BMW R nineT Urban G/S vs Ducati Scrambler Desert Sled

BMW R nineT Urban G/S vs Ducati Scrambler Desert Sled

Ducati Scrambler and BMW R 80 G/S The first one was born in the Seventies, the second ten years after. Two different personalities but both sharing the same bravery and audacity. The Italian Scrambler, equipped with single-cylinder engine and offered in 4 displacements (250, 350, 450 and the small 125), aimed at seducing the American market with its (light) off-road side. Furthermore it was determined to compete with some giants of the motorcycle world such as Harley-Davidson and Triumph. Few years later, BMW broke the enduro-street rules introducing a big boxer engine powered with 797 cc and its 50 hp. Initially welcomed by the majority as an awkward machine. Believe it or not its unique features have contributed to bringing victory in the prestigious and challenging Paris – Dakar Rally. Ducati Scrambler Desert Sled and BMW Urban G/S, two legendary names which marked both motorsport and the market history. We chose to compare the two of them because they best integrate the perfect combination between on-road experience and off-road retrò touch. Thus they can offer maximum riding pleasure especially with their on-road qualities… we did more: we fitted both with knobby tyres! Let’s see the results of our test. The Desert Sled represents the last chapter of the Ducati Scrambler story and derives its features and spirit from the off-road bikes of the ’60s and ’70s that made American history. The set-up includes adjustable suspension with 200 mm of travel 860 mm seat height, spoked wheels, knobby tyres in addition to a high front mudguard, positioned right under the front headlight. This Ducati Scrambler is an all-round motorcycle, which gives its best even on gravel roads. Right under the engine there is in fact a skid pan which shields the bike from rocks, stones and the desert sands (this in fact gave the Desert Sled its name). It is equipped with a L-twin air-cool engine with its 75 hp. Its weight (dry) stands at only 176,5 kg, which helps the bike to be even more user-friendly regardless of its seat height. Its light weight and wide handlebar immediately offer a pleasant sensation of control. The engine is quiet and smooth at low revs but it doesn’t perform at its best at mid rev when you need more torque, especially if you ride in the mountains. However the Ducati Scrambler Desert Sled can be even more effective in cross-town traffic. The suspension package not only offers the right set-up but also brings the right dose of fun to the rides. BMW engineers conceived an out of the ordinary on-road machine. Behind the nostalgic look of the Urban G/S a NineT Scrambler is concealed. Equipped with an air/oil-cooled twin-cylinder boxer engine, with its 110 hp, spoked wheels as well as knobby tyres. BMW designers focused on its aesthetic attraction. As a matter of fact this very special machine is embellished with a bright red seat, white tank with its sides decorated in two blue tones, echoing the first R 80 GS. And what about its sound? An individually designed exhaust system for a powerful boxer sound. Low seat height and feet firmly positioned on the ground but pay attention to its weight: 221 kg make this bike not easy to handle, especially when you stand still. In other words, the Urban G/S is the best choice for urban street ridings, as it is capable of giving an excellent feeling on the asphalt. It features the outstanding second to last boxer generation, which can deliver a pleasant sound and it is willing to face every kind of terrain condition. On the chassis front, suspensions do an excellent job on the asphalt, taking on quite well whatever obstacles you may meet. Nevertheless they perform less when you ride on bumpier roads and you ride with a passenger. The high-performance braking system ensures effective and stable deceleration. On the comfort side we experienced some (minor) handlebar vibrations and, despite its size, the small windshield is very effective at protecting riders from wind. On and off-road, they do succeed on both sides, just like their ancestors. This is why we tested both of them in mixed terrain excursions, including sharp mountain curves, on-road and off-road tracks. The Ducati Scrambler respect to the Urban G/S works better off-road. Certainly it is not a mountain goat, however its long travel suspension and the engine skid pad allow for lot of satisfaction, even for those who are real experts. In my opinion the Urban G/S is not particularly suitable for off-road adventures, as its name implies… but we wanted to go further testing it on difficult and gravel roads. Off-road tyres help us to climb almost everywhere and the engine does the rest. As a matter of fact this last-mentioned part can ensure the right off-road grip to the rear wheel even at almost 1,000 rpm. We can say that such a suspension package, which includes a conventional telescopic fork adjustable single-sided swinging arm, can hardly face the bumps. It is however preferable to ride this motorcycle on gravel roads up to the sea instead of riding it on difficult off-road tracks. If you really want to have fun on off-road ridings it is perhaps better to choose another motorcycle. Charm? Nostalgia? Although these two machines show different personalities you can experience strong feelings with both of them. Inside and outside the Ducati Scrambler Desert Sled looks like an enduro machine even if it has been designed with a high centre of gravity. The off-road side is the ideal choice if you are not afraid to scratch the tank… The Ducati Scrambler is however appreciated also for its on-road attitude, lightness and absolute intuitive handling. Summing things up, if you really want to ride the BMW Urban G/S at its best, you’d better order it equipped with on-road tyres. As we mentioned, the asphalt a Urban G/S…
best friend

Antonio Breitenberg

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34 thoughts on “BMW R nineT Urban G/S vs Ducati Scrambler Desert Sled

  1. Roberto Lanzarini says:

    Bmw sicuramente. Queste moto hanno più senso ora con le strade che ci ritroviamo, ormai il cerchio da 17 è a mio avviso obsoleto x strada ed in più queste moto hanno a loro favore il peso ed ingombri molto inferiori ad una qualunque enduro stradale, se uno la compra consapevole di fare solo strada sono una scelta più che ottima, poi un paio di borse e via a fare km.

