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Ducati Scrambler 1100 Special review

Ducati Scrambler 1100 Special

Ducati is running out its current Scrambler 1100 models which will be replaced later this year by the restyled PRO and PRO Sport.

As is often the case with the introduction of new models, the current models are being run out at very attractive discounts.

And they are such a good buy because the only real differences in the coming PRO models are cleaner brake cabling, a remote rear fender, twin-stack pipes, new bars and different paint and graphics.

Ducati debut Scrambler 1100 Pros
Ducati Scrambler 1100 PrRO models

Scrambler 1100 models

The current 1100 series consists of the base model, Special and Sport.

All are powered by the 1079cc, 90-degree L-twin from the old Monster 1100, detuned slightly for emissions reasons to 64kW of power (86hp) and 88Nm (65lb-ft) of torque from 4750rpm.

It’s the same formula Ducati has used with the 803cc Scrambler powered by the old Monster 800 engine detuned to meet new emissions regulations.

Ducati Scrambler Icon
MBW’s Scrambler Icon

Ducati’s 800 Scramblers are the Italian company’s top sellers, while the more powerful, sophisticated and expensive 1100s have not been as popular.

I’ve been riding an 800 Scrambler Icon for some time now and love it. But the bike is a toy and has its limitations.

So I recently tested a Scrambler 1100 Special from Brisbane Motorcycles to see if the extra weight, height, length and expense was worth it.

The Base model comes in yellow with mag wheels and black seat, Special is grey with black wire wheels, chrome pipes, brushed swinging arm, gold anodised forks and brown seat and the black and yellow Sport has Öhlins suspension and mag wheels.

They used to cost $19,790, $21,990 and $22,990, but are now $15,999, $17,590 and $18,200.

The coming PRO and PRO Sport are also differentiated mainly by Ohlins suspensions in the latter. Read more details here.

Scrambler 1100 SpecialDucati Scrambler 1100 Special

The 1100 models are slightly longer than the 803cc Scramblers with a more substantive new upper “trellis” subframe.

So at 206kg (454lb) in running order, it weighs about 20kg more than the 800 Scrambler.

However, the weight is really not evident, even when pushing the bike out of the showroom.

It still has light handling and steering like the smaller bike thanks to a similar 24.5 degrees of rake and short 111mm trail.

The seat is 20mm higher at 810mm, but again it doesn’t feel any taller in the saddle.

Yet the 1100 is so much more bike with a more powerful and refined engine that is easier and forgiving to ride thanks to its 30% increase in grunt.

It also now has the ability to do some touring with the stronger rear subframe allowing luggage and a pillion.

But most importantly the fun is retained.Ducati Scrambler 1100 Special

In fact, the fun is amplified by the fact that the front end now handles properly.

The 800 Scramblers have a single spring in the 41mm Kayaba upside-down forks. It’s crass and crashes through any road irregularities. Under braking the front wheel will chatter and lose vital grip.

Fully adjustable 45mm Marzocchi forks on the Special add a whole new level of steering and handling that make this a much more fun, safe and comfortable bike to ride.

Comfort is also improved by the quality seats compared with the hard, plastic seats on the 800 models.

While the 800s are fun, they are also simplistic with rudimentary instrumentation which was last year updated with a fuel gauge!2018 Ducati Scrambler 1100 dashboard

The Scrambler 1100 models have comprehensive twin-screen LCD instruments with a host of information, plus self-cancelling indicators and three engine modes with adjustable four-level traction control.

While you may not need all this to have some fun on a motorcycle, they are the sorts of creature features you wonder how you ever did without.

Another feature you will wonder how you did without is the substantial upgrade in brakes.

From a single 330mm disc to twin 320mm semi-floating discs with cornering ABS it is a major increase in safety and rider confidence.

Despite being heavier, higher and longer, the bike is surprisingly competent on dirt roads, mainly thanks to the traction controls and switchable ABS.


I love my fun little Icon. But it lacks in brakes, handling, comfort, touring ability and creature features.

The 1100 is still great fun, but increases your ability to tour the back roads and trails in comfort and safety.

I love it so much I’ve ordered the Sport as I feared the damage stones would do to those attractive chrome pipes!Ducati Scrambler 1100 Special

Ducati Scrambler 1100 Special tech specsDucati Scrambler 1100 Special




1079cc, air-cooled L-Twin, Desmodromic distribution, 2 valves per cylinder

Bore x stroke

98 x 71mm




63kW (86 hp) @ 7500rpm


88Nm (65lb-ft, 9kgm) @ 4750rpm

Fuel injection

Electronic fuel injection, 55mm throttle body with full Ride by Wire (RbW)


2-1-2 system with catalytic converter and 2 lambda probes, twin stainless steel muffler with aluminium covers and end caps


6 speed


1=37/15 2=30/17 3=28/20 4=26/22 5=24/23 6=23/24

Primary drive

Straight cut gears; Ratio 1.85:1

Final drive

Chain; Front sprocket 15; Rear sprocket 39


Light action, wet, multiplate clutch with hydraulic control. Self-servo action on drive, slipper action on over-run

Ducati Scrambler 1100 Special


Tubular steel Trellis frame

Front suspension

Marzocchi fully adjustable 45mm USD fork

Front wheel travel

150mm (5.9in)

Front wheel

10-spoke in light alloy, 3.50″ x 18″

Front tyre

Pirelli MT 60 RS 120/80 ZR18

Rear suspension

Kayaba monoshock, pre-load and rebound adjustable

Rear wheel travel

150mm (5.9in)

Rear wheel

10-spoke in light alloy, 5.50″ x 17″

Rear tyre

Pirelli MT 60 RS 180/55 ZR17

Front brake

2 x 320mm semi-floating discs, radially mounted Brembo Monobloc M4.32 callipers, 4-piston, axial pump with Bosch Cornering ABS as standard equipment

Rear brake

245mm disc, 1-piston floating calliper with Bosch Cornering ABS as standard equipment


1514mm (59.6 in)




111mm (4.4 in)

Total steering lock


Fuel tank capacity

15L – (3.96 US gal)

Dry weight

189kg (417 lb)

Kerb weight*

206kg (454 lb)


810mm (31.9 in)


1330mm (52.4 in)


895 mm (35.2 in)


2,190 mm (86.0 in)

Number of seats

Dual seat

*Kerb weights indicate total bike weight with all operating consumable liquids and a fuel tank filled to 90% of capacity (as per EC standard 93/93).

Standard equipment

Riding Modes, Power Modes, Ducati Safety Pack (Cornering ABS + DTC), RbW, LED light-guide, LED rear light with diffusion-light, LCD instruments with gear and fuel level indications, Steel tank with interchangeable aluminium side panels, Machine-finished aluminium belt covers, Under-seat storage compartment with USB socket


62 Yellow

Shining Black

Warranty and Maintenance


24 months unlimited mileage

Maintenance service intervals

12,000km (7500mi) / 12 months

Valve clearance check

12,000km (7500mi)

Emissions and Consumption


Euro 4


5.2L/100 km – CO2 117 g/km

* Only for countries where Euro 4 standard applies.