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Find my brake – Ducati Scrambler

October 1, 2022 Tips & how-to guides
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We look at the Ducati Scrambler model range from 2015 to the present, and what brake pads Bendix supplies for these motorcycles.

Ducati’s brand has long been associated with high-performance sports motorcycles and to broaden the brand’s appeal they’ve been working in recent years to expand into other sectors of the market. With the Scrambler, Ducati planned to increase sales by offering a practical, retro-styled motorcycle with modern performance and reliability. The Scrambler delivered on the promise from the get-go. So much so that in 2015 global Ducati sales rocketed by more than 20 per cent based on the Scrambler alone. It wasn’t just Ducati’s best-selling bike, it outsold the next-most-popular model, the Multistrada 1200, at a rate of two-to-one. Rarely, in the history of any bike brand, has a single new model made such an instant impact on a company’s performance. Ducati sold 54,800 machines that year – nearly 10,000 more than it had in 2014 – and around 16,000 of those worldwide sales were Scramblers.

Although the original Ducati Scrambler, launched in 1962, targeted the American market, the all-new Scrambler aimed to appeal to a new generation of potential Ducati owners - those more concerned about persona and personalisation than outright performance. From day one in Australia, the Scrambler has proven an excellent entry-level into the Ducati fold: simple and easy to use, yet fun to ride.

Whilst the Ducati Scrambler range incorporates several motocross elements in its retro design, the bikes were not primarily designed for serious off-road use. For instance; the Urban Enduro version, equipped with additional off-road-oriented components, such as wire wheels, a handlebar cross-bar brace, fork protectors, a sump guard, a headlight grill, and Pirelli MT60 dual-sport tires was not classified as an enduro motorcycle by the factory. Instead, Ducati cautioned that the bike "may be used occasionally on a dirt trail" but it is not designed for "heavy off-road use".

At launch in 2015, there were four versions of the Scrambler: The entry-level Icon, the Full Throttle, the Urban Enduro, and the Classic. All four variants shared the same chassis and 803cc, air-cooled, L-twin engine with a combination of mudguards, bars, seats, paint, and wheels distinguishing the different models.

The 803cc air-cooled L-twin engine, with a bore and stroke of 88 x 66mm and compression ratio of 11.0:1, was equipped with Ducati’s famous Desmodromic 2-valve cylinder heads. Fitted with electronic fuel injection the mixture was fed into the combustion chamber through a 50mm throttle body that enabled the engine to produce a healthy 50 Kw whilst still complying with Euro4 emissions regulations. The engine was mated to a six-speed gearbox with shifts controlled by a wet multi-plate, mechanically actuated clutch.

The frame of the Scrambler was the typical Ducati tubular steel trellis type, with suspension taken care of by 41mm inverted Kayaba telescopic forks at the front and a Kayaba monoshock at the back.

To take advantage of the Scrambler’s overnight success, Ducati wasted no time in expanding the range to appeal to an even wider audience. In late 2015 the lineup grew to include the short-lived 803cc Flat Track Pro, which came with number boards on the sides and front, and a 399cc Scrambler, the Sixty2.

The 399cc L-twin engine in the Sixty2 was pure Ducati magic. The tried and tested Desmodromic two-valve, air-cooled L-twin engine with a bore and stroke of 72 x 49mm, and a compression ratio of 10.7:1 produced 30 kW. The engine featured cast pistons with machined fly cuts and a single-piece crankshaft. Two injectors and a 50mm single throttle-body took care of the fuel mix, whilst a steel two-into-one exhaust system with an aluminium-covered muffler took care of the spent gasses. Power was fed to the back wheel via a six-speed gearbox and cable-actuated wet clutch.

As with the larger Scramblers, the engine was housed in a twin-spar steel trellis frame with a steel swingarm controlled by a preload-adjustable Kayaba shock. Up front, the Sixty2 was equipped with 41mm Kayaba non-adjustable front forks. The wheels were cast alloy 10-spoke dirt-track styled items, with a single 320mm rotor clamped by a two-piston Brembo caliper up front and a single 245mm rear rotor with a single-piston caliper controlling the braking at the rear. ABS was taken care of by a Bosch 9.1mp system.

In Australia, the Scrambler Sixty2 was more than a timeless, uncomplicated, and fun to ride ‘bike. Local legislation opened up another niche in the form of the Learner Approved Motorcycle Scheme (LAMS). The Motorcycle Graduated Licensing Scheme restricts new riders to production motorcycles with an internal combustion engine with a capacity of not more than 660 cc and a power-to-weight ratio of less than 150kW/tonne. With Ducati’s Sixty2 Scrambler fulfilling the requirements it was added to the list of approved motorcycles for beginners. This means that many new Australian riders’ first encounter with the world of motorcycling is astride the Sixty2 Scrambler.

