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My local dealer finally got one of the most anticipated bikes of the year in this week, the 2015 Ducati Scrambler Icon (or Scrambler Ducati, whatever…) I took it out for a bit this morning to get acquainted, as I’ve liked the look and the reviews have been positive.

2015-04-19 11.35.40First, the styling — it’s a small bike and a nice tip of the hat to the Scrambler of old, but this is a modern bike. It’s just a no-frills modern bike. I hate the over-the-tire bumper thing Ducati and other bike companies have been doing, the faux-aluuminum panels on the sides of the metal tank look a bit cheap, but the single, off-side instrument cluster is a nice touch, the seat is wide and comfortable, and in yellow, it’s not too obnoxious.

Comfort: I was only out for a half hour or so, but that’s about the length of time most folks are going to commute or hit the local coffeeshop with this thing. It’s sprung a little soft, but I don’t mind that. The stock bars are a bit high, but I found that once I got used to them, they didn’t bother me. You could probably have your dealer roll them down and back ten degrees or so and be happy. Leg position is comfortable, although I’m splayed out a bit more than on the Triumph Thruxton I have.

Function: It’s not fast like most Ducatis, and if I get one of these, almost guaranteed it’ll be near year’s end when some doofus who bought this is getting rid of it because it’s not Ducati enough for them. It’s still very quick. All this BS in the magazines about it not being able to “launch” is crap; she takes off nicely, and I redlined the thing in second handily in acceleration. It won’t rip you off the seat, but it’ll get you to speed faster than my Triumph. It’s light and very, very nimble, with copious lock to lock turn on the bars. I was able to U-turn without issues, several times, in residential streets. The brakes are good and come on more progressively than the usual Ducati. Mash down, though, and it STOPS. The shocks are a bit soft, but the bike is overall comfortalbe, very easy to ride, and quick enough to get the blood pumping.

No, it’s not a 1299 Panigale. You want that, go waste $20,000+ on a bike you’ll never use the whole power band on. I’ll take one of these in a heartbeat.

After riding this, I transitioned to my 2010 Thruxton, and I could feel the weight gain, immediately, and while it handes very well, it’s not nimble.. The Scrambler’s a great pop around town bike — nimble, light, quick. At $8,500-ish after tax to get on one, it’s a definite buy.

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