As the latest variants in Ducati’s Scrambler series of retro motorcycles, the 2017 Ducati Scrambler Desert Sled and Cafe Racer are now in Malaysia, at a price of RM68,999 including GST, but excluding road tax, registration and insurance. Launched internationally last year at the EICMA show, the Desert Sled and Cafe Racer that the “generic” modder’s platform of the Scrambler has now taken on a greater degree of customisation.

Coming right off the factory floor set up to tackle two very different design and riding styles, the Desert Sled and Cafe Racer both carry the same 803 cc, air-cooled, Desmodromic two-valve engine that has seen service in one form or another in various Ducati models since the 1970s. Now fed by EFI with 50 mm throttle bodies, the V-twin in this case puts out 73 hp at 8,250 rpm and 67 Nm of torque at 5,750 rpm.

The most obvious difference with the new Scrambler models is seat height. Compared to the standard Scrambler with its 790 mm seat height, the Cafe Racer comes with it seat at 805 mm, while the Desert Sled lifts the rider 860 mm above the ground.

Not to worry though, if you have a somewhat short inseam. The Desert Sled has a low seat height option available from the catalogue, at 840 mm, while the Cafe Racer comes standard with a removable seat cowl, though there is a bench seat option if you prefer a less racy seating position.

On the braking side, both machines come with Brembos clamping a 330 mm disc in front as standard, along with ABS. The Cafe Racer gets a proper Brembo M4-32 Monobloc radially-mounted caliper, while the Desert Sled makes do with a standard Brembo item, but also with a radial mount.

Suspension on the Desert Sled and Cafe Racer are like chalk and cheese, as can be expected. Standing tall with 200 mm of suspension travel at both ends, the Desert Sled uses 46 mm diameter fully-adjustable upside-down forks, while its rear end uses a Kayaba monoshock, adjustable for pre-load and rebound.

For styling, the Cafe Racer obviously follows design cues taken from Ducati’s racing machines from the 50s and 60s. The #54 on the side plates was Bruno Spaggiari’s racing number, used when he campaigned the Mototemporada Romagnola Italian road race in 1968 with a Ducati 350 cc single.

Clip-on bars are used on the Cafe Racer, putting the rider in a de rigueur racing tuck. The Cafe Racer is finished in gloss black, with gold stripe highlights, and 10-spoke light alloy wheels.

Sitting rather more upright in the saddle, the Desert Sled comes in white, with the Scrambler logo prominently displayed on the side of the 13.5-litre fuel tank. using straight-forward scrambler-style handlebars, the Desert Sled comes with spoked wheels shod with Pirelli Scorpions.

Necessarily due to the differing design schools of the Desert Sled and Cafe Racer, both bike exhibit a marked difference in weight as well. The Cafe Racer comes in at 188 kg wet, while the Desert clocks a rather hefty 207 kg, a lot of weight for something meant to go off-road, but make no mistake, the Desert Sled will handle off-roading fairly well, as our colleague Durrani Shahrom from paultan.org’s Bahasa Malaysia section found out.

Bookings are currently being taken for the 2017 Ducati Scrambler Desert Sled and Cafe Racer, but there is no official word on expected delivery as yet. For a closer look at the Desert Sled and Cafe Racer, both machines will be officially launched at the Art of Speed Malaysia in MAEPS, Serdang on July 29 and 30.

GALLERY: 2017 Ducati Scrambler Cafe Racer


GALLERY: 2017 Ducati Scrambler Desert Sled