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DUCATI SCRAMBLER SIXTY2: THE SIBLING

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However, it was still a pretty big investment to make. It was sensibly priced for a Ducati that provided so much character, but it was still expensive. A year later, news came of the arrival of the smaller sibling of the Scrambler, the Scrambler Sixty2. Named after the year the original Ducati single-cylinder Scrambler was introduced, the Scrambler weighed in at 399cc. We expected it to be possibly more affordable; maybe something we could see ourselves buying. We wanted it all over again.

It was crushing to find out that the price cut wasn’t as much as we’d hoped for. Not even close. The Scrambler Sixty2 is the latest addition to the Scrambler brood and it is positioned as an entry-level, premium choice. Something for riders who find the 803cc engine a little too much to handle. Because the Sixty2 shares most of the high quality components from its elder brother, Ducati argues that the price is justified. We took matters into our own hands so we could really judge the Sixty2 for ourselves. Here’s how it went.

STYLING:

Built on the same platform as the 800cc Scramblers, the styling and stance of the Scrambler Sixty2 are very similar to the earlier Scrambler. It is a beautiful fusion of retro styling and modern engineering which gives the traditional bikes of the 70’s a present-day touch. It has a comparatively more simplified metal fuel tank with a little extra fuel capacity. The same teardrop shape has been carried on though. To save costs, the decorative aluminum covers have been ditched.

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Ducati have done a splendid job of making sure the Scrambler Sixty2 isn’t mistaken for a runt. Dimension wise, both Scramblers (the bigger 800cc and the Sixty2) are identical. With the Sixty2 you get a steel swingarm, a narrower rear wheel and tire, and a less expensive Showa non-adjustable 41mm fork up front (replacing the Scrambler’s inverted fork) followed by a preload-adjustable KYB shock out back. A conventional-mount two-piston caliper from Brembo replaces a radial-mount four-pot job.

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A classic, single, round, fully digital gauge displays speed on top and rpm on the bottom. Other displays include two trip odometers, standard odometer, trip fuel indicator, ambient temperature, maintenance reminders, time, and warning lights for fuel reserve and ABS. Other lights are for oil pressure, high beam, neutral, blinkers, and warnings for redline.

PERFORMANCE:

Despite being on the smaller side of the spectrum in the Ducati stable, the Scrambler Sixty2 elicits a primitive experience similar to that of a big bike. The 800cc Scrambler wasn’t an intimidating motorcycle to ride; it was exciting but not scary. It’s the same case with the Sixty2. It has a wide up-swept single piece bar and a low wide seat which provides you with an upright riding position but a comfortable ride.

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The 40hp L twin engine won’t let you feel like there is any lack in power. In fact, it powers through the tarmac with vigor and enthusiasm. You won’t be holding on for dear life, something we’ve been accustomed to doing with anything that runs on wheels and has a Ducati badge on it. Push it through the revs and it propels itself forward in a calm manner. The throttle is crisp and responsive to your commands. Don’t expect it to roar like a beast, but it does exude a decent engine note that ensures it’s no home appliance.

Maneuvering the Sixty2 is a breeze and a lot of fun. It leans into corners with ease and exits from it without breaking its stride. It’s light enough to slalom it through traffic but stable enough to hold its ground on open highway tarmacs.

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It felt so confident and surefooted that we took the Sixty2 off the road and onto some dirt. Not too surprisingly, it remained nimble there too. In all honesty, we think it was more fun taking it off the blacktop and onto offroad terrains. Equipped with a great set of dual purpose tyres and supple suspension, it was at home.

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Single disc front brake systems don’t really come as a shortcoming. They do a great job of slowing down the motorcycle and bringing it to a halt. It is ABS equipped as standard.

VERDICT:

Scramblers aren’t fussy, they’re more about passion and motorcycling spirit. The Sixty2 falls under the same description. It is a fun and easy bike to ride which is built for all terrain fun. We pushed it through the tarmac and took it off it. It excelled in both avenues and begged us to ask more from it. The more we asked the more it complied.

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Getting used to the fact that there is a lower power output from a motorcycle from the Ducati stable isn’t easy, but that’s only because Ducati have set the standards high. There is plenty of punch in the Sixty2. It shares premium components with its elder sibling and does well to provide riders with a premium feeling.

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However, we wouldn’t say it is bang for the buck. When we test drove the Scrambler 800cc, we thought it was perfectly priced. The Sixty2 is half the displacement, and despite being more than half the fun, we were hoping it would be priced more affordably. However, considering the fact that you get much of the premium feel and retro classic styling and motorcycling spirit that Scrambler first offered, we can’t remain bitter at Ducati.

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