The Scrambler Desert Sled concept from the Ducati Design Center is probably the best scrambler that you haven’t heard of – as the motorcycle had a very limited debut at the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este, around roughly this time last year.
The brainchild of Alex Earle – of Earle Motors fame – the Scrambler DS concept is very modern in its approach, and looks like it could easily do the deed when it comes to getting dirty in the muck.
Highlights include a beautifully machined double-sided swingarm; a large fuel tank up front, with an auxiliary tank in the rear; dual rear shocks and long-travel forks at the front; and a custom Akrapovic exhaust that tucks under the rear fender / fuel tank.
Overall, it is the bike that we wish Ducati would build, as it looks like a Scrambler that could really do some serious off-roading…while also adding to the premium look and feel that has made Ducati such an iconic brand.
The front fender design is reminiscent of the Ducati Hypermotard faux-intake / fender setup (which is itself a riff on the nose peak found on the Multistrada 1200). Of course, at the heart of the bike is Ducati’s air-cooled v-twin engine.
There are some very credibly rumors of another Scrambler model debuting later this year, likely at the INTERMOT show in October. So it is interesting that Ducati is giving this concept some new breath at this point in time.
Also note, that the design includes an exhaust system that could pass Euro4 muster, with a collection canister hidden below the swingarm, before it moves back up to the undertail pipes – a curious inclusion for a simple design concept.
Looking at the current Scrambler lineup, the heritage line is very crowded with street bikes, but as of right now, only the Desert Sled variant really takes the Scrambler line anywhere with true scrambling capabilities.
Adding an even more off-road focused Scrambler into the mix would make sense from a product point-of-view for Ducati, though it remains to be seen if such a model fits in Ducati’s motorcycling ethos.
We do know that Triumph is set to debut its “Desert Sled” killer later this year, the dual-sport bike based off the 1,200cc platform. It will be interesting to see the British and Italian brand head-off in the scrambler space in a more meaningful way.
Until then, enjoy these design photos of DDC’s Ducati Scrambler DS concept.