Spy Photos: 2011 Ducati Vyper performance cruiser

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I have a dream. In that dream, the American public isn’t so lame that formerly credible motorcycle makers like Ducati and Yamaha have to pander to it with ridiculous performance cruisers that look like they’ve ridden straight off the pages of a Marvel comic book. In that dream no self respecting adult would be seen dead on what’s clearly a children’s toy; a bike that will look out of place unless you wear your underwear over your pants and tie your blanky around your shoulders as a pretend cape. Sadly, that’s just a dream, because the 2011 Ducati Vyper has been spied undergoing final development testing in Italy and will likely be launched at EICMA this fall.
News of the Vyper first emerged a year ago, with a clay styling model
appearing in MCN. That model appeared to adopt styling cues straight
from the Monster, enlarging and ridicu-fying them in order make it look
like something He-Man would ride.

These spy shots appear to show another styling direction, one that’s
ditched any pretense of translating Ducati’s heritage into the literal
penis substitute market. A huge tail unit holds two huge vertical LED
taillights and hovers over a huge rear tire mounted on a huge
single-sided swingarm and two huge shotgun-style exhausts. The rider
straddles a huge fuel tank and what appears to be a huge steel-trellis
frame. Doesn’t the whole thing just make you feel huge? Handlebars
appear to be swoopy cast items and forks are upside down, just like you
will be on the loan you take out to buy one of these.

What’s not clear is just how huge the engine will be. Will it be huge
like the 1200cc v-twin Ducati sticks in its superbikes or huge like an
all-new engine specifically developed to be as awe-inspiringly huge as
possible? My daddy’s bike is bigger than your daddy’s bike.

Expect Ducati to try and one-up the Yamaha VMAX’s 197bhp and 9-second
1/4 mile. Haven’t you heard? Low 1/4 mile times are the new Cialis. Call
your doctor if your erection lasts longer than the double-digit tank

Honestly baby boomers, can’t you just fuck off and die already? Or at
least stop buying bikes so that we can finally get the affordable,
practical, mid-capacity bikes we want instead of the over-compensation
you need?

via Motoblog.it

  • Jesse

    Jesus christ dude that’s a lot of anger. You need to let it go. I think a Porsche Cheyenne is an abomination unto man but you know what someone has bought the thing so rather then be a giant angry twat about it I just say it’s not for me and move on to something I do want to buy.

    • maroci

      You sound a little angry yourself. The difference is that the writer obviously has a sense of humor, whereas you are clearly all twat.

  • maikial

    wow… looks huge

  • http://twowheelsplus.blogspot.com/ Anders Hansen

    Funny how it looks like a supersized 50cc scooter from rear threequarters view.

    • HammSammich

      That was exactly my initial impression – it looks a lot like the Piaggio MP3 from the back.

  • http://www.thisblueheaven.com Mark D.

    Boomers will never die. They’re like cockroaches. Just wait until they start buying up pristine conservation land to build sprawling “Un-retirement” communities (or some other sickeningly lame euphemism for nursing home). I’ll be 60 before I’m fully out of the economic, environmental, and political shit-storm these people caused…

  • NoH2Oh

    Nice. Ducati, remember the Indiana?

    • Turf

      it’s best to pretend that somethings didn’t happen.

      ‘Honestly baby boomers, can’t you just fuck off and die already? Or at least stop buying bikes so that we can finally get the affordable, practical, mid-capacity bikes we want instead of the over-compensation you need?’

      Wes…i love you and this place solely because of that sentence.

  • Hank

    Two things. First, totally agree with Anders in that it looks like Ducati thought “Hey, those Aprilia chotches can make cool looking scooters, so let’s steal their style and make a HUGE scooter!”

    Second, while I agree that boomers are ruining mainstream motorcycle culture, I am proud to say that my boomer dad has scrapped his desire for a Harley Fat Boy Lo (still kinda cool because he wanted to replace all the remaining chrome with matte black) and replaced it with a desire to get a Multistrada. Win.

    • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

      My dad’s bike is taller than your dad’s bike?

  • The Grudz

    Took the bitter words right outta my mouth, Wes. And made them more intelligible.

