Posted On 21 May 2024
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This entry is part 18 of 28 in the series AusMotorcyclist Issue#32



I sometimes wonder if the success of a particular model isn’t partly due to the size of its accessory catalogue. If you can buy things for it you’re more likely to buy it appears to be the rule. Think about it – how many bikes with a substantial range of accessories has ever been a failure in the showroom? All right, all right, I’m sure there are some, but the opportunity to create your own unique bike does loosen wallets.

And why not? After all, quite apart from getting a bike that’s your very own, it also suggests that the manufacturer is going to give the bike some serious support.

Ducati’s Scrambler is the perfect case in point. There is a nice basket of accessories, and Ducati has made it clear that the model will not only enjoy further support, but will actually be the beginning of a new ‘brand’ for the company. That suggests all sorts of different models in the pipeline, and a lot of excitement at the spares counter.

Which would be enough reason for us to select a Scrambler as a long term test bike. But as it happens there is another reason. Well, two. Firstly, I have unashamedly fallen for the bike.

I wanted a Scrambler for myself, and there will be some heavy negotiating over a price when it’s due to go back to Ducati Australia. Secondly, the bike is not just the beginning of something new for Ducati. In my humble opinion it also demonstrates one of the directions that motorcycle design will be taking.

Don’t be surprised if we see a lot more of these kinds of bikes: relatively small, reasonably powerful, naked, offering history but little legacy and just plain fun without committing the rider to constant high speed manoeuvres.

We’re seeing various interpretations of this style already, with the MT-07 from Yamaha, Honda’s half litre triplets, and Harley’s Streets.

Our long term Scrambler has seen its share of use now in standard trim, and it was time to get into Ducati’s cattle dog of accessories. It’s good to be able to raid the other models’ accessories as well as our Icon’s. In no particular order, this is what we picked.

The styling of the bag has been designed carefully.

(from the Café Racer range)

Ducati has solved the potential problem of having one side bag too close to the heat of the exhaust by simply making it shorter. Looks a little odd at first but then becomes quite endearing. The bags have roll tops which make them really rainproof, and both have a simple rectangular shape with makes them easy to load. They’re also strongly made and attach conveniently. What they aren’t is big, but I don’t have a problem with that – most bike luggage is too big as far as I’m concerned. I’ve been using the bags for shopping, and in combination with the tank bag they are quite big enough.

Then again, I don’t buy a dozen two litre bottles of Coke at a time, like some people do…

For family shopping you will need something bigger.

All in all I like the bags a lot, and would be happy to use them (once again with the tank bag) for a weekend away.

It might be short, but it looks tops!

(from the Urban Enduro range)

On the subject of the tank bag, I am not usually in favour of magnetic ones because they can put minuscule scratches into your paintwork. The bike’s paintwork, that is. This one is relatively good because there are only four magnets and they are at the extreme corners of the bag, where they will move less than they would if they were in the middle.

The bag has the same kind of roll top – except that it’s a roll rear – as the side bags, and it also works well. A small zippered pocket on top of the bag has a water-resistant zipper, which however seems to go in the wrong direction: it ends at the rear, where water could be expected to collect. To be fair it didn’t leak in my test.

Like the soft bags, the tank bag is relatively small but that’s a good thing with a magnetic bag, it stops it from moving around when you’re on the road.

It looks best when it has something in it; when it’s empty it’s kind of flat.

Should that zip end at the front of the bag?


Ducati Australia and I seem to disagree which way round this should be mounted. When it faces forward (which is how it was mounted when I got it), it obscures the instruments and even the speedo. Facing backwards, which is the way I subsequently mounted it, it obscures nothing and looks good – although the Scrambler logo is then on its back.

The bag is big enough for the Scrambler tool kit and a small tyre repair kit, which is what I intend to use it for. It will also hold a Helmet Lok, a gadget that I take everywhere I go.

Handlebar bag is spacious and convenient.

$ 117.96 ($149.95)

I love this, and I’m happy to tell anyone who wonders why about broken headlights I’ve had. One was caused by the branch of a tree! But to be honest I also like the rather raffish air it gives the bike – like saying hey, we’re serious here…

Grille and mounting kit are solidly made and look as if they’d last forever; I know you could get a plastic headlight guard for a lot less money, but it wouldn’t look right. I reckon one of these grilles belongs on any of the four models.

