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Ducati Scrambler Icon in the PS performance test

A star is born

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The fact that a small, air-cooled goat like the Ducati Scrambler Icon drives full throttle into people’s hearts calls for closer inspection. The horsepower performance test.

D.ucati. Passion turned iron that creates suffering. In two ways. Earlier, until a good fifteen years ago, Ducatis were broken down more than average, and I remember the statement from the Austrian importer at the time, who was lamented gruesomely by a customer whose Duc was just a few weeks old and had the second defect : "So what? This motorcycle is like great love. You wouldn’t demonize your wife, let alone send to the devil, just because she had a cold for the second time. "

Ducati Scrambler Icon in the PS performance test

A star is born

Ducati to be judged. Because Ducatis have always been one thing: fast. In my opinion, that was and still is less due to the engine than to the chassis, the geometry and the conviction manifested throughout the plant that machines are not made for tobogganing, but for speeding.

The dull roar should be fast?!

When the said importer took me to the racetrack for the first time, I had an aha experience. I stood on the start / finish straight and watched with wide eyes and wet hands as the screeching Japanese super athletes passed like jet jets. Madness! And then came the first 916 Duc. The dull, in my ears completely unspectacular roaring of the V2 made me doubt in my mind: “Does it warm up the engine first? Or is she gone, the Duc? ”I was accordingly stunned when the Duc roared past just as dully two minutes later, this time not behind, but in front of the aggressively screeching Japanese. Hell, what was going on ?! Where did this killer speed come from, which you could neither hear nor see?

For me back then, being fast was solely a question of the engine; I couldn’t in any way estimate the influence of the chassis. That you can practically draw circles around the opponent at the entrance to the curve, if you feel the front wheel as exactly as if the handlebars were mounted directly on the axle, that you win every time at the top because nothing touches down even with extreme lean angles and the engine works perfectly The throttle is hanging, and it was new to me that at the exit with the punch-like torque of the V2 and the insane mechanical grip of the race-oriented articulated swingarm you can actually do real meters. And even when I was allowed to drive the 916, I had the feeling that I was significantly slower than with the Fireblade, but in fact my lap time was two seconds better.

The love for the monster was deep. The happiness in short

Out of the box, the 916s and 748s were clearly superior to all other machines on the Racetrack. Seen in this way, Ducati exemplified and condensed the meaning of the ingenious KTM slogan “Ready to race”. But since I was a real road driver by nature, the tough, very uncomfortable racing machines from Bologna were never at the top of my list of favorites. But the monster does. Hell, the first monster with the air-cooled 900 looked so amazing! But since the L2 was really hard to pull at the chain below 3000 rpm and dense city traffic or tight bends could only be negotiated reasonably smoothly with the use of the clutch, we did not become a couple. I remember exactly our date back then: “Yes Duc, why are you bucking around downstairs so terribly? Don’t you like the way I drive you? What should I do? ”The answer pointed the way:“ Descending would be the best. If you want to stay below 3000 turns, sit on a chopper. I only get anger. "

My first, very happy, albeit very short, love affair with a Ducati was many years later with a 1000 monster. Air-cooled, clear anyway. Today I still feel a deep, warming longing when I think of my red monster. However, our luck did not last long. It was me. The fact that I let her do a wheelie right away from the guest garden was hardly okay in terms of a fulfilled life together. Unfortunately, I was so busy maintaining my balance that I only appreciated the rapidly approaching roundabout when it was almost time to turn. So I put the front on quite abruptly, threw the vicious anchor in a flash – and in the same moment the front wheel smeared away. Oha! Slap, slide, it sparks, it sparks. Duc and I lay side by side on the asphalt.

I was really stunned. Not only because the sublime feeling in the gallery had vanished so quickly, but above all because the monster fell so clumsily in the course of this completely harmless riot that it mutated into a total write-off. Tank, frame, fork and various other small parts were tattered. Of course I wasn’t insane enough to throw my disappointment with the Duc about her poor performance in the fall at the bent headlight, but it was the end of our relationship anyway. For them I was the greatest brain-blower on this planet from now on. As a connoisseur of the pearl series “Love happily – but how?” I knew exactly what to do: “If you think the beloved is a murderer, it is best to heed the wisdom of the Indians and sneak away.”