  • AK

    “Honestly baby boomers, can’t you just fuck off and die already? Or at least stop buying bikes so that we can finally get the affordable, practical, mid-capacity bikes we want instead of the over-compensation you need?

    In response, those baby boomers did just that and “fuck” they did… now their kids are “off” telling the salesman @ the local dealership that they need to be on a 1000cc fireblade because the 600cc is too slow for a first bike.

  • sburns2421

    Ducati is obviously trying to appeal to their aging customers who will eventually outgrow a sportbike. Perhaps outgrow is not appropriate, they will find a sportbike untenable as backs and knees become less limber with age.

    They might poach a few sales from VMax or Hardley owners, but my guess is that most buyers own another Ducati.

    I wouldn’t count on the styling from disguised test mules. If Ducati has shown us anything in the last 15 years it is that they can make a bike distinctive and usually, beautiful.

    • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

      What what what? If anything, Ducati’s show us in the last 15 years that they could completely lose the plot on design. Multistrada: funky chicken. 1198: bland generic japanese superbike.

      • sburns2421

        The Multistrada seems to be function first and asthetics second. Within the adventure bike genre IMO it looks at least as good as any of them. KTM Adventure is tall and awkward and while the BMW’s reputation is peerless it looks like it was bolted together by a blind plumber.

        As for the 1198, to each his own. I wish Japan Inc. could build a literbike that looked as good in a solid color. R1 looks like a fat bug-eyed pig, ZX-10 is boring and anonymous, the CBR has one of the ugliest mugs in all of motorcycledom, and Suzuki relies on swooshy graphics because the shape of the GSXR is so ungainly.

        Not all of Ducati’s bikes work of course (GT1000 Touring? yikes). But overall they do a better job than other companies when it comes to styling.

  • vic

    isn’t a modern cruiser supposed to look low and long like this?

    that duc thingy looks like the judge dread bike

    and what’s stopying the “non-baby boomers” to buy mid-class low price bikes? nobody is forcing them to buy hypersport machines

    just look at europe
    personally i don’t give a shit what anyone rides as long as they are not being an asshole or a elitist about it.

    .if i we’re rich i would have a garage filled with every category of motorcycles ,from a classic ’60′s chopper to a desmosedici running through the gamut of niche bikes

  • http://electrovelocity.com/ Ben Branch

    This is the best thing I have read so far this year. Anywhere on the internet. Or anywhere else. The time away from Jalopnik is serving you well!

  • Dave

    Your anger is misplaced. The boomers are still buying sportsers and boulevards and dynaglides. These performance bikes are marketed to, and bought by 30-something Gen-X/Y people who find Harleys boring, GSX-R’s too impractical, and don’t realize there’s a range in between. Given the sudden appearance of things like the Warrior, M109R, V-Rod, Raider etc. I’m guessing that when the boomers do die off, this kind of bike will become the standard for cruisers.

  • http://www.ninja250blog.com Mark Ryan Sallee

    “I’m Wes Siler and if someone makes something for someone other than me it’s called pandering.” – To be read in Muppet Beaker’s voice.

    The Vyper is hideous. And I like the new Multi.

  • MR

    I’m sure you’d be all over this thing if it was electric.

    • Quentin Wilson


  • http://www.thisblueheaven.com Mark D.
  • capenundies

    Wes, get some help man before its too late and you end up with a cerebral hemmorage. The secret wet dream of every Euro weenie is to have the biggest baddest harley on the planet, the only difference betwen them and us is that we can afford one, at least for the time being.

    Re underwear and cape……hey its worked out well for Biden, so why not? especially if its leather undies and a silk cape….

  • http://verywhitenoise.com jonb


    So is this the Ducati that RSD has been invited to work with DMH on or is there another model for 2011 that has the RSD look and touch?

  • HammSammich

    Well, I try not to begrudge motorcycle companies for making and marketing bikes in an apparently profitable segment, and Ducati is peculiar as their US product mix does not really seem to be intended for first time riders, if not from a performance standpoint, at least for their premium price. But the temptation of over-powered Cruisers has become an obsession in the US market. As a Triumph owner who has always been impressed with their performance value, I was particularly disappointed with their introduction of the Rocket III Bagger in 2008, and the newest T-Bird, complete with it’s “Cubic Inches” displacement badges. My only hope is that these bloated cruisers sell well enough to fund the development of affordable bikes that I really want – like a modern Tiger Cub or a more performance oriented Thruxton (more like a Duc Sport Classic).

