The fact that I'm a virgin blogger didn't stop my co-worker from suggesting I give it a shot. At the MotoSport HQ here in Oregon, I sit next to Andrew, our charming resident writer and editor. The poor guy has been on the receiving end of my Ducati Scrambler saga for months. He probably assumed I would provide him with a nicely packaged Scrambler review: unbiased, professional, and chock full of helpful technical bits. So I must warn you now. This isn't like the typical, cerebrally-toned review posted by dozens of other publishers about this bike. That would be redundant. Instead, I'm going to describe the emotional journey of my purchase from awareness to ownership. A testimony to the excitement a new bike can bring to your life, which for me happened to be a Ducati Scrambler.
1. Love at first sightI'm a dirt bike girl at heart, and when I first caught a glimpse of the Ducati Scrambler reveal last October at the American International Motorcycle Expo, I started tingling with anticipation and was immediately drawn to the Urban Enduro version. Reminiscing of being a kid in the 80's, I recalled getting lost in movies like Indiana Jones, The Goonies and Mad Max. Simply put, it revitalized a sense of adventure that has regretfully slipped away since marriage and mommy-hood. So solely based on aesthetic appeal, the hook was set.
2. ApprehensionWithin hours of seeing the internet posts about the reveal, along with receiving text messages from co-workers at the AIME show (thanks Fuzzy), I contacted a friend at the Ducati shop in search of validation. The lowdown was actually a little deflating. First, the engine Ducati chose for the Scrambler platform is a detuned 796 version of the Monster engine, not the new 821 version. Damn, that would have been sweet. Second, the reality of a wait time started to sink in. Six months is excruciating for a self-proclaimed impulse buyer. Also, ergonomics are important, and being five foot tall has its challenges when bike shopping. Not to knock lowering links, but being able to enjoy the design and handling of a chassis as it was intentioned would be nice. Quality of the components carries a lot of weight too, and it's hard to discern from photos just how solid a bike will be. I've been let down by new bike introductions before, so my deposit hinged on seeing one in the flesh and at least sitting on it.
3. CommitmentAdmittedly over the winter, my original lust for the Scrambler started to subside. Attending The One Show in February revived my stoke for scrambler and tracker styles in general. However, it wasn't until my husband and I were out cruising bike shops in May that my attraction to the Ducati Scrambler was reignited. After checking out BMWs and KTMs, our meanderings led us at Moto Corsa in Portland. About a minute after strolling in and bumping into friends, I spotted a yellow Icon staring at me from the center of a cleverly arranged Scrambler display. I threw my leg over it, picked it up, and kicked back the side stand. Holy crap I could touch the ground! Barely five minutes later, there I was, throwing down five Franklins to get my name on one.
4. AnticipationTwo months was the estimated wait time, and is a long time to second guess a purchase decision. The Ducati folks were obviously keen on this and had a red Icon demo available to test ride, equipped with the Termignoni high pipe exhaust. Well played guys. My grin became amplified as I got acquainted with the Scrambler while winding through the forest-lined twisties in the West Hills of Portland. Nimble and small, but armed with an aggressive fuel map and giggle-inspiring grunt, the test ride subdued any doubt that this was the right bike. The following weeks of anticipation were vicious, and I apologize to those around me that had to witness it.
5. Delivery1:42 p.m. - Friday, July 10. I was at work when I received the text that my bike was in and ready to pick up. My face lit up like a kid hearing the ice cream truck. Actually, I still do that. I immediately tracked down my boss to tell him my bike was ready. Before I could even spill out my request to leave early, he asked what the hell I was still doing there. That was the longest trip through Friday traffic I think I've ever endured. The smell of the clutch lingered while I rode on back of my husband's DRZ400SM, weaving through city blocks. It was hot that day and I'm pretty sure we hit every red light. Thankfully, the paperwork was a breeze and the delivery process went smooth, which included their trademark red room photo session. Trust me, the pic wasn't very flattering and is hopefully buried way down in the depths of their Facebook feed. By 5 p.m. my hubby and I were riding our bikes through the rolling hills of the Willamette Valley. From my perspective, maybe not his, that moment will be one of our highlights as a couple, right below bringing our son home from the hospital, of course.
Home at LastIt's been about a month and a half since picking up our newest family member. It's almost embarrassing to say that I haven't spent any time customizing it yet. Believe me, I have a list and it's getting long. But I'm not in a hurry. On the weekends I park it on the back porch so I can stare at it from the kitchen and dining room, and while at work I park it next to my office window so I can sneak glimpses at it. I just did it again.