Ducati Scrambler Forum banner
1 - 20 of 43 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
205 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have my bike for just more than a week now and I've done 650+ Km getting to know it. I come from riding a 110 cc moped around town and moved up to 803 cc. That is quite a jump for me and a totally unbiased opinion as far as trying to compare the Scrambler to anything. The first few days was just puttering around town with the occasional short jaunt to the outskirts. I read on this forum of riders talking about the throttle response. I have to say that it came as a surprise to me. Only slight movements of the throttle produced huge effect. Now here is one thing that I learned: If you want to develop smooth throttle action, take your wife with you on the back. She will very quickly let you know that you are now trying to get rid of her by throwing her off the back. A slap in the back of the head is great motivation to practice smooth throttle operation. But I hope this will improve after the first service.

The seating position is great. My 176 cm frame sits comfortably with both feet planted flat when parked while riding leaves just the right amount of knee bend to not get uncomfortable. Riding 2-up restricts movement a bit but riding alone means I can now move around to give my butt cheeks equal opportunities to turn numb. I may have to invest in one of those inflatable cushions for longer journeys.

I cannot complain about the suspension. To me it feels everything like it’s supposed to be for a bike of this nature. I did not even adjust the preload on the rear shock – mainly because I don’t know why I should. But I will experiment with it later. Riding slow (<60 km/h) every bump on a bad surface will translate to a shake but not bleeding kidney bad. Just enough to let you know to be careful. But here again the sensitive throttle caused me to leap forward when I didn't expect it. Maybe I should just learn to not grip the throttle too tight when I’m riding. At higher speeds, the suspension works a treat and on the open road, even an uneven surface will be smoothed over.

I did a 386 km trip on a Sunday morning traveling from my small town to a big city. Apart from the fact that it was blazingly hot (the weather, not the bike) it was a trip I will do again and again. What a pleasure. Frequent stops along the way will alleviate squeaky bum syndrome. I got an average of 22.8 km/L but I expect this will get even better after the first service. Cruising at 80 to 90 km/h is easy and the Scrambler will keep this up all day long. Overtaking takes just a flick of the wrist for 1xx km/h. I had to do at least one quick stop because of an idiot pickup driver but the brakes are fantastic. I don’t think the ABS came into play but the bike stopped on a dime. Turning the Scrambler was a bit of a worry for me because of the weight when I first got onto it. I’m used to a little moped remember. But I was pleasantly surprised at how easy it is to lean the Scrambler over. Quick lane changes, sharpish corners and U-turns are no problem. Once confidence grows, the bike will do everything you want. “But don’t get over confident now” I hear you say. No, I will always have a healthy respect no matter what kind of bike I ride.

Getting into the city gave me the opportunity to see what the Scrambler is like in heavy traffic. Sure, it’s not a moped but splitting lanes are not impossible. In fact, the high handlebars allow me to pass over car wing mirrors instead of bumping into them as with a low moped. (Here we go, trying to compare the Scrambler to a moped!) I’m talking 10 to 15 km/h here. It’s not something I will do as a rule but sometimes splitting lanes or “filtering” needs to be done and it is entirely possible on a Scrambler.

But sitting at a traffic light presents another sore point. Roasting nuts on an open fire. This is not a bike to ride with shorts and sandals in the summer time. I understand that no bike should be ridden without the proper safety gear. Long pants and closed shoes are part of deal. Add in a full face helmet, gloves and a riding jacket and you have yourself a free sauna. I can’t wait for cooler weather to come around.

I will do the same 386 km trip again next weekend. By that time my Scrambler should be ready for its first service. I’m very much looking forward to that.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
205 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
First service done.