  • Oscar

    Yeah. Heaven forbid Ducati should build what they believe current and potential customers want and try to actually – you know – make a profit. What evil bastards they are.

    Besides, Ducati already builds the Monster 696, Monster 796 and Hypermotard 796. Those are all midsized, relatively affordable bikes. Why shouldn’t Ducati branch out towards other market segments?

    I suppose Wes Silver would like to nominate himself the World Minister of Baby Boomer Euthanasia and Motorcycle Development.

    ps: Just in case anyone thinks I’m a Boomer, I’m actually 34 and ride a 1978 CB400T I restored when I was in college.

    • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

      The problem is that this likely won’t prove hugely profitable. Development likely started five or more years ago when the whole yellow Hummer H2 thing was in full swing. Boomers have seen their spending power drastically decreased and the main source of their wealth, home equity, looks ready to take another huge hit.

      So, instead of leading the market with innovative new products, Ducati chose to cash in on current trends just as this particular trend dried up. That’s why leading, not following is the route to long-term success. It’s just a huge shame that a former market leader has become a slavish follower.

      • robotribe

        “So, instead of leading the market with innovative new products, Ducati chose to cash in on current trends just as this particular trend dried up.”

        Clearly Ducati have were inspired by the success the Fury and DN-01 has brought to Honda. Who WOULDN’T want a piece of that hot action?!


        Here’s a thought: perhaps there isn’t a market leader today. By that, I don’t mean regarding overall sales, profits or operation, but in ways such as you mention; innovation and class-leading engineering are all but ubiquitous with all the major players. The industry is chasing its own tail at the moment. A faster liter bike? A bigger cruiser? An adventure or sport touring bike that corners confidently? ABS brakes?

        Big f’ing deal.

        Nothing to see here. We’ve reached a plateau; all innovation and improvements to ICE bikes is controlled here on out by the stagnant marketplace, its limited imagination and taste, and the emission laws of various governments across the world.

        Don’t get me wrong, I love ‘em and ride ‘em, but as far as ICE bikes are concerned, what we see today isn’t much different from what we’ll be seeing for years to come.

        The industry is squeezing the teet till its dry and we’re paying attention because it’s all we’ve got and they’re run out of teets.

        For now.

  • Sean Smith

    So it’s a just a less functional street-fighter? I don’t even understand why anyone, even a baby-boomer would want this thing. You could get a monster 1100 or a street fighter and call it a day. Judging by the pudgyiness up front it’s liquid cooled. It looks like there’s some sort of knock-off V-max style ram air too. This things gonna be totally gay.

  • DoucheRocket

    I dont think this appeals to only Baby Boomers. I am 33 and like the idea of a Ducati Power Cruiser. The Power Cruiser segment is growing and I see more and more of them on the road, and rarely are they piloted by old fat guys. The Vmax, Victory Hammer, Harley VRod Muscle/Nightrod, Warrior, and Rocket III are all pretty cool bikes. I dont have a problem with this in theory. If it is executed poorly than that is a different story.

    I know it is hard to believe but there are people younger than 46 that like Cruisers. Some of us can even still afford things despite what others may tell you. Not everyone leveraged all the equity in there home to buy a yellow Hummer.

    This blog at times is great and then there are articles like this piece of self indulgent blowhard garbage. So you you dont like Cruisers, big deal, some people do and as a self proclaimed “journalist” and not a “blogger” a little objectivity would do the place well.

    • pauljones

      At some point, there comes a time where you just have to smile and nod and let it go. Personally, I like cruisers; be they Moto Guzzis, Kawasakis, or Harleys, or whatever else. Wes does not. He sometimes gets a little vehement about it, and, on occasion, unnecessarily extreme about it. That being said, he’s actually a pretty damn objective guy. This is not a guy who’s afraid to take a Honda Goldwing, the philosophical antithesis of his preferred style of bike, and give it a fair review.

