Monday, 16 November 2015

Ducati Scrambler Pro Flat Track

The biggest and most important show in motorcycling, EICMA, is going on in Milan this week. Ducati have got in early, with an Apple-style product launch on stage in a theatre setting.
They launched a 400cc V-twin Scrambler, called the Sixty2, plus Diavel and Multistrada derivatives and this, the Scrambler Pro Flat Track. Following the mould of their own Monster and, notably, the Triumph Bonneville, the Italians have rolled out a slightly tarted-up Scrambler to bolster the range at the minimum cost. 

The 803cc Pro Flat Track is very similar to the Full Throttle, one of the three Scramblers the company launched in 2014 to great success. It has the same Termignoni end cans, short front mudguard, 10-spoke alloys. In fact, only the following details differ...

Sidepanels (that don't look very flat track)
Headlight fairing (ditto)
Paint colour
Seat cover
Grips (I know, I'm scraping the barrel here...)
Photos: Ducati
They had Ducati legend, and flat track racer, Troy Bayliss ride it on stage. I like the Scrambler a lot, especially the styling of the Urban Enduro, but as a purely styling exercise, this has missed the target. Lloyd Brothers and Ducati did a great job of making their race bike look related to a Ducati Scrambler, but when the parent company have tried to reflect dirt track cool back on the street bike, something's going missing. 

It's so difficult to make road bikes look as cool as flat track race bikes, because their beauty is in their brutal minimalism. Homologated road bikes can look brutal and act deranged (180bhp, 190mph road bikes for £14,000), but it's hard to make 2015 nakeds look minimal and tick all the EU's boxes. And really, the Pro Flat Track has a good name, but it looks bugger-all like a street tracker.

The wheels are the wrong size and the rear's too far. The seat's wrong. The number boards are neither one thing, not the other. 

Still, God loves a trier. 

If you want to read about the gorgeous race bike that inspired the road bike, buy Sideburn 22 and read my story from Bayliss's most recent AMA flat track race, the 2015 Sacramento Mile. G


Harley said...

Couldn't agree more Gary. I don't think it's a bad looking bike but a "tracker"? - not really. My one gripe with Ducati's Scramblers (and a lot of the other nakeds out there at the moment) is the use of butt ugly, flat black, plastic mouldings to cover up electrical stuff and other assorted plumbing. This stuff can be hidden, Ducati's own MHE 900 used a rather neat (to my eyes anyway) fake engine casting to hide the gubbins, but that was a limited run, flagship, bike so production costs probably weren't an issue.
Still, if manufacturers started building recognisable trackers, where would be the fun in building your own?

Ian Cleary said...

Fully agree... the latest Scramblers from Ducati are on the wrong side of gaudy...

Sideburn Magazine said...

I'm not sure who you're agreeing with, but I wrote that I like the Scramblers, I say it in the post. I just don't think this iteration is a street tracker, but it's being marketed as one. I don't say they're gaudy.