Another 800 km round trip with the first service done in the middle and I’m still very impressed with the Scrambler. My only complaint thus far would be the seat comfort on a long journey. I had a little cushion custom made stuffed with 2 cm foam and that helped a little. Maybe I should replace it with a 3 cm foam piece but I’m concerned that it would increase the height of the seat. Alternatively I could just hunt down a local supplier of gel cushions to do the trick. I checked the tire pressures for the first time after taking delivery and found the rear at 37 psi and the front at 28 psi. Then I adjusted the pressures to 36 psi (2.5 Bar) front and rear as befits a solo rider. The difference in ride quality was not that remarkable for the speeds and road surfaces I travel – mainly sealed roads with the occasional bad section as a wakeup call.

The first service was done at 1089 km and was scheduled to take three hours. It was done after two and true to the “Ducati Worry Free Program” for 4 years or 30,000 km, it didn’t cost me a sent. I even had a new power outlet coupled to the battery for my Slime compressor. Not everything runs off a USB port. I had to take the bike back to the dealer to reset the service indicator due to no connectivity to the factory on the day. I had no idea that it had to be done through the factory. Maybe it’s just because this particular dealer is one of the smaller ones without their own facilities. Anyway, it’s done and I was told to bring the bike back for the next service at 6,000 km. But when I turned on the ignition, there is a display right after the flashing lights that show “SERVICE” and 10500. (See picture) It started as 10900 but seems to run backwards. Does this mean another service is due in 10,500 km?

On the road, the bike is a pleasure to ride. There’s enough power to get you both into and out of trouble. And the handling is just a blast. Like I said before, I’m new to this big bike phenomenon but it is so easy to ride and handle. Even the quick throttle response only takes a bit of getting used to. And finding neutral takes finesse. I think I mastered both. I even did a 50 km stretch of riding in the rain and even this was not as scary as I thought it would be. The bike feels solid and the tires never gave a feeling of slipping and sliding. OK, I didn’t do 100 km/h. Only about 70 or 80 and I felt safe and comfortable.

My average fuel consumption to date: 1,203 km since I started to record, 65 liters of 95 octane, 21.76 km/L. Best consumption 29.41 km/L and worst 16.46 km/L riding hard for about 150 km with lots of start, accelerating to 5000 or 6000 rpm and stopping. I won’t be doing this every day.

I’m looking at only two mods in the near future: Crash bobbins and a wind screen. Did you notice there are no flat surfaces to stick a parking disc or the insurance tag? And I need to get some kind of tank or saddle bags.

P.S. How do I get the pictures to display full size instead of thumbnails?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
128 Posts
Service indicator

I think that your next service is due at 12,000 km (7,500 miles). On switch on the display does count down the kms or miles left to the next service. It should clear after about 5 seconds. I reckon that if, like me, you don't have a free or pre-paid servicing plan, it's a warning to start saving your pennies :eek:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
311 Posts
Enjoyed your write up, sounds like you have made the jump from 110 - 803cc very well! The Scrambler is an easy bike to ride, it's just the sensitive throttle that takes a bit of getting used to, and it's light weight means it's good to handle.

The Icon stock seat is by far the most uncomfortable I've sat on, I don't usually suffer with discomfort but after only a short journey I was feeling it :eek:. I have had a gel pad inserted, and it's made a world of difference :).

Wow you have got nearly 70mpg out of it - is that a record :nerd: - I seem to average around 59/60mpg with 52 my lowest.

I have taken to wearing a rucksack to take essentials out with me, I was thinking of strapping a tailpack on but it would take too much room up on the seat - I'm used to top boxes to carry everything but this bike doesn't really lend itself to one! If I'm only needing a few things I've got a neat waist bag.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts
The Airhawk air pillow is a great product but does add height to the ride, so if you're concerned about that in the first place it might make it worse.
Having said that, folks do tend to over-inflate them which makes the ride height higher than it needs be.
Strap on gel cushions are another option, but also add height.
Another issue with any strap on comfort seats, is that they can be 'wobbly' if you're shifting around through corners and bends! :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
205 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks for all the advice guys. I will certainly look into getting either a gel pad or an Airhawk seat. As far as saddle bags are concerned, I agree with littleowl. This bike doesn't really lend itself to it. I also use a back pack to carry stuff and a small snug fitting shoulder bag for esentials.