Modern Classic

Ducati Scrambler Icon in the driving report

Vehicle or attitude to life?

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What now? The Scrambler isn’t a Ducati?

In my heart I still carry the 1000 monster, although I have to admit that then the monster with the 800 engine was almost better for me. Because the smaller L2 on the one hand had enough punch to easily lift the front, and on the other hand it attacked completely jerk-free and jerk-free. I am extremely pleased that exactly this engine is now installed in the Ducati Scrambler Icon. What I do not understand is the effort to introduce “Scrambler” as a kind of second brand alongside “Ducati”. You keep hearing the comparison with BMW and Mini. Then I have to gargle tightly with rubbing alcohol with Holzhacker. What kind of crazy idea is that? Okay, the Bavarians bought Mini and continue to maintain the brand alongside BMW, but the Scrambler was a Ducati back in the 1960s, and luckily it will always be one.

To be honest: The test drive with the Ducati Scrambler Icon was simply world class, I was overjoyed with the beautiful iron and I know that this uncomplicated, technically fully developed and super smart machine will give a lot of people a lot of pleasure, but would not be the same machine from Ducati but from some noname booth from the continent of chopsticks, it might not be a flop, but certainly not a world hit. The charisma of the Ducati brand is simply killer. And that the Scrambler is a real Ducati is shown by the lettering on the handlebar grips (!) And on the tank and in general. Even the rubber stopper that covers the USB connector under the seat bears the Ducati logo.

Simply world class, simply killer!

Well, the Ducati Scrambler Icon and I were one heart and one soul from the start. World class, killer, wonderful! We drove through the world under the sign of light-heartedness and exuberance and enjoyed the trip to the full. Freshly in love, nothing else matters. At some point I heard the question: “Why do you love me?” As a test driver, you can react to this without risk, because you know that the machine is happy with any answer as long as you don’t scrap it unworthily, but things are tricky between people. “Because you make such an amazingly good roast pork” does not necessarily have to be well received. But even with the new Duc, I was struggling now. The spell she cast on me was strong, very strong in fact, but why? Hmm Well, it wasn’t the handlebars. I would exchange it. It fits very well in the hands and brings a wonderful, relaxed posture, but it is too thin and too broad for me. The thin is a purely visual matter (I would just like a butted handlebar better), the width is practically a brake.

In and of itself, you could surf incredibly briskly through the sheet metal avalanche with the Ducati Scrambler Icon, but due to the wide handlebars you always run the risk of adjusting the mirrors of the cage citizens and thus losing valuable time on the way to the hairdresser, because you are as a polite person (and politeness is a very important quality in the sense of a harmonious coexistence) has to apologize to the raging: “Sorry, I’m sorry! The machine is a dream, but unfortunately the handlebars are too wide. It’s a design flaw, so to speak. "In a perfect world, the brother in the staue, to whom the mirror is hanging from the can, replies:" No problem. The mirror got on my nerves anyway. Thanks for tearing it off me. I was somehow mentally unable to do so. Now I feel freer. "

The princess and the pea grumbles pointedly

Before I confessed to the Ducati Scrambler Icon how much it had captured my heart, I scribbled on the suspension elements. I was personally very satisfied with the 41 mm upside-down fork and the spring strut, which can only be adjusted in the preload, because I prefer less comfort and more sporty precision, but on critical examination it is not entirely understandable why you are in front and built in long spring travel (150 mm) at the rear and then does not allow the elements to respond more sensitively.

Possibly this lack of tenderness in the response was only due to the low winter temperatures, which made the oil mixture in the dampers thick and viscous, but it is more likely that Ducati does not care about the pointed grumbling of the princess on the pea, because ultimately it does with the Ducati Scrambler Icon is about being fast. And the latter was one hundred percent successful. The scrambler is a force at Winkelwerk. The system consisting of a powerful swing arm mounted in the engine, flat mounted strut, 41 USD and tubular space frame allows the new Duc to march very briskly and very precisely through the radii. Even as an experienced bend robber you don’t have to make compromises, you can unleash fire.

