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A ride on the Ducati Desert Sled

Note, this isn’t intended to be the highest form of motorcycle journalism, simply the ramblings of a relative newbie to the world of two wheeled motorcycles.

As a natural extension from my recent ride on the Ducati Scrambler 1100 I took the opportunity to take its’ smaller 800cc L-Twin sibling variant for a ride, this time in the form of what most refer to as the truest interpretation of the Scrambler, The Desert Sled, for a spin. My initial concerns were seat height, coming in at a whopping 860mm would it feel like mounting a horse? Initially hopping on you notice that the upgraded adjustable suspension has some sag that allowed my 5 10″ frame (with circa 33″ inseam) to practically flat foot the bike, with that concern alleviated I proceeded on my test ride. First impressions transitions from the SuperSport where how high the bars were, however you quickly get used to this. The other notable point was the relatively higher biting point on the clutch lever compared to the 939 SS along with the omission of a gear position indicator – which I feel should be a given in this day and age and price point, again after a few minutes you get used to this.

What’s with the BMX cabling?

The ride is very compliant and fuelling excellent, and unlike the SuperSport you don’t feel the bike constantly urging you to rev higher. You can happily stay within the speed limits and not put your license at risk in the process. Despite being a tall bike it handles and filters well in traffic and when you do come upon an open road the Desert Sled deploys it’s 70-odd horses with ease. Yes it’s not huge, however it’s more than fast enough in modern traffic offering good visibility with excellent rear view mirrors as standard.

It’s easy to go mad with the Ducati options list, and if you want to put your own mark on the bike it makes total sense. However I would be more than happy to take this in its’ standard form… maybe adding a tail tidy and some neater indicators at a later date. Maybe some luggage for some touring… and they do some nice upgraded round billet mirrors. Damn it.

Yeah that’s me.

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