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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Since this is my first post I want to preface this with the first time I saw the Ducati Scrambler and how unlikely I though it would be that I would actually own one. First time I laid eyes on the Scrambler, it was at the 2014 AIM Expo in Orlando and my initial reaction was “WOW THAT LOOKS COOL!! “ So I spent some time examining it. I loved the off road “looking” tires, the bare bones air cooled motor, the signature Ducati twisty exhaust headers, it looked cool. Over the course of the day I returned to the Ducati booth several times, that was between my time drooling over the newly released H2R with the rest of the motorheads in attendance and one question kept nagging me, “what is it?” I couldn’t clearly see what the Italians were going for. It had off road tires, but not really, and really didn’t look like a formattable off-road bike. It had a modern vintage design but I couldn’t tell if it was trying to compete with the archaic HD Sportster platform or a fit in next to the Triumph’s iteration of a vintage style motorcycle. And finally, the Motor 803 twin valve, so middle weight, right? but 75hp? Is it slotted as a beginner bike? Ultimately, I decided this bike doesn’t have an identity, it seemed like it was trying to be too many things and didn’t seem it could do any of them exceptionally well. I still liked it, although felt like it wasn’t for me. Once it hit the market, let me tell you, the only guys riding in my neighborhood were the coffee shop handle bar mustache thrift store helmet wearing “cool guys”, who were using it as a fashion accessory I though this guy doesn’t even like riding it he bought it because it gets better mileage that a Prius and costs less. I knew that as soon as that guy got done with his latte he was going ride it home park it in his garage and spend the next hour in the mirror waxing his mustache while talking to himself about craft bourbon. No offence to anyone who does that but to me motorcycling pulls a sting directly in my soul, having a motorcycle bill is as necessary as an electrical bill and if you’ve got a bike it deserves to be use A LOT! So for a long time I discounted the Scrambler which I realize now that was a mistake. I missed out on the community I found here, the guys who use their scramblers test them, mod them, and most importantly ride them A LOT.

The DS is my eighth bike, I’ve owned primarily sport touring/superbikes but my favorite bike of all time was a blue 2003 DRZ-400s. It opened new doors for me and took me to places that I could have never got to on a sport bike and was hands down the most fun I’d ever had on a motorbike. But long distance destination rides on fast twisty roads are my thing, camping primarily which occasionally (more often than not) requires long hauls on highways and the old DRZ just wasn’t up to the task so I sold it…. I’m still kicking myself today and for only $1800 bucks, WHAT WAS I THINKING!?! Either way I continued with my sport touring bikes but they just weren’t doing for me anymore the adventure aspect was waning and as I would plan my next ride I simply had to skip some of the best roads (i.e. dirt canyon roads of Arizona). I would look longingly at fire breaks and old mine roads along the way and ultimately decide that I would have to bring my truck and camp gear back one day and see what was lurking beyond the road side opening; which would immediately conjure memories of my days on the old DRZ, ugh, what was I thing. That is until one day… mid 2017, I was scrolling I was through Facebook; I was three months into the ownership of a brand new FZ-10 (MT-10 for you guys across the pond) and I was still receiving a ton of advertisement on my social media feeds based upon latest search information, fucking Zuckerberg, anyway a picture of the side profile of the DS came up a few times, I would pause and say oh cool looking bike but I assumed it was some sort of custom job and then scroll right past it. Well one day it came up again and I thought, “man this must be a really popular build” intrigued I clicked the AD, to my surprise what came up was a local motorcycle dealership, I thought “oh crap, that thing is for sale” I click deeper, “wait is this a production bike”, click again “A DUCATI!! Wait SCRAMBLER!! THIS THING IS A FUCKING SCRAMBLER!!!”. I drop my phone and immediately open a browser on my computer and Googled “Ducati Dirt Bike”, and what came up was beyond my wildest dreams, Ducati gave the Scrambler a true identity, a bike that says “take me off road I can do it”… A few months earlier while shopping around for a new bike as I had decided to finally hang up my childlike #46 superbike aspirations. I couldn’t find what I was looking for exactly and hadn’t even considered a Ducati for reasons I can’t recall. Everything checked a few boxes but not all, well, except for the R1200GS but for 20k if fucking better… so eventually I settled on the FZ-10 almost begrudgingly, but it checked the most boxes, comfort, handling, soul, even a few I wasn’t particularly looking for like cruse control which I found kind of detracted from the whole riding experience. It was a platform I was familiar with the upright comfy sport bike that I had ridden for thousands of miles previously. But what it didn’t do was recapture the DRZ fun or make those mysterious fire breaks any more available.

