Ducati Scrambler Desert Sled – Got Roost?

11/07/2016 @ 9:53 am, by Jensen Beeler37 COMMENTS


As expected for EICMA, Ducati has two new models to add to its Scrambler sub-brand, the first being the 2017 Ducati Scrambler Desert Sled – a long-suspension Scrambler model with some added off-road chops.

The name is of note, giving a nod to the scrambler-style street bikes that competed in events like the iconic LA-Barstow-Vegas races several decades ago.

Picking up on that vintaged past, Ducati has unsurprisingly created its own modern riff on the dirt sled style, and produced a proper scrambler at the same time.

Now with five models in its Scrambler lineup, Ducati finally has a machine that is ready to get its feet properly dirty. We expect this bike to be a big hit with a wide gamut of riders who are looking for back-to-basics dual-sport machines.

To keep things simple, Ducati has continued use of its 803cc air-cooled v-twin engine, which also features in the recently unveiled Ducati Scrambler Cafe Racer and Ducati Monster 797.

Changes abound though, with Ducati making a new swingarm to accommodate the 8″ suspension travel on the front forks and rear shock. The steel trellis frame has also be reinforced, for added durability with off-road bumps and jumps.

Other changes include the 19″ spoked front wheel and 17″ spoked rear wheel, which are laced up with Pirelli Scorpioni Rally STR tires. Lastly, Ducati has made a new seat for the Desert Sled, which has a little bit more cushion, to soften your pushin’.

Now Euro4 compliant, the iconic engine makes 75hp, which is more than enough to get things slideways on dirt roads and trails, and still be fun to ride on city streets.

With the addition of the Dirt Sled to its lineup, Ducati has also made a significant push into the off-road sector, with the Multistrada 1200 Enduro proving to be a potent ADV bike, and now the Dirt Sled offering a lighter and nimbler machine for shorter trips.

The Ducati Scrambler Dirt Sled will be in US dealerships in March 2017. Pricing is a bit tough, with MSRP set at $11,395. If you can’t tell already though, we’re still pretty excited about the debut of this machine.
























Source: Ducati

As always, Asphalt & Rubber will be covering all the new bikes debuting at EICMA this year. Be sure to follow our coverage for the most recent news and photos.

  • RoRdr

    Probably my next bike. Do it all with proper off-road capabilities and old-school style. I love it!

  • Alex

    Okay now THIS is a proper scrambler! Great job Ducati! Cool, retro, and now functional off-road

  • motoguru.

    Dig it. Need to ride one ASAP.

  • RD350

    Agreed. They nailed it!

  • jake woods

    And now all those that yelled to high heaven how on it was sacrilegious for Ducati to sell bikes under the scrambler name without a proper scrambler can shut up now.

    Its a fun time to be a biker; so many bikes availale to fill all the niches.

  • Gary

    Awesome remake of the XT500! Oops, it’s not a Yamaha.

  • MichaelAndTheArgonauts

    Nice. They did a better job with this one than the Cafe Racer.

  • appliance5000

    Sweet – looks like they brought the frame down below the engine so the bashplate isn’t hanging off a cylinder head (though I’m not so sure about the front header). Provide a simple rack system and many possibilities open up. Clever.

  • transistorplanet

    Would make a great high-output supermoto conversion… Unless it’s already sort of a supermoto? A supermoto you can tour on.

  • Paul McM

    Well, I had been dismissive of the whole Ducati Scrambler thing. They looked like chick bikes, the seat was too low and didn’t seem to work styling-wise, the suspension was so-so. But now THIS — yes I have to say this looks like fun, and has proper Scrambler creds. Assuming that the bike can do 85 mph on the highway, I’d much rather take a weekend trip with this (and a pair of soft bags) than the overweight, overpriced 600-friggin-pound BMW R1200GS pig. I hope that Desert Sled gas tank is steel — so I can use my 15-year-old Chase Harper magnetic tank bag. Kudos to Ducati — and I don’t know why, but this seat shape seems to look better on this model than on the previous models. I know the profile is the same, but it appears better with the longer travel suspension.

  • Paul McM

    Q: Will this be on display at the Progressive Motorcycle Show in Long Beach this month?

  • HelloFriend

    Need to take one for a spin first, but I think I may be adding this one to my collection.

    Nice job Ducati.

  • Mike V

    This bike is bitchen in red. Reminds me of a 1970’s Husqvarna 400WR. I may give up the track (Pani 959) for dual sport-dirt! Looking forward to a test ride.

  • Jake F.

    So tempting…it almost makes me forgive it for being a Ducati built in Thailand. Almost.

  • …Add a pair of supermoto wheels and you have a bike for every terrain!

  • Ryan Donahue

    No, you’d then have an air-cooled Hypermotard.

  • Ryan Donahue

    Only bikes for the Thai market are built in Thailand, I believe.

  • Ryan Donahue

    Red with gold wheels? Oh my. I like.

  • The air-cooled Hypers were beautiful, I have a soft spot for them, but this one on 17 inchers would be a super bitchin’ retro machine ;)

  • Ryan Donahue

    Yes, fair point.

  • Timbo Baggins

    Not exactly. Only the European bikes are made in Italy, I’m pretty sure all the rest come from Thailand… at least mine did.

  • paulus

    The Thai built bikes are sold globally, with the exception of the Italy produced ones for their Italian and some Euro markets. There is nothing wrong with the Thai built bikes, the components are sourced globally and the quality performance equally performing to the Euro built bikes.

  • Benji







    That said. I dig it. This is by far Ducati’s best Yamaha. It’s much more XT500 esque than the SCR950.

  • darren636

    well .

    that looks bloody fantastic

  • nickarrr

    Holy god this looks good.

  • Pete

    Any idea if the wheels are tubeless?

  • Spurdog1

    Yeah baby!

  • Spurdog1

    Somebody at Ducati has a very sharp pencil. That is gorgeous.

  • Yup.

    For what it’s worth, I’d take a bike from Thailand over one from Italy…

  • Jake F.

    Sure, I wouldn’t mind a Thai bike from Thailand. What I object to is an ostensibly Italian bike that’s never been in Italy nor had an Italian so much as tighten a bolt on it.

  • So for a bike to be “Italian” the requirement is it being made in Italy?

  • Jake F.

    Requirement might be too limiting a term to use here. I’m talking about authenticity, which is possible to have in varying degrees. You can go to an Italian restaurant here in the US and get Italian food prepared from an Italian recipe but it’s still not quite the same, or quite as authentic, as going to Italy and eating the same food there, is it? My analogy might not be perfect but it informs something that really boils down to a feeling, which is what motorcycle branding is all about. This is especially true for Ducati.

  • Paul

    Certainly doesn’t appear to be so.

  • MichaelAndTheArgonauts

    The wheels are tubeless.

  • madskills

    So a dual sport that has more then 3 gallons of gas and good for more then 60 miles of riding. Also it isn’t a single with the capability to ride for more then a hour on the freeway. You can put someone on the back and maybe 50 lbs more without having to stop at a chiros before getting to your destination.