Ducati’s Scrambler is cool. Ducati designed it to be cool, creating a Scrambler sub-brand in the Ducati lineup from its introduction in 2015. Scrambler is a lifestyle choice, more than just a motorcycle. “Ducati Scrambler is the essence of motorcycling and a world filled with freedom, joy and self-expression.”
Scrambler is about expressing your own style, about making choices and being an individual. There’s a huge range of accessories to make your Scrambler unique, and the motorcycle is complimented by a wide range of branded apparel. Ducati encourages Scrambler riders to journey, explore and have fun.
The Scrambler range comes with 3 L-Twin engine options; the A2 friendly 399cc, the 803cc and the full-fat 1079cc. Our Nightshift has the 803cc unit which kicks out 53.6kw / 73hp and 48.8 lb-ft / 66.2 Nm torque. These aren’t particularly big numbers, but this bike isn’t about top speed figures or dyno charts, it’s about feeling good and having fun, and I did.
“The two-seater Scrambler Nightshift lights up the streets with a flash of classic style, a burst of the Café Racer flair and a beam of custom attitude.”
The Nightshift is a one colour bike, only available in aviator grey. It has a stainless exhaust system with very cool aluminium stacked end cans, which are just about loud enough to sound cool whilst keeping the fun police happy at the same time. Aluminium flat bars feel good and encourage you to put your weight forward.
The 6-speed gearbox is smooth and the hydraulic slipper clutch is light in operation, yet positive in use.
Front suspension uses unadjustable 41 mm upside-down Kayaba forks, and at the back is a pre-load adjustable Kayaba rear shock. Both do a pretty good job. It’s as if the bike was set up just for me, it felt about right straight away.
Spoked aluminium wheels are standard on the Nightshift with an 18” front wheel and a 17” rear wheel. These are wrapped in Pirelli MT 60 RS tyres; 180/55 R17 at the back and 110/80 R18 at the front. I like these tyres, they offer good grip. When you press on, the bike can move around a little on them but it’s predictable and fun.
If i had a criticism of this set up it would be that the front end felt a little vague. It wasn’t bad at all, but didn’t feel as confidence-inspiring as the Scrambler 1100 sport I had last year. It may have just been the weather. It was pretty cold when I had the bike.
The Nightshift has a single 330 mm brake disc with radial 4-piston calliper up front. At the rear is a 245 mm disc with a 1-piston floating calliper. Bosch cornering ABS is standard.
The brakes are excellent, despite only having a single front disc. There is plenty of feel and when called on to do their job in earnest, there’s no shortage of stopping power.
I had a blast on this baby Scrambler. I threw on my jeans and jacket and carved through the city traffic, pushing my way to the front of the queue, then effortlessly defeating all in the traffic light drag race to the next set of lights. Over and over, never tiring, grinning from ear to ear.
Playing with crosstown traffic was fun and the bike felt at home, but it’s not a one-trick pony.
I took the Nightshift on a 6-hour road trip on a mix of roads; motorways, A-roads and B roads. The ever-changing UK weather punished me with torrential rain for the first hour, bathed me in sunshine for an hour or so, and was ambivalent for the remainder of the journey. The Ducati didn’t miss a beat and was charming and comfortable throughout.
A dual seat is standard and works. I spent a day 2 up without complaint. Preload was increased, but otherwise, the bike took it all in its stride. I expected the bike might struggle with 2 onboard, but performance didn’t feel particularly blunted.
All in all, I found the Ducati Scrambler Nightshift fun and easy to ride. It’s light, looks great and really shines as an urban warrior, but can easily cope with whatever you throw at it. It sounds good, looks good and is a lot of fun to ride.
Unmistakably Ducati, the Nightshift makes a statement and is an individual and cool motorcycle.
L Twin 803 cc
53.6kw / 73hp
48.8 lb-ft / 66.2 Nm torque