Return of the Cafe Racers - Ducati Scrambler Motard and DesertX

Ducati Scrambler Motard and DesertX

We love a good concept motorcycle, even if it isn’t a cafe racer styled ride. These two Ducati concepts are named the Scrambler Motard and Scrambler DesertX. They entered the spotlight at EICMA in 2019 and are slated as potential future additions to the Ducati Scrambler range. Both bikes feature styling befitting of the Scrambler moniker with one pitched as a track-ready Motard and the other an adventure-ready offroader.

What makes these two motorcycles really exciting is that Ducati designers Julien Clément and Jérémy Faraud have taken a less conservative approach with their Scrambler concepts. To date, each model in the Scrambler range has borne a strong resemblance to the original 2015 Scrambler design. The two concepts named the Scrambler Motard and Scrambler Desert X break away from the long-toothed Land of Joy styling. At their core, however, the 2 bikes are irrefutably of Scrambler pedigree.

Ducati Scrambler Motard concept

Of the 2 concepts, the Motard is more akin to its Scrambler brethren borrowing much of its running gear from the current Scrambler Desert Sled. Inspired by 1980s supermotards the Motard concept moves well away from the notion of this Scrambler being an off-road capable machine. Finished in white, a vibrant metallic blue and boasting brushed alloy accents it also introduces a fresh new colour palette to the series.

The Scrambler Motard’s front end is where you’ll find the biggest changes. Covering the headlight is what appears to be a removable racing plate that bears the number 62, a hat tip to the release of the first Ducati Scrambler in 1962. A high mounted supermoto style fender sits directly below and the MX style bars wear supermoto style handguards. The front forks appear to be the 46 mm fully adjustable USD units found on the Desert Sled. Brush guards cover the lower half of the forks and the radiator is encased in a brushed aluminium surround.

The Motard’s fuel tank is a slightly more aggressive interpretation of the typical Scrambler teardrop tank. The whole unit is a cover, which may be just for the purpose of the concept, but this would make customisation much easier. In the rear things are more akin to standard Scrambler attire. The seat, swingarm and suspension are again taken directly from the Desert Sled platform. The only difference here is a set of side panels/racing plates that wrap around the bike’s muffler and mono-shock. Overall the Motard has a much more planted appearance than the Desert Sled due to the revised wheel size. The spoked 17-inch rims are wrapped in customised Pirelli Diablo Superbike rubber hinting that Ducati thinks this bike would be a track worthy steed.

The modern-retro styling of the Scrambler Motard could offer Ducatista an alternative to the hard-edged, ultra-modern Hypermotard. For now, there’s no mention of performance but it’s clear the concept is built around the Scrambler 803cc L-twin. In standard guise, that motor produces 73bhp and 49 pound-feet of torque. That’s a fair whack less than the Hypermotard 939’s 110bhp/95Nm, but we’d be willing to accept a sacrifice in power in return for something that looks this good.

Ducati Scrambler DesertX concept

The second concept named the Ducati Scrambler DesertX is the more radical of the two bikes. According to Ducati, “The DesertX is inspired by the iconic models that competed in the golden age of Rally Raid.” The influence of Dakar bikes on this concept is unmistakable; In particular the race-winning Cagiva Elefant of the 90s. But there is nothing nineties about the technology that powers it.

The Scrambler DesertX concept is built around the beefier Ducati Scrambler 1100 platform. So we can expect a power figure of at least 86bhp and 65Nm of torque. This would likely be re-tuned for off-road appropriateness, but it’s a solid starting point. Rolling on spoked rims with a 21-inch front and 18-inch rear the DesertX would replace the Desert Sled as the tallest Scrambler in the Land of Joy range. Ducati has also wrapped each wheel in dedicated off-road Pirelli Scorpion Rally rubber so there’s no question as to what this bikes intended purpose will be.

The Scrambler DesertX is a motorcycle designed for long hauls. This would mean the DesertX will need to carry plenty of gas, and Ducati has made sure of that. There are a total of 4 filler caps on the DesertX. There are 2 on the main tank and 2 at the rear of the bike that are used to fill smaller reserve tanks in the tail. All this equates to an impressive total fuel capacity of 30 litres (7.9 gallons). The monoposto configuration features a rear luggage rack as part of its standard equipment so there’s no need to fork out extra cash for aftermarket add-ons. Additional off-road appropriateness comes in the form of a robust carbon fibre belly pan, a long rear fender and a tall windscreen to reduce tiresome wind buffeting. There’s also a high mounted Termignoni exhaust to leave plenty of ground clearance and brush guards to keep hands safe on tree-lined trails.

As for technology, the Scrambler DesertX is running twin LED headlamps. This light units themselves would undoubtedly change for a production model, but the twin setup looks right at home on this design. Videos of the bike at EICMA revealed a TFT display nestled behind the windscreen which would likely be pulled from the Ducati Multistrada range. This would also indicate that the bike would feature preset ride modes and adjustable functions such as traction control and ABS. As for suspension, the DesertX appears to be running high-end Ohlins gear.

Ducati Scrambler DesertX concept

It’s been over 6 months since the unveiling of both the Scrambler Motard and Scrambler DesertX concepts. We are waiting with bated breath for news of what Ducati plans to do with them. With 5 years of only minor updates to the Scrambler range, it’s time to stir things up and these bikes would be a very welcome change.


Ducati Scrambler concepts

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