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Having previously had the Ducati Urban Motard on loan, I was eager to find out what the new 2023 model Scrambler was like and had the Ducati Scrambler Nightshift on loan from my local Ducati dealer.
- This is a light bike to both maneuver and ride with a wet weight of 191 kg and a dry weight of 176 kg.
- At $14,019 USD / $18,941 CAD / £10,995, this bike is at the higher end of the market for similar bikes in this category, you are paying for the Ducati name.
- Two riding modes – sport and road with cornering abs and Ducati traction control which are easy to change on the very user-friendly TFT display.
- Turn indicators, or self canceling as I call them, which I am a firm believer should be standard on all bikes or definitely mine as I have a habit of leaving mine on!
- There is a USB socket under the seat and the TFT screen is multi-media ready and quick shift ready (both of these are optional extras).
At A Glance
- Wet weight: 191 kg; Dry weight: 176 kg
- 803 cc air cooled twin engine
- 73 bhp
- 6 speed
- Two riding modes – sport and road
- Cornering abs and Ducati traction control
- Spoked wheel
- Turn indicators
- 795 mm seat height with a low seat option of 780 mm and high seat option of 810 mm
- Price: $14,019 USD / $18,941 CAD / £10,995
- See the Ducati Scrambler Overview
For the rest of the fleet, check out 2023 Ducati model line-up.
The Nightshift drew my attention as soon as I walked into the showroom of my local Ducati dealer with its striking deep blue color. The blue is such a change in color to a lot of bikes on the market which is brilliant to see.
I could feel straightaway that this was a light bike and the flat bars made for a really comfortable riding position, with my feet firmly on the ground.
The TFT display is clear and easy to read with everything that you need to know on show. Navigating the display is easy too which is a huge plus point in my book!
Personally I like bar end mirrors and with the single round headlight and cool looking indicators, the front end looks stylish.
The sound of the twin engine on start up immediately gives you that unmistakable sound that it is a Ducati complimented with the note of the exhaust. They just work perfectly together.
I know a lot of people will disagree with me here, as I have had a lot of conversations about this, but I am a fan of the number plate rear mount. There, I’ve said it!
This subject can bring on a heated discussion about the ‘right place’ to mount the number plate and it is definitely a marmite thing, but I think it keeps the rear underseat of the bike neat and tidy and of course, it is different and I like different.
The Nightshift is fitted with an 803 cc L-Twin, Desmodromic distribution, air cooled engine pushing out 73 hp (53.6 kW) @ 8,250 rpm and a maximum of 48.1 lb-ft (65.2 Nm) @ 7,000 rpm.
The engine felt smooth when riding and shifting between the gears was nice and easy although at times I found neutral was a bit elusive.
Around town the Nightshift was easy to ride and happy at slow speeds and because it is light when caught in traffic, slow riding was easy.
However, get the Nightshift onto an open road and you could tell this was its happy place and I completely understood why.
I completely gelled with the bike on these roads and it is one of those bikes that just makes you want to keep on riding. Instead of going the direct route, I would always find the longer, more adventurous way to go just because the bike and I were so happy to do this.
The attention to the little details on the Nightshift are subtle yet add to the styling. The engine casings are nicely engraved with ‘Scrambler Ducati’ and there is a metal plate across the bars also with ‘Scrambler Ducati’ and the fuel tank cap has ‘Born Free 1962’ engraved.
I really liked the way the bike made me feel when riding, it felt stable and planted on the road and in the corners and gave me that extra confidence I need when riding that the bike is happy to be ridden on flowing twisty roads.
The tubular steel Trellis frame houses the engine and six speed gearbox with a wet weight of 191 kg and dry weight of 176 kg. The bike does feel light especially when riding and for me, moving the bike about was easy, I’m 5’6”.
The front suspension has upside down Kayaba 41 mm forks with Kayaba rear shock, which is pre-load adjustable. I found the ride quite soft and adequate in soaking up the bumps in the road.
Bosch brakes with corner ABS comes as standard equipment for both the front and rear brakes with a 330 mm disc, radial 4-piston caliper on the front and a 245 mm disc with a 1 piston floating caliper on the rear.
The spoked aluminum wheels finish the styling of the bike perfectly. On the front is an 18″ spoked wheel with a 17″ on the rear.
The 4.3″ TFT color display is easy to read and more importantly, navigate your way around too.
On the right you have the rev counter, in the center of which is the gear indicator. Top right is the clock.
