Reports have surfaced in the last few days that Ducati has already begun work to expand their Scrambler lineup by way of two new engines – a smaller 500cc model and a larger 1200cc bike. This information has come from both dealer representatives and factory workers in Thailand where Ducati now manufactures a large number of their bikes.
Update: Further reports have also come from Ducati representatives in France, making the rumor even more likely to be true.
So far the Ducati Scrambler has been a runaway success, perhaps even more so than Ducati themselves were expecting. Bikes won’t begin to be delivered to most markets until this month but already in the UK alone, more than 1000 Scramblers have been sold and are waiting on delivery. That might not sound like a huge amount but remember, it’s the middle of winter in the United Kingdom at the moment and for all of 2014 Ducati sold a total of 2,742 bikes there – with Scrambler sales alone they could double that figure in 2015.
It’s no surprise that a smaller capacity Scrambler is in the works though its configuration may raise a few eyebrows. The Scrambler is the perfect platform for attracting new riders, but in Europe, Australia and other markets, licensing restrictions mean that an 800cc machine is a no go whereas a 500cc bike would likely be fine depending on horsepower and weight. The rumor is that Ducati will use a single cylinder air cooled engine rather than just detuning the L-Twin in the current Scrambler. This would however make sense, as it further connects the present with the past. The Scrambler Utah which was released in 1975 was a 350cc thumper that only saw a limited production run.
At the other end of the scale, a 1200cc Scrambler would also gain a massive following as long Ducati maintained the easy going nature of the bike. It would be safe to assume that Ducati would want a larger capacity Scrambler to also have an air-cooled engine which would necessitate Ducati either resurrecting some previously retired engines, modifying the current Scrambler unit or starting from scratch altogether.
If the rumors prove true, expect both engine variants to be announced before the end of the year.
Ducati have been at lengths to emphasize that the Scrambler is a brand unto itself and will no doubt look to capitalize as much as possible on the early success of this retro machine. In addition to engine variants, don’t be surprised to see completely different bikes that trace their roots back to Ducati’s of yesteryear as well, including from what we hear some semi-faired motorycles.