Progressive International Motorcycle Show, Chicago: Ducati Motorcycles, Highlights of Desmodromic Supermodels

MotoADVR_DucatiPanigaleFrontRight or wrong, I can’t fight the perception that Ducati is the epitome of (street) motorcycle performance. That being said, I can picture myself on an R1, but I don’t foresee myself in the saddle of a 1299 cc, tire ripping, Panigale; I just can’t fathom shelling out $20K (or more…) to own one, but I certainly wouldn’t turn down a test ride at a track day! Like KTM, there must be some mythical fairy dust sprinkled on these bikes that makes them ultra-light, ultra-fast… and consequently ultra-expensive. Maybe it’s all material lust on my part, maybe I’m just a fanboy, either way, I still think I appreciate them for what they are: imported performance machines that demand a hefty price tag… and probably some heavy maintenance. Or maybe I don’t know what I’m talking about?



MotoADVR_DucatiMonsterAside from all the hype (or perceived hype), I can’t help but to appreciate the Ducati styling, unorthodox valve train, and copious application of red paint. The Monster may be the quintessential street fighter (after the Speed Triple of course!), the Hypermotard strikes me as a gorgeous amalgamation of a Supermoto and a Superbike, and the Multistrada is a bullnose illustration of premium “Sport-Touring-Adventure”. At the same time, I can’t help but ask the question, what is the Diavel? I know several pieces have been written on his topic by the prominent moto-media outlets, but I’m as guilty as they are. The Diavel is another sexy Italian V-twin, but I’m not sure if it’s a “power-cruiser”, a high-performance standard or what?  Anyway, these are all bikes I’d love to have, but none of which I could justify with my current, single-stall, stable.



And then there’s that Scrambler…


Lots of folks have “attributed” the retro-café-racer-scrambler movement as some sort of hipster side effect. I can’t argue that it may contribute, but with my “high and tight”, I’m a long way from a hipster and I’m all over this throw-back scene (maybe I’m just a cafe racer junkie?). In my opinion, Ducati has arrived just in time with an upscale “standard” motorcycle with neo-retro styling. I don’t think I’d shell out the cash for desmodromic valves just to drag it through the mud like a true “scrambler” but I would gladly rip through the twisties on that sporty 800, and I certainly can’t help but climb on the Scrambler band wagon… but again, I digress



Oh, what about the show? Ducati put together another excellent booth, but aside from the Scrambler Sixty2, it appeared to be more of the usual suspects… and a Multi wearing knobbies. Rumor is something new is coming next year… We’ll see.

Back to the IMS Chicago


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8 Responses to Progressive International Motorcycle Show, Chicago: Ducati Motorcycles, Highlights of Desmodromic Supermodels

  1. Pingback: Progressive International Motorcycle Show 2016, Chicago: The Preview | Moto Adventurer

  2. Bob says:

    Ducati has always produced high end, almost exotic, performance motorbikes since it’s inception, leaving the touring and now, sport touring genres to Moto Guzzi. Racing has always been their primary motivation for the development of their motorcycles. They are complicated machines, but they hold up extremely well. The fairy dust is, well, the Italians. As I have written in my blog posts, the Italians can somehow consistently combine beauty, high end performance and sex appeal in their motorbikes and automobiles. I agree about the Diavel: I don’t know what it is, do not find it sexy, and quite frankly, don’t understand why Ducati even manufactured it.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Ry Austin says:

    Drew, maybe I should be ashamed to admit this, but I’ve never been a big fan of Ducatis. Sure, I respect them for being well-engineered, exotic, and maybe magical machines, but historically they haven’t really set my heart afire. (Of course, I’ve never been much for the sport bike mold, so that probably explains it.)

    That said: The first Ducati that raised my eyebrows was the Sport 1000, and since they released the Scrambler, I’m just flipping out. I can’t get enough of it, whether it’s done up by the factory or re-imagined by a customizer. I’ve even had passing thoughts of reducing the stable to accommodate one. Fortunately, those thoughts keep passing.

    As for dragging it through the mud like a true Scrambler… Man, I would jump at the chance to give it a good romping through gravel, dirt, loose whatnot, and even a bit of mud if it happened to get in the way. Really, though, the best thing I can do is dismiss such thoughts altogether, put that blasted—however desirable—Scrambler out of my mind.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: 8 Things No One Tells You Before You Buy a Motorcycle | Moto Adventurer

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