It is hard not to like the grille, a real Scambler item.


This is a minor improvement in the look of the Scrambler, but I think it is nevertheless worthwhile. It hides the base of the speedo with a metal cover which is reminiscent of either R2-D2 or the detailing work on the rest of the bike, whichever turns you on. It kind of completes the look of the bike, I guess.

The panel lower tidies up the look of the bike from the front.


This is a smart-looking replacement guard with a swoopy shape and the inevitable quality look of carbon fibre.

It’s also black, which suits the bike well.

Having said that, it is shorter than the standard, painted front mudguard and I will probably go back to the original. It does look spiffy, though!

Carbon fibre always looks good, right?


There is quite a range of tank covers – that is, the side plates which carry the logo. They each present a slightly different look, and choosing between them is a major job! It would probably not have occurred to me to choose the black panels until they were suggested, but now I am really happy with them and will probably keep them.

Black or a metal finish? I’ll go for black.


Of course you need the right decals for the tank of your Scrambler model. I mean, seriously – you either do this right or you don’t do it at all! (Isn’t it amazing how possessive people become when they haven’t even paid for the bike – Stuart) PT


Cruisers, be they baggers or not, usually have plenty of space to carry stuff, while choppers don’t. But what about bikes like our Sportster? It seems wrong to call it a cruiser, but it’s pretty much as it came from the factory so it isn’t a chopper, either.

What is certain is that it has no room to carry anything, especially when it has a single seat like ours. And that leanness is part of its design brief and attraction, of course. A variant like the Sportster (shall we call it a Light Cruiser?) loses that space and any carrying capacity it might have had.

But we do want to carry a few things.

Given Harley-Davidson’s anti-theft technology, a padlock and chain are less vital than they once were. But there’s still a tool kit (and yes, we’ve heard the jokes about a Harley tool kit being either a cold chisel and half a brick, or a mobile phone) and a tyre repair outfit. As well as that it is useful if you can carry a wet weather suit; and sometimes you just need some room to take home a bit of shopping.

This is where the Milwaukee designers are ahead of us.

H-D part #93300045
A$174.39, NZ$235.22

The tools first. Harley-Davidson offers a leather tool bag, called a Down-Tube Bag, which attaches at the front of the frame, below the cylinder. It takes the place of what, on a sports bike, might be a lower spoiler. It does very little to bulk up the bike, but provides quite a bit of space. It’s made from strong, thick leather in either brown or black over a rigid plastic base and has a zippered compartment inside which reduces the likelihood of your tools getting wet in the rain.

It’s easy to fit and the kit includes all the mounting hardware you need.

H-D part #90200573
A$268.33, NZ$361.93

For larger loads there’s the Swing arm Bag which attaches to the left-hand side of the bike, low down and almost as unobtrusive as the tool bag. It is made the same way and in the same materials as that bag, too, and is just as easy to fit. Capacity is claimed to be five and a half litres, which seems a little high to me but which does show you that there is a lot of room there. If you want your Sportster to look like a Light Cruiser which still offers a bit of carrying space, a Swingarm Bag is an excellent choice.

LED Indicators
Price – $85.98 each set

LED indicators are some of the best things you could ever fit to a motorcycle, the brighter that orange fl ash is, the more likely other motorists are to see you and not only that, these particular genuine Yamaha accessory carbon look LED indicators are smaller than the standard items and ten times brighter. Fitment took around one and a half hours and they come with full instructions for an easy fitment.

See your local Yamaha dealer or you can fit them up to just about any motorcycle, not just a Yamaha, too.

Frame sliders $319.28, Axle Protectors, Front, Titanium $142.81, Axle Protectors, Rear, Titanium $159.49.

A naked motorcycle is very much that in a crash, so protecting our precious beauty was top priority in case of any accidentals. Alana is learning to ride on this bike and as much as she is a good rider, you never know what might happen out there on the road,so protecting the MT-07 with the well thought out range of genuine Yamaha crash protectors was the way to go.

These include the front and rear axle sliders and the chunky engine protectors. We hope we don’t get to try them out! Fitment took about twenty minutes. See your local Yamaha dealer or

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Australian Motorcyclist Magazine is Australia's leading motorcycle travel magazine.
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