      Despite the vitriol that he spewed in this particular article, he makes a few very valid points. It is true that motorcycle manufacturers are catering to very narrow markets, and that may screw them in the long run. It’s true that Cruisers are heavier, and that the pace of innovation is decidedly slower when it comes to cruisers.

      The vitriol? Chalk it up to personality and let it go. If you’re a real biker, you really don’t give a damn what other people think of your bike; you ride it for your own reasons, and that’s all that matter. Wes is a good guy and a capable rider. This is also his blog, therefore he has the right to express himself however he wants.

      What I respect about him, though, is that he doesn’t just spout out a bunch of stereotypes because he things they are cool things to say. No matter how much annoyance he expresses, he always backs it up with rational, well-thought-out arguments. Wes also usually tries to promote the attitude that it doesn’t matter what you ride, as long as you’re riding, you’re the real deal. That is a whole hell of a lot more than can be said for many other blogs, and many of the commenters here.

      He’s a cool guy that knows his shit, has a lot of riding experience under his belt, and is capable of producing rational arguments on the internet.

      If that doesn’t at the very least command respect, then I don’t know what does.

      • HipocracyMuch?

        From Grant Ray regarding posters cutting on the Guzzi V7 not being a “real bike”-

        “I’m really growing tired of the “real rider” argument. If this V7 gets new people into riding, then why all the complaining? What happens if the “posers” ride when they can, but isn’t everyday? Does that make them fake? And what the hell is a fake rider? Or what if they ride them everyday, but only as a stylish and affordable way to get from A to B, and not like hoons, and aren’t really into racing and heritage?

        It’s like everyone who makes this stand doesn’t want more people on bikes. Keep up the exclusivist attitude and you’ll get that wish of yours. Only, there won’t be bikes for anyone, because “real” riders got old, died, their bikes got crushed for scrap and the younger generations who could have replaced them moved on to other interests.”

        Maybe Wes needs to listen to Grant’s advice when it comes to acceptance, or maybe this only holds true to Hipsters riding cafe style bikes.

        • Grant Ray

          That’s funny, but a little out of context. This isn’t about the type of rider the Vyper will attract, it’s about the direction of products Ducati is offering.

          Have you ridden a really expensive, exclusive, power-cruiser built with a performance-based chassis that’s had a 240 rear tire mounted for no other purpose than style? Would you consider that a desire of yours as a rider? Do you have such a desire that you will consider the Vyper as your next luxury purchase? Does the fact that the 240 rear tire negatively effects chassis and handling performance also effect your decision or your perception of the Ducati brand as a sports-focused manufacturer of industry-leading aspirational motorcycles? Does it have enough of an affect to sway your motorcycle purchasing decisions?

          That’s what this is about.

          • CMC

            “Does the fact that the 240 rear tire negatively effects chassis and handling performance also effect your decision or your perception of the Ducati brand as a sports-focused manufacturer of industry-leading aspirational motorcycles?”

            While this bike doesn’t interest me, the fact that they may produce it doesn’t devalue the brand in my eyes. They are apparently giving the people what they want. I can’t fault them for that. Nearly every manufacturer I can think of makes at least one bike I think is retarded, but that doesn’t mean that I wouldn’t consider the other, lust-worthy (to me, anyway) offerings as a result.

          • Tomas Murdych

            Grant; I still remember your detailed write-up regarding new Ducati logo, and I just want to mention it to the readers here; perhaps you can offer the link. Your concern/prediction seems to be accurate.

            I also wonder if people know that Ducati as a company have a “Mission Statement”, where it – if I remember correctly – clearly says that their focus is to manufacture premium sportbikes.

            While ten years ago looking at Ducati models in the flesh was an experience of mechanical beauty, now it seems to be the one of a pile of bright red colored plastic and fashion accessories.

            • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler
            • http://twowheelsplus.blogspot.com/ Anders

              This reminds me a lot of what fellow Italians Ferrari have done over the last 10-15 years. Brand expansion. Don’t you just love that expression. Licensing their brand to tons of shit products so everyone can buy into the “experience.” Make the actual bikes more premium, get a higher profit, build brand equity. Command a ridiculous price for licensing the brand and voilà!

