This is the Bike to Get You Started on Your Motorcycle Career

I have a French friend who owned a 69 Honda for years. She finally traded it in after the brakes went out on Manhattan's First Avenue. She loves the bike but the Mlle. needed something she could trust. The first thing I thought of was a Ducati Scrambler Sixty2, which is a bike I rode all last week. If my friend had been a beginner this $7,995 entry-level bike from the prestigious Italian motorcycle Brown would've been perfect. In a word it is trustworthy. It is quick to start, easy to push through it six gears and the 368 pound nimble joy to ride. Ducati lost it this year as a lighter, sleeker complement to the 800 cm³ modern Scrambler it debuted in 2014. It has a teardrop tank, a long back seat and slim tires. Better yet the Ducati has made this machine fully modern, rugged and is capable as the rest of its impressive lineup. I had learned to ride a Ducati Monster 696 years ago. I wish it had been the Scrambler Sixty2, which would've made the learning curve a lot less steep.

Ducati Scrambler Sixty2

The Sixty2 is styled like the 60s and perfect as a bike for getting around a large city or town. I can fly over the Williamsburg Bridge to buy plants and coffee at my favorite spots in Brooklyn. It's a no fuss classic vintage packaging and strong premium brand behind it. A smaller engine does not necessary mean and inexpensive, less good bike. The philosophy has worked well as last year the 800L cc Ducati Scrambler was the 10th best-selling 500cc motorcycle in the world. 16,000 of them sold worldwide with one third going to North America. The new smaller one, the Sixty2 is to sell largely in Asia T women and younger people under 40.

The bike is built on the exact platform as a bigger Scrambler with the same Steve McQueen stance. It's made in Italy with a steel, teardrop shaped tank similar than its Scrambler sister. The look is inspired by youth, street culture, skateboards, street food, pop music and pop art. It looks like a cool kid street tough cafe racer. The filler cap is inscribed, "born free-1962". The steel swing arm is done in the classic style and the key inserted in the headlamp unit recalls the design of the original light switch. The cross spoke alloy wheels have the same look as the old flat track racers.

The 14 L fuel tank is different from his siblings but the steel trellis frame and overall body measurements and most of the components remain identical. They handlebar sit high and wide. The license plate is held high, close to the rear passenger handholds and long seat that will easily fit a second rider. A single round LED halo headlight made out of glass the same as the bigger Scrambler juts out front. The narrow rear tire and the unique front mudguard sit just over the front wheel.

Vespa PX 125 Scooter

This bike uses interchangeable panels along its sides and comes with dedicated graphics and logos fix directly on each side. I chose the black option and then I will pay a guy to drop the high handlebars to something low and cool.

I found the 41 hp, V-twin engine thirsty and upper city streets. You really don't need more power if you're a city rider. It's a good option up from a Vespa. Steering on the Sixty2 may feel slightly tighter but that is a function of the stock handlebars. The throttle is alert and fluid through all gears. If you're an adrenaline junkie, this is not the bike for you. Several Ducati lovers have criticized the slower speed capabilities as you can get an entry level Honda for half the price. But this bike is in for longtime riders.

Ducati has done well with the Sixty2 by combining the cafe styling of the 60s with the full benefit of its luxury branding and components. By another motorcycle if you want to escape, by this one if you want to have fun.