For about two weeks after I saw the DS there was, for all intents and purposes, a war in my head. On one side there was the fiscally responsible adult me (a pretty stand up dude) vs. the impulsive pubescent angry me (he’s always punching holes in walls and for some reason always has a boner… he’s gross). Eventually I came to the realization that it didn’t matter which bike I had every time I swung my leg over a bike the adult me was just there for the ride. The child me takes over, and he dose things that makes the adult me pee his pants a little…. So I thought “maybe a decrease in HP could do me a little good”. I traded the FZ in for a loss and picked up the DS and I’ve haven’t missed the FZ, at all in fact I feel pretty dumb for not gong to the Ducati dealership months ago.



Ok, preface complete…. I’ll talk about my bike now.


Initial riding impressions, and progression.


About two weeks after buying the DS I was sent to Yuma AZ for a two-month training evolution… I am a Chief Warrant Officer I in the US Marine Corps. Being an officer I was allowed certain liberties like brining me own transportation. I loaded my issued gear in my truck and threw the DS in the back and man what an opportunity. I had hundreds of square miles of empty desert that usually is restricted to Border Patrol and Range officials. Furthermore, my position out there afforded me the opportunity to travel alone to distance sites and explore the forbidden lands just past Yuma AZ. I have to say that I was and still am impressed, it did great on and off road even in the really soft stuff. Climbing hills was a bit of a for me challenge, the bike could handle it, but was expecting the twin to have as much low-down torque as my old thumper. Once my throttle hand figured out the power delivery it turned into a non-issue.



Once I felt I had enough on and off-road experience to familiarize myself with the bike I started taking trips on my own and with groups. Mostly one or two-day trips to desolate locations to take pictures of the stars and nature (My other passion). This required my camp gear and life support essentials to be strapped to the bike. I looked up the max weight for the bike and despite my concerns that the weight was over estimated Ducati ensured me via the owner’s manual that the bike was designed to be loaded to its max weight and ridden long distances….So I did, well almost. The bike wet is 456lbs (207kg), I am, on a bad day, 220lbs (100kg), and the max weight is 837lbs (396kg). This left me with an allowance of 161lbs (73kg) for gear, water, booze, etc. instead of weighing each individual item I simply loaded the bike down with everything I could ever want for a long trip… I packed shit I knew I wasn’t going to use unless I was lost or on a week + trip. Then I rode it into work and weighed it on wheel scales that our logistics section had laying around to ensure I hadn’t over loaded the front axle. It came out to be 550lbs (249kg) 2/3 of that was on the read so I added more tools, water and was set. I estimate I was about 73lbs (33kg) under the max so I was happy.





The bike loaded down with 114lbs (51kg) of gear was surprisingly still very nimble, and at slower speed it felt much more stable. There was obviously a lager load on the motor spelled out to me by the different exhaust note but couldn’t really feel a substantial reduction in acceleration to cursing speed on the highways, around 80 mph. I didn’t realize the tax of the extra weight until I was on my first group ride. I was in the company of a R1200GS, R1200R, and an African Twin; all of which have more power, larger fuel tanks and equipped with luggage systems. On the way to our camp site we took a lot of twisty roads which is kind of my specialty, I kept up and was at times wishing for a more brisk pace. While on our way down Banner Grade (the most challenging portion of the trip) I noticed a little lateral movement from the back end in some of the tighter turns. I found that small imperfections in the road would upset the traction a little, I probably wasn’t too close to loosing the back-end, but, with the gear loaded it felt a bit more dramatic. Next the leader decide that we were late, I don’t know what to, but he set the pace on the straight farm roads at around 90mph. This wasn’t a problem for them as they had extra fuel to burn but I didn’t the moment we reached our destination my fuel light came on… long story short I ran out of fuel the next day 4 miles from a petrol station and the trip clock read 137 miles severely undercutting my previous range, I realized that extra weight + higher speeds = pushing your bike down the road. Thankfully someone had a liter MSR bottle in their top case and I made it to the station without too much effort on my part. Another problem I realized on our frantic farm land tour was the effect the wind had on me physically, the three other bikes on the ride were equipped with large touring screens, I however was essentially but ass naked. After 40 mins of high speed wind I was outright exhausted!!! I tried to draft behind the Africa Twin because he was a bigger guy (wide) but there was no relief, I endured and as soon as I got off the bike I ordered a windscreen from Revzilla on my cellphone.



