King Of Cool: Ducati’s Scrambler Desert Sled

Inspired by the famous American rides of the ’60s and ’70s, this bike was built for ‘impassable desert roads.’

Ducati's Scrambler Desert Sled Motorcycle

In a nod to the iconic images of The King of Cool (Steve McQueen for you Millennials) tearing across sand dunes, Ducati unveiled this classically styled ‘enduro’ racer.

Ducati Scrambler Desert Sled

Ducati's Scrambler Desert Sled Motorcycle

With this bike and the brand’s explicit marketing, Ducati is shooting for fans of the Triumph and Metisse off-road bikes of a half-century ago.

This bike is the latest in the Ducati Scrambler line introduced in 2014. It carries the same engine as other scramblers but has design elements meant to take it a little further into the wilds.

The 803 cc, 75-horsepower Desert Sled boasts a higher seat, reinforced frame, and fully adjustable suspension that allows for 7.9 inches travel front and rear. Knobby tires, spoked wheels, and engine protection plates round out the off-road enduro build.

Ducati's Scrambler Desert Sled Motorcycle

Unlike its 50-year-old predecessors, the Desert Sled has some (welcomed) modern features. Fuel injection, LED lights, LCD instruments, and under-seat USB ports. As the enduro styling implies, this bike is made for use both on and off roads. It has all the necessary lighting and instrumentation to be ridden legally on the street.

At 421 pounds, it’s a manageable steed for trails winding around obstacles. But with a slightly shorter travel and larger engine, this is a more road-oriented enduro than some on the market. If you’re planning mostly off-road miles, check out something like the KTM 690 Enduro R.

But for those looking to roar down gravel roads, fire lanes, and city streets, this looks like a fun ride. It’s available now for $11,400.

Ducati's Scrambler Desert Sled Motorcycle


Ducati Desert Sled

  • Engine: L-Twin, 2 valves per cylinder, air cooled
  • Displacement: 803 cc
  • Power: 55 kW (75 hp) @ 8,250 rpm
  • Torque: 68 Nm (50 lb-ft) @ 5,750 rpm
  • Transmission: 6 speed
  • Front suspension: 46mm fully adjustable usd forks
  • Rear suspension: Kayaba adjustable rear shock, double-sided swingarm
  • Wheelbase: 1505 mm (59,3 in)
  • Weight:191 kg (421 lb)
  • Colors: Red or white
  • Price: Starts at $11,400

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Adam Ruggiero is an all-sport activity junkie - from biking, running, and (not enough) surfing, to ball sports, camping, and cattle farming. If it's outside, it's worth doing. Adam graduated from the University of Minnesota with a BA in journalism. Likes: unique beer, dogs, stories. Like nots: neckties, escalators, manicured lawns.

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