RoadRUNNER Motorcycle of the Year: Ducati Scrambler

Oct 31, 2015 View Comments by

RoadRUNNER Motorcycle of the Year: Ducati ScramblerLight, Affordable, and Fun –

Another busy year has flown by with our editors and contributors traveling around the globe, spinning wheels on all sorts of motorcycles. Picking a winner is never easy—especially with so many amazing motorcycles available. Some bikes excel in features, whereas others dominate the environment they’ve been engineered to conquer. It’s been a year of new motorcycles flaunting plenty of electronic goodies and boasting a ‘bigger is better’ mentality. Without a doubt such advancements make our rides safer and more comfortable. But when Ducati introduced the Scrambler, they seemed to head in the other direction. And we loved it.

For most of us, motorcycling is a passion and a lifestyle. We dream about places to explore on two wheels and what other bikes might be like to ride. And while we’re riding, nothing can compare to that feeling of freedom and contentment. We think about riding when we’re not, and we think about riding some more when we are.

The main reason we voted the Ducati Scrambler the 2015 Motorcycle of the Year is in its ability to bring us back to a simpler time (with some modern improvements, of course). The Scrambler is small, docile, sexy, and affordable ($8,495 – $9,995). It’s a rare occurrence when a motorcycle appeals to such a diverse group of riders. The Scrambler captivates those who are price conscious or who are looking for a starter bike. It doesn’t look intimidating to ride and, in fact, it’s easy to handle with its sub-400 pounds. The styling speaks to the fashionistas in all of us. It’s a beautiful motorcycle, no question. Leave it on the road or burn it over dirt. Leave it stock or customize it to one’s wildest dreams. Already have a stable full of motorcycles? Well, adding the Scrambler won’t hurt.

Feeling the breeze traveling down forgotten country roads or buzzing around town on a retro bike feels much more familiar now—evoking memories of when one began riding and fell in love with the pastime in the first place.

Ducati repurposed the 803cc air-cooled L-twin, which was retired in the Monster 796, a classic in its own right, and borrowed engine designs from the Multistrada. Put it together and it translates into lots of low-end torque and a power line that pulls all the way to the rev limiter. It sounds good, too.

The Scrambler’s minimalistic instrument panel is extremely easy to see. The large digital readout of the speed is centrally located and surrounded by warning lights and the tachometer. Seating position is comfortably upright. Ducati’s stock seat for the Scrambler surprised us with comfort and support, even for 300-plus daily miles. A USB outlet hides underneath the seat to make charging of electronics convenient.

It’s a Ducati for the masses—reminding riders just how exciting motorcycling can be regardless of where the journey begins or ends.


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About the author

As long as I can grab a handlebar, I'll ride it. Trail riding is becoming my favorite hobby as of late. Hope to meet you on the road.