The adventure continues...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
96 Posts
Good write up Phil. For your seat problem checkout a company called Airhawk, I don't have one but I have several mates who swear by them. Buy from eBay in the US though, it's sooooo much cheaper!

Jerry
I happen to have to Airhawks, the medium and the small (for my passenger). I have used it for years on all my recent bikes (F800GS and KTM690 Rally Raid) and it literally saved my ass on long overland trips (last one two years ago, 7000 km from Italy to Turkey and back).

I have had a loaner Red Icon last week, and I tried both of them on the Icon saddle. Hope this is helpful.
I personally will use the medium on long trips. It will also be good, as I am 180cm and will raise me a bit. As others have said the trick is to keep very little air in it.

On a separate note, on friday I went to the Ducati dealer to give them back the loaner and sign the papers for my bike which should arrive next week, and the dealer told me that in the next few weeks there will be a higher seat option (circa 2cm higher) available from Ducati, in black like the standard seat. Since I am going to use the air hawk on long trips i am not considering it, but that might be of interest of someone else

Rgds
Gianluca
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
205 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 · (Edited)
Nice, a tax disc holder that doesn't suck :) How much was it? Anything else interesting you saw there?

These guys must be making a killing now because of the Scramblers.
As you can see in the picture, there were at least another 4 Scramblers there not to mention the Hypermotards. The disc holder was 690 Baht. The FT had new tank panels fitted and another Scrambler was waiting to have the new Ohlins rear shock installed. Then of course there was this fantastic looking black custom with powder coated frame and copper plated tank panels and other shiny bits.

They are not cheap but the quality of their products and labour makes it worth it. (No, I do not get anything for this promotion.)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
205 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 · (Edited)
I just got back from a 900 km road trip traveling from Bangkok to Buriram and back via two very different routes. I would usually take the direct route using the motorways and the shortest distance to cover the trip but this is not always the most interesting way to travel. Enter Google maps and would you believe it? There is more than just the one way to reach Buriram. The one way is via Saraburi and Nang Rong and the other way is via Chachoengsao and Sa Kaeo. The latter is a few kilometers longer but I had the time and the inclination. And it showed travel through a national park and up a short mountain pass – with twisties!

But first things first: The last time I took to the open road was during a time when the wind was blowing a storm and travel anything above 80 km/h resulted in serious buffeting around chest and head. Something had to be done. I looked around in Bangkok for a windscreen and the best one I could find was the MRA Vario touring screen for naked bikes. It is a universal fit and took all of 30 minutes to install. And it can be taken off in even less time. On this trip, I had to deal with not only the wind but a little bit of rain too and I have to say that the screen made a whole lot of difference. In a good way. It has an adjustable top part to extend the reach. This offers protection against wind and rain depending on the riders’ length. I tried various settings until I found the sweet spot. Wind is deflected away from my chest and my head felt only a slight tug at speeds above 80 km/h. Only enough to provide fresh air. This was a good buy.

I have an old Garmin Nuvi 205W that I attached to the handle bars with a cheapy bicycle mount and a long cable to the USB plug for charging. The GPS is programmed to avoid motorways and toll ways and to find the shortest route between two points. This makes for some interesting choices: “Sharp left at 200 meters” takes you through a small village on the edge of a rice paddy with water buffalo blocking the way. Then a dirt track for 2 kilos to connect to the main route again. Distance saved? About 1 kilometer. Much fun was had.

I finally got my number plate from the Thailand department of transport. It only took three months and the dealer offered to mount it for me. And while I was there, I asked them to adjust the rear shock to its softest position. I tried to do this myself before but gave up when I had no more skin left on my knuckles. Then the dealer tried with the same useless little tool but failed miserably. He had to jump on his bike and fetch a tool from somewhere else to try again. Even then he needed help from two assistants to lift the rear end of the Scrambler to let the suspension hang free before he could turn the adjuster. Why Ducati even bother to include that piece of useless metal is beyond my understanding. Out it goes. Safes a few ounces of weight right there! But the difference in ride comfort is remarkable. Way better than before and even my sitting bone sighs with a bit of relief.