  • Alex

    Please bring back the ST3. Good looks, performance and usable. Everything since looks like from anime

  • Paul

    Explain to me how this bike is any different from the Triumph Rocket 3 which you so fondly admire — both are excessive and unnecessary representations.

  • Bongiovanni

    This bike is not for Americans, not everything in the world revolves around you.

    The most popular Harley in Europe (especially Italy) is the V-Rod. The best custom V-Rods come out of Italy and Germany. Truly works of art. There is a market for power cruisers in Europe for sure. Frankly, I like the looks of the bike. Much cleaner than the over-styled V-Max.

  • http://twowheelsplus.blogspot.com/ Anders

    Could it be a the spiritual heir to the V4 Apollo? Packing a desmosedici V4 and a lot of weight. Lets hope they cancel this one too.

  • 2togo

    The small Monster has kept the power on at the Ducati factory since it came out, but all we read lately is “no small/mid displacement entry level bikes available”. Last time I was in our local multi line bike dealer, there were new mid size models from Suzuki,Kawasaki,Triumph etc,. Dont know if the Harley 48 counts or not, but there are several, and you know what, the sales manager (that I’ve known for about 20 years) tells me that no one gives a shit, all anyone wants are liter bikes, and that they’ve had to start discounting the shit out of them right after they hit the floor.
    You HFL guys pat yourselves on the back awful hard about the future of style, and what direction the industry should go, but out here in the style wasteland of Southern California, where we never set any trends, most of the guys at the top of Palomar on a Saturday or Sunday could give a shit about Brammo. And, no, they’re not all on “Gixxers”, they’re on just about everything from home brew cafe’s to adventure bikes.
    Personally, I like a bike that handles a bit, and that Bratwurst rear tire looks like it eliminates this bike from my potential list, but I AM comfortable enough with the size of my penis that it doesn’t affect my purchasing decision, it’s what gives me a woody that does.
    Pick what you like, not what some self aware urban metrosexual tells you is tolerable, if you do, we will all be riding baby blue electic scooters with “neo retro, open faced helmets”.

    • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

      What small to mid-displacement bikes does Triumph have? the last time I checked their smallest bike was a 675 and it was a supersport. Small does not equal 600cc, small equals 250-ish, mid-size is 500-ish.

      The current crop of smallish bikes doesn’t sell because they blow. We need ones that don’t. That was the point of this:

      Good for you for having your own sense of style, but something that’s going to be priced at well over $16k is never going to be a mainstream product. Where’s Ducati’s equivalent of the original 45hp Monster?

      • http://www.thisblueheaven.com Mark D.

        I often wonder WHY companies feel the need for every bike to be “bigger and better” every year. Its like how a 2010 Toyota Corolla is the size of a ’95 Camry!

        Kawasaki actually had a good thing going with its 80′s derived ninja 250s and 500s; the tooling and design must have been paid for hundreds of times over when they finally decided to redesign them (the new 250 and the 650). And really, did the Monster 620 have any competition? After all, it was a Ducati; its not like a Suzuki could really compete with it. Just keep pumping them out and take advantage of mature manufacturing processes! Instead you get spec bloat, weight bloat, and hundreds of niggling little recalls and manufacturing break downs.

        • WhoGivesAShit

          Dont you guys crap on HD for doing that?

          • http://www.thisblueheaven.com Mark D.

            Touche. But at least those bikes are cheap enough for beginners. The cheapest Sportster is still out of the price range of a new, young buyer.

            Accepting 15 yr old technology on a bike that is reliable, safe, and <$4k is one thing; accepting 50 yr old technology on a bike that is <$7k is something else (I’m sure HDs are reliable and safe, but jesus christ are they heavy!)

      • WhoGivesAShit

        Why is everyone so hung up on displacement? The Triumph Bonneville is a great beginner bike. Not intimidating at all, comfortable, easy to ride, not real fast but also not mind numbingly slow and buzzy. It is also inexpensive while still looking cool.

        The Buell Blast was a perfect beginners bike and all anyone did was shit on it. Nobody wants a bike with less than 500cc that isn’t forced by license requirements or third world economic realities.

        In the US a beginner bike is a used bike.

        • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

          The Bonnie is also really heavy, wayyy more complicated than it needs to be, shit boring to ride and pretty expensive.

