It takes more than just a beautiful-looking machine with an impressive list of specifications to pull-off this feat that most folks would consider as ‘complete’. All the exact elements must blend in perfect harmony and this requires more than just fabricating machines and internal combustion engines when it comes to motorcycles. Ducati managed to pull off this feat by including spirit, joy, passion, people, lifestyle, and most important of all, satisfaction to the senses.
Our most recent trip to Bologna, Italy really showed us Ducati’s true colours not only in manufacturing some of the world’s most impressive high-performance motorcycles, but also showcasing how these bikes were born and bred to represent their lifestyle filled with fun, adventure, and the incarnation of the free-spirit.
The highlighted bike of the trip was none other than the 2019 Ducati Scrambler Icon and with Tuscany placed as the heart of the entire showcase, the entire Ducati Scrambler team brought the event to a whole new level when it comes to their latest evolution and addition to the ‘Land of Joy’ line-up.
It did not take us very long to experience the ‘magic’ behind the new 2019 Ducati Scrambler Icon. After 12 hours on two different aeroplanes, a 3-hour transit layover, and 2 hours on a bus from Borgo Panigale all the way to Borgo San Luigi, we had little time to prepare for what’s to come next.
It was only a short 10km ride up to Colle di Val d’Elsa for a short film showcasing the story behind the Ducati Scrambler and the new Icon but riding out from the hotel when the sun was setting with dust flying up from the gravel road couldn’t have been more epic. That perfect moment was more than enough to school me into believing that the Ducati Scrambler Icon is more than just a bike. It was a lifestyle meant to be experienced at its finest.
Two different riding routes were planned for us on the very next day where we tackled the winding hill road of the world famous Chianti Hills in the heart of Tuscany and an even more stunning panoramic route through Casole, Sovicille, and back up again through Monteriggioni.
Starting with the overall looks of the new Scrambler Icon, there’s not that much of a difference which can be seen which is what the Scrambler design theme had in mind. The previous was already impressive but it was lacking something that we couldn’t really comprehend at the time. This can be translated to a dash of ‘premium’ which is what the new Icon has at a level that is just right.
Upon inspection when compared side by side with the 2015 Scrambler Icon, all of us definitely noticed these said changes that not only elevated the machine but pulling off a timeless look but also maintained its modern classic appeal. Changes such as its new front headlamp with Daytime-Running Lights and a cool-looking ‘X’ feature really did set the tone for a good day of riding.
Other new external changes which add up to a more ‘premium’ package include:
- Beefier aluminium side panels
- LED indicators with auto turn-off feature
- Styling updates for the wheels, exhaust headers, and muffler
- New black gloss finishes for the engine cases
All these changes were welcomed with open arms as they brought a whole new look and feel to the Ducati Scrambler without sacrificing any of the elements that pay homage to the original spirit of the Ducati Scrambler. The true Italian spirit of adventure still resides in the new generation of Scrambler which will cater brilliantly to the masses.
As for the 2019 Ducati Scrambler Icon’s overall riding experience, the team had their sights on making the already versatile bike even more comfortable. These include a flatter seat that offers better riding positioning, a hydraulic clutch for ease of use, and a wider flat handlebar which houses new ergonomic switches.
The display panel looks exactly like the one found on the previous model but it has been updated with two new features which we simply adore; a gear indicator and fuel gauge! These may be modern features but catering to the free-spirited riding community, the last thing bike owners would want to worry about is how much fuel is left by peeking into the tank and sloshing the bike around for signs of petrol.
A host of internal upgrades also gave the new Icon a great riding experience that offers comfort, fun, agility, as well as safety. The suspension package has been revised which seemed excellent to some media members but a bit on the softer end for some. After 140km of riding, it seemed almost impossible to find any fault with the brand new machine.
The safety aspect has been elevated as well as the bike is meant to tackle a variety of road condition such as city streets and minor off-road excursions. The addition of an six-axis IMU (inertial measurement unit) and Cornering ABS taken straight from the Ducati Panigale superbike series, the Scrambler Icon is now safer than ever.
The 2019 Icon still retains its 803cc L-Twin Desmodue Euro4-compliant engine offers smooth response and linear torque through the gears. Tackling the winding hill sections was great fun and worry-free as most of us only had to maintain it in third for some fun in the sun.
As for power and speed, the 803cc engine simply delivers without overwhelming the rider. Just kick it into fourth and fifth and you’ll easily find yourself flying at exciting speeds which was thoroughly enjoyed by the whole lot.
Other aspects of the Icon have been retained from the previous generation in which the Ducati design team figured that the new updates are capable of bringing out the best of the hardware already on offer in the recent years. The Icon was never meant to be a full-fledged off-road machine but thanks to specs like the Pirelli MT60 rubbers and more, the latest-generation Scrambler will not be able to stop those with the heart to explore and venture into slightly rougher terrains.
All in all, the new Ducati Scrambler Icon is the true representation of the Italian culture, spirit, and adventurous lifestyle for those who seek something exciting and bold yet youthful. Having met the people and explored the wonderful roads of Tuscany, we finally understand how the Scrambler Icon is not just a bike but a true statement of passion and joy in a culture that demands to be free.
As for pricing, the current generation is priced at RM55,900 (recommended retail price sans road tax & insurance) and we expect a slight hike for the 2019 model considering all the extra bits fitted onto it like the Cornering ABS plus more.
The new 2019 Ducati Scrambler Icon is without a doubt Ducati’s ultimate bike when it comes to evoking the true sense of emotions, pleasure, and culture of the true Italian spirit that is the Land of Joy. While the brand is widely-known for some of the world’s most impressive motorcycles ever made like the Ducati Panigale V4, the true form of #Joyvolution is represented the most in the Ducati Scrambler range. – Sep Irran, Editor @ MotoMalaya.net