On my way back to the Big Mango I decided to take the shorter route. Cloudy skies, intermittent rain and light traffic made for a pleasant trip. I stopped once every hour for about 15 minutes for bathroom breaks and something to drink and 5 hours later I was sitting comfortably on my soft and luxurious sofa at home.
I should really get a GoPro to record these trips. I should really take more pictures. I should really do a lot of things but riding my Scrambler is just too much fun.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
205 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 · (Edited)
Another exciting weekend riding my Scrambler all around Thailand. Well, not all around but rather my usual route to my hometown in the Northeast. It was time to get the 6000 km lube service done as instructed by my dealer and under the Ducati Worry Free program as included with my purchase.

The ride there, about 380 km, is mainly highway and not too exciting. So it is natural that one would like to get this done in a swift fashion. But unfortunately this is not always possible what with slow moving trucks and just general traffic. Especially on a Friday when all of Bangkok migrates to the Northeast for the weekend. So it happened that I was on a rather slow stretch when it turns out the cause for the jam was a police roadblock. Understandable with the happenings in the city these last couple of days. But this was not your usual security check as I expected. No, this was a funding drive by the local authorities for their annual bonuses. Of course I was pulled over as a foreigner and therefore easy meat. The first question asked by the officer was for my drivers’ license. This I promptly produced. Then I was told that I was riding too fast. Impossible in my opinion but whatever. No use arguing with the authorities. Now I’m escorted to the roadside office where my license and a half completed ticket is handed over to one of two officers at a desk. This is placed at the bottom of an ever increasing pile because I’m not the only one there. At least another ten offenders are waiting in line for penalizing. And as one leaves, another takes his place. Eventually my turn comes around. “200 Baht” (US$5 – 6), I’m told. I pay and am moved on to the next officer. He issues a receipt, hands me back my license and indicate to me to be on my way. Examining the ticket later with my wife who can read Thai, I discover that I was accused of riding without a drivers’ license! Go figure. But I’m not complaining at all. There were a few times that I might have bruised the law a little by going over the speed limit and not got caught. I see it as road taxes that have to be paid sometimes.

I took my Scrambler to the dealer on Saturday morning when they opened. The service time was scheduled for three hours and as I had other things to take care off in the meantime, this suited me perfectly. When I returned, the bike was cleaned, oil change done (4 x Shell Advance 10W40), chain tension checked and lubed and sticky throttle fixed. It wasn’t that bad but had the potential of getting worse if not looked at. They also checked the general condition of the bike including torque settings on the important bits. Total cost of this service? 0 Baht (US$0.00). It’s nice to have a service plan. By the way, my dealer had a full complement of Scramblers available right away. I feel sorry for those you who have to wait for any amount of time.

Saturday afternoon the wife wanted to go for a ride so we hopped on and took a ride on roads unknown. At one point we were a bit lost and I had no GPS to guide us. My wife wanted me to make a U-turn but U-turns are for sissies. It was a great experience through green rice paddies and potholed lanes all the while with dark clouds building in the distance. The rain arrived just as we connected to a main road again. Oh great! But we’re on a Scrambler – not to worry. I have to mention again how much I love this bike and the setup in general. Sure the suspension could be better I guess but I have no reference to compare it with. This is my first big bike and I’m enjoying every moment with it. The tires are fantastic even on a drenched road. The bike feels sure footed and at no time do I feel on the edge. Ride sensibly and you should be fine. I cannot see any significant tread wear even after 6000+ km. The way I see it, I should be able to get at least another 4000 km before I’ll have to replace tires.

Fuel economy is another thing I am impressed with. The average consumption over 6000 km is still 21.81 km/l with a recent best figure of 29.39 km/l. The added windscreen may have an influence here. But city riding kills it with a worst figure of 11.38 km/l.
 
1 - 20 of 43 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top