      • Dan

        @ Wes re: the small to mid-displacement options in the US. I thought your piece on the consultant’s dream for more accessible bikes was interesting. Any thoughts on whether the euro demand for smaller bikes is driven by the licensing requirements (or the cost of gas), rather than a legitimate interest in cutting one’s teeth on a smaller, more manageable bike? The success of the smaller Ninjas certainly shows demand for a bike with less performance and a lower price, but would knocking back the smallest monster by 200ccs and a thousand dollars really open things up for anyone? Would anyone step down to a Ninja 150 if it wasn’t required by the intro period on the license?

        After all, to some extent, the growth in power of motorcycles just mirrors the astonishing growth in power of (even historically “non-performance”) cars over the last 10-15 years: today even a honda accord puts out 270hp (vs. 170 for the top model in 1995). It also costs around $30,000…

  • 2togo

    I agree with you that the Gladius etc, aren’t going to get the job done, but my first bike was a GPZ550 circa 1985 (no Tom Cruise references, please), and I didn’t die from riding an overpowered crotch rocket, I did, however buy it because it was that bitchin’ green.

    I read with great interest the missing link article, loved it. The Honda Civic comparison by Nesbitt is right on the money, although ironic coming from someone whose company’s base model bike is around $100k.
    One of my nasty habits is that I save moto mags, and every once in a while I’ll read a ten or twenty year old one, and it is telling that forever and always this years “knife edge, expert only” bike is a “comfy sport tourer” 3 years down the road. That said, what are YOUR criteria for entry level? Price? Paint? Bodywork?Displacement?
    The Brit mags seem much more reality based that US based publications, they always seem to have a “what can you buy for 5k” articles, where we always have to have the latest and greatest. My point is, what is wrong with a well kept FZR600, or a well built XS650 cafe bike?
    DTC, throttle by wire, even ABS are for the most part FASHION items, not necessary for the enjoyment of being on two wheels.
    A Deus bike is probably about the same (over)price as this Ducati VMAX is going to be, so it kind of boils down to where do you want to throw your money. I’m no economist, but I bet $16k now is the same amount of money that $5k was in 1990 when I bought my first brand new bike, the payment was $150.00 a month, and it was a killer, but fashion said I had to have it.
    Grandad told me once “if you read the newspaper every day, when you’re old, you are a historian”. I guess I am close at 49. Other than the CB750, RC30,RD350,916, CBR900RR, there really aren’t that many bikes that move the bar. The lament has always been that they are too expensive for entry level riders (read:young and poor) to enjoy, and that the new superbike is a death machine that only professionals should be allowed to ride, but, somehow, the industry finds a way to sell us things we dont really need. It will continue.

    • contender

      I a ‘What can you get for $X Dollars’ feature would be great. Craigslist is lousy with source material…

      Works back at Jalopnik anyway (NPOCP).

      • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

        At Jalop, a reader puts that together. Want to do it for us?

  • http://greatjoballweek.blogspot.com/ Case

    The style elements in this bike are crap. Oversized everything in the finest OCC tradition. Like many riders I chuckle when I see someone on one of those things because they have more to do with Image than they do with riding.

    Is there an untapped, cruiser-loving, well-heeled Ducatista market that wants to blow cash on a bike that doesn’t corner? We’ll see.

    Seems like a real step backwards for Ducati, though.

  • nearlydeadguy

    Yo spectator, your job is to breed, make mucho $$$ then die and leave it all to your ungrateful,under employed Gen X/Y/whatever spawn so they can polish their enviro hip credentials by spending what you earned on cutesey retro thingies and insanely overpriced electric rubbish all the while bemoaning the fact that you had the bad judgement to have been alive.

    Yes, I make my living creating run-on sentences. And i’m proud of it.

    • spectator

      Hopefully, in the next 10 years I can start a fabrication shop and put some money and metal where my mouth is.

      In the mean time, this Ducati looks like my Ruckus on steroids. AWESOME!

      • HoodieWho

        So its like the difference between a bottom and a power top.

