The Ducati Scrambler Sixty2 was released in 2016 and it’s name harks back to 1962 when Ducati first started producing the Scrambler.
It is no surprise therefore that with an upsurgence of Scrambles type motorcycles coming back into fashion that Ducati would want to draw on the success of their past.
It could be argued that Triumph kickstarted the Scrambler phase back in 2006 though things didn’t really heat up in the category until 2014 when the Ducati Scrambler entered the market and 2016 when the Triumph Scrambler got an overhaul.
As quoted by Ducati themselves the Scrambler Sixty2 is “Inspired by the youth culture of skateboarding, surfing and pop music, the Scrambler Sixty2 is the most “popular” Ducati Scrambler of all time.”
It seems every few years or so manufacturers decide that they need to reinvent their line and target new riders and youth to get them into the motorcycle fold. Sometimes this works as with The Ducati Scrambler Sixty2 and sometimes it is a hit and miss as with Harley Davidson’s Street 750.
Ducati didn’t just look back at the roots of their 1962 Scrambler but also at the cultural situation that it was introduced to. A time when the Rolling Stones were first formed, Skateboarding was the coolest underground scene and Surfing was all the kids wanted to do.
Using all that information and translating to current times Ducati built a scrambler drawing on those influences and in all their marketing campaigns, you were bombarded with images of long haired dudes and girls with a Surfboard hooked up to the side of the bike or Skateboarders racing down hills next to the new motorcycle.
My initial response was this is super cheesy as far as a campaign goes; however, it worked and 5 years later the Ducati Scrambler line has continued to grow with the Scrambler Sixty2 at the heart of it all for young riders; turns out the Italians knew exactly what they were doing and who to target.
There are just a few questions that remain such as:
Is it a good bike or just a clever marketing campaign?
Is it a Scrambler you can scramble on?
I am going to delve into the Ducati Scrambler Sixty2 and hopefully give you everything there is to know about this Italian ‘Pop’ Culture Icon. Let’s get started.
Ducati Scrambler Sixty2 Review
In 2014 Ducati released their reborn Scrambler line up with an 803cc bike first shown at the Intermot Motorcycle in Milan. There is no which way around it, the bikes were premium quality and premium priced.
2 years later Ducati released the Scrambler Sixty2. Still premium, slightly more affordable and targeted at the young, new, fresh riders.
Not only this, small capacity bikes are riding the crest of a wave especially across Europe and Asia. Even riders in the US have been swinging towards little thumpers and realising you can have a lot of fun with fewer CC’s.
For young riders across Europe and the UK, the new 399cc engine meant that the bike was accessible on an A2 license and wouldn’t need to be restricted.
Smaller capacity machines have continued to grow since 2016 with marques like Royal Enfield producing 350cc machines and even rumors of Harley Davidson and Triumph heading into the field very soon.
Cycle World makes an interesting point about Women Riders also “Of note, there were more women testers on the official launch of this Ducati than I’ve ever seen at a motorcycle introduction, and while Ducati aren’t saying it out loud, they’re hoping the Scrambler Sixty2 is going to exploit the growing women’s market.”
Claudio De Angeli is the man in charge of Scrambler Ducati, and his aim with the Sixty2 was to prove that entry-level doesn’t mean cheap parts or poor performance; further to which his mission was to prove that there are riders out there choosing small bikes over bigger siblings deliberately, not out of necessity.
The Ducati Scrambler Sixty2’s smaller engine shares the same cases and barrels as the 800cc but has different bore and stroke dimensions to allow for the smaller capacity.
Interestingly the model is the same size as the bigger Scramblers too, sharing the same major components; so there is no flimsy frame or smaller tank etc. it’s all the same stuff, even down to the LED Halo headlight and Digital Dash.
There are some noticeable differences though which has made a difference in both weight and end cost; but it is worth noting that while the parts are different it does not mean they are of lesser quality, more that they are just better suited to the smaller engine capacity:
- Narrower Rear Wheel
- Different Exhaust System
- Single Disc Front Brake
- Lower-Spec Suspension – Conventional Forks
- Different New Swingarm
From Cycle World’s review upon the launch of the Sixty2 they say “Much of the launch ride was on the busy streets of Barcelona and a frustrating experience, but designed, I was assured, to prove the Sixty2 is a capable city bike. And it is. Despite the air cooled L twin engine getting hotter than a pepper sprout, the clutch never gave a moment’s concern.”
They later took the bike up a small mountain in Catalan and the bike handled perfectly well.
Equipped with ABS as standard the Sixty2’s braking system is more than adequate for stopping power, and the ABS itself gives novice riders that extra peace of mind should they grab a bit more brake then they intended.
The steel fuel tank is shared with the high end Scrambler Flat Track Pro, as opposed to being the Aluminium interchangeable one that some of the other models share and stylistically it is a good looking tank.
The digital dash displays all information clearly and is easy to read.
Ergonomically the Sixty2 has a relatively low seat height, wide bars, low pegs and puts the rider in a very neutral upright position that gives full control and is a very confidence inspiring pose. It is also comfortable, owners online are all in agreement that they could put down some miles on the bike and long days with no real issues.
