When Ducati first introduced the Scrambler Icon in 2014, not even the Italian moto maker could have imagined they’d have such a hit on their hands. The retro look, smaller frame, narrow tank and more upright riding position paired with the 803cc L-Twin engine was impressive.
The Scrambler isn’t going anywhere—Ducati sold more than 55,000 of them in just five years. The 2019 model tweaks, without truly changing, the Scrambler Icon’s successful formula.
The biggest modifications made to the 2019 model are minor and almost entirely aimed at safety. First and foremost, is the addition of Bosche’s cornering anti-lock braking system that was first trotted out in the Scrambler 1100.
The new system makes for better brake distribution, yielding smoother braking and minimising the rider's chances of losing control. It’s a feature normally found in much more expensive bikes and it’s nice to see Ducati’s concern with safety making it across the product line.
Other new safety measures include LED daytime running lights, LED brake lights and self-cancelling turn signals. Most of these are long overdue but it's still easy to be happy about seeing them make it into the Scrambler Icon’s 2019 design.
Beyond safety, the Icon gets a boost in comfort for 2019. There's an optional phone-pairing multimedia system which marks an acknowledgment by Ducati that riders want their smartphones—for music, for calls, for GPS—on their bikes. A seat redesign (it’s still a banana) and other detail adjustments like adjustable cabling for the brake handle and a switch to a hydraulic pull on the clutch round out the boosts. They add up to the pleasing conclusion that Ducati is finally perfecting the Scrambler Icon now that they’ve had four previous iterations to lock down (and how!) the essentials of this bike.
Starting under $10k, the 2019 Scrambler Icon is one of the easiest entry points for someone looking to join the Ducati family. Dealers are beginning to arrange test drives and new and old riders alike will have no trouble admitting that, while the Scrambler Icon may not boast the break-neck performance of so many other Ducatis, it’s still a damn fun little bike.