On the left, is the speed but across this in a red box is ‘Side Stand’ which can be clearly seen before you try to set off with this down! Next to this is the mode which you are in – sport or road.
To navigate around the display, there is a mode button on the left bar, press this and then use the arrow keys above to find your way around the settings. To change from sport to road, simply find this setting and press the mode button again to confirm.
Fuel indicator is top right and at the bottom is the trip, temperature and oil warning light.
The tires that came on the Nightshift are Pirelli MT 60 RS. I have not ridden with these tires before so I was interested to see how I would find them.
Pirelli describe their MT 60 RS tires as: High-performance radial equipment upgrading the road performance of knobbly tyres.
The knobbly choice of road enthusiasts:
- Specific radial carcass to ensure excellent handling
- Tread pattern optimized for use also on wet surfaces
- Special Superbike racing compound capable of maximizing grip and road holding for a pleasant riding sensation
I did like these tires, the Nightshift handled nicely especially in the twisties and most importantly, gave me the confidence I crave from a tire.
I rode this bike in dry and wet conditions and was not disappointed in the choice of tire.
There is a full LED lighting system on the Nightshift. The single round headlight is very in keeping with the style of the bike and offers good illumination at night, Main beam is actually really good too and does give off a lot more light, especially useful when riding home from bike night in the dark!
The indicators on the front and rear of the bike are an unusual design and although they appear small, they are very effective and suit the bike well.
More importantly, for me at least anyway, they are turn indicators or self canceling as I like to call them. Why are these not fitted as standard on all bikes? It would certainly make it easier for me not having to remember to turn them off!
The rear light is simple in design yet very effective. I like the way the light is nicely tucked into the design of the bike, the rear end looks neat.
So, What is the Ducati Scrambler Nightshift like to Ride?
I picked this bike up from the dealer and after a couple of miles of riding the bike, I knew that I was never going to be ready to give it back!
You know when you just gel with a bike, it’s like it is in tune with your body and your riding style, well this is what the Nightshift felt like for me.
With the standard seat of 795 mm, my feet were firmly planted on the ground (I’m 5’6”) and I found the riding position to be very comfortable, especially with the straight bars.
By the time I got home I was grinning from ear to ear and from then to when I gave the bike back, I found any excuse just to get back out and ride the bike.
The Nightshift was so smooth in the corners, you get on an open twisty road and the bike just eats up the twists and turns gracefully and, it seems, with little effort.
The bike was equally happy at lower speeds riding through the town and with the unmistakable sound of a Ducati twin engine and the sumptuous note of the exhaust, the Nightshift sure was a head turner.
At a distance the Nightshift does look black in color but it is actually a deep blue which garnered a lot of attention when parked up, the bike just oozes coolness.
I was surprised that the Nightshift only has one front brake disc but this did not hamper the braking at all and I found the brakes to be very responsive and did what they needed to do when it needed to be done especially when a car pulled out in front of me, realized what they had done and then came to a stop in the middle of the carriageway!
There are of course a lot faster bikes on the market than the Nightshift with its 73 bhp, but this bike really does have enough power. Okay to overtake you probably need to kick it down a gear, but it will zip past traffic with ease and have you back in quickly.
I did think the 13.5 liter fuel tank was a little on the small side and found myself filling up more often than usual but this certainly wouldn’t put me off buying the bike.
With a price tag of $14,019 you are paying for a premium brand but you are also getting a lot of bike for your money. The Nightshift feels like a quality bit of kit, the components have a nice quality feel to them and the bike makes you feel great too in the process which, at the end of the day, is what it’s all about.
The Nighshift went back way too quickly and I absolutely loved my adventures with this bike.
Thank you to Ducati Aylesbury for the loan of the Scrambler Nightshift.
2023 Ducati Scrambler Nightshift Video Review
- Standard seat height of 795 mm seat height with low seat option of 780 mm and high seat option of 810 mm also available
- Light bike weight just 176 kg dry and 191 kg wet making it easy to move about
- Turn indicators (self canceling) which I think should be standard on all bikes!
- Two modes – sport and road of which you can adjust the power
- 4’3” tft display which is clear to read and easy to navigate around using the button on the left bar, this is multimedia ready to connect to your phone
- The Scrambler Nightshift in it’s striking deep blue is stylish and looks cool when parked up, it certainly draws attention to itself
- At $14,019 it is certainly a considered purchase but you are getting the Ducati quality
- No radiator guard as standard
- I think the Nightshift would benefit from a small screen