More Ducati Scramblers Arrive Into The Country

The Nightshift is an amalgamation of the older Cafe Racer and Full Throttle models

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Ducati has enjoyed much success with its Scrambler motorcycles. The neo retro bikes have made the brand accessible without really diluting much of that Ducati spirit. Until now, Ducati has launched quite a few variants of the Scrambler family. The only variants that were still to be brought, aside from the e-Scrambler electric bike that is, have now arrived. Please, welcome the 2021 Desert Sled and Nightshift variants.

What’s The Price? Who Are Its Rivals?

At Rs 10.89 lakh (ex-showroom India), the 2021 Desert Sled comes bearing a premium of nearly a lakh over its outgoing model. The Nightshift is a new variant altogether and gets a sticker price of Rs 9.80 lakh. That’s around the same price as the old Cafe Racer trim with which it shares some bits.

These Scrambler models do not have any direct rivals in the country yet. The Triumph Scrambler 1200 XC used to be a more powerful but equally off-road capable motorcycle like the Desert Sled. This British brute isn’t around any more but will soon return to India by mid-2021.

What's New?

The updates on the Desert Sled are mainly cosmetic. You get a new retro colour scheme of blue and silver that just makes it look so cool. Heightening this off-roader’s appeal are the golden spoke rims. And that’s about it with the updates on this model.

The Nightshift is sort of a combination of the old Cafe Racer and Full Throttle variants with a lot of dark finished components. The teardrop-shaped fuel tank and the flat-track racing-inspired side panels come finished in this lovely Aviator Grey colour scheme. The flat, wide handlebar lends a bit of a hunkered-down riding stance with bar end mirrors gracing the bike. A stubby bench seat completes the look.

What's Unchanged?

The heart of both these models remains the same 803cc L-twin air-cooled engine that puts out 73PS and 66.2Nm, 0.8Nm lower in BS6 times. No changes to the six-speed gearbox, hydraulic slip-and-assist clutch, or even the basic frame of both models.

The Desert Sled continues to employ long travel suspension bits--a fully-adjustable Kayaba fork and a preload- and rebound-adjustable Kayaba monoshock. The 19-/17-inch spoke rims are still wrapped with Pirelli Scorpion Rally STR knobby rubber. A front radial caliper and Bosch cornering ABS are standard equipment.

Much simpler components are to be found on the Nightshift. Kayaba non-adjustable suspension bits, Pirelli MT 60 RS dual-sport tyres and the same braking hardware as the Desert Sled arrive on this dark mode Scrambler. It does get stylish 18-/17-inch spoke rims, which is not found on the standard Scrambler Icon.


While the Scrambler Icon might have made the series more accessible, these niche offerings are what adds diversity and exclusivity to the range. The Desert Sled remains one of the most hardcore true-blue scramblers one can get in India. The Nightshift’s appeal retains its dark brooding characteristic but with a sportier stance. Paying Rs 1.30 lakh more for the appeal over the stock Scrambler 800 is a bit hard to justify.

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