Off road riding in a group is where the DS truly shined, it’s lighter weight and kick ass tiers made it the most capable bike in the group and I actually realized how good it really was. I had a feeling it was good from my other solo trips but I was running circles around the BMW’s with two guys who were very accomplished riders mounted on them. The only bike that seemed to be able to keep up was the African Twin and eventually the guy buried his bike so deep it was standing straight up without any assistance. (pic included) The DS was in the same sand but all I had to do was crack the throttle and she would just dig her way out of it, truly enjoyable experience.



All in all I am very pleased with the bike and I haven’t missed the extra 60hp from my other bikes at all and that DRZ fun I was looing for, well, I found it.




MODS!!

Like most of you I presume, I view modifications as essential as fuel. Ergo I’ve compiled a list of my mods in order of installation and pictures, if you’ve got any questions send them.

First and fore most I had to get rid of the big cartoon “X” and the Comic Sans “SCRAMBLER” sticker on the tank. I don’t really consider that a mod though.



First mod, the almighty slip-on because I’m a child and I like loud motorcycles. I went with the “Pro-Race Titanium Half” System from Arrow primarily because they were the only ones making a DS specific exhaust at the time that didn’t look like it was hobbled together in a crack house. It sounds great, looks great and gave it a few more ponies with out a flashing of the ECU. It does however make it run a little rich on cold starts. I considered an SC Project because it looked cool but it didn’t have a silencer after running the Arrow without the silencer Im very happy I didn’t get it, it was obscenely loud!!! I was ordered directly from Italy and was pricy but whatever, loud noises. Install was only two bolts, extremely simple.



Second mod was the SW-Motech Crash Bars, for piece of mind and considering that my asperations are almost certainly going to take me to austere locations something as simple as a punctured oil line or broken seal could make the difference between a great trip and a great story about survival…. Im being overly dramatic. Any way the pictures online don’t do them any justice, in fact its hard to take a picture that really captures the depth and look they add. These things look cool on this bike also they create some great mounting spots for some auxiliary lights which is me next mod. I couldn’t find the DS specific bars for sale on line all I could find was the standard Scrambler and the Sixty Six, I called the manufacture because they had the DS bars on their website, turns out the Sixty Six and the DS share the same subframe and the part numbers are the same. Install was fairly simple but you need to hoist the motor with a jack from underneath before taking out the primary mounting bolt, I used a floor jack and a piece of wood to distribute the pressure point of the jack and a front stand to keep it level. There is some cutting involved but they included a pattern for each side, I cut a little too much on the right but you can’t tell unless you get up undented it. The torque specs were not included in my kit so I had to go to the manufacture again if I remember correctly in primary bolt was 80ft-lbs but I’m not entirely certain.



Third was the aluminum rear luggage rack….I don’t really know a whole lot about it, I got it on ebay from a vender in Canada because it’s a EDM product from Italy (A.K.A. unreasonably priced) that seems to be unavailable in the US, there’s a brand on a tiny sticker but I don’t recognize it. Either way it looks cool, it’s functional and it was the only one I found that was not luggage specific. Installation was four bolts the rack seemed to be a little warped from welding so it didn’t line up perfectly, I had to force it into place and thread the bolts evenly a few turns at time until it was fully torqued down. it ended up snapping in the middle of a ride down a wash... it was good for the road but just wasn't up the bumps of the dirt.



Fourth was the Puig “Naked New Generation” windscreen, it isn’t the tallest but from my point of view it was the perfect balance of functionality and looks even though I really wasn’t sold on the polished black. I ended up taping it off sanding it down and applying my favorite truck bed liner to it and now I’m stoked about how it looks. As far as wind protection goes its perfect for me, I’m 6’2” with a long torso and it cuts the wind right below my helmet which was what I wanted, just something to take the strain off my upper body and there’s no extra wind buffeting noise in the helmet. Since installing it I’ve noticed that the bike seems more maneuverable at higher speeds (70-80+) and opening it up all the way is far less dramatic, I know its not “more maneuverable” but the effect of the wind on my upper body really makes a big difference, definitely worth the money. Installation replaced two bolts from the top of the triple trees a little thread lock and 5 minutes and it was on.

