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I had a deposit on the Icon back when the news first broke on the Scrambler. First one at my dealership with money down. I thought it was going to be the 803cc SuperSport motor stuffed into a flat tracker framed Ducati. At least that's what it looked like. I was disappointed when I learned that Ducati made the motor breathe through a single velocity stack and neutered the motors top end a bunch. I was really hoping this would be a Hypermotard, second gear wheelie machine but in flat track clothing. Yes wheelies are immature but at 53 I have severe arrested development.

The first demo ride had me cursing the seat and weak motor along with the terrible fueling. I came back to the dealer and pulled my deposit. I was hoping for a bit more motor. The seat could be dealt with later. The motor just felt weak compared to the bike I was hoping to replace. My Buell XB12R. The Buell is a hooligan machine and loves wheeiles but its getting on with age and over 20k miles. Although its been trouble free I knew time was running out on that bike. I sold it and it made room in the garage for something else.

I test rode the Scrambler one more time and this time I took my Breakout to the dealer. The Breakout also is a free ride type scoot. Lots of smiles due to its long and low cruise with a big breathed on motor that loves to easily spin up the rear wheel. (totally immature but it makes me smile) The Scrambler this time had the performance exhaust on it and while it sounded better it just didn't seem to make me crack the check book.

After selling my Buell I realized Autumn was arriving and I didn't have a goto bike for the winter. This time I took the GROM to the dealer to test ride the Scrambler. I also test road the Full Throttle for the first time. I loved the bars and the handling stood out this time. I didn't think about the motor but really loved the neutral handling this bike had. So easy to tip into a corner and hold the line. A very balanced bike. I don't know why I never noticed it before. The motor seemed perfectly paired to the chassis. Not overwhelming and not under powered. I started to see what this bike was about. I stepped away from my "too much is not enough" theory on motorcycle power delivery. I threw out an offer but was rejected on the deal. I went home to do more homework.

While home I found a craigslist ad for a 2010 Hypermotard 1100 SP EVO. A bike I have always lusted after and it was cheaper than the FT. I talked to the owner and it turns out he works at the Duc dealer I just tested the Scrambler at. We arranged to meet and he had the bike at the dealer for me to test ride. The bike was tall to my 5'9" frame. No issues as I ride a KTM woods machine and high up doesn't bother me. The first thought was steering lock and the lack of it on the Hype. The next was the effort to get this bike moving. It took more clock-cycles of my brain to get the fueling and clutch to get this bike under way. Dry clutch grab plus not great low end fueling made for snatchiness which made the Scrambler feel tame. OK it's a bit of a beast I said to myself as the Hyper shot out of the parking lot in 1st gear. The motor feels high strung. Into 2nd and the bike feels like its geared for woods riding rather than the street. The first open section of road it lifts the front in 2nd gear and balances on the rear for a long time. This is the easiest bike I have ever held a wheelie on. I shifted into 3rd and kept the wheelie going. Like butta. Oh!!!! This is insane. That test complete I decided to ride it like my license was in jeopardy. I headed to a winding road near by. I felt the Hyper had slow steering. On this winding road it really stood out as an issue. It felt like a steering damper was closed too much and the bike was behind in its response to input. I didn't like it. My Buell had quirky handling and its the last thing I wanted in its replacement. I continued on the test and loved the spread of power and the bump absorption of the quality Ohlins suspension. The seat was pretty good as well. But I wasn't falling in love with this bike. The handling and around town fueling were not user friendly. At race pace the bike was at home but on the street it felt unrewarding. I went to the dealership wanting one last ride on the Full Throttle.

I easily swung my leg over the FT and headed out of the parking lot with simple ease. The flick to the right to pull out of the lot was telepathic. The motor pulled hard and had plenty of grunt at full throttle where maybe the Hyper was at 2/3rds its power. What was interesting is I felt at home. I found myself really loving the handling over wheelie inducing power. IF I wanted a wheelie machine for the street I had just left it. Now I found a trait I think I was looking for but hadn't clearly defined. Simplicity. This bike hit the nail on the head for ease of use and keeping it fun. Not over the top like the Hyper, yes, but it does have enough power to entertain you even if you just stepped off the Hyper minutes ago.

