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Now scramblers are hot

scramblers
ER Classics Desktop 2022

Every self-respecting engine manufacturer now has a scrambler in the pallet. Scramblers are hot. And classic Scramblers boldly in their popularity.

In the beginning

What the Italians and British were already doing for the Americans in the 1960s was building scramblers. Motorcycles that were prepared with not too much effort to be able to play 'off road' with them. Because motorbikes had become socially acceptable in the States thanks to the involvement of Soïchiro Honda. The first Ducati Scrambler was an 250 cc'er and was - exclusively for the USA market - made from 1962. In 1968 came the broadcart Scramblers that are now highly sought after.


From that series, the 450 from 1969 was the heaviest and ... it was significantly too light for the Americans with their motto "Nothing beats cubic inches", nothing beats cylinder capacity. The British could then answer that question with their 650 twins. With a smaller tank, narrow fenders and a high-lying exhaust system, these were the ideal machines for desert racing.

The Scramblers from Honda

Of course the Japanese also responded to the trend and just as naturally Honda was the forerunner in that. The Honda CL series ran from the somewhat later 'sixties' until the seventies. Honda delivered the range from 50 cc to 450 cc. And that of course only happened again in the States. They were 'off road light' engines. In fact no more than standard CB types with a cross handlebar, higher mounted mudguards and a high-lying exhaust system. They were actually more for the show than for the 'Go!' But the Americans loved it. This series has never been officially fed in Europe, but over the years quite a large amount of these machines have come to the Old World.

These were usually the machines from 175 cc up to and including the CL 450 DOHC Scramblers. In terms of 'value', those machines always lagged far behind ordinary CB motorcycles, but they seem to have gotten rid of that habit. The Honda CLs ride well on the Scrambler tsunami of today. And it is clear that the models from 350 cc increase the most in value. When purchasing such a toy, it is very important to pay attention to the technical condition and completeness. Americans are famous for the fact that they do not perform technical maintenance. And the characteristic CL parts are hard to come by. And expensive. In America, you pay $ 600 for a seriously used exhaust system. We saw a new set without fasteners and heat shields for $ 2.400. And that is quite a lot of money if you count the purchase amount of your motorcycle without exhausts. When purchasing a CL it also counts that the engines are cheaper depending on whether they are 'newer'.

They don't have to suffer anymore

All in all, such a Scrambler, whether it is a Ducati, a Matchless or a Honda, is in all likelihood no longer used to play the animal. And the lighter CLs? We have even seen that at the back of campers.

The first generation Scramblers disappeared in the forgetting book with the arrival of Yamaha's legendary XT 500 and the Honda XL 500. Those machines could handle a lot more alongside the asphalt.

A kind of Holy Grail: A CL450 K1

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