Three Different Takes on Three Different Ducati Scramblers by Three Different Italian Custom BuildersThey hype was non-stop ahead of the Ducati Scrambler launch. From animated videos that rehashed ads of the original 1970s Scrambler, to the massive unveiling at INTERMOT in September, Ducati wrung out its resources – and all while remaining completely hush on the details
When the Scrambler was unveiled, we were shocked that four versions were offered – the base Icon, the dual-sportish Urban Enduro, the muscular Full Throttle, and the classy Classic.The Internet soon went mad with custom renditions, and we knew once this bike was released for consumption customizers worldwide would start showing off their Scrambler specials.Before the bike was available for public, though, Ducati handed over a few to custom builders from its Italy homeland. And these three Ducati Scramblers – the first completed customizations – will be on display January 23-25 at the Verona Motor Bike Expo just north of Ducati Motor Holding headquarters in Borgo Panigale.These three custom bike shops – Deus Ex Machina of Milan, Officine Mermaid of Milan, and Mr. Martini of Verona – are all closely aquaninted with the Ducati Scrambler team, and brought three completely unique builds on the already iconic Scrambler.Deus Ex Machina customized a Full Throttle (Hondo Gratten), Officine Mermaid an Urban Enduro (Scratch), and Mr. Martini a Classic (Scrambler Cafe Racer).Speaking of the three machines, Ducati says they were “conscientiously prepared down to the very last detail, have been produced, underlining the superlative standards of Italian workmanship in the specials field and the vast potential this bike has for customization.”Following are quotes from the specific builders of each Ducati Scrambler:Filippo Bassoli of MD of Deus Italy says “We’d been waiting for the Ducati Scrambler for some time: in 2010 we did some drift riding with bikes on the Harold Park horse-race track in Sydney together with our friends from Ducati and back then we promised that a Deus creation would be made by developing one of their models.“And today we’ve maintained that promise thanks to the Ducati Scrambler: we finally found a bike made with evident vintage inspiration but with the DNA and technical features of a real motorcycle. These characteristics allowed Emanuele and Peter to follow their instincts, particularly after getting their hands on the bike and dismantling it to reveal a fantastic frame. Our project started from there, the result of free and innovative ideas where the main focus is on the aluminum bodywork, with a single-piece tail, number-plate support and a headlight inspired by speedway bikes.“An asymmetric mudguard completes the project, together with lots of little details such as the positioning of the conic filter within the frame, the disc brake and, of course, the dedicated exhaust. The name however comes from Carby, creative director of Deus Australia, who was in Milan at the time; he saw the project when it was almost complete and fell in love with it, naming it Hondo Grattan, after the horse that won everything on the Harold Park race-track. Who knows, in the not-too-distant future, perhaps our bike will end up on that track too.”Nicola Martini, a Customizer at Mr. Martini, says “I decided to take part in the project because I was fascinated by the idea of working with this Italian brand and in particular by the opportunity of working with the young, dynamic and easygoing Scrambler team. Thanks to the bike’s versatility, I decided to revolutionize the basic concept, from Ducati Scrambler to Café Racer.“The style is reminiscent of American rather than British design, owing partly to the fact that the roots of the original Ducati Scrambler project date from the seventies. Although the style is that of a Café Racer, this bike has a combination of elements that make it unique; In fact, details such as the high exhaust and knobby tires retain a decidedly Ducati Scrambler flavor.“This fusion gave our bike its name: S.C.R. – Scrambler Café Racer. We’ve changed the nose fairing, the tail-piece, the whole of the exhaust, the foot-peg and handlebar mountings and the rear suspension unit and have, of course, given the bike a new colour. The Scrambler Café Racer is in ‘total black’ including the saddle, undertail and timing belt covers.”Dario Mastroianni, a Customizer at Officine Mermaid, says “We decided to customize the Ducati Scrambler because we immediately earmarked it as a uniquely convertible Italian bike. We’ve infused it with our unmistakeable Officine Mermaid style, with a kind of rough-and-ready look that’s spartan and basic.“We named it using the English word Scratch, to convey the idea of it being scraped or damaged. This can be seen straight away from the fuel tank, which we stripped of paint and treated by hand – a procedure we use only on our most exclusive bikes. The metal mudguards have been left rough (a bit like us) and then hand-brushed at the workshop.“We’ve left only what is essential on the bike – anything that wasn’t necessary has been eliminated. Even the exhaust, for example, while derived from the original, has been reduced to a minimum. For the front we’ve chosen a traditional stanchion fork with a wide 21” wheel and an 18” wheel at the back, while the saddle and handlebars are made of vintage green leather with a decidedly Western style. Our Scratch has a main rally-style headlight and a smaller lateral spotlight.”Scrambler owners don’t have to be renown custom bike builders to enhance their own rides. Ducati Performance offers many “ingredients” that are readily available, from a variety of fuel tank side panels to mudguards to headlight rims to exhaust and handlebars.For a review on the Scrambler, visit 2015 Ducati Scrambler Icon First Ride Review.
This week we ride two genre-departing motorcycles from the established American manufacturers. Jess McKinley gives us his thoughts on the all new Harley-Davidson Pan America Special, and Ron Lieback gives his on Indian’s latest version of the FTR 1200 S.