Ducati Scrambler: A Hit with Hipsters?

You’ve already got your beard, your horn-rimmed glasses and your open-face helmet. Now all you need is a Ducati Scrambler. Or do you?

Ducati Scrambler static view

Ducati is marketing its new Scrambler to a younger market, in hopes of broadening its appeal and securing its future. At the international press introduction, held in Palm Springs, California, there were 33 journalists, most of them young and from publications and websites I'd never heard of. That's to Ducati's credit.

The groovy young rider who started out in front of me took a few detours down gravelly shoulders, purposely spinning his rear tire. I ate gravel. When we stopped by the roadside, he intentionally took off into the ditch. It wasn’t a great idea. He had to walk the bike backward down the other side it had failed to climb. I thought, what a knucklehead.

My next thought: I’d like to buy him a beer. He’s the kind of person I want to get to know—impetuous, daring, reckless, irreverent, indiscrete. I admired him far more than eating his dirt had angered me.

Ducati Scrambler poster

One has to wonder how this marketing will pan out. Yes, the Hipster crowd likes the Scrambler, desires the Scrambler, but is its base price of around $8,500 within the range of this demographic? Or, for them, is the Scrambler simply the material of bedroom posters and dreams? Beats me. No matter, we’ll soon know.

At one point, during the intro, I’d the idea to ask all of the younger journalists if they actually owned a motorcycle, and, if so, what year, model and brand. Before I followed that silly course, I remembered that far too many of the old-school journalists don’t even own motorcycles, rarely having enough time to ride anything other than the newest units to be tested. My inquiry would have taught me nothing. Except that I’m an ass. But I already know that.

Dainese has joined forces with Ducati on marketing the Scrambler to a younger market. It has a line of apparel that mimics Hipster fashion. Again, though, will success be found in selling new, expensive, clothing that follows a fashion trend of inexpensive used clothing? Have Hipsters been secretly saving money?

Ducati Scrambler Gear product images

As the car community has noticed, the younger crowd just plain isn’t buying. They’re not buying anything. Heck, they don’t even understand the concept of paying for music. But the motorcycle industry has been taking this loss of the youth market personally. It would appear, though, to be part of a bigger picture of significant cultural shift. While I’d have given a limb for my first gasoline-powered vehicle, youth today just plain doesn’t care. Are their drugs that good?

What’s weird about all of this, though, is how Ducati seems to have gone a bit overboard, leaving behind the significant cool that motorcycling is on its own. I mean, if being a motorcyclist itself is cool, shouldn’t that be the cool being sold? And, isn’t the Scrambler, on its own, a very cool cool within the cool of motorcycling? Yes, it is.

As peculiar as some of Ducati’s marketing has been with the Scrambler, such as naming it a new brand, it’s refreshing to see it try something new and daring. The bike is right, it looks right, it rides right, it has appeal to a wide range of enthusiasts. It will be very revealing to see who it is who puts down cash for them.

Static

Scrambler poster.

Scrambler Gear.

Scrambler Gear.

Scrambler Gear.

Scrambler parts.

Scrambler dash trim.

Scrambler grille.

Scrambler mud guards.

Scrambler reservoir.

Scrambler skidplate.

Scrambler racing seat.

Scrambler side bags.

Srambler waterproof bags.

Icon version.

Urban Enduro version.

Classic version.

Full Throttle version.