2 Wheels

Is the 2021 Ducati Scrambler Nightshift 2 Bikes in 1?

While the 2021 Multistrada V4’s new features are worth noting, it’s not the only Ducati motorcycle getting an update. The Ducati Scrambler lineup, which includes the off-road Desert Sled model, is also being tweaked for 2021. However, one of those tweaks involves replacing two trims, the Café Racer and Full Throttle, with a single one: the Scrambler Nightshift. But will the 2021 Ducati Scrambler Nightshift be able to pull double-duty like that?

What do the 2020 Ducati Scrambler Café Racer and Full Throttle offer?

A rider drifts a black-and-yellow 2020 Ducati Scrambler Full Throttle in the desert
2020 Ducati Scrambler Full Throttle | Ducati

The Full Throttle has been a part of the Ducati Scrambler lineup since it debuted in 2015, Ultimate Motorcycling reports. The Café Racer trim wasn’t added until 2017 at the same time as the Desert Sled, RevZilla reports.

Like the rest of the Ducati Scrambler lineup, the 2020 Café Racer and Full Throttle have an 803cc air-cooled 90° V-twin (‘L-twin’), Motorcyclist reports. It’s rated at 73 hp and 49 lb-ft and comes with a 6-speed transmission, Motorcyclist reports. Both bikes also have LED lighting, ABS, hydraulic clutches, and a preload-adjustable Kayaba mono-shock. Plus, their shared digital gauge includes a fuel-level display, tachometer, odometer, and gear indicator.

A silver-and-blue 2020 Ducati Scrambler Cafe Racer by a field
2020 Ducati Scrambler Cafe Racer | Ducati

However, the 2020 Ducati Scrambler Café Racer and Full Throttle aren’t identical. As its name implies, the former is designed with the café racer ethos in mind. In contrast, flat-trackers inspired the latter, RideApart reports. Because of this, they differ in their equipment and somewhat in their riding dynamics.

The Ducati Scrambler Café Racer, for example, has an adjustable Kayaba fork, Roadshow reports. Meanwhile, the Full Throttle’s fork is non-adjustable. However, the Full Throttle has a wide one-piece handlebar and Pirelli tires which can function on- and off-road, Ultimate Motorcycling reports. The Café Racer has clip-on bars and bar-end mirrors instead. Plus, while it also has Pirelli tires, they’re street-oriented, Motorcyclist reports.

Interestingly, though, the Ducati Scrambler Café Racer is 15 pounds heavier than the Full Throttle. It also has a slightly higher seat and a sportier riding position, RevZilla reports. As a result, it feels narrower and easier to maneuver through tighter areas, CanadaMotoGuide reports. However, that’s not to say the Full Throttle feels ponderous; just slightly different. It’s still a fun bike, with good suspension and stable handling aided via the wide handlebar, RideApart reports.

The 2021 Ducati Scrambler Nightshift combines and replaces the Café Racer and Full Throttle

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The Ducati Scrambler lineup is getting a few new things for 2021, RideApart reports. Most are minor, such as the Desert Sled’s new paint option. However, the big news is that the Nightshift is replacing the Cafe Racer and Full Throttle trims.

A gray 2021 Ducati Scrambler Nightshift on a bridge at night
2021 Ducati Scrambler Nightshift | Ducati

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The 2021 Ducati Scrambler Nightshift is less a brand-new model and more of a mashup, Cycle World explains. It has the Full Throttle’s number plates and Pirelli off-road tires, Ultimate Motorcycling reports, as well as the flat handlebar from the 1100 Sport Pro. But it also has the Café Racer’s bar-end mirrors. The Nightshift’s spoked wheels and flat bench seat, though, are trim-specific.

It’s unknown why the Ducati Scrambler Nightshift is replacing the Café Racer and Full Throttle trims. Perhaps customers preferred how the latter handled but wanted the style of the former?

2020 Indian Scout Sixty Bobber
2020 Indian Scout Sixty Bobber | Indian

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It might also be an attempt to introduce a new styling direction to the lineup. As Ultimate Motorcycling notes, the Nightshift’s blacked-out design and minimal fenders give it a bobber aesthetic. Several other brands, such as Indian and Triumph, have created bobbers of their own in the past few years. Ducati could be trying to get the Scrambler to cash in on the trend.

Pricing and availability

A rider on a gray 2021 Ducati Scrambler Nightshift rides through the city at night
2021 Ducati Scrambler Nightshift side | Ducati

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The 2021 Ducati Scrambler Nightshift will hit US dealerships in January 2021.

The trim starts at $10,995; that’s $1300 more than the base Icon. The Full Throttle also starts at $10,995; the Café Racer costs $1000 more.

Without riding them, it’s difficult to say if the Nightshift will be an effective Café Racer and Full Throttle replacement. But if the reviews of the outgoing trims are any indication, it’ll have little trouble finding interested potential riders.

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