish aesthetics, the Italian finally testifies to an effective evolution. Driven by a voluntary engine, the Italian icon shows charm if not assertive. It is up to you to give it your own by personalizing its design.

Only downside in my opinion, its price of € 9,350 in 62 Yellow color and € 9,450 in Atomic Orange. Launched at 8,590 € in 2015, the Scrambler should be displayed within these price limits. We will face the Yamaha XSR 900 asking € 9,999 for a much superior mechanical personality. The XSR 700 model, priced at € 7,999, is a more affordable alternative. But less versatile and finishes below that of the Italian.

The Joyvolution of the Scrambler 800 Icon lives up to its name. More effective in dynamics, the novelty takes care of its fun and stylish side. If you haven’t yet gone for a plaid shirt, jeans, beard and cool-class attitude, this Ducati might just convert you..

Ducati Scrambler 800 Icon

Strong points

  • Successful and elegant aesthetics
  • Engine availability
  • Appreciable comfort
  • Effective suspension agreement
  • Management of mass transfers
  • Personalization concept
  • A2 license approved
  • Versatile tires
  • Finishes

Weak points

  • Lack of mechanical personality
  • Instruments not readable enough
  • Too shy sound
  • Coarse selection
  • Rear tire a little wide

Ducati Scrambler 800 technical sheet

Test conditions

  • Itinerary: winding roads, wet in the morning. A little gravel path and loose earth
  • Motorcycle mileage: 200 km
  • Problem encountered: selection and unbroken gearbox ?

Video test of the Ducati Scrambler 800 Icon

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