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A low-angle rear 3/4 view of a white 2022 Triumph Street Scrambler on a dirt road

2022 Triumph Street Scrambler vs. 2022 Ducati Scrambler Icon: Retro Urban Riders

While they're not the most off-road-capable scramblers that their manufacturers offer, the 2022 Triumph Street Scrambler and Ducati Scrambler Icon are both approachable retro-style bikes. But while the Triumph has the edge on unpaved surfaces, the Ducati is more exciting around town.

Triumph Street Scrambler vs. Ducati Scrambler Icon comparison highlights:

  • Both motorcycles offer approachable, easy-to-ride performance in vintage-inspired packages
  • The 2022 Triumph Street Scrambler is the better-equipped, more off-road-capable bike, but it’s also more expensive and arguably too relaxed
  • While the cheaper 2022 Ducati Scrambler Icon has fewer features overall and isn’t as good off-road, it has the performance edge on paved roads

If you want a vintage-inspired bike that can genuinely hit the dirt, Triumph’s Scrambler 1200 and Ducati’s Scrambler Desert Sled are up for the job. However, what if you want a scrambler motorcycle’s looks and riding style without the off-road gear? Good news, Triumph and Ducati have bikes that fit those requirements, too. But between the 2022 Triumph Street Scrambler and 2021 Ducati Scrambler Icon, which retro ride should you pick?

2022 Triumph Street Scrambler2022 Ducati Scrambler Icon
Price range$11,200-$11,950$8995-$9995
Engine900cc liquid-cooled parallel-twin803cc air-cooled 90° V-twin (L-twin)
Horsepower64 hp73 hp
Torque59 lb-ft49 lb-ft
TransmissionFive-speed manual with slipper-assist clutchSix-speed manual with slipper-assist clutch
Front suspension and travel41mm KYB cartridge forks; 4.7”41mm Kayaba inverted fork; 5.9”
Rear suspension and travelPreload-adjustable twin RSU shocks; 4.7”Preload-adjustable Kayaba mono-shock; 5.9”
Seat height31.1″31.4” (standard)
30.6” (with accessory seat)
Curb weight492 lbs417 lbs

2022 Triumph Street Scrambler

A low-angle rear 3/4 view of a white 2022 Triumph Street Scrambler on a dirt road
2022 Triumph Street Scrambler rear 3/4 view | Triumph
  • Pros: Torquier, more features, longer service interval, bigger rear brake, high-mount exhaust, standard skid plate
  • Cons: More expensive, less powerful, fewer gears, less suspension travel, heavier, smaller front brake, non-cornering ABS

Although it doesn’t wear the Bonneville name, the Triumph Street Scrambler is part of that motorcycle family. Technically, it’s related to the Triumph Street Twin, which has the same engine, transmission, and chassis. However, the Street Scrambler has several subtle changes that make it better suited for potential off-road excursions. And these come on top of the high-mount exhaust.

Firstly, although the Triumph Street Scrambler has the same output as the Street Twin, its peak power and torque arrive at lower RPMs, Cycle World reports. It also has a wider handlebar, larger front wheel, and spoked wheels wrapped with dual-purpose tires. Its rake, trail, and wheelbase are all larger, too, for more stability. Plus, it has a dedicated Off-Road Mode in addition to the Street Twin’s Rain and Road Modes.

2022 Ducati Scrambler Icon

A yellow-black-and-silver 2021 Ducati Scrambler Icon in a garage
2021 Ducati Scrambler Icon | Ducati
  • Pros: More powerful, lighter, larger front brake, cheaper, more suspension travel, cornering ABS
  • Cons: Taller standard seat, less torque, low exhaust limits ground clearance, fewer features, smaller rear brake, shorter service intervals

The Ducati Scrambler Icon and Icon Dark are the entry-level models in the Scrambler lineup. And apart from the Monster, they’re the cheapest new Ducati motorcycles. But while they don’t have tons of performance or off-road features, their overall simplicity and approachable natures are part of their appeal, MCN explains. So are their upright ergonomics and short seats. Plus, their air-cooled, desmodromic-valve L-twin engines are iconic Ducati hallmarks.

Equipment-wise, the 2022 Ducati Scrambler Icon and Icon Dark are identical. The only differences between them are their color schemes. As its name implies, the Icon Dark is, well, dark; it only comes in black. Meanwhile, the regular Icon is available in yellow and red. Both models, though, have interchangeable aluminum side panels.

Apart from introducing the Icon Dark in 2020, Ducati hasn’t significantly updated the Scrambler Icon since 2019, Cycle World reports. That’s when Ducati changed the seat, switched from a cable-operated to a hydraulic clutch, tweaked the suspension, and updated the electronics.

