The relaunch of the Ducati Scrambler was a happy positive for the Italian brand and, by the numbers, represents the mainstay of Ducati Motor production, with assembly lines running in both the traditional Bologna-Borgo Panigale facility and in Rayong, Thailand. A total of 55,000 Scramblers in various versions have been manufactured since production started in 2014. Ducati keeps investing on the Scrambler model line, and for 2019 it comes forth with a significant update of the Icon version. Ducati calls it “Joyvolution.”
The new Scrambler Icon is powered by the legendary air-cooled SOHC two-valve desmo in a 803cc displacement (bore 88mm, stroke 66mm) that has been further polished to improve smoothness and flexibility through the adoption of a camshaft grind that generates just 11 degrees of overlap.
In addition, a single 50mm throttle body with two injectors now feeds the engine through a Y-shaped manifold featuring long runners that further enhance lower-rpm torque and solid throttle response. A major function of the Scrambler breathing is played by the beautiful and compact Termignoni 2-into-1 exhaust system—another important technical upgrade. The numbers generated by this engine, that only needs to be serviced every 7,500 miles, are a claimed 73 hp at 8,250 rpm and 49.5 pound-feet of torque at 6,750 rpm. Also notable is the adoption of a hydraulic clutch system, replacing the more traditional and previous cable device. In addition to these major technical upgrades, the engine now comes in elegant black with polished fins.
The frame remains unchanged in its steel-tubing trellis structure and the steering head angle set at 24 degrees with 112mm of trail. A 3.00-18-inch front wheel shod with a 110/80-18 radial does the work up front while at the rear the 5.50-17-inch wheel is wrapped with a fat 180/55-17 radial. Tires are a special edition of the Pirelli Scorpion MT 60 RS featuring a slightly knobby tread for better versatility on any surface. The Ducati Scrambler Icon’s chassis spans a 57-inch wheelbase. Suspension is supplied by Kayaba in the form of a 41mm inverted fork and a side-mounted shock absorber, both providing a generous 150mm wheel travel.
A single 330mm rotor Brembo front disc delivers all the stopping power the performance of the Scrambler demands. Bosch 9.1 MP Cornering ABS is now fitted—a first for the Scrambler line—and cannot be deactivated.
New levers and switch gear flank the rounded electronic instrumentation that now handles the functions and connection to the bluetooth Ducati Multimedia System, allowing riders to listen to music and answer calls. A new LED technology headlight, based on the 1100 model, is now more powerful and complete with a daytime running light.
The new Ducati Scrambler Icon comes in two colors in line with the most classic Scrambler tradition: 62 Yellow and Atomic Tangerine. The seat, lowered to 798mm (or 31.4 inches) and with new padding, and the slightly relocated pegs induce a more ergonomically correct riding posture for superior comfort on the long routes.
Cycle World’s Senior Editor Justin Dawes will be attending the global press launch in Tuscany, Italy, next week and will report back whether or not the 2019 Ducati Scrambler Icon is a “joyvolution.”