1970 Ducati Scrambler
News of a reborn Ducati Scrambler brought back memories of a time when motorcycling was a lot less technology and a lot more heart and passion. Primarily intended for the American market, the iconic Scrambler was known for its lean, elegant styling and beautifully designed sohc, air-cooled Single—in spite of poor crankshaft reliability and a few other glitches.
When rumors materialized of a new Scrambler powered by an air-cooled engine displacing between 400 and 600cc, I naturally concluded that this would be the rebirth of Ducati’s mighty Single. Not so. I was told Ducati has no room for Singles in its near future and not to be led down the wrong path by the 400cc displacement.
The engine that will power the new Scrambler is the old, reliable, air-cooled 90-degree V-Twin in its present 696cc displacement. A 400cc edition of that engine was developed years ago to comply with homologation regulations for Japan, where that displacement enjoys special insurance- and tax-rate advantages. This favorable legislation has spread throughout the Far East, making this engine size attractive to any manufacturer that realizes what enormous potential resides in the up-and-coming nations of the Indian and Pacific belt.
This project makes even more sense when you know the final piece of the puzzle: For the most part, the Scrambler will be manufactured in Thailand. Ducati’s factory in that country is now fully operative, having produced more than 1000 Monsters last year. With parent company Audi enjoying a strong presence in that part of the world, Ducati Thailand is expected to expand its production capabilities.
The Ducati Scrambler is intended to be a low-priced, easily accessible bike sporting a great look. To keep cost as low as possible, many major components, like brakes, suspension and wheels, will be manufactured in Thailand or neighboring nations, where Japanese industries have also transferred production. In coming years, the Southern Asia/Pacific sub-continent will be the stage for major economical and industrial events.
Speaking of India, Triumph is said to be in the process of establishing a production plant there to manufacture a low-priced 250cc Single intended to compete with the locally manufactured KTM Duke 125/200.