Dual-purpose delight

Scramblers are versatile bikes that are ideal for both off-and-on-road conditions. Even though they are a new concept for the Indian market, surprisingly, there is a Scrambler available in all segments.

May 21, 2021 ARUP DAS No Comments Like

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The motorcycle market in India has never been so vibrant. It offers a range of sports bikes, street fighters, ADVs, cruisers and even Scramblers. In fact, the last category of bikes is quite niche in India. So, what makes a Scrambler different from other bikes? Simple. It is a dual-purpose motorcycle that you can ride for your daily commute and which also lets you unleash your free spirit when you hit the dirt trails. A Scrambler offers a higher ground clearance, gets taller shocks, traditionally knobby design tyres, to balance handling and offer additional grip, a raised exhaust and wider dirt bike like handlebars. It sports a simple clean design, is compact in size and offers numerous customization options. Here’s a look at what’s on offer in the Indian market:

Ducati Scrambler 

Even though Ducati is synonymous with powerful sports bikes, in 2015, they decided to take a different route and introduced the Scrambler. It received such unprecedented response that the Scrambler became Ducati’s best-selling bike and it continues to be so even today. It reached such an iconic level that the Italian manufacturer created Scrambler as a sub-brand. Ducati offers a range of Scramblers based on one’s requirements starting from urban-focused ones with alloy wheels to multi-purpose versions for both on-and-off-road use, and then the out-and-out dirt bike, the Desert Sled, which comes with a high front mudguard, extended rear fender and adjustable suspensions.

The Scrambler is available in two engines — 72bhp 803cc with 66.2Nm of torque and 1,079cc with 84bhp and 88Nm. Both the versions are mated to a 6-speed gearbox. 

The 1100cc trim comes with equipment like Ride-by-Wire, three ride modes — Active, Journey and City, four levels of traction control, 45mm upside-down Marzocchi adjustable fork and a Kayaba rear mono-shock with preload and rebound damping. On the other hand, the top-of-the-line Sport version comes with Ohlins fully adjustable 48mm upside-down fork and Ohlins mono-shock. The 1100cc Scrambler comes standard with Bosch 9.1MP Cornering ABS, which is also found on the Panigale and V4 superbikes. The ABS system has only one level of intervention and is not switchable. 

The Scrambler comes with a simple and easy to read LCD instrument cluster. Ducati has tweaked the front LED headlight with a thick DRL running around its circumference. Also, the headlight cluster houses an all-black metal X, which is inspired from the 1970s when riders used to black tape the headlight. Both the indicators and the rear lamp are all full LED type. The entire Pro range boasts high mounted twin-barrel exhausts and comes with an under-seat USB port.

The Scrambler 1100 is available in three variants — Dark Pro at INR 11 lakhs, Pro at INR 11.95 lakhs and Sport at INR 13.75 lakhs, all ex-showroom India. 

The 800cc Scrambler retains the same teardrop fuel tank as its 1100cc sibling, a classical round LED headlight, but the DRL circle isn’t as prominent as the Pro range, seat height is lower by 10mm at 800mm and weighs a shade below 190kgs. It comes with an upside-down Kayaba 41 mm fork and a pre-load adjustable mono-shock at the back. Both offer wheel travel of 150mm. 

The off-road specialist Desert Sled, on the other hand, weighs 209kgs and has a seat height of 860mm. It gets fully adjustable 46mm Kayaba upside-down forks and rear shock with pre-load and rebound adjustable. Both offer wheel travel of 200mm. It also comes with an aluminium double-sided swingarm. 

The Scrambler 800cc range sports a single pod LCD instrument cluster and doesn't come with features like additional ride mode options. It also comes with an under-seat USB socket and is equipped with ABS cornering. 

The Scrambler is available in four trims — Dark Icon at INR 8 lakhs, Icon at INR 8.49 lakhs, Night Shift at INR 9.80 lakhs and the Desert Sled at INR 10.89 lakhs, all ex-showroom India. 

Triumph Scrambler

In the late 1960s, adventure seekers used to modify their trusty Bonneville steeds to explore deserts and dirt trails. Triumph decided to go back to the drawing board and create their own factory spec Scrambler. The iconic English manufacturer didn’t have to look too far as the versatile Bonneville T120 chassis was already used as a platform for the single-seater Bobber, it became a natural fit to create the Scrambler as well. Currently, in India, there are two Scrambler versions available — Scrambler 1200 Steve McQueen and the Street Scrambler 900 Sandstorm Edition. Both are limited edition and only 25 units of each of these Scramblers are allotted to India. 