There I was with a decision. Hyper vs Scrambler.

So let's compare

Looks - I love the look of both bikes but the Scrambler just says something to me. I love the style of the flat tracker street bikes. I see the customs in Bike EXIF and they draw me in. Yes the Hyper has style but its gotten old.

Motor - The Hyper is hands down the winner here. The ease of holding a balance point wheelie on just the throttle with a shift into 3rd steals the show. I wish this motor was in the Scrambler without making it gain another 25% in overall size.The Scrambler motor can entertain you but only if you are looking for a slower bike to ride fast. The Hyper is a fast bike you need to ride slow.

Handling - I don't know what it was about the Hyper if it was set up wrong but even at zero speed the bike protests turning the bars and even when you do you meet the steering lock rather quickly. The high effort carries into the ride at speed as well. The slow steering and numb front end was an item I had to work around. Not confidence inspiring. The Scrambler on the other hand was superbly balanced and felt very neutral in turn in, mid corner and at higher straight line speed. The bike simply asks you to push it harder in the corner. The ease of mid corner correction along with light effort made it a winner in handling. Sure it's not going to set a lap record but it does inspire confidence on the street.

Brakes - I'm surprised at the brakes on the Scrambler. They are right up there on initial bite and predictive feel. The Hyper is full on race kit and right up there for its 2010 day. The nod goes to the Scrambler for wet days when anti lock may save my bacon.

Comfort - Hyper take the lead here. The bench seat although firm is not stepped like the Scramblers seats. The FT seat sucks. The scoop to lower riders reach to the ground leaves you numb butt as you can't move about.

At the beginning of the day I never thought I would be stepping off a Hyper 1100 SP EVO and onto a Scrambler Full Throttle and feel it connect with me. It did. The style and handling won me over. The seat I can work on possibly the new Sargent in development may work out. I do know that I wanted this bike for a long time and I'm glad I made room in the garage for it. Probably because I have a balls out Ducati 996S at home and I'm not jones'n for a performance main-line feed that the Hyper can give you.

I'm looking forward to many miles of Born Free 1962. That happens to be the year of my birth as well.
 

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Awesome story and sweet depth!
I had only ridden for a week after I got my first motorcycle (a Hornet) and only a few months after I got my license, when I test-rode the Scrambler and already then I felt how ridiculously easy it was to ride it. And the grin, the grin than just wouldn't leave my face the whole time I was on it..
Thanks for sharing this vivid account!
 

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I bought it without test riding it. Had it sitting in my garage a couple of weeks before I could drive it lol.
 

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I went through virtually the same process with the same bikes (only a new Hype). I was also looking at, and test riding, the Aprilia Dorsoduro. I loved all three bikes, but in the end, the Scrambler was just so comfortable and easy to ride. I'll do a lot of commuting on it, so having my feet flat on the ground at stop lights with the shorter bike helped the decision. I'm really happy with my choice.
 

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Sometimes (most times, IMO) it's a lot more fun to ride a "slow" bike fast than a faster bike slower.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
 
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Hope to have fun on the 939 hypermotard I just ordered , I am keeping the Scrambler went with standard the SP a tad too tall for me
 

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Hope to have fun on the 939 hypermotard I just ordered , I am keeping the Scrambler went with standard the SP a tad too tall for me
Congratulations Duchess! I took a test ride on a 2015 Hyperstrada last summer and kind of loved it for longer distances, good windscreen, luggage, comfort, gadgets; I never pulled the trigger, I think I may be waiting to see if they make a new version around 1100 again. I'll be interested to hear how you like it.
 

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Yes instead of Pikes Peak, I don't need large touring bike now, we shall trailer 2 bikes to Dolomites each summer. No not in dealers yet. Yes tried hyperstrada but seat restrictive and bit cramped leg wise
 

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Going to the original post, I get where you are at. The Scrambler , although mine is an Icon, I am finding is really easy to use, just jump on and bomb around - yes it needs some bits changing and they will happen over time but for now it works. For full on idiot grins I am fortunate to have the other option you stated, an 1100 EVO SP which I take when i want the crazy times. It can be a handful but thats why I like it so much. As a pair I don't think I could ask for better
 
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