Both these bikes cost around Rs 7.5 lakh on Indian roads. So, which one should you buy? Narendra Sharma does the comparison to find the answer
Buying a premium motorcycle, perhaps, is quite a tough decision. It involves choosing a bike thats suits one's riding preferences and the same time needs to be practical and suited for our riding conditions as well. We compare two such motorcycles which are not too big, are versatile for Indian conditions and do not cost a bomb either. Let's see how the Ducati Scrambler compares with Kawasaki Versys 650.
While both these bikes are quite different from each other, they fall in a similar price bracket, hence it has prompted us to compare the two. The Ducati Scrambler we have tested here is the Icon variant.
Styling wise both bikes are very different from each other. The Ducati Scrambler is a naked bike with minimalistic cladding. It gets a round headlamp, a single instrument pod which is all digital and a tall, wide handlebar. The fuel tank and seat are compact and it has a short tail too. The headlamp and taillamp are LED ones. The overall styling of the Scrambler is inspired from the erstwhile classic Ducati Scrambler and it retains that retro look.
The Kawasaki Versys on the other hand has a full fairing and is heavily clad. It dons front twin headlamps and an LED tail lamp. The front fairing has a tall adjustable windscreen and a combination instrument pod of analogue and digital. The well contoured tank blends well with overall design. The step seat goes well with the sharply raked tail. It has grab handles on either side which also have hidden sockets to mount panniers, which are available as accessories. The Versys 650 is a tourer and is best suited for long distance travels.
The Ducati Scrambler comes with a 803cc L-twin, air-cooled motor which belts out 75bhp of power and 68Nm of torque. The engine is mated to a six-speed transmission. Don't be mislead by the power figures because a kerb weight of just 170 kgs makes an excellent power to weight ratio that delivers phenomenal performance. The Scrambler shoots off right from the start and there is load of torque available in any gear to make this a fun machine. The engine is tuned to offer maximum performance in the low and mid range. This is not a bad thing because the nature of the Scrambler is one that is meant to be ridden like an on/off road bike rather than a highway cruiser. Perfect for our riding conditions!
The Versys 650 is fitted with a 649cc parallel twin, liquid cooled engine with fuel injection. It makes 67.5bhp of power and 64Nm of torque. The engine offers a wide spread of torque to make it more rideable in different conditions. It feels extremely smooth and there is seamless delivery of power. While it doesn't shoot off like the Ducati Scrambler, the Versys never feels out of breath and can reach triple digits in under 5 seconds. The even spread of torque makes it easy to ride even in the city and at slower speeds. The Versys 650 is an effortless cruiser. The refined mill makes it even more of a pleasure to keep riding for hours together.
Ride and handling
As mentioned earlier, the Ducati Scrambler is a fun to ride bike and is designed to tackle different road conditions. While it might not be a genuine off-roader, it can manage off-roading to quite an extent. The best part about it is the way it can be chucked into corners, which this bike handles brilliantly.
The Pirelli tyres offer superb grip too. The front suspension is fixed and the rear mono shock can be adjusted for preload. The upright seating posture with a raised handlebar and slightly backward set footpads is more suited for short rides.
The Versys is a tall bike and those with medium height need to nearly jump to straddle the bike. Once you are on the bike it feels extremely comfortable. The seats are perfect having a wide base with great cushioning. The high set handlebar makes for a perfect riding position. The footpegs have an ideal placement too, neither set too forward or back. Not only the rider but the pillion too will find it extremely comfortable.
The ride is where the Versys 650 excels. A fantastic suspension system aids this. The ride is pliant and the bike remains firmly planted on the road. The long-travel 41mm Showa front forks do their job very well. They can be adjusted for pre-load and damping. The rear suspension is a monoshock which also has preload adjustments. The Versys 650 is a sort of dual sport machine and can handle a little bit of off-roading but the tyre set up preferably calls for tarmac riding.
The Ducati Scrambler is priced at Rs 7.55 lakh (on-road, Mumbai) and the Kawasaki Versys 650 is price at Rs 7.41 lakh (on-road, Mumbai). Both the bikes are priced almost equally.
Now that you have decided to spend close to Rs 8 lakh for a motorcycle, there are two great choices available. So which one should you buy? It's simple.
If you want a bike for zipping in and around the city primarily and one that you would love to chuck around corners and have a lot of fun with, the Ducati Scrambler is the ideal bike. However, if your preference is more for long rides or touring, while still using the bike for your daily commutes to work, then the Kawasaki Versys 650 is the one you should be looking at.
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