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The Ducati Scrambler Icon Lives Up to Its Name

The 2019 model gets a makeover, but it's subtle.

There are very few motorcycles in recent years that have been as much of a roaring commercial success as the Ducati Scrambler Icon. It has only been on the market since 2014 and, in that time, has gone on to spawn an incredible 10 variants, ranging from the Scrambler 1100 to the baby 400cc Scrambler Sixty2.

Over 55,000 Scramblers have found their way into garages across the globe, and Ducati has struck upon a very lucrative source of revenue. Triumph may have created the retro-styled scrambler genre in 2006 with their Scrambler 900, but it was Ducati who brought the culture to the masses five years ago.

For 2019, the Icon is the first of Ducati’s motorcycles to receive a makeover via what the company has dubbed the Scrambler Joyvolution. The name of the upgrade may be something of a mouthful, but it’s not immediately obvious what’s actually changed. Indeed, subtlety is the name of the game here. The Scrambler has been an incredible success—not necessarily due to how it rides or the price but, like a supermodel—thanks to its looks. For that reason, Ducati designers have been very careful not to mess with the moneymaker too drastically.

The 2019 Ducati Scrambler Icon.

A subtle but substantive makeover for 2019.  Photo: Courtesy of Ducati.

At a glance, the 2019 Scrambler appears nearly identical to the previous model with an unchanged 803cc, air-cooled L-twin motor. But peer closer and you’ll see a new, Daytime Running Light (DRL)-equipped LED headlight, LED taillight, a reshaped and restyled seat, and LED indicators that are now self-canceling. In addition, the removable/interchangeable gas tank side panels are a touch wider than the predecessors.

The dash has come in for a tweak, too, and now features the Ducati Multimedia System, allowing you to pair your phone to the machine. There’s also a new gear position indicator and fuel gauge, and the exhaust muffler sports a new heat shield (although it is otherwise unchanged).

The 2019 Ducati Scrambler Icon.

Ducati’s 803cc, air-cooled L-twin motor.  Photo: Courtesy of Ducati.

At the controls, the brake lever is now adjustable, the clutch lever ditches the cable for hydraulic actuation (for a lighter lever pull), and the suspension has slightly revised damping rates for a more comfortable ride.

The biggest change, however, comes in the form of Bosch’s 9.1 MP Cornering ABS (anti-lock braking system) system. This is the same unit found on the Scrambler 1100 that debuted earlier this year and is an excellent safety boost for the Icon.

Stay tuned, as we’ll have a full review after our test ride in Italy this month.

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