Scrambler Cafe Racer Press Launch


Press launches don’t always go as smoothly as you would like and this was certainly the case with the Scrambler Café Racer. A combination of the start of the Easter holidays and numerous competitor launches led me to scrambling (excuse the pun) around for attendees in an unaccustomed fashion.

In the end, all places were filled with journalists from MCN, BIKE, GQ, BikeSocial, the national press, freelancers plus a social media influencer. So the group I met up with at the airport was much smaller than usual, as others were travelling to meet us there from other manufacturer launches from various locations within Italy.

You never know quite what to expect at a Scrambler launch, but you can be guaranteed of a less corporate, more relaxed affair. Uniform is usually some kind of Scrambler clothing, Vans and a checked shirt for any non-uniform time. Beard is optional, although I have an excuse for one born from being too lazy to shave and too many Scrambler events.

For the launch of the Café Racer we flew to the spiritual home of Scrambler brand, Bologna. Forecast was for blue skies and 21 degrees, a huge relief for anyone that has read my previous blogs grumbling about biblical deluges or my unsympathetic colleagues who have to listen to my whingeing about my soakings on my ‘press launch holidays’!

We arrived in Bologna early evening after battling the rush hour traffic and after checking in we walked a short distance to the new Scrambler Food factory. Based on the branding and concept of the Scrambler, the restaurant features an internal design of wood and exposed brickwork with seating over two floors. The food included traditional round Pizzas, Pizza served on a wooden board to share and various pastas from the local Emilia Romagna area.

The restaurant is not run by the factory, but privately owned and the owners were keen to impress by serving what seemed to be most of the menu. Despite the volume, the food was fantastic and we retired back to the hotel with heavy stomachs, looking forward to the ride tomorrow.

The next morning the riders departed from the hotel for a very short ride back to the Food factory, for the press conference and pre-ride briefing. Soon the journalists were carving through the busy city traffic and heading to the Apennine Mountains south of Bologna, where the riders were treated to some epic roads which included part of the famous futa pass.

A brisk pace throughout the morning allowed the riders to test the bikes capabilities to the full. The suspension and brakes were certainly up to the work out, some journalists noted that the suspension was a little on the soft side but this was an intentional compromise for a bike that would spend most of its time in the city.

The lunch break was an idyllic setting for a leisurely lunch in the sun overlooking the surrounding hills 15km from the city. A once converted barn and wine cellar it was now an event venue with an indoor swimming pool and glass floors. The UK guys were made to feel at home with some fabulous fish and chips, which as I wasn’t riding on this occasion meant a second helping for me!

Soon the guys were back on the road and with no more photoshoot stops they were able to enjoy the rest of the 120km ride back to the hotel.

The final night was in true Scrambler style in a converted warehouse with table tennis and table football to entertain us, the only problem was that someone had forgotten to order the beer. Que grumpy journalists, although after a quick dash to the supermarket all was solved except for it being on the warm side.

After one too many warm beers we retired to our hotel for the customary Gin and Tonic of the Italian variety before heading off to bed for the early flight home.