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2017 Ducati Scrambler Cafe Racer & Desert Sled | First Look Review

Rider Magazine StaffNovember 07, 2016

Ducati has announced two new variations in the Scrambler family: the sporty Café Racer and the off-road focused Desert Sled. The new models were unveiled at the EICMA show in Milan, Italy, on November 7, and they join the Icon, Full Throttle, Classic and Sixty2 for the 2017 lineup.

2017 Ducati Scrambler Cafe Racer. (Photo: Ducati)

2017 Ducati Scrambler Café Racer. (Photo: Ducati)

Scrambler Café Racer
The new Café Racer is perhaps the greatest departure from the look of the rest of the Scrambler family that we’ve seen thus far. It features low, clip-on handlebars fitted with bar-end mirrors, Termignoni exhaust with anodized black covers, a classic café racer-style humped seat with a cover for the passenger section, number plates, a minimalist front fender, fully adjustable upside-down fork and swingarm-mounted license plate holder. It’s shod with sporty Pirelli Diablo Rosso II tires on 17-inch gold wheels both front and rear.

Read our First Ride Review of the 2015 Ducati Scrambler.

The Cafe Racer is the only Scrambler model to feature 17-inch wheels both front and rear and clip-on handlebars.

The Café Racer is the only Scrambler model to feature 17-inch wheels both front and rear and clip-on handlebars.

The Café Racer’s 803cc L-twin air-and-oil-cooled engine is Euro 4 compliant, and Ducati says it offers smoother power delivery and better throttle response than the previous design, especially at lower rpm. It claims a peak of 75 horsepower at 8,250 rpm, and 50.2 lb-ft of torque at 5,750 rpm. Bosch 9.1 ABS is standard.

3-01-ducati-scrambler-cafe-racer

The Café Racer is available in Black Coffee, with a black frame and engine and gold wheels. It will be available in April 2017, at a US retail price of $11,395.

2017 Ducati Scrambler Desert Sled. (Photo: Ducati)

2017 Ducati Scrambler Desert Sled. (Photo: Ducati)

Scrambler Desert Sled
The Desert Sled replaces the Urban Enduro variation for 2017, and represents a step further towards true off-road capability for the Scrambler. The frame has been reinforced for off-road duty, and a new aluminum swingarm is longer and stronger than that used on the other Scrambler 800 models. Integrated crash protection includes a skid plate, chain guard and rear sprocket protection fin.

Read our Rider Comparo of the 2015 Ducati Scrambler & Triumph Scrambler.

The Desert Sled features a mesh headlight guard, reinforced high-mount front fender and tapered handlebars with a crossbar support.

The Desert Sled features a mesh headlight guard, reinforced high-mount front fender and tapered handlebars with a crossbar support.

The big news for the Desert Sled’s off-road worthiness, however, is its suspension. A new, beefier 46mm Kayaba fork (compared to the 41mm fork used on the Urban Enduro) is fully adjustable, and the rear Kayaba shock is now adjustable for preload and rebound damping. Suspension travel has been increased on both ends, from 5.9 inches on the Urban Enduro to 7.9 inches, which to this point is the highest of any OE street scrambler on the market. It also (finally) gets a 19-inch front wheel, opening up the tire possibilities to include more dual-sport offerings. The Desert Sled comes shod with Pirelli Scorpion Rally STR “enduro on/off-road” tires.

Front and rear suspension travel has been increased by 2 inches over the outgoing Urban Enduro model, to a rock-eating 7.9 inches.

Front and rear suspension travel has been increased by 2 inches over the outgoing Urban Enduro model, to a rock-eating 7.9 inches.

Like the other 2017 Scrambler models, the Desert Sled’s 803cc L-twin, air-and-oil-cooled engine is Euro 4 compliant, and has been reworked with a new throttle control and smoother response, especially at lower rpm. It claims a peak of 75 horsepower at 8,250 rpm, and 50.2 lb-ft of torque at 5,750 rpm. Bosch 9.1 ABS is standard.

The Desert Sled is available in White Mirage or Red Dusk, both featuring a black frame and gold wire-spoked tubeless rims. It will be available in March 2017, at a US retail price of $11,395.

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