  • http://bienvillestudios.com/ JT Nesbitt

    That’s a 240 section rear tire, probably riding on an eight inch rim. So far, all you goons posting here want to talk about is how the Vyper (even the lame Dodge refrained from this seventh grade cheeky spelling of the word) looks. Lets for a moment delve into gestalt by applying SUBJECTIVE, and OBJECTIVE parameters.
    Subjectively speaking, maybe it looks cool. Perhaps it will lure V-Rod buyers over to Ducati. Possibly it will be a motorcycle that sets fire to the imaginations of low information buyers. It could give Ducati a boost in sales, and a toehold on the playing field of the most lucrative motorcycle market in the world. And hell it MIGHT JUST BE the most badass looki’n scooter this side of Akira (is anyone else out there over the whole “Akira” thing yet?). Beauty is of course SUBJECTIVE.
    Objectively, however, this represents a real paradigm shift for Ducati. A monumental breach of brand trust and honesty. They have sacrificed integrity and done irreparable damage to their image. Never before have Ducati fitted a piece of equipment to their motorcycle that absolutely, factually, OBJECTIVELY, compromised the ride quality, safety, and performance of one of their motorcycles. That big stupid rear tire simply doesn’t work. It cannot, scientifically, do anything but destroy handling, and unsprung weight. The 240 will require greater lean angles, and the slowness in turns will be exacerbated by the huge difference in cornering rolling radii front to rear. There is NO way to argue any other conclusion, and if you try, you will be showing your ass in public.
    It would be like designing an AR platform rifle that ejected spent shell casings into the shooters face! The new ejection system might look like the coolest thing ever designed by the hand of man, BUT IT THROWS HOT BRASS INTO YOUR FACE!
    One of the biggest regrets that I have to date is fitting a big rear tire to a certain motorcycle to satisfy “market demand”. It was a bad decision then, it’s a bad decision now, and I can’t help but to wonder if history is doomed to repeat itself here. Ten years from now, the guy who ultimately gave the go-ahead on that 240 tire will be riddled with regret. He will realize eventually, that it was at this moment, with his permission, that Ducati lost it’s cool and went subjective. — JT

    • TeeJay

      Once upon a time, there was a tiny sportscar manufacturer. Originally their cars required special driving skills because of the structure of the car. Yes, it was the rear-engined Porsche, which was so dangerous, that it was even banned in France. For several decades owning their product was a privilage. Then in the 80′s there became not so exotic. They still were special, but with the blooming economy in USA and in Europe a mid-class man could have afford one in his 40′s or 50′s. They built excelent sportscar, even they were not the top performers – nor in engine performance, nor in sales. Then one they decided to do build the Cayenne… Their sales went crazy because of lame American consumer habits (aka fashion).

      The analogy seems to be obvious…

      (So much for your wondering on history repeating. :D )

  • TeeJay


    Not if I liked the Ducati, but I’d buy a Monster 796 (wet multiplate clutch, you know…). That is an agile, mid-range exotic bike – even it is kinda a sportsy naked, not an imaginary “all-arounder”, but still, it is ok. But this “something”?!

  • eric

    As a former owner of the first M750 Monster sold in Phoenix, AZ, I’m saddened by this development. It reminds me of Suzuki’s B-King more than any of the models other commenters have referenced. That could have been an interesting ride; hayabusa power & handling with an upright, street-oriented riding position. Instead, they super-sized everything except the horsepower and legroom, and ended up with a cartoon-bike. I wonder how the b-king sold in europe; here it was a bomb; my local dealer had a new one on the floor for around $7500 a few months ago (don’t remember the exact number, as I’m broke), because he still couldn’t move it.

    My guess is that this is going to be a big mistake.

  • http://muthalovin.com the_doctor

    Development did probably start when H2′s where hip and yellow, but now Duacti dropped all that money in development that they have nothing left to do but finish development. They will leak spy photos to measure the reaction, and see if its worth it to sell a few dozen of these a year.

    Boomers are not the problem. Boomers are the cause. They are a large buying segment, so companies cannot help but pander to them. Gotta make that paper, yo.

  • Jordan J.

    Really not looking forward to seeing this bike sitting between the other Ducatis at Bogarts in Birmingham.

    Why not take a really good look at bikes from the past that people still urge for and spin off that formula?