]

Fifth was a Roto-Pax 1 gallon tank and mount, this was the most time consuming mod because I had to fabricate a back plate to securely affix the tank mount. There was only one real place for it to go and that was on my fancy new “Italian made” luggage rack. I went to Home Depot and picked up a piece of steel sheet metal and stared at the rack for about three hours devising the best way to bolt it down and also be able to remove it if needed. What I came up with I even questioned but after a few days of cutting, grinding, cussing, bending, hitting it with a hammer, giving up, reconsidering my decision to give up, and painting I ended up liking the final product. In retrospect having a proper sheet metal bender or forge would have helped, also I would have not been five beers deep while tracing out my pattern.



Sixth was the “Barkbuster VSP” hand guards, I added these for lever protection and wind cutting and so far I have been pleased. The added wind protection just adds to the windscreen’s effectiveness of the windscreen. They were bike specific so it was a 20 min install I had to drill out the holes to mount the plastic guards and the hardware they sent was inadequate so Home Depot to the rescue again. I think I am going to paint them the same as the windscreen just because they have “BARKBUSTER” written in white on both sided.



Problems and other issues.


Tires have been my only actual repair, I punctured the rear on something, I really don’t know how or on what. I was going around a corner pretty fast and my back end kicked out pretty fiercely, I had my foot out and thankfully caught it but I still peed a little. I thought I had just found the limits of the tires but a moment later the handling got really unstable and the back felt really squishy, I looked down and saw a low rear tire. I pulled off and to hear the last few inches of pressure leave the tire. Luckily, I was only a mile from home and I missed my workout for the day so it created a great opportunity to get in a little exercise. At home I put it on the stand and found about a 15mm tear starting at the low point of the tire a working up the tread. I took it to a tire shop so I could have them check the structural integrity but only about 2mm of the tear made it though so I put a new tube in and its fine. I like the Rally SRTs but I think I’m switching to Anakee Wilds for my next set…. Which is coming up here in about 100 miles.


Another issue was during the break-in service, I had the bike up on the stand and pulled off the skid pan to find a whole bunch of fresh oil all over the bottom of the case and on the skid plate so I put her back together and sent her to Ducati for the full service just in case there was a real leak. Turns out whoever assembled the bike didn’t tighten done the oil filter well enough and it was pushing oil out of the filter seal a high temps, I consider myself lucky that it didn’t out right come off. Ive kept my eye on the it to ensure there’s no more leakage and she seems to be sealed properly.
 

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Would you consider the desert sled to be an adventure bike then? I remember when I bought my icon I overheard the sales man telling another customer that the desert sled wasn’t good on highways But I’m not sure if that’s accurate.
 

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I think that the Sled fits the bill as a small ADV bike. It's got some offroad capability.

As far as it "not being good on the highway" it depends on what you're comparing it to. If you're comparing it to an Icon there's no real substantive difference - the Sled's just a bit taller and has more offroad oriented tires. Compared to a BMW LT or something, it's going to be lousy. ;)
 

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Since this is my first post I want to preface this with the first time I saw the Ducati Scrambler and how unlikely I though it would be that I would actually own one. First time I laid eyes on the Scrambler, it was at the 2014 AIM Expo in Orlando and my initial reaction was “WOW THAT LOOKS COOL!! “ So I spent some time examining it. I loved the off road “looking” tires, the bare bones air cooled motor, the signature Ducati twisty exhaust headers, it looked cool. Over the course of the day I returned to the Ducati booth several times, that was between my time drooling over the newly released H2R with the rest of the motorheads in attendance and one question kept nagging me, “what is it?” I couldn’t clearly see what the Italians were going for. It had off road tires, but not really, and really didn’t look like a formattable off-road bike. It had a modern vintage design but I couldn’t tell if it was trying to compete with the archaic HD Sportster platform or a fit in next to the Triumph’s iteration of a vintage style motorcycle. And finally, the Motor 803 twin valve, so middle weight, right? but 75hp? Is it slotted as a beginner bike? Ultimately, I decided this bike doesn’t have an identity, it seemed like it was trying to be too many things and didn’t seem it could do any of them exceptionally well. I still liked it, although felt like it wasn’t for me. Once it hit the market, let me tell you, the only guys riding in my neighborhood were the coffee shop handle bar mustache thrift store helmet wearing “cool guys”, who were using it as a fashion accessory I though this guy doesn’t even like riding it he bought it because it gets better mileage that a Prius and costs less. I knew that as soon as that guy got done with his latte he was going ride it home park it in his garage and spend the next hour in the mirror waxing his mustache while talking to himself about craft bourbon. No offence to anyone who does that but to me motorcycling pulls a sting directly in my soul, having a motorcycle bill is as necessary as an electrical bill and if you’ve got a bike it deserves to be use A LOT! So for a long time I discounted the Scrambler which I realize now that was a mistake. I missed out on the community I found here, the guys who use their scramblers test them, mod them, and most importantly ride them A LOT.

