I recently racked up 1,000 miles in the first few weeks of ownership on my Ducati Supersport S (which you can read about here). On that post I eluded to the fact that I was actually going to Ducati to buy a Scrambler 1100 as my first ‘Big Bike’. As someone in their 30’s who as some describe as having an early mid-life crisis by taking up a hobby on two wheels I didn’t really have a shortlist of bikes I wanted that would make sense in any head-to-head shoot out. In short I was in a toss up between a Triumph T120, a BMW R-Nine-T Scrambler and this Ducati Scrambler 1100 in this ‘special’ spec. How I ended up with the SuperSport I do not know, but did I make the right choice?
The 600 mile run in service on the SuperSport presented me with an opportunity to find that out. A quick call to my Ducati dealer in Romford secured me a courtesy bike, I thought it was going to be an 800 however upon arrival all they had was an 821 Monster and the 1100 Scrambler Sport.
First impressions when getting on the bike were that the seat felt a little taller than that of my SuperSport, in reality however the seal is a little wider. The tank profile is a little narrower and the bars are nice and high. Even going from raised clip ons to the bars on the Scrambler felt like I had just jumped on one of those Harley Davidson’s with the bars in the sky. I wasn’t dressed for this look – in my full leathers and colour clashing red Arai helmet – what a bell end.
I soon forgot about this however, expecting the engine to be lumpy. The fuelling was perfect and right away it felt intuitive to ride straight out of the dealer. I had two hours to enjoy this bike before being faced with a £500 bill for an oil change and some new levers.. I was going to make the most of this.
I took the bike on a number of A and B roads that day and it never put a foot wrong. OK it’s not as dynamic as the SuperSport which slower changes in direction, the handlebars requiring more positive input than the sports orientated bike. The Scrambler has ample amount of power to make overtaking simple thanks to low end torque and is great to swan about town, however I think it would make a good bike for touring with it’s relaxed upright style.
It’s not as exciting as the SuperSport which always begs you to make it go faster, with the Scrambler you can remain content plodding along at a gentle cruise. You are far less likely to lose your license on the 1100 and will be far more comfortable taking it to the shops or to work, whereas the SuperSport (relatively speaking) feels more like an occasion.
In short I loved it and in many ways would have made the right first bike for me with the SuperSport as a better weekend bike. However I don’t use a bike for commuting anymore so I made the right choice.. however I can’t but help wanting to add this or a similar machine as more of a ‘daily’ bike. The only dislike I had for the 1100 was that brake cable that sprouts out of the front of the bike… apparently it’s to make it look like an authentic throwback. An argument that is let down by what I find a horrible digital display – I would have preferred something more analogue in presentation here with some digital integration, like the Kawasaki Z900RS. It’s a little pricey however there are already some good deals on the pre-reg bikes, so it remains to be seen what the depreciation looks like with most stock available bikes being the basic 1100 or this Special variant. The top of the range Sport comes in matt black with gold viper details, complimented by Ohlin’s front and rear.