These were road bikes with engines over 500 cc, stripped of any non-essential accessories and body panels, fitted with off-road tires, wheels, and having modified suspension systems and engine skid plates, the latter being the source for the ‘desert sled’ name.
Over the years, these bikes became a motorcycle category of its own, and the new Ducati Scrambler Desert Sled has the right equipment to be part of it. The new bike comes with a reinforced frame, a bash plate, two side plates that hug the engine and support the new swingarm which is reinforced too and longer than on the smaller Scrambler 800.
The fork yokes feature a wider inter-fork clearance and an augmented offset, while the whole suspension has been designed to tackle rough terrain. The front has 200 mm of travel thanks to upside-down 46 mm Kayaba adjustable forks, while the rear uses a shock absorber from the same company with a separate gas cartridge.
The Desert Sled also rocks a 19-inch wheel at the front, a Brembo braking system with a Bosch 9.1 MP ABS, a single 330 mm disc paired with a 4-piston monoblock caliper at the front, and a 245 mm disc with a 32 mm diameter piston caliper at the rear.
In the middle of the bike sits an 803 cc air and oil-cooled Desmodue engine delivering 75 hp and 68 Nm of torque, tweaked for smooth running and fluid acceleration throughout the rev range. Needless to say, it has a cool raised exhaust system and is Euro 4 compliant.
Other features include a teardrop gas tank with interchangeable side panels, front headlight with mesh guard, high front mudguard, extended rear mudguard, high plate holder, tapered handlebars with reinforcement strut and a dedicated seat with a height of 860 mm.
Report by Autoevolution