Ducati officially joins the pack of manufacturers paying tribute to the café racer scene with a special version of their popular Scrambler series.
Just two years ago, in the midst of an industry-wide fascination with café-racers, Ducati rode against the grain and unleashed its Scrambler on the biker-world. While others modelled their motorcycles to recall British era of riding, Ducati went for a small and light bike. It would create a new era for Ducati.
Now, the Ducati Scrambler Café Racer is the Scrambler interpretation of the legendary ’60s bikes that triggered a motorcycling revolution. Featuring a ‘Black Coffee’ color scheme, the Ducati Scrambler Café Racer brings the ‘Land of Joy’ to the English 1960’s.
Back in the day, in London, a bold, forward-thinking group of young motorcyclists, the ‘Ton–Up Boys’ of the Rocker movement, began setting up their bikes to win the sprint from one café to the next. Each race was supposed to last as long as a Juke Box single. Since then, the Café Racer culture has gone on to become a global phenomenon.
Admittedly, many motorcycle styles overlap so it could be considered a short ride from that of the scrambler to café racers. Or as Ducati puts it, ‘The Ducati Scrambler world and Café Racer culture share a style that extends beyond the bike to encompass apparel and accessories.’
Historically speaking, the two motorcycle worlds being merged are Californian dunes and British carriageways. Regardless, the Ducati Scrambler Café Racer continues to extend the scope of the Scrambler brand.
This latest version has 17” wheels with Pirelli DIABLO™ ROSSO II tires, 120/70 ZR 17 at the front and 180/55 ZR17 at the rear, with of course plenty of room for customization. The characteristic teardrop tank with interchangeable aluminum side panels is combined with a dedicated seat featuring a cover for the passenger section.
The Ducati Scrambler Café Racer is powered by the air and oil-cooled twin-cylinder Desmodue engine taken from the Icon, EURO 4-compliant and with black-trimmed covers and machined cooling fins.
Rear-view mirrors mounted on the aluminum handlebar ends draw their inspiration from the ’60s ‘race’ look, while the radial front brake pump is a typically modern component able to ensure true sport bike braking performance. Staying with the theme, the Termignoni exhaust with dual tailpipes and black anodized aluminum cover, the nose fairing, lateral number holders and stubby mudguard are all clear references to the bikes that roared down British streets back in the ’60s.
Other standard features;
- Colors – Black Coffee with black frame and gold wheels
- ZR17 at the rear
- Dedicated seat with cover for passenger section
- Lateral number holders
- Separate aluminum handlebars
- Fully adjustable upside down fork with black anodized sleeves
- Sporty front mudguard
- Rear-view mirrors mounted on aluminum handlebars
- ‘Café racer’ nose fairing
- Front radial brake pump
- Steel teardrop fuel tank with interchangeable side panels
- Dedicated logo o Low plate holder
The checkerboard pattern is a recurring symbol in Café Racer culture. Some say this comes from a checkered flag used by Rockers as they raced from one London Café to another. At the time, the distinctive black and white pattern became an icon for motorcyclists and others. The Ducati Scrambler Café Racer has, then, drawn on that powerful symbol and put the checkerboard pattern (or ‘chequerboard’ for those going totally British) right underneath the Scrambler name.
The novel lateral number holders on the Ducati Scrambler Café Racer carry the number 54 that once belonged to Bruno Spaggiari. A highly successful Ducati rider, in 1968 Spaggiari raced in the Mototemporada Romagnola, a classic road event of the time, on a Ducati with an engine derived from the Scrambler’s single-cylinder 350 cc power unit.
The Ducati Scrambler Café Racer mounts a Brembo braking system featuring a Bosch 9.1 MP ABS system with a pressure sensor. To combine maximum stopping performance with minimalist styling the front wheel has a single 330 mm disc, reportedly a good 5 mm thick, with a 4-piston Brembo M 4.32B monobloc caliper with radial attachment. The Ducati Scrambler Café Racer also features a radial-type front brake pump.
This decision to mount a powerful single-disc front braking system was taken to leave a clear view on the right side of the wheel. At the rear, instead, a 245 mm disc is gripped by a caliper with a 32 mm piston.
The Ducati Scrambler Café Racer mounts the EURO 4-compliant, twin-cylinder 803 cc air and oil-cooled engine taken from the Icon. Together with the new homologation comes a new throttle control and an up-to-the-minute engine calibration that has made power delivery even smoother, especially at the bottom end of the rev range. Another distinguishing Ducati Scrambler Café Racer feature is the black engine, which contrasts strikingly with the brushed finish on the cylinder head cooling fins.
Equipped with a 6-speed gearbox, the twin-cylinder Desmodue engine on the Scrambler has been designed to favour smooth running and fluid acceleration throughout the rev range, delivering 75 hp at 8,250 rpm and a torque of 68 Nm at 5,750 rpm. Designed to be simple and accessible, just like the Scrambler itself, it features 12,000 km (7,500 mile) maintenance intervals.
As with anything motorcycles and certainly anything Ducati, it’s not what’s on the bike when its bought, but added to make it unique.
In perfect Scrambler style, the Café Racer has a dedicated line of accessories and apparel. For example, there’s the X-shaped headlight mesh guard, which evokes the tape that was once put in place to stop the glass breaking in the event of a fall; that same tape inspired the Scrambler designers when they were designing the headlight. Then there’s the distinctive long, flat seat, a small leather tank bag, the spoked wheels, rear view mirrors and the exhaust cover.
And when it comes to apparel for the Ducati Scrambler Café Racer, the Land of Joy offers an all-new black leather jacket, a full-face Bell helmet by Roland Sands Design, plus sweatshirt and T-shirts with real café racer flair.