Ducati Lowers the Barrier to Entry With the Scrambler Sixty2
It’s doubtful that when Ducati unveiled its all new Scrambler lineup last year it envisioned the new bike being as fantastically successful as it’s been. Even now, prospective buyers are having to wait substantial amounts of time before taking delivery of their little Ducs; having too much demand is a great problem to have, and the Italian brand doesn’t seem to have any plans of sitting on its laurels with its newly minted best selling model.
In fact, Ducati recently announced the four Scrambler iterations in its stable would be getting a new sibling. It’s called the Scrambler Sixty2, and it takes aim at a motorcycling demographic previously un-mined by the brand. The name is a reference to the year the original Ducati Scrambler was first introduced.
The Sixty2 is a small motorcycle that gives Ducati a true entry-level bike for the first time in a while. (The 803cc Scramblers released last year are a bit much for an inexperienced rider.) Power for the Sixty2 comes from an air-cooled 399cc L-twin that produces a healthy 41 horsepower and 25 pound-feet of torque. It’s a true desmodromic motor, in keeping with Ducati tradition. A six-speed transmission and chain drive send power out back while a two-into-one exhaust runs into a black aluminum silencer. Since the bike weighs around 400 pounds (which is rather heavy for its class) performance should be somewhat sprightly, but not too much for a new rider to handle.
Compared to the other Scrambler models, the Sixty2 makes do with a variety of more budget-oriented parts. The front forks, for instance, are 41mm Showa units of the right-side-up variety. The rear mono shock comes from Kayaba and is adjustable for pre-load only. Likewise, the steel tube swingarm is quite a bit thinner and cheaper looking than that of the other Scramblers. Still, it has a nice curve to it that accents the baby Scrambler’s style in a big way. Thankfully, it looks like Ducati didn’t skimp too much in the braking department. The front stopping hardware consists of a single 320mm disc clamped by a Brembo two-piston floating caliper. Out back there’s a 245mm disc with a single piston floating caliper. Dual-channel Bosch ABS is standard equipment.
The wheels are 10-spoke aluminum pieces designed to recall images of flat track racers from days gone by. The hoops are shod with Pirelli enduro rubber made specifically for the Sixty2. Other finishing touches include an LED tail light, digital instrumentation, and a convenient passenger grab rail.
According to Ducati, the Sixty2’s styling was inspired by the BMX culture that sprang up in the ‘80s. If you squint a little, the bike’s high, dirt bike style handlebars, short wheelbase, and upright seating position are somewhat reminiscent of a BMX bicycle. Beyond that, the Sixty2 is just a good-looking motorcycle. The teardrop-shaped steel tank, minimalist bodywork, and chunky tires give it a strong visual persona that’s simultaneously classic and modern, much like the rest of the Scrambler lineup.
With the Scrambler Sixty2, Ducati is aiming to attract a new generation of riders to both the brand and motorcycling in general. U.S. availability has yet to be announced, but pricing starts at $7,995, nearly a thousand dollars cheaper than the 803cc Scramblers, which start at $8,895. With low insurance rates, high gas mileage, and reasonable 7,500-mile service intervals, the Sixty2 should be quite affordable to own, furthering its attractiveness to new riders.
For once, the marketing materials may be completely accurate when they say, “While the Ducati Scrambler 800 is aimed at motorcyclists that see riding as a form of escapism, the Sixty2 has been built to appeal to younger riders and their yearning for fun.”