The New Desert Sled Ducati Brought Me Around On The Scrambler

Illustration for article titled The New Desert Sled Ducati Brought Me Around On The Scrambler
Photo: Ducati

There’s a new Scrambler lineup for 2021, and now that I’ve seen the special edition Desert Sled Fasthouse I think I’m finally coming around on the Scrambler craze.

Advertisement

I confess that when the Scrambler first appeared I wasn’t a fan; I felt it would overshadow my favorite Ducati, the Monster. I’ve come around to thinking that the Scrambler is in some sense the spiritual successor of the Monster, a relatively affordable Duc that is both approachable and practical.

And that red trellis frame really helps:

The Fasthouse is not the first Scrambler Desert Sled, just the newest version, and a pretty exclusive one at that. Only 800 Fasthouse bikes will be sold, but the Desert Sled is part of the 2021 Scrambler lineup. If you don’t care about commemorative plates and red trellis frames, don’t stress the limited-edition status.

undefined
Photo: Ducati

The Fasthouse starts at $12,295 and will go on sale at the end of March. That’s not bad for a brand new Duc model rocking the famous desmodromic 90-degree twin engine. That 803cc motor makes 73 horsepower and about 49 lb-ft of torque. The saddle sits at 33 inches with the lower seat and 33.9 inches standard. The Fasthouse weighs about 461 pounds wet. Now, that’s kind of heavy, but since the bike is narrow it’s not as unwieldy as it sounds.

undefined
Image: Ducati

The Desert Sled also boasts a more robust suspension setup, and other components are revised for off-road service, as the Ducati announcement describes:

The Ducati Scrambler Fasthouse is powered by the 803 cc engine and is equipped with all the characteristic elements of the Ducati “Land of Joy” Desert Sled models. The swingarm, the triple clamps and the bespoke suspension make this model perfect for those who want to experience great adventures on off-road trails, just like those of the Nevada desert that each year are the scene for the Mint 400. The inclination to the off-road universe is underlined by the chassis, specifically designed to cope with the stresses of off-road use, as well as by the presence of a homologated grille for the front headlight, high mudguards and the skid plate.

Advertisement

Ducati modeled this exclusive Desert Sled after its own successful entry in the Mint 400, of trucks-running-over-Volkswagens fame, among other things.

undefined
Photo: Ducati
Advertisement

I just wish Ducati would have kept the higher side-mounted exhaust from the race bike. If you put together the trellis frame and Pirelli Scorpions with that higher, longer exhaust, it would make for the ultimate Ducati Scrambler.

undefined
Photo: Ducati
Advertisement
undefined
Photo: Ducati
undefined
Photo: Ducati

Staff Writer at Jalopnik. Periodista automotriz, Naturally Aspirated Stan.

DISCUSSION

17seconds
17 Seconds

This Desert Sled will look great in front of hipster bars in Brooklyn!