  2. TheThinker25 says:

    Complimenti per la comparativa ragazzi… È possibile che abbia incontrato il tester della scrambler (perdonami se mi sfugge il nome) in una delle tappe del "MT Tour 2018"??

  3. Piero De Michele says:

    Belle moto,minchia ma che musica orrenda. Troppo forte.

  4. SCLSCLSCL says:

    bello e onesto, bravi. Eravate sul Dordona a provarle in off?

  5. Roby _525 says:

    Ottime moto x andare al bar.
    Lasciate l'off a KTM

  6. Francesco Piccinni says:

    Ducati tutta la vita…le moto bmw fanno cagare

  7. passaparola1980 says:

    Come seconde moto vanno bene

  8. Deme Triadi says:

    Ducati per la versatilità. BMW solo per il boxer.

  9. Ale KTM says:

    Non sono un giornalista ne un tester ma per come la vedo io la Ducati Scrambler è la moto più inutile del mondo.

  10. orang says:


  11. orang says:


  12. Roberto Longoni says:

    Non capisco veramente perchè una persona dovrebbe scegliere BMW R nineT se deve fare solo strada…non ne capisco proprio la logica, anche perchè senza gomme tassellate perde tutto il suo appeal estetico. Certo che se poi non è adatta al fuori strada allora mi chiedo proprio perchè uno dovrebbe comprarla.

  13. ADRETECNO says:

    sicuramente ducati una bella moto , ricordiamoci che 75 cv van più che bene e poi si puo intervenire sui rapporti per l'erogaione giusta, bmw è di moda e basta quei due cilindri cagati x terra a far fuoristrada voglio vedere se cadi e buchi un coperchio testa cosa succede , x me e no

  14. Ayrton Senna says:

    BMW e ho detto tutto.

  15. citylight says:

    Nn oso pensare quanto possa scaldare la DUCATI con quel cilindro esattamente tra le gambe. Che poi che paragone insulso e'? una ha la meta' dei cavalli dell'altra quasi. La ducati scrambler è una moto che dire inutile e' farle un complimento. Cmq bravo il giornalista "e' raffreddata ad aria, quindi il radiatore nn si rompe". Ehm… peccato che ha il radiatore dell' olio esattamente dove starebbe quello dell'acqua. Ma questi un po' di meccanica la capiscono o no? NN e'certo DUCCIO DI VIVALAMOTO O IL MITICO PERFETTO questo Codognesi.

  16. Black says:

    Che gran bel canale ragazzi! Mi iscrivo

  17. California Classic Cars says:

    a mounth ago I bought brand new desert sled, after 6 thousand km 5% offroad the rest 95% regular riding, clutch is dead….!! any comment on this????!!!! do U think its normal for Ducati because I'm seriously consider to switch to other brand, too bad because I like it a lot

  18. Arif Abdullah says:

    So which one is the best?

  19. Wagner Wilian Waishaupt says:

    Triumph Street Scrambler… 😁😁😁

  20. Giuseppe Mosca says:


  21. alessandro moratto says:

    BMW a mani basse!!!

  22. Ricardo Parmeggiani says:

    Bravi, grazie.

  23. Andy Rean says:

    Who else dont speak whatever language this guy speak but keep watching because you love rninet?

  24. Truth Seeker says:

    This is the best review

  25. Raoul Mooyaart says:

    Good review. I thought it was very fair. I’m planning a trip to Morocco on mine so I’m leaving the off road tyres on, when I get back though I will be swapping them out for road tyres.

  26. Alberto Biancotto says:

    Da possessore di Scrambler Urban Enduro dico solo che la NineT Urban GS é molto bella.
    Sono tutte opinioni comunque ragazzi…

  27. Renato Po says:

    Máquinas incríveis

  28. Giorgio Gherardi says:

    Sono affascinanti ma o vai in strada o non parlate di enduro…

  29. Massimiliano Milani says:

    La urban ha un fascino … troppo bella

  30. Marco Desiderio Brullo says:

    Più bella la V85.

  31. DerpEye says:

    La Ducati costicchia, ma la BMW ha un prezzo proibitivo per la maggior parte della gente. Peccato, e' veramente bella.

  32. Morris Brix says:

    Borse e portapacchi ci sono?

  33. Tazzio Oliva says:

    La Ducati scrambler è una moto da aperitivi. Punto.

  34. Ron McCaffrey says:

    Why would you have the video title in English, then have the entire video in Italian?

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