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post #21 of 32 (permalink) Old Jul 12th, 2017, 2:19 pm
tyr
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I'm in love with the Scrambler and the Desert Sled was definitely the way to go until I saw it weighed 50 more lbs than the regular scrambler...I did go over the upgrades with the sales guy but to me it was crazy that it added that much weight. It's already a few grand over the other so they probably could have spent a little more and gone with lighter weight components.
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post #22 of 32 (permalink) Old Jul 16th, 2017, 2:49 pm
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Red face Scrambler DS

...after owning one of the first Scrambler Desert Sleds that were delivered to the customer in Germany, here is my preliminary verdict (for on-road riding only):

1. This bike is a joy to ride. It's handling is far from nimble but it will keep its line with rock solidity. Going faster around twisties requires noticeable input on the bars. Riding it is soo relaxed, you are much quicker than you realize.
2. The brakes, hm, are there. Compared to the SBK stoppers I am accustomed to they're toothless but it is ok for the way a Scrambler is ridden normally. To put it differently: an emergency stop requires a lot of input at the lever. Both front and rear. They may be more than sufficient in the dirt but on tarmac they are borderline.
3. The seat - we soon replaced the stocker for the "Comfort Seat" that has an inch more padding and allows more than half an hour on the bike without a sore back end. The padding is just too soft and will let you sink in until there is something hard and uncomfortable.
4. I put on the adjustable hand lever set to be able to adjust the clutch lever which is not perfect for me.
5. Suspension: Spring rates front and rear seem ok to me for one-up riding. I only recommend to set the rear preload to the "off-road" setting (18.5 mm) to lift the rear end a bit. But not so the damping. The forks high-speed damping (both compression and rebound) is much too stiff which makes the front end shake and rattle when going over uneven tarmac. The faster you go the worse it gets. I changed the fork oil from 7.5 to 5 viscosity and opened up the adjusters fully but this did not help at all. The ohlins replacement cartridges are already on the shopping list. The rear shock is the other way around - especially the compression damping is way too soft and will make the rear end pump and pogo up and down when the going gets tough. Closing the rebound does not help because then the rear end pumps itself down and ends up on the bump stop on rough terrain. Because the compression damping is not adjustable it will probably be the Ohlins shock for the rear as well...
6. The Pirelli STR's work amazingly well on tarmac. We have yet to see something like a slide. You can crank it down until the pegs hit the deck but nothing nasty happens. I put in a little more than the recommended air pressure to help the handling a bit. Rubbers more oriented to street use might improve the handling but overall the tires are ok I think.
7. The engine - I never thought the old 2-valver could be made that smooth. Rolling through town in 6th gear with less than 2000 rpm? No problem. Performance is ok for a 70-horse-mill but will not overwhelm you, especially with all that weight. After stalling the engine a few times on takeoff I replaced the progressive-action twist grip with the "old" pre-2017 linear one. This engine is so smooth it does not require the progressive control.

What is going to change: the suspension (see above). The rest of the bike can stay as it is; I don't fancy loud pipes (which will attract the man) or other major mods.

This may sound like a lot of criticism but it is my view. And the bike will stay. It is so much fun to ride. That is probably the most important thing to say.

Kai

...a Ducati is not a motorbike. It is a set of excellent parts that need to be converted into your own personal bike.

Last edited by lunschi; Jul 16th, 2017 at 3:08 pm.
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post #23 of 32 (permalink) Old Apr 7th, 2018, 9:36 am
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I test rode one when they first hit the market and was reasonably impressed. But I wanted to wait to see what other Scrambler options came along, well.... I've been very disappointed, especially with the Triumph Scrambler. I did more research on the Desert Sled and there is very little negative comments to be found. So yesterday I went back for a 2nd test ride and liked it even more. I ended up pulling the trigger on a new 2017 red Sled.





I'd agree with much of what Lunschi stated and will add my comments and thoughts. As a back ground I'm very much a dirt/street rider. I grew up in the dirt and progressed to the street and have been riding both for a long time. I have a range of bikes and this bike fits in the middle somewhere.

I think the engine is very nice, it's smooth and well fueled and pulls pretty good when the throttle cam kicks in. It doesn't have the massive torque my Sport Classic has but for an 800 it's not bad and it's smoother than the 1000 in my SC. What I think is misleading on the Sled is the the lazy feel that comes from the overly tamed throttle cam. The original Scrambler throttle cam was a bit too quick off the bottom and they went too far on the Sled cam. I plan to reprofile mine to quicken up the response starting around 1/3 throttle progressing more rapidly to WOT but in a more linear curve. You can see the difference in this photo with the Sled cam being the black one.



The transmission ratios/spread seem just about perfect and the final gearing is very close to ideal also. I suspect 1 or 2 more teeth on the rear could be better for more dirt riding and add a little more snap, but I'll see how it works out. I might not be willing to give up too much for the freeway.

I totally agree the fork dampening is too stiff, it's silly. I will play with the clickers but I suspect they aren't even in range of where it should be. The shock might be better though I really wish it had adjustable compression dampening, why cheese on that Ducati??? I suspect some suspension work will be in the works for sure.

The handling is good though the steering is kinda sluggish which I believe is a function of the low profile front tire. I think a narrower/taller profile would be much better. Fortunately Ducati used 17/19 rims so tire selection should be pretty good, I just wish they were tubeless. I need to see about converting them to tubeless by sealing the spokes up one way or another.

I think the brakes are fine for this type of bike. Anything much more powerful would be horrible in the dirt and I didn't have much of an issue with them in the canyons. They aren't like full on sport bike brakes but I don't want them to be either for true dual purpose riding.

