Already the highest-volume model in Ducati’s lineup, the Scrambler gets a new 1079 cc iteration for 2018, the big V-twin joining the 399 and 803 cc machines to round off its lineup of iconic retro-modern (quasi) dirt bikes.

A blast from the past

Essentially, Ducati has resurrected its previous-generation, large-displacement air-cooled twin, homologated it for Euro4 emissions standards, and plopped it into an only slightly modified Scramble chassis. A single ride-by-wire, 55 mm throttle body feeds the two-valve Desmodromic engine’s 98 mm bore (and 71.5 mm stroke). Keeping with the Scrambler’s rider friendly motif, the 1,079 cc 90-degree twin boasts just 86 horsepower, but Ducati says its grunty 65 lb-ft of torque is available as low as 4,750 rpm.

Upgraded chassis too

Thanks to the new upper “trellis” subframe, the 1100’s wheelbase grows to 59.6 inches, an increase of 2.7 inches over the 803 cc version. Nonetheless, the larger Scrambler should emulate its smaller sibling’s light handling with an almost identical 24.5 degrees of rake and a short 111 mm of trail, not to mention the fact that its all-up wet weight is but 454 pounds and the wide upswept handlebar provides ample steering leverage.

As for the rest of the chassis, base 1100s as well as the Special ride on a Kayaba rear monoshock and 45 mm inverted Marzocchi front fork, while the top-of-the-line Scrambler 1100 Sport gets topflight Ohlins equipment. Pirelli developed some special MT60 RS tires for the Scambler motorcycle with an enduro type tread pattern married to sportsbike sizing — 120/80 ZR18 (front) and 180/55 ZR17 (rear) — mounted on aluminum, 10-spoke cast wheels (base and Sport) or trick spoked versions, in both cases 3.50x18 front and 5.5x17 rear.

Despite its status as the entry-level Ducati, the Scrambler gets a full complement of high-tech riding aids. Cornering ABS prevents wheel lock up even when leaned over, and there are four levels of traction control. Like so many Ducatis there are also three electronically controlled riding modes as well: Active (which gives full power and the quickest throttle response), Journey (with max 86 horsepower as well but more contained throttle response) and City (power reduced to 75 horsepower, married to maximum traction control).

Of course, the Scramber’s raison d’etre is its urban styling and here the 1100 does not stray too far from the design of the original. Oh, the exhaust system is noticeably larger and a there's a new round headlight with a look "inspired by the tape once applied on offroad bikes back in the ’70s to protect the headlight assembly", but the rest of the newly-enhanced Scrambler is very familiar, right down to the base model’s “’62 Yellow” paint.

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