The DS is my eighth bike, I’ve owned primarily sport touring/superbikes but my favorite bike of all time was a blue 2003 DRZ-400s. It opened new doors for me and took me to places that I could have never got to on a sport bike and was hands down the most fun I’d ever had on a motorbike. But long distance destination rides on fast twisty roads are my thing, camping primarily which occasionally (more often than not) requires long hauls on highways and the old DRZ just wasn’t up to the task so I sold it…. I’m still kicking myself today and for only $1800 bucks, WHAT WAS I THINKING!?! Either way I continued with my sport touring bikes but they just weren’t doing for me anymore the adventure aspect was waning and as I would plan my next ride I simply had to skip some of the best roads (i.e. dirt canyon roads of Arizona). I would look longingly at fire breaks and old mine roads along the way and ultimately decide that I would have to bring my truck and camp gear back one day and see what was lurking beyond the road side opening; which would immediately conjure memories of my days on the old DRZ, ugh, what was I thing. That is until one day… mid 2017, I was scrolling I was through Facebook; I was three months into the ownership of a brand new FZ-10 (MT-10 for you guys across the pond) and I was still receiving a ton of advertisement on my social media feeds based upon latest search information, fucking Zuckerberg, anyway a picture of the side profile of the DS came up a few times, I would pause and say oh cool looking bike but I assumed it was some sort of custom job and then scroll right past it. Well one day it came up again and I thought, “man this must be a really popular build” intrigued I clicked the AD, to my surprise what came up was a local motorcycle dealership, I thought “oh crap, that thing is for sale” I click deeper, “wait is this a production bike”, click again “A DUCATI!! Wait SCRAMBLER!! THIS THING IS A FUCKING SCRAMBLER!!!”. I drop my phone and immediately open a browser on my computer and Googled “Ducati Dirt Bike”, and what came up was beyond my wildest dreams, Ducati gave the Scrambler a true identity, a bike that says “take me off road I can do it”… A few months earlier while shopping around for a new bike as I had decided to finally hang up my childlike #46 superbike aspirations. I couldn’t find what I was looking for exactly and hadn’t even considered a Ducati for reasons I can’t recall. Everything checked a few boxes but not all, well, except for the R1200GS but for 20k if fucking better… so eventually I settled on the FZ-10 almost begrudgingly, but it checked the most boxes, comfort, handling, soul, even a few I wasn’t particularly looking for like cruse control which I found kind of detracted from the whole riding experience. It was a platform I was familiar with the upright comfy sport bike that I had ridden for thousands of miles previously. But what it didn’t do was recapture the DRZ fun or make those mysterious fire breaks any more available.

For about two weeks after I saw the DS there was, for all intents and purposes, a war in my head. On one side there was the fiscally responsible adult me (a pretty stand up dude) vs. the impulsive pubescent angry me (he’s always punching holes in walls and for some reason always has a boner… he’s gross). Eventually I came to the realization that it didn’t matter which bike I had every time I swung my leg over a bike the adult me was just there for the ride. The child me takes over, and he dose things that makes the adult me pee his pants a little…. So I thought “maybe a decrease in HP could do me a little good”. I traded the FZ in for a loss and picked up the DS and I’ve haven’t missed the FZ, at all in fact I feel pretty dumb for not gong to the Ducati dealership months ago.



Ok, preface complete…. I’ll talk about my bike now.


Initial riding impressions, and progression.


