Ducati’s ever-morphing Scrambler lineup gets a new addition for 2021: the Nightshift, a stealthy tracker put together by the parts-bin hunters at Borgo Panigale that’s intended to replace both the Scrambler Café Racer and Full Throttle models.
As with most of the 803cc Scramblers—Desert Sled excepted—the Nightshift is mostly a styling remix. As such, it features number plates from the Full Throttle, a flat bar from the 1100 Sport Pro, bar-end mirrors from the Café Racer, and 18-inch front/17-inch rear wheels. Unique to the Nightshift are the spoked wheels and a new flat bench seat. MSRP is $10,995.
For 2021, the Scrambler 800 range will comprise the Nightshift, the Icon ($9,695, available in red and yellow), the Icon Dark ($8,895), and the Desert Sled ($11,995), which has a new Sparking Blue livery. No, that’s not a typo—it really is “sparking,” not “sparkling.” While the Icon and Desert Sled have become mainstays in the lineup, Ducati has continuously introduced new variants that riff on scrambler/tracker/café racer themes. It’s interesting to see the Nightshift morphing the tracker and café racer styles, begging the question: what else can Ducati do with the 803cc Scrambler lineup before it gets a major overhaul?
Much of the Scrambler’s appeal is its simplicity, which, one would imagine, could complicate further product development. Moving forward, does Ducati give it higher-spec components or a more feature-rich technology suite? Is that antithetical? How much longer can the air-cooled engine survive in an age of more stringent emissions standards? For now, we’ll simply enjoy the Scrambler as it is and hope that tomorrow will take care of itself.
Elsewhere in the Scrambler world, the 1100 lineup returns with the 1100 Pro ($13,495) and 1100 Sport Pro ($15,495).