On Car Throttle’s review, “The flat-torque curve and flickable chassis is a great combination giving the rider the confidence to get hard on the power out of every junction.”
One thing that did come up was the throttle can be a bit snatchy and the clutch lever heavy. It is something that Ducati seemed to have overlooked in their quest for building a bike for newer riders; also, one that is quite important.
However, providing you exercise caution and get used to the handling it is something most riders will overcome quite quickly; just try to avoid wheelies from the get go.
The bike is built for city riding and weekend rides in the countryside, both of which it does well, keeping up with traffic at slow speeds and when things get moving faster. Highway/Motorway journeys are no issue despite being a relatively small bike.
But can it Scramble?
“When I reached the off-road route, I expected the bike to slide everywhere, but instead it simply hooked up and powered on. The ABS was also unobtrusive, giving great feel through the brake lever; even if it did stop me from pulling skids. When the speed increased though and the trail became more challenging, it was too easy to bottom out the front forks.” Car Throttle
I am a strong believer that most small capacity machines can Scramble and with a bit of tinkering I don’t see why the Ducati Scrambler Sixty2 is an exception, except maybe the price point – not convinced that many riders would want to drop their premium Italian motorcycle in the mud too often.
One thing that does come up is the exhaust pipe placement, the pegs seem to sit too close and your boots therefore sit on top of the pipe. It is a small niggle but one that has got to quite a few owners online.
The Sixty2 has become pretty popular with the custom scene, being stripped back and almost begging to be played with; it will be interesting to see what builders continue to come up with.
Overall, I’d say it is a pretty good all round motorcycle, one that doesn’t lack in features, style or quality components, so if you are a new rider or just a rider who wants to jump back down to a smaller bike, I doubt you would be disappointed with the Scrambler Sixty2.
Ducati Scrambler Sixty2 Specs
These are the official Sixty2 specifications from Ducati.
- 399cc, Air-Cooled, L-Twin, Desmodromic Distribution, 2 Valves per Cylinder
- 41 horsepower
- Max Torque – 34Nm at 8,000rpm
- Electronic Fuel Injection
- Compression Ratio – 10.7:1
- Euro 4 Standards
- 6 Speed gearbox
- Wet Multi-Plate Clutch
- Tubular Steel Trellis Frame
- Showa 41mm Fork
- Pirelli Tires
- Front Brake – 320 mm disc, 2-piston floating calliper with ABS as standard
- Rear Brake – 245 mm disc, 1-piston floating calliper with ABS as standard
- Wheelbase – 1,460mm
- Rake – 24°
- Fuel Tank Capacity – 14L
- Wet Weight – 183kg
- Seat Height – Standard: 790mm, Low: 770mm, High: 810mm (Different seat options available as extra accessories)
- Max Height – 1,165mm
- Max Width – 860mm
- Max Length – 2,150mm
- Steel tank
- Front Headlight with Glass Lens
- LED Positioning Light with Interchangeable Surround
- Rear Headlight with LED Technology
- LCD Instrumentation with Interchangeable Surround
- 18″ Front Wheel and 17″ Rear Wheel
- 24 months unlimited mileage
- Service Intervals – 12,000 km (7.500 mi) / 12 months
- Valve Clearance Check – 12,000 km (7.500 mi)
Where is a Ducati Scrambler Sixty2 Made?
While the Scrambler Sixty2 may be just a 400cc and entry-level bike it is still made with premium parts and produced in a Ducati factory in Northern Italy. As far as I could tell production isn’t outsourced anywhere for any market the model is sold.
Ducati Scrambler Sixty2 Top Speed
Having read through several reviews of the Scrambler Sixty2 the consensus seems to be that the bike’s top speed is 100mph.
However, it is safe to say it is not particularly comfortable at this speed and is pushing its engine capacity for any long length of time.
How much is a Ducati Scrambler Sixty2?
A brand new Ducati Scrambler Sixty2 retails for $7,995 in the US and £6,750 in the UK.
In the US you can pick up a used Sixty2 for between $5,995 and $6,995 such as this one on Cycle Trader with just shy of 3,000 miles on the clock.
In the UK used Scrambler Sixty2 motorcycles fetch between £4,500-£6,000 such as this one on ebay advertised by Superbike Factory.
I remember going to the Motorcycle Show not long after the Ducati Scrambler line had been released. I sat on each and every model excited by the different varieties, bright colors, and a genuine feeling that these bikes may actually be able to do some off-roading (albeit light work).
I came away fascinated with the Desert Sled, the Big Boy Scrambles bike designed for more heavy duty all round riding; this mainly due to feeling disappointed at the time with the Triumph Scrambler only because it is a beautiful bike but way too heavy to even think about a dirt track (and expensive).
Then, I was at a dealer for work and hung out with the Sixty2 a little bit, lightweight, low seat height, room for some customisation and modification, and an engine size that frankly is more suitable for those back lanes and dirt roads.
Having since reviewed the bike I am sold! I am also an ex-skater (terrible broken leg to blame for that) and a bit of a Hippy these days rocking round in dungarees living by the coast, so actually the marketing may be cheesy but hell I’ve been sucked in.