Scrambler 1200 Steve McQueen is based on the recently unveiled 2021 Scrambler XE, which features a long travel aluminium swingarm, making it apt for all riding conditions. Dedicated to the Hollywood star and motorcycle enthusiast, Steve McQueen, this limited edition comes with a lot of additional goodies. The Scrambler sports a Competition Green tank with brushed foil knee pads, hand-painted gold lining and gold heritage Triumph logos. The tank also gets a dedicated Steve McQueen graphic, brushed aluminium Monza cap and brushed stainless steel tank strap. This special edition bike comes standard with an aluminium high level front mudguard along with the rear mudguard. It also features a brown bench seat, with stitched ribbing which stands out beautifully with the contrasting green paint and chunky golden coloured front forks. 

The Steve McQueen Scrambler edition is powered by a 1,200cc parallel-twin engine that churns out 89bhp@7,400rpm and 110Nm@3,950rpm. It’s equipped with Showa 47mm fully adjustable upside-down forks and Ohlins fully adjustable piggy-back RSUs with twin springs. Both offer an impressive 250mm of wheel travel. As it is a more off-road focused bike, it has a ground clearance of 870mm.

It may look like a classic Scrambler, but it is a state-of-the-art motorcycle as it boasts a full-colour TFT instrument cluster, all LED lighting, 6 riding modes — Road, Rain, Off-Road, Off-Road Pro, Sport and Rider — which adjust the throttle response, ABS settings and traction control. It’s also equipped with Cornering ABS and Cornering Traction Control, cruise control, USB socket, integrated GoPro control system and turn-by-turn navigation system powered by Google Maps. 

The Steve McQueen Edition is available at INR 13.75 lakhs, ex-showroom India.

Street Scrambler 900 Sandstorm Edition

The Sandstorm Edition pays tribute to the Triumph Scrambler desert rides from El Mirage to the Mojave, to Barstow and the Baja Peninsula. Based on the 2021 Street Scrambler, it showcases a unique paint scheme with Matt Storm Grey and Ironstone accents on the tank.

It is equipped with features such as a compact LED taillight and number plate light, a heavy-duty aluminium sump guard, a headlight grille and protective rubber knee pads on the tank. Along with that, this limited edition offers Ride-by-Wire technology, three riding modes —Road, Rain and Off-Road. In the Off-Road mode, the ABS & Traction Control can be completely switched off. It also comes standard with an immobilizer and USB charging port. 

Sandstorm Edition is powered by a 64bhp 900cc with 80Nm of torque as is mated to a 5-speed gearbox. It’s priced at INR 9.65 lakhs, ex-showroom India. 

Benelli Leoncino 500

Leoncino means lion cub and that’s the reason why there’s a lion motif on the front fender. The Benelli Scrambler too has a rich history as it was first manufactured in the early 1950s. Unlike Triumph retaining its heritage DNA, Benelli has decided to go the contemporary way. It has the classic round LED headlight with a unique U-shaped DRL. The 12.7-litre tank is sleek and has contrasting black plastic panels that come across as knee pads. 

Based on a steel lattice frame, the Leoncino 500 is a road-focused Scrambler. It has a ground clearance of 160mm and sports 17-inch low profile tyres. It also gets one of the chunkiest front forks in the market– a 50mm inverted up-front and a mono-shock with preload-adjustable at the rear. The Leoncino is equipped with dual 320mm discs in front and a single 260mm disc in the rear. It comes standard with dual-channel ABS, which can be switched off. It sports a simple and functional black and while all-digital instrument console. 

The Scrambler’s 500cc parallel-twin delivers 47bhp@8,500rpm and 46Nm@6,000rpm. It’s mated to a 6-speed gearbox. Priced at INR 4.69 lakhs, ex-showroom India, it is one of the most affordable 500cc motorcycles in the market. 

Husqvarna Svartpilen 250

Svartpilen 250 is without a shadow of a doubt the epitome of new-age Scramblers. Husqvarna follows the typical Swedish design philosophy, keeping it simple yet distinctive and the Svartpilen can’t be mistaken for any other motorcycle. The name means ‘Black Arrow’ and it beautifully balances the rugged elements of a Scrambler with edgy and sharp modern design lines. As minimalistic as the bike looks, it also stays away from any unnecessary graphics and the body is made of two frames. One starts from the 9.5-litre fuel tank and ends midway under the seat while the other panel completes the rear. Its seating position is upright, gets a raised handlebar and tall split seats at a height of 842mm. Even though the Svartpilen sports dual-purpose tyres, it is more of an urban neo-Scrambler and comes with 17-inch alloys instead of the traditional spoke wheels. It sports WP APEX upside-down 43mm front forks and mono-shock at the rear. The Scrambler gets a single 320mm front disc and 230mm rear disc brakes. Its instrument console is round in shape reads out additional information like engine temperature, fuel range, side stand indicator and braking modes. Like its sibling, the KTM 250 Duke, the Svartpilen 250, also gets a Supermoto mode which gives you an option to switch off rear-wheel ABS for better brake control while off-roading. 

The 248cc motor churns out 29bhp @ 9,000rpm and 24Nm @ 7,500rpm and gets a 6-speed transmission. 

The Svartpilen 250 is priced at INR 1.89 lakhs, ex-showroom Delhi. 


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