About two weeks after buying the DS I was sent to Yuma AZ for a two-month training evolution… I am a Chief Warrant Officer I in the US Marine Corps. Being an officer I was allowed certain liberties like brining me own transportation. I loaded my issued gear in my truck and threw the DS in the back and man what an opportunity. I had hundreds of square miles of empty desert that usually is restricted to Border Patrol and Range officials. Furthermore, my position out there afforded me the opportunity to travel alone to distance sites and explore the forbidden lands just past Yuma AZ. I have to say that I was and still am impressed, it did great on and off road even in the really soft stuff. Climbing hills was a bit of a for me challenge, the bike could handle it, but was expecting the twin to have as much low-down torque as my old thumper. Once my throttle hand figured out the power delivery it turned into a non-issue.



Once I felt I had enough on and off-road experience to familiarize myself with the bike I started taking trips on my own and with groups. Mostly one or two-day trips to desolate locations to take pictures of the stars and nature (My other passion). This required my camp gear and life support essentials to be strapped to the bike. I looked up the max weight for the bike and despite my concerns that the weight was over estimated Ducati ensured me via the owner’s manual that the bike was designed to be loaded to its max weight and ridden long distances….So I did, well almost. The bike wet is 456lbs (207kg), I am, on a bad day, 220lbs (100kg), and the max weight is 837lbs (396kg). This left me with an allowance of 161lbs (73kg) for gear, water, booze, etc. instead of weighing each individual item I simply loaded the bike down with everything I could ever want for a long trip… I packed shit I knew I wasn’t going to use unless I was lost or on a week + trip. Then I rode it into work and weighed it on wheel scales that our logistics section had laying around to ensure I hadn’t over loaded the front axle. It came out to be 550lbs (249kg) 2/3 of that was on the read so I added more tools, water and was set. I estimate I was about 73lbs (33kg) under the max so I was happy.





The bike loaded down with 114lbs (51kg) of gear was surprisingly still very nimble, and at slower speed it felt much more stable. There was obviously a lager load on the motor spelled out to me by the different exhaust note but couldn’t really feel a substantial reduction in acceleration to cursing speed on the highways, around 80 mph. I didn’t realize the tax of the extra weight until I was on my first group ride. I was in the company of a R1200GS, R1200R, and an African Twin; all of which have more power, larger fuel tanks and equipped with luggage systems. On the way to our camp site we took a lot of twisty roads which is kind of my specialty, I kept up and was at times wishing for a more brisk pace. While on our way down Banner Grade (the most challenging portion of the trip) I noticed a little lateral movement from the back end in some of the tighter turns. I found that small imperfections in the road would upset the traction a little, I probably wasn’t too close to loosing the back-end, but, with the gear loaded it felt a bit more dramatic. Next the leader decide that we were late, I don’t know what to, but he set the pace on the straight farm roads at around 90mph. This wasn’t a problem for them as they had extra fuel to burn but I didn’t the moment we reached our destination my fuel light came on… long story short I ran out of fuel the next day 4 miles from a petrol station and the trip clock read 137 miles severely undercutting my previous range, I realized that extra weight + higher speeds = pushing your bike down the road. Thankfully someone had a liter MSR bottle in their top case and I made it to the station without too much effort on my part. Another problem I realized on our frantic farm land tour was the effect the wind had on me physically, the three other bikes on the ride were equipped with large touring screens, I however was essentially but ass naked. After 40 mins of high speed wind I was outright exhausted!!! I tried to draft behind the Africa Twin because he was a bigger guy (wide) but there was no relief, I endured and as soon as I got off the bike I ordered a windscreen from Revzilla on my cellphone.



Off road riding in a group is where the DS truly shined, it’s lighter weight and kick ass tiers made it the most capable bike in the group and I actually realized how good it really was. I had a feeling it was good from my other solo trips but I was running circles around the BMW’s with two guys who were very accomplished riders mounted on them. The only bike that seemed to be able to keep up was the African Twin and eventually the guy buried his bike so deep it was standing straight up without any assistance. (pic included) The DS was in the same sand but all I had to do was crack the throttle and she would just dig her way out of it, truly enjoyable experience.



All in all I am very pleased with the bike and I haven’t missed the extra 60hp from my other bikes at all and that DRZ fun I was looing for, well, I found it.




MODS!!

Like most of you I presume, I view modifications as essential as fuel. Ergo I’ve compiled a list of my mods in order of installation and pictures, if you’ve got any questions send them.

First and fore most I had to get rid of the big cartoon “X” and the Comic Sans “SCRAMBLER” sticker on the tank. I don’t really consider that a mod though.