2022 Triumph Street Scrambler vs. 2022 Ducati Scrambler Icon: Trim levels and features

A brown-gray-and-black 2022 Triumph Street Scrambler Sandstorm Edition
2022 Triumph Street Scrambler Sandstorm Edition | Triumph

For 2022, the Triumph Street Scrambler gets some Euro5 emissions-related engine updates, though its output is unchanged. The 2022 Street Scrambler also has some updated trim, including aluminum heel guards and a new seat, MCN notes. And there are two limited-edition trims available this year: the Gold Line and the Sandstorm Edition.

While the Gold Line is purely an aesthetics package, the Sandstorm Edition adds some equipment that’s otherwise optional. For one, it replaces the standard skid plate with an aluminum one. Also, it adds a mudguard, protective headlight grille, and rubber knee pads. However, you’ll have to hurry because Triumph is only making 775 units.

Limited-edition trims aside, the 2022 Triumph Street Scrambler and Ducati Scrambler Icon have some similar features. Both have Brembo front brakes, LCD screens, optional app connectivity, LED lighting, and under-seat storage compartments with USB charging ports. However, the Ducati Scrambler has a Brembo rear brake while the Triumph has a Nissin one. Also, the Ducati has cornering-enhanced ABS. In addition, while the Triumph has an analog speedometer with an LCD screen, the Ducati’s gauge is one big LCD.

But the Triumph Street Scrambler has several features that the Ducati Scrambler Icon lacks. The British bike has traction control as well as multiple riding modes. And both its traction control and ABS are switchable. Plus, while the Ducati’s Pirelli MT 60 RS tires are technically on/off-road-rated, they’re not true dual-sport tires like the Triumph’s Metzeler Tourances. Also, the Street Scrambler has a two-piston rear caliper, while the Scrambler Icon has a one-piston caliper.

2022 Triumph Street Scrambler vs. 2022 Ducati Scrambler Icon: Riding

If you’re looking for an approachable, easy-going motorcycle, especially if you’re a shorter rider, both the 2022 Triumph Street Scrambler and Ducati Scrambler Icon have a lot to offer. Being lightweight standard motorcycles, they have neutral, upright riding positions that make them great for urban commuting and freeway blasts. And with their flat, wide handlebars and narrow dimensions, they’re easy to steer and control. However, their features lists are previews of how these retro scramblers behave on the road.

On paved roads, the Ducati Scrambler Icon is the sharper handler. While the Street Scrambler is easy-going and stable on paved roads, it’s not quite as dynamic as the Street Twin, Cycle World says. It’s still fun on twisty roads, MCN notes, more than you might expect, but it’s the more “relaxed” bike of the two. In contrast, the Scrambler Icon feels livelier and easy to flick around and into corners, Cycle World reports. And its low exhausts are less awkward to live with, Cycle World adds.

Once you go off-road, though, it’s a different story. Here, the Ducati Scrambler Icon shows that, while it can hit the occasional dirt trail, it’s not really designed for that kind of riding. The Triumph Street Scrambler, with its tires, skid plate, and high exhaust pipes, is noticeably more at home here. It’s not on the same level as the Scrambler 1200s, but it’s better at it than the Ducati.

2022 Triumph Street Scrambler advantages

Between the two bikes, the 2022 Triumph Street Scrambler is the more ‘authentic’ scrambler, insofar as off-roading is concerned. It has more safety and tech features, too. Also, because it doesn’t have desmodromic valves like the Ducati, its service intervals are longer. And it’s on Cycle World’s most recent list of the best scramblers; the Desert Sled is, too, but not the Icon.

And while both motorcycles have plenty of low-end power, the Triumph’s extra torque helps it pull away at low speeds better. That’s important when you’re trying to keep up with city traffic.

2022 Ducati Scrambler Icon advantages

The rear 3/4 view of a black-and-white 2022 Ducati Scrambler Icon Dark
2022 Ducati Scrambler Icon Dark rear 3/4 | Ducati

Although it can’t quite keep up with the Triumph on dirt roads, the Ducati Scrambler Icon is arguably the nimbler bike around town. It’s also noticeably cheaper and lighter. Plus, its ABS is cornering-enhanced.

While it doesn’t have as many features as the Triumph, that’s part of the Ducati’s appeal. And its livelier nature is “ultimately truer to the scrambler ethic,” Cycle World muses.

Which retro urban scrambler is right for you?

As with any motorcycle purchase, choosing between the 2022 Triumph Street Scrambler and Ducati Scrambler Icon requires some test riding. So, try both and see which one you feel more comfortable on.

But which is better around town? Herein lies the rub. The Triumph might be the more historically-accurate scrambler, but that doesn’t inherently make it a better urban bike. It might not be as good off-road, but the Ducati edges the Triumph out on the city streets.

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