Scrambler buying info

Looking to pick the brains of some experts in bevels.
I’m in the early stages of finding out information about 350 or 450 singles probably scrambler as it’ll suit the roads round here and give me something small to ride on VMCC days out.
350 is preferred option as some VMCC rallies are for up to 350cc but I’m 6’-1" & 17 stone so not sure how well either the 350 or 450 would cope?
Only used to modern (90’s onwards) belt drive twins so no knowledge at all of the bevels so wondering what the maintenance is like, availability of spares/parts, reliability & what to look out for?

I’ve seen a 350 SCR in M&S Newcastle which is semi close to me. Is there anyone that deals in classic singles in the North Yorkshire area?
Anyone looking to sell their scrambler.


Hi Paul

Good choice - a perfect classic bike for blatting down country lanes, even for those of a non italian build. I did the Giro on mine back in 2007 and it coped admirably. I’m 5’11" and at the time weighed about 16 stone. Ergonomics, with the wide bars and a well padded seat, were well suited to long days in the saddle. Would have liked a better front brake - I only discovered afterwards that the brake lining wasn’t seating fully due to a worn hub. I’d go for the 350 over the 450 - it doesn’t lose out noticeably and the larger engine has a reputation for vibration and can, allegedly, be a pig to kick over. Cheers, Rob (Peak District)

Just had a quick look at the one in M&S. It’s a MotoTrans (made in Spain under licence from Ducati) and never officially imported to the UK. Quite a few seem to have arrived in the last few years. MotoTrans engine and frame numbers start with MD (rather than DM for a Ducati). Maybe not quite as sought after as the ‘real deal’ but look virtually the same - the forks and headlight being the main differences. I don’t know if the engines differ in any way - they certainly look the same. Overall, this one appears pretty original. Mudflap and fuel filter suggest a caring owner at some point. Nice alloy rims (I’d guess Akront), same brakes as the early Italian scramblers (later ones had the better twin leading shoe at the front). Tank and headlight chrome is, unsurprisingly, showing it’s age - expensive to restore if you want to go that route. I’d simply upgrade the original 6v electrics and ride it as it is

I’d come to the conclusion that the M&S bike was spanish MD rather than a proper Italian one. It would appear that M&S brought containers of bikes in back in 2016 and have been working thru’ them.
Trying to decide whether to save a few £ and go spanish or stick with the more expensive Italian bikes.

Hello Paul

I have had a 350 Mk3 since 1985 and a 450 Mk3 since 1981.

I’m 5’9" and in my 20s weighed 12 stone. I took the 450 to France, Spain and Portugal, and even went over the Alps with my now wife on the back, complete with panniers, tank bag and rack with tent on, all the way to Bologna. Back then it seemed quite big enough. These days I’m somewhat bigger and heavier, and though I’ve had the seat reupholstered, and swapped the clip-ons for US-spec T120 Triumph bars, I have to say the Mk3 feels rather small when compared to my Scrambler (that’s the 803 Scrambler!) or big Guzzi. They have plenty of power, but they never let you forget the riding position was designed for tiny Italian men with long arms. I still ride them to shows and VMCC meets close by, but 100 miles is as much as I’d want to do on either of them today without a very good excuse.

I have found them super reliable as long as they are put together right – both have had ground-up rebuilds, with everything shimmed up carefully, and all electrics replaced, including switchgear and ignition – and maintenance is largely a matter of regular lubrication and greasing, with an oil change every 1000-1500 miles. Spare parts availability is pretty good for most of the bits you might need to renew or replace; the main thing is to make sure the example you buy is complete, as major cycle parts and e.g. engine casings are becoming harder to find and correspondingly more expensive.

Good luck!

Managed to sit on both the scrambler and an RT. Scrambler still felt small so ended up with the RT.
Just working out how to start it now after years and years of push button starting.