First mod, the almighty slip-on because I’m a child and I like loud motorcycles. I went with the “Pro-Race Titanium Half” System from Arrow primarily because they were the only ones making a DS specific exhaust at the time that didn’t look like it was hobbled together in a crack house. It sounds great, looks great and gave it a few more ponies with out a flashing of the ECU. It does however make it run a little rich on cold starts. I considered an SC Project because it looked cool but it didn’t have a silencer after running the Arrow without the silencer Im very happy I didn’t get it, it was obscenely loud!!! I was ordered directly from Italy and was pricy but whatever, loud noises. Install was only two bolts, extremely simple.



Second mod was the SW-Motech Crash Bars, for piece of mind and considering that my asperations are almost certainly going to take me to austere locations something as simple as a punctured oil line or broken seal could make the difference between a great trip and a great story about survival…. Im being overly dramatic. Any way the pictures online don’t do them any justice, in fact its hard to take a picture that really captures the depth and look they add. These things look cool on this bike also they create some great mounting spots for some auxiliary lights which is me next mod. I couldn’t find the DS specific bars for sale on line all I could find was the standard Scrambler and the Sixty Six, I called the manufacture because they had the DS bars on their website, turns out the Sixty Six and the DS share the same subframe and the part numbers are the same. Install was fairly simple but you need to hoist the motor with a jack from underneath before taking out the primary mounting bolt, I used a floor jack and a piece of wood to distribute the pressure point of the jack and a front stand to keep it level. There is some cutting involved but they included a pattern for each side, I cut a little too much on the right but you can’t tell unless you get up undented it. The torque specs were not included in my kit so I had to go to the manufacture again if I remember correctly in primary bolt was 80ft-lbs but I’m not entirely certain.



Third was the aluminum rear luggage rack….I don’t really know a whole lot about it, I got it on ebay from a vender in Canada because it’s a EDM product from Italy (A.K.A. unreasonably priced) that seems to be unavailable in the US, there’s a brand on a tiny sticker but I don’t recognize it. Either way it looks cool, it’s functional and it was the only one I found that was not luggage specific. Installation was four bolts the rack seemed to be a little warped from welding so it didn’t line up perfectly, I had to force it into place and thread the bolts evenly a few turns at time until it was fully torqued down. it ended up snapping in the middle of a ride down a wash... it was good for the road but just wasn't up the bumps of the dirt.



Fourth was the Puig “Naked New Generation” windscreen, it isn’t the tallest but from my point of view it was the perfect balance of functionality and looks even though I really wasn’t sold on the polished black. I ended up taping it off sanding it down and applying my favorite truck bed liner to it and now I’m stoked about how it looks. As far as wind protection goes its perfect for me, I’m 6’2” with a long torso and it cuts the wind right below my helmet which was what I wanted, just something to take the strain off my upper body and there’s no extra wind buffeting noise in the helmet. Since installing it I’ve noticed that the bike seems more maneuverable at higher speeds (70-80+) and opening it up all the way is far less dramatic, I know its not “more maneuverable” but the effect of the wind on my upper body really makes a big difference, definitely worth the money. Installation replaced two bolts from the top of the triple trees a little thread lock and 5 minutes and it was on.

]

Fifth was a Roto-Pax 1 gallon tank and mount, this was the most time consuming mod because I had to fabricate a back plate to securely affix the tank mount. There was only one real place for it to go and that was on my fancy new “Italian made” luggage rack. I went to Home Depot and picked up a piece of steel sheet metal and stared at the rack for about three hours devising the best way to bolt it down and also be able to remove it if needed. What I came up with I even questioned but after a few days of cutting, grinding, cussing, bending, hitting it with a hammer, giving up, reconsidering my decision to give up, and painting I ended up liking the final product. In retrospect having a proper sheet metal bender or forge would have helped, also I would have not been five beers deep while tracing out my pattern.



Sixth was the “Barkbuster VSP” hand guards, I added these for lever protection and wind cutting and so far I have been pleased. The added wind protection just adds to the windscreen’s effectiveness of the windscreen. They were bike specific so it was a 20 min install I had to drill out the holes to mount the plastic guards and the hardware they sent was inadequate so Home Depot to the rescue again. I think I am going to paint them the same as the windscreen just because they have “BARKBUSTER” written in white on both sided.



Problems and other issues.