Eager to push the limits of the Scrambler’s marketing potential, in late 2016 Ducati released the Cafe Racer and Desert Sled models. The former was still closely related to earlier iterations of the nameplate, gaining a pillion seat hump and dropped clip-on bars to suit its name. The Desert Sled, however, pushed more towards the real ‘scramber’ end of the scale, effectively replacing the Urban Enduro and adding an off-road slant to the motorcycle for those riders looking for more off-road capability.

Ducati described the Desert Sled as “an enduro version of the Scrambler, inspired by the world of off-road motorcycles that made history in the United States during the 60s and 70s.” In keeping with the vision, the Desert Sled was fitted with a ribbed seat suitable for dirt track and desert riding, a reinforced tubular frame, aluminum handlebar with cross strut, high front, and rear mudguards, stainless steel muffler with aluminum tailpipes, an engine protection plate, spoked gold wheels (19” front and 17” rear) shod with Pirelli Scorpion Rally STR tyres, and an aluminum double-sided rear swing arm.

2018 saw Ducati release another round of Scrambler variants, including a 70s-inspired ‘Mach 2.0’ and the more subtle ‘Street Classic’ as well as a ‘Hashtag’ version of the original 803cc bike that was only sold online. With the 803cc L-Twin having served the Scrambler well for three years Ducati decided the time was right for the introduction of a new larger-engined range of Scrambler. The lineup of ‘1100’, ‘1100 Special’, and ‘1100 Sport’ were all powered by a new 64 kW, 1079cc version of Ducati’s classic air-cooled twin.

Although the 1100 Scrambler lineup was technically very similar in specification to the 800-powered models, one of the big differences between the 1100cc and 800 Scrambler variants was the additional 320mm brake disc and ABS-assisted Brembo M4.32 calipers on the front.

With the Scrambler having proven itself to be extremely popular over the past eight years Ducati has chosen to focus on expanding the lineup with niche offerings such as the 800 limited-edition and numbered edition Desert Sled Fasthouse models – both of which are available Down Under. The Desert Sled Fasthouse was created to celebrate the collaboration between Ducati Scrambler and the American clothing brand Fasthouse, which in 2020 took Jordan Graham to victory in the Hooligan class of the Mint 400, the oldest and most prestigious off-road race in America.

What is more, Australians, are also on the list to receive the latest 2022 Scrambler models, with the 1100 Tribute Pro and Urban Motard revealed to be the latest members of the line-up. The Ducati Scrambler 1100 Tribute PRO has been created to pay homage to the history of the air-cooled twin-cylinder engine, fifty years after it was first introduced on a Ducati back in 1971.

The second addition to the Scrambler family, the Urban Motard, was created to stand out in the city environment by making itself noticed, through a combination of style, sportiness, and fun.

Both bikes, like all new Ducati and Scrambler offerings, are fitted with Cornering ABS.

With Ducati’s Scrambler filling a wide range of roles – from a novice’s training platform, the daily urban commute, or a nostalgic Friday night cafe’ racer – the brake pads must perform flawlessly at all times. For this reason, Bendix has developed the Bendix Moto line of brake pads that covers a wide range of bikes and riding applications.

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Bendix Brake Pads For The Ducati Scrambler Range Of Motorcycles

As Australia’s largest automotive friction material manufacturer, Bendix has been at the leading edge of braking technology for close to 70 years and has now taken that expertise to the world of motorcycling with the Bendix Moto line of brake pads.

Bendix Moto currently offers two brake pad types – Ultimate+ and Street Road Track. Each pad type covers the needs of a range of motorcycles and how they’re used, from putting around on the daily commute to full-blown track use. Bendix Moto’s extensive catalogue also covers an enormous range of different motorcycle types including Ducati’s Scrambler lineup.

Ideally suited to the Scrambler’s urban riding style, Bendix Moto Ultimate+ Brake Pads have been developed for bikes that spend a lot of time commuting in daily traffic. They offer exceptional stopping power, low dust, and low noise, whilst offering high resistance to brake fade at higher temperatures thanks to a high friction ceramic formulation.

Whilst Bendix Moto Ultimate+ Brake Pads are made to handle the stresses of stop-start traffic they also offer the high braking performance that owners of the 1100 Special require when out on a weekend road trip or making their way down a winding mountain pass.

Whether you are a novice getting to understand how to safely control your Ducati Sixty2 Scrambler or enjoying a trail ride on a Desert Sled, Bendix Moto Ultimate+ Brake Pads make sure you’re in control, no matter your level of experience or the riding conditions.

Never get caught out by brakes that aren’t quite up to the job. Fitting a set of Bendix Moto Ultimate+ Brake Pads to your Ducati Scrambler means you can brake with confidence - anywhere, anytime, in all conditions.