The retro motorcycling scene is hotter than the surface of the sun right now and I can’t think of one motorcycle brand that doesn’t want a piece of this pie. Since its launch, Ducati has sold 47,000 Scramblers but they don’t seem content with the popularity of their newest model. They are now aiming for an even bigger slice of the retro market with their big-engined Scrambler 1100.
Bigger and more expensive than its Scrambler 400 and 800 siblings, the 1100 has more power and a long list of Scrambler firsts, like electronic rider assistance, dual front brake discs and adjustable suspension, brake and clutch levers.
Having ridden the smaller Scrambler versions, this one surely feels like a proper upgrade. It still has the familiarity of the model line-up but it’s leaps and bounds better in terms of power and rider feel.
We’ve had our hands on almost every new modern-retro motorcycle out there and the Scrambler’s electronic rider aids are the most advanced of any motorcycle in the segment. The Scrambler 1100s get a Bosch Inertial Measurement Unit which is the brain behind all this brawn. It controls the ABS, traction control and even the self-cancelling LED indicators which are all lean-sensitive.
The advantages of such electronic wizardry is that you get to play around with the ECU mapping. There are three riding modes with varying levels of traction control and throttle response, all of which can be adjusted separately. The modes are renamed Active, Journey and City from the usual: Sport, Touring and Urban. Active and Journey get full power but with a slightly varied delivery mode and City gets 74bhp.
With a few modifications and upgrades, the Scrambler 1100 can be a great city and touring motorcycle for those looking for one motorcycle to do it all. Compared to the smaller Scrambler the 1100 sits taller and wider. It’s 50mm wider, 69mm longer and the seat is 20mm taller and 43mm longer for more space to move around. It also gets a larger 15-litre tank, a wider front tyre and thicker forks, up from 41mm to 45mm diameter.
Buyers have three versions they can pick from, the Standard, Special or the Sport. Good luck with making up your mind as they’re both equally good in their own rights. Pricing is Ducati as an ace up their sleeve with this one and it’s sure to heat things up in a segment that has some very capable motorcycles like the BMW R nineT, Triumph Thruxton and the Kawasaki Z900R.