Tires have been my only actual repair, I punctured the rear on something, I really don’t know how or on what. I was going around a corner pretty fast and my back end kicked out pretty fiercely, I had my foot out and thankfully caught it but I still peed a little. I thought I had just found the limits of the tires but a moment later the handling got really unstable and the back felt really squishy, I looked down and saw a low rear tire. I pulled off and to hear the last few inches of pressure leave the tire. Luckily, I was only a mile from home and I missed my workout for the day so it created a great opportunity to get in a little exercise. At home I put it on the stand and found about a 15mm tear starting at the low point of the tire a working up the tread. I took it to a tire shop so I could have them check the structural integrity but only about 2mm of the tear made it though so I put a new tube in and its fine. I like the Rally SRTs but I think I’m switching to Anakee Wilds for my next set…. Which is coming up here in about 100 miles.


Another issue was during the break-in service, I had the bike up on the stand and pulled off the skid pan to find a whole bunch of fresh oil all over the bottom of the case and on the skid plate so I put her back together and sent her to Ducati for the full service just in case there was a real leak. Turns out whoever assembled the bike didn’t tighten done the oil filter well enough and it was pushing oil out of the filter seal a high temps, I consider myself lucky that it didn’t out right come off. Ive kept my eye on the it to ensure there’s no more leakage and she seems to be sealed properly.

What a great in depth post. Thank you.
 

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The DS can be a motorcycle for long distances (not highways) because it is relatively comfortable, wide enough, the engine is old and tested and most importantly, it is a simple motorcycle with well-known components.
 

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I keep seeing ‘not suitable for highways’
I can’t understand why not. I’ve been touring on naked bikes for many years with bigger more powerful engines than the DS. Including highways without an issue, as have many people before me.
 

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View attachment 35523 I put a dart screen on mine (keeps wind off chest), and as for highway riding, I have no issues with mine, My first ride was 600km when I picked it up. Only issue I had was 100+km crosswinds for one windy section of the ride, That was interesting, but being crosswinds, any bike would have felt it. Absolutely love this machine, on, or off the highway.
 

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Thanks for the excellent write-up. I got my DS in March of this year and am enjoying it immensely. It's confidence inspiring on the pavement and goes off-road as well as I need.

I had been looking for a good solution to the wind issue and really like the little Puig screen. I just ordered one. I've also recently ordered a Sargent seat which hasn't been delivered yet. With those two improvements it should be ready for more than day trips. I also removed the scrambler logo from the tank and replaced it with a simple Ducati decal (off Amazon).

Next up is a new set of tires. I have about 2.5k left on the originals (for a total of ~6k miles) and plan to burn that off in a couple of weeks on a trip through pieces of Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho. I've had no issues with the stock tires and they're not crazy expensive so I may put on another set of the Pirelli's.
 

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Oh wow, thanks for the long post on exactly (some) of the things I am wondering about. I am purchasing a DS from a friend who got one then decided he liked his KTM 1190 better. The fool. I'm curious if those with a screen can also mention their height and if they find they have gained helmet turbulence in trade for less air on the chest. I'm on the shorter side (5'6", or 170cm) and I frequently find tall people give bad windscreen advice... at least for my height

I also wonder, being new to this forum, if there's an index of DS mods thread somewhere that I've missed? I've seen that done for other bikes on other forums, with a sticky post or two at the top of the thread, where possible solutions to upgrades or problems get collected. It would be great to get this going if there isn't already and it's allowed.

Last thing... Any ADV inclined DS folks up in the PNW of the USA (or western CA), ping me maybe and we can hook up?

:thumbsup:
 

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Oh wow, thanks for the long post on exactly (some) of the things I am wondering about. I am purchasing a DS from a friend who got one then decided he liked his KTM 1190 better. The fool. I'm curious if those with a screen can also mention their height and if they find they have gained helmet turbulence in trade for less air on the chest. I'm on the shorter side (5'6", or 170cm) and I frequently find tall people give bad windscreen advice... at least for my height

I also wonder, being new to this forum, if there's an index of DS mods thread somewhere that I've missed? I've seen that done for other bikes on other forums, with a sticky post or two at the top of the thread, where possible solutions to upgrades or problems get collected. It would be great to get this going if there isn't already and it's allowed.

Last thing... Any ADV inclined DS folks up in the PNW of the USA (or western CA), ping me maybe and we can hook up?

:thumbsup:
You still around Mister B. Im interested in doing some ADV stuff on my sled. There this big event going down in Julian Ca this weekend
 
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