Ducati has refurbished the cushion density and contouring of the single piece seat, thus making it softer and friendlier to the rider. Complementing the seat is the new suspension setup of the 2019 Icon. It is pliant and yields to small bumps and ridges with ease. Furthermore, the bike’s wide handlebars and the Pirelli tyres offer the rider immense confidence around corners.
Given that Thailand is a tropical country, we did experience the occasional light showers. And in those wet conditions, the Icon’s cornering ABS doubled up on confidence, being ever so slightly intrusive and making the Icon feel more fun to ride. What’s more, the hydraulic clutch on the 2019 Scrambler Icon is light, as are the gear shifts. However, the issue with the false-neutrals that the previous-gen carried remains unresolved. On the 200km route, it made its presence felt more than a couple of times.
The Scrambler Icon's engine, on the other hand, has become more refined and so has the throttle response. While the 803cc motor continues to hold power in the low to mid-range, the throttle is now far more linear. Sure, one can feel the vibrations on the tank and foot pegs given the structure of the engine, but they are only occasional and not very bothersome. The brakes in the earlier model offered good bite and progression and Ducati has retained them in the 2019 Icon.
However, like most air-cooled V-twin engines, this one too dissipates immense heat making the 2019 Scrambler Icon feel like a fire-breathing dragon at standstill. While the heat can hardly be felt on the move, being caught in traffic is sure to scorch the rider’s thighs, as I discovered, much to my discomfort. This situation would only be made worse by the traffic conditions in India. And getting the side stand down might require several attempts as the peg of the stand is not very wide and consequently, difficult for a booted foot to hook into. Alternatively, one might just lose all hope, disembark the bike and awkwardly push the stand down with one’s hand, which is what I ended up doing.