The Ducati Scrambler Icon’s 803 cubic two-valve engine is really ideal

I also noticed that the gearbox is not buttery smooth, but actually a bit wobbly if you don’t clutch properly, but that was always the case with the 803-L2 and it never really bothered me. An essential property of a spell is that it places something deeply enchanting in the foreground and thereby attracts attention. The rest is hidden. I was so happy on the Scrambler. The tried and tested two-valve engine with its nominally harmless 75 hp made the 189 kilo Ducati Scrambler Icon launch like a rocket from low speeds and proudly lift the front wheel into the sky. Someone like me, who cannot change gear in the gallery position, comes from the traffic light on the rear wheel in first gear up to 80 km / h, before the limiter then freezes the engine power and lowers the front. This is a truly spectacular start that not only makes an impression in front of the ice cream parlor, but also stimulates the circulation in front of the retirement home, and makes the uniformed man jump out onto the street in front of the parliament. The latter is not free. A proper entertainment tax is then due. But not from the audience, but from the artist himself.

The outstanding thing about the 803 of the Ducati Scrambler Icon is the linear course in the power delivery, the flawless controllability and the same responsiveness. Ride-by-wire, traction, wheelie and launch control? Certainly not. The commands for the injection are given mechanically by means of a gas cable. The L2 reacts fully transparently and fully promptly. It just depends on how hard you pull the cable or how far and how fast you open or close the throttle. No incapacitation. It already says on the tank cap: “Born free. 1962. "

Another retro killer after the R nineT

From 1962 to the mid-1970s, Ducati was already building Scramblers with single cylinders (125, 250, 350, 450 cm³). Wonderful machines, but from today‘s point of view just terrible slaps. Looking at it and enjoying it can be wonderful, but for driving today it’s a real defeat. No question about it, the engine of the new Ducati Scrambler Icon is also like from another planet, but the most serious difference is the chassis. In the 60s and 70s, one could not even dream of the precise line that the Scrambler can now achieve even under full pressure and in distress without the slightest hint of irritation.

And then the braking! A radially mounted four-piston armature bites into a 330 mm (!) Large disc so vehemently that the fork of the original scrambler would snap off. Because one often hears the opinion that the one brake disc for the Scrambler today is unworthy: I can by no means confirm that. The anchor decelerated wonderfully. Maybe it took a little more hand strength when the world was really damn tight, but the bite was just fine. And the ABS regulated exemplary late. It’s just a shame that ABS is also working at the rear and you can’t initiate simple braking drifts. Another important piece of information for tall people is that even Burping Hans (192 cm, 100 kg) found space on the Ducati Scrambler Icon.

I cannot describe what ultimately triggered the magic and euphoria, but what is certain is that the Ducati Scrambler Icon is the second machine after the BMW R nineT that raises the retro trend to an extremely high level of dynamism. You get a pure, unadulterated iron with the flair of a past in which the world was not yet in danger of being stifled by regulations, and at the same time you do not have to do without the latest technical achievements in mechanics. Welcome, scrambler, to the modern world. I am so happy that you exist!

Technical data Ducati Scrambler Icon


The outstanding thing about the 803 of the Ducati Scrambler Icon is the linear course in the power delivery, the flawless controllability and the same responsiveness.



"The Ducati Scrambler Icon is a threat to traditional retros".

Ducati has done without superlatives with the Ducati Scrambler Icon. 803 cubic meters in two-valve technology, 75 hp and 189 kilos with a full tank. These are not outstanding values. The fact that the machine still inspires a lot of people and triggers the “must have!” Reflex is due on the one hand to the successful design and the radiance of the Ducati brand, on the other hand certainly also to the retro trend and that the scramblers all other modern classic The market is technically superior.

Only the BMW R nineT operates at a comparably high level, but it plays in a completely different league in terms of displacement, power and coal. One can assume that the Ducati Scrambler Icon will take the retro market by storm and take it to the top. And one can assume that it will not stay with the 800. As in the 1960s, there will be other displacements. Great throw! A star is born!

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