    That or I’m going to have a really hard time getting my hands on an NC30.

  • Cheese

    Although i understand and agree with many of the comments some have put up on comment and Wes says, i am actually kind of looking forward to this. The MAJOR issue i see is that the bike will be 15-18k to start. where i don’t need a 1400cc vmax beater, i just want the extra style (agreed with a smaller tire) that i can sit up on and ride. the seating position look comfortable, and it will have legendary ducati sound.

    i’ll give it a shot, but a monster 796 might be in my future.

    • http://greatjoballweek.blogspot.com/ Case

      Just get the monster! If you’re into this look you would have bought a fat-assed joke of a bike already, and if you’re into a bike that handles then the monster is the answer.

    • Turf

      Go with the monster,

      check out Ducatimonsterforum.org, we’re a helpful bunch

      i’ve actually been annoyed about this all day. I called a couple of people i know in the ducati food chain and it’s comforting to know that we’re not the only ones upset about this.

      • Cheese

        actually the reason i like this riding position instead of a monster is the leg position. i have a shot left knee, and cant ride too long. who knows, we’ll see. I’ll really pass judgment when the production model comes out.

        • morgan13

          Gotta agree withyou. I sold my sc1000s today because my back just couldn’t take it anymore.I broke it 6 years ago and still pushed myself to ride 10 to 15k miles a year. I had a monster, back still hurt, got the sc1000s and loved it, but the back still hurt and at 36 I just can’t put myself through it anymore. I am very much looking forward to this bike, and hell maybe that’s the market..Gimps. People who have thoroughly trashed thier bodies and still want to ride something other than a fing HD. You can’t take the critisicm too seriously anyway. Die hard Ducati fans pissed and moaned when the monster was changed as well.

  • Backhome77

    Nothing about that riding position says cruiser, straight sit up and beg like an old school standard, and no room for bags or other amenities. I really don’t think “cruiser” fits well. Maybe musclebike? I know “streetfighter” has already been taken in the Ducati vernacular, but this machine shares more anatomy with (non-ducati) custom streetfighters than cruisers. Either way, it looks cool. And if the engineers can still make it handle well with that fat rear tire, I bet it would be a great bike to blast around town on.

    It kind of reminds me of BMW’s K1200R: standard riding position, massive power, long wheel base, radical departure from standard operating procedure. Of course BMW didn’t sell too many of them, but it did get them a lot of attention. So it’s hard to say whether or not it was a success.

    I’m all for Ducati branching out into new markets, but I wish they would handle the existing ones first. Are they ever going to build another Super Sport? That’s what I’m holding out for. And how about a true beginner bike (696 is close, but not a good first bike.). Think about it. The best selling Ducati of all time was the original Monster 600. It was fun, unintimidating, inexpensive, and still cool. Something like that would bring far more riders into the sport and garner more repeat customers than another expensive, intimidating, niche bike.

  • avus9

    kinda looks like a modified Suzuki B-King, with those exaggerated side tank covers…
    i’m guessing their product feasibility analysis didn’t reference the abysmal sales figures for the Suzuki.

  • vic

    i just realised this will be the first ducati to handle like shit

    every modern ducati regardless of category put good[and ultimately safe] cornering/handling ability both as a design and marketing priority

    now this comes along..
    and people we’re worried that the next MV would be a cruiser

  • WestOfBen

    Ducati could only succeed if they attempted to out V-Max the V-Max. This thing should only have a 2400cc V(L)4!

  • Knife


  • HarrySeaward

    How is that thing in any way considered a cruiser? It looks like a fat sport bike.

    No cruiser riding position evident (rear sets not even mids)
    Limited passenger space and if there is the riding position is similar to a sport bike.
    Touring bags would be awkward.

    This may be as much a cruiser as the VMax which is pushing the limits of the definition already.

  • Skipper

    Baby Boomers? When all the baby boomers die off so will Harley Davidson and then we will not have to put up with a bunch of idiots with a pirate costume on showing off there loud exhaust on a slow, over weight and over priced piece of junk.

  • http://emaren.com emaren

    atypical ‘boomer’ checking in….

    For some reason I have never wanted a ‘penis extension’ cruiser, or a bruiser or whatever the fuck this thