If you want to design motorcycles for a living, the ArtCenter College of Design in Pasadena, California is the premier place to begin your studies, and attending the school could very well lead to a position as a designer at a two-wheeled or four-wheeled manufacturer. There is no better proof of that than today’s story.
Partnering with the Ducati Scrambler brand, the ArtCenter had students working on designs that explored the future of the Scrambler lineup, and the winner of the competition was rewarded with a training internship at the Ducati Design Center in Bologna, Italy.
In total, 10 projects were submitted for review, and it was Peter Harkins who took home the winning prize. While many students explored electric concepts for the Scrambler brand, Harkins thought of a more classic approach for Ducati’s heritage-based sub-brand.
While the Streetfighter V4 S was center stage at the Ducati stand at EICMA, our eye drifted over towards the Scrambler setup, where the Italian brand was showcasing two concept bikes for the Milan show.
At the Ducati launch event in Rimini, the Ducati Scrambler Desert X concept was the big tease, with the Italians saying very little about the bike.
Really, all that was revealed (beyond a couple sketches) was that the motorcycle would use the brand’s 1,079cc air-cooled engine, and instead Ducati encouraged fans to see the bike at the EICMA booth, if they wanted more than a rendering. So, we obliged.
For us, the Ducati Scrambler Desert X concept was the star of the Ducati EICMA experience, perhaps because we knew so far in advance that the Streetfighter V4 was coming, and had a pretty good idea about what this 205hp street-shredding machine would look like.
While the Ducati Streetfighter V4 was the crown jewel of the Ducati unveiling event in Rimini last week, the items that everyone seems to be still talking about after the media launch are something else, they are the two concept bikes for the Scrambler range.
For those that didn’t watch the live stream, Ducati CEO Claudio Domenicali presented two different Scrambler models that have the potential to go into production, an ADV bike and a supermoto.
Ducati’s new model releases at INTERMOT was reserved, to say the least. Showing us some updates to the Scrambler Ducati lineup, the Italian brand debuted three new graphics for its Café Racer, Desert Sled, and Full Throttle models.
It might only be “bold new graphics” for these 2019 model year bikes, but the fresh liveries are very fetching.
The Full Throttle model is based off the Ducati Scrambler that is being raced in the Super Hooligan series in the United States, while the Café Racer design comes from the Ducati 125GP Desmo raced, with the blue and white livery a nod to racer Bruno Spiaggiari.
As for the white and red Desert Sled, well…that’s just delicious.
What you are looking at is the “new” Ducati Scrambler Icon. The changes are hard to spot from the original Icon model, but overall the machine gets a number refinements and enhancements, the most notable of which is the new cornering ABS package from Bosch.
Other changes include thicker aluminum side panels on the fuel tank, black paint on the engine (with brushed cylinder head fins), and machine-finished wheels. The headlight is new too, and features a daylight running light (DRL).
An auto-off feature has been added to the LED turn signals (thanks to the IMU powering the cornering ABS), and new switchgear is on the handlebars. On the more practical side of the spectrum, the LCD dash now includes a fuel level gauge.
There is a new Ducati Scrambler model coming for the 2019 model year. That is what we know. We know that this new model will debut on September 10th, ahead of the INTERMOT show in Germany. What that model will be, however, well…that is what is up for debate.
Our colleagues over at the UK’s Superbike Magazine, they think that a new Ducati Scrambler 800 model is in the works. Meanwhile, our sources have tipped us that a Ducati Scrambler Desert Sled 1100 is on the way. Both ideas make sense, though for different reasons.
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.
When we first heard that Ducati was bringing back the Supersport line, we were excited. The original SuperSport wasn’t exactly the best selling model for the Italian brand, but Ducati created some loyal enthusiasts with the half-faired sport-touring machine.
The new Ducati Supersport does a good job of tapping into the ethos of the old model, but visually it draws too close to the Ducati 1299 Panigale Superbike, rather than the lines of yore.
Here, Oberdan Bezzi plays another one of his “what if” games, drawing an air-cooled Supersport model (based off the current Scrambler platform), complete with the more classic half-fairing design.
Just the other day, I was lamenting to a Ducati person about how the Desert Sled should have been the first model from the motorcycle makers Scrambler sub-brand…since, you know, it goes off-road quite well.
Built for the hard hits and jumps that come with taking a production street bike scrambling through the woods, the Desert Sled pretty much lives up to its name. But, if you really want to do the business, some changes need to be made.
This is where Alex Earle comes in the picture, with his Ducati Desert Sled “ADV Alaska” Prototype. A designer for Audi by day, Earle is known better in motorcycling circles for his street-tracker inspired custom Ducatis. You’ve probably seen them before.
For the 2018 model year, Ducati is updating the Scrambler Desert Sled with another color option, one that the Italian brand calls “Shining Black”. As boring as that name sounds, it might be the best retro Scrambler paint job that we have ever seen from Borgo Panigale.
We know that up until this point, the Scrambler Ducati brand has been all about its bright green AstroTurf faux lawns, pristine giant yellow container boxes, and post-authentic marketing calls with skateboards, wide-brim hates, and semi-homeless millennials.
But, the new Desert Sled color scheme (we would have called the color “Shag Carpet Sexy” or “Dr. McNasty”) screams back to another part of the 1970s – a time when souping up passenger vans and living in them was an acceptable thing for non-creepy men to do.
Still, we love the effect that is done with the all-black paint, contrasted with the warm red/orange/yellow rainbow colors. It gets us excited about the Ducati Scrambler Desert Sled all over again.
Now, the only question is how hard would it be to wedge the Scrambler 1100’s engine in this off-road chassis? Not too hard, we think.
We already got a good look at the 2018 Ducati Scrambler 1100 ahead of this year’s EICMA show, but now we have all the details on Ducati’s new heritage motorcycle. Surprisingly, it’s not just one motorcycle, but in fact three flavors of the Ducati Scrambler 1100 have debuted.
As such, there is the new Ducati Scrambler 1100, the Ducati Scrambler 1100 Special, and the more premium Ducati Scrambler 1100 Sport for the 2018 model year.
All three machines are built around Ducati’s venerable air-cooled v-twin engine design, which comes in a 1,079cc format and makes 84hp and 65 lbs•ft of peak torque.
The top of the food chain model for the Scrambler Ducati family, the Scrambler 1100 models all come with Bosch’s cornering ABS as standard, dual 320mm brake discs up front, which are mated to Brembo 4.32 calipers and a hydraulic master cylinder.
Ducati has also added 10-level traction control to the new Scrambler 1100 model, as well as a ride-by-wire throttle and an LED headlight. With an 18″ wheel up front, and a 17″ wheel in the back, the Ducati Scrambler 1100 series continues to sport the Pirelli MT60 RS tires.