The ergos are good though I will move the bars back maybe 3/4" - 1" and possibly up just a bit. I'm not sure on up yet as I want to finalize the footpegs and see how the standing position works out first. It's not bad stock for me. The seat will need a mod or replacement, there's too much of a bucket feel that's not quite right and I suspect the longer the ride the more not right it will be. I don't get why companies can't do better stock seats unless it's all about selling the better one later after the sale, grrrr.

Things I plan on right away;

Barkbusters hand guards. I opted for the OEM heated grips as part of the bike purchase.

Some sort of better mirrors, the stock mirrors suck, I accidentally broke one just trying to adjust it, WTF? Even the tech admitted they are sucky weak.

A small wind screen of some type.

A tail rack and racks for soft luggage. Though my Mosko Moto Reckless 40L should fit w/o racks but it's on the small side. One of the Wofman tank bags I have fits perfectly.

It needs a better skid plate badly but I know this is a weak area for these bikes so I may have to fab my own.

A Leo Vince GP slip-on pipe.

Probably a folding tip shift lever

2013 MG Stelvio NTX, 2016 Bonneville T120, 2009 Duc Sport Classic, 2002 Speed Triple
2017 Desert Sled, 2013 Husky Terra 650, 2017 Beta 500RR-S
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post #24 of 32 (permalink) Old Apr 7th, 2018, 10:39 pm
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All right, All ready, you talked me into it

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2014 Ducati MTSGT, 1994 900SS/CR, 74 Eldorado Police, 64 R50/2, 14 Ural, 18 Desert Sled, 65 250 monza
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post #25 of 32 (permalink) Old Apr 15th, 2018, 12:59 am
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After some seat time in different conditions I must say the Desert Sled is a very capable and fun bike to ride, both on road and off road. It feels very at home in the dirt, more like a 650 than a 800 and the engine works well both at very slow speeds and obviously loves to go faster. It's stable and feels planted in the dirt and doesn't deflect easily. The transmission has a nice wide spread of ratios and first will let you pick through the rocky bits easily and the engine is very cooperative at walking speeds, not bucking, chugging, etc. just smooth controlled power.

If there's one thing that I'd point as a negative it's that those gorgeous and very strong wheels are heavy. You can feel the wheel weight as you push the speed in the rough stuff. It's not horrible but having lighter bikes, very noticeable. The other, ya I wish it had more fuel capacity.

I looked at many other options and have ridden a few Tigers, the Africa Twin, KTM 1190, all of the 650s/690 etc. plus some other Scramblers. I must say, this bike is hard to beat as an all around fun to ride/capable bike. It feels MUCH more like a dirt bike than the ADV type bikes I've ridden. A big part of that comes from not having all the "stuff" in front of you that the ADV bikes have. The 650/690 class bikes are a little lighter but not even in the same class once back on the pavement. Even though the specs say 465 lbs ready to ride it rides/feels much lighter more like about 425-430 or so.







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2017 Desert Sled, 2013 Husky Terra 650, 2017 Beta 500RR-S
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post #26 of 32 (permalink) Old Apr 15th, 2018, 1:09 am
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Good stuff, man! Sharp looking bike. I like the new color scheme.
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post #27 of 32 (permalink) Old Apr 15th, 2018, 8:29 am
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Maybe not really a dirt bike, too heavy, but useable off road. Very pretty, though.

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post #28 of 32 (permalink) Old Apr 15th, 2018, 9:36 am
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I wish I had your license plate bracket. The PO of my bike, all 96 miles of his ownership, managed to hack saw off the license plate holder and left nothing back there. I did put on an aftermarket tail tidy and we shall see if it works with the normal size plate. In my picture above you can see I had to tie-wrap the temp plate to keep it from hitting the fender.

du96cr, (BTW: the 94 CR was the best year ) I don't think any of us are considering this a "DIRT BIKE" but so far it is the best Dirt Road bike I have owned. I am going to have to ride it back to back with my TR650 because the Husky is only 50 lbs lighter. I am not sure which one has the better suspension yet. This might make my Husky redundant. Dan, Did I really say that The Husky does however get fantastic gas mileage, which the sled does not.
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post #29 of 32 (permalink) Old Sep 4th, 2018, 2:30 pm
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Originally Posted by lomax View Post
I wish I had your license plate bracket. The PO of my bike, all 96 miles of his ownership, managed to hack saw off the license plate holder and left nothing back there. I did put on an aftermarket tail tidy and we shall see if it works with the normal size plate. In my picture above you can see I had to tie-wrap the temp plate to keep it from hitting the fender.

du96cr, (BTW: the 94 CR was the best year ) I don't think any of us are considering this a "DIRT BIKE" but so far it is the best Dirt Road bike I have owned. I am going to have to ride it back to back with my TR650 because the Husky is only 50 lbs lighter. I am not sure which one has the better suspension yet. This might make my Husky redundant. Dan, Did I really say that The Husky does however get fantastic gas mileage, which the sled does not.
My Husky 650 is the better dirt bike, the Sled is better on the pavement. Which do I ride more, the Sled. It does most mellow dirt pretty well and all else very well.

Honestly it's my favorite all around bike.

2013 MG Stelvio NTX, 2016 Bonneville T120, 2009 Duc Sport Classic, 2002 Speed Triple
2017 Desert Sled, 2013 Husky Terra 650, 2017 Beta 500RR-S
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post #30 of 32 (permalink) Old Feb 12th, 2019, 7:33 am
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If the weight of the Desert Sled puts you off, the new (yet to be released) Norton Atlas Ranger could be an alternative ?
200mm suspension travel front and rear, 84hp, 178kg dry weight, 17"rear / 19" front wheels....etc


https://www.motorcyclenews.com/news/...scrambler-650/
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