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1st impressions of a new bike

Discussion in 'Bike Reviews, Questions and Suggestions' started by East Coast Cruiser, Sep 21, 2015.

  1. Well yesterday I got to have a crack at a new bike which has been on my "wish" list for awhile now. One of my mates has just bought the 2015 Ducati Icon Scrambler and he was silly /kind enough to let me loose on Tassie's east coast roads which are loaded with nice twisties.

    1st impression of the bike was of a very 70's retro look and definitely a scrambler style - laid back mono rear end, big fat (170mm) aggressive semi-knobby tyres, upright moto-cross style handle bars. Classic yellow tank with aluminium knee guards and old world brown leather seat which although being very firm held my butt perfectly and didn't let me slide when playing hard. The 800cc air/oil cooled motor sits nice and low and is shoe horned into the tight frame beautifully however the aesthetics weren't to my taste (motor wise) having a rather cheap look to the style. The clutch cover is black with bare alloy spokes intended to make it look like a Ducati open clutch cage and there is a similar treatment to the generator cover and external cam belt covers - just looks tacky and there is a distinct lack of "bling" but interestingly a huge amount of dress up extras available.

    Sitting on the bike made it feel very different. The tank is tiny, low and flat - it looks like it's off an old 70's Yamaha 175 puddle jumper and obviously the capacity limits your range severely. Then the bars - very upright and way too skinny for my likes . they look like granny's curtain rail bent to shape just "cheap" but that might be part of the vintage feel . Next you realise when you look down how far forward you are seated and how short the bike is. I could easily reach down and wipe the headlight, you can't see the front wheel etc. so you get the impression of sitting in "space" with just a little baby tank, granny's curtain rails and a single offset multi purpose gauge. It feels strange but again that's my perspective coming from the S2R1000.

    This bike had the twin Termi's fitted but still lacked the Ducati "presence" I expected. The motor was smooth and sweet but still tight with only 500 ks on the clock so it will only get better. I had read that the throttle was very twitchy on these scramblers but honestly didn't find that but again it is way under the S2R's horsepower. I do miss the dry clutch rattle as that says "Ducati" like nothing else but the clutch was smooth even if it did feel very light weight. The gear box was OK in 1-4 but clunky in 5-6th but obviously that will improve with run-in however I did enjoy the close/low ratios and it's a great to ride in town and a blast on the open road in the twistys.

    On the straight road it was like "yeah it's OK nothing special" but when the corners arrive it's like "hell yeah - this is special". It demands to be thrown around like a kid's toy and instead of picking a proper line through the corners I found myself going wide just so I could lay into it and cut back in really tight. The tyres were great and I only managed a couple of protest chirps - the chicken strips were totalled and it's only by looking at the tyre that you could tell how much fun it was and far far this puppy leans.

    In summary would I buy one ? Hell yes but only if I lived in twisty country or as a city commuter. It is a very forgiving bike that loves to be pushed and I suspect thrashed (couldn't take it to it's limits whilst being run-in and with the owner riding behind me on his other bike). Had a quick squirt on a loose gravel road and Yee Haa it was soooo much fun. Boot down and sliding in corners it is a capable bike and the scrambler name is deserved but it is Not a trail bike and serious off road would kill it as the oil filter hangs down behind the front cylinder 150mm above the ground !! This bike will and does sell like hot cakes because it suits us hooligans and it is also perfect for the ladies with a low seat height and carrying the 170kg overall weight down very low. With a tight turning radius and wide bars it is very easy to ride. $17,000 ride away with full Termis seems expensive but what an investment in FUN..

    • Informative Informative x 2
  2. Great review mate thanks for posting.
    I can see the appeal for these types of bikes in the city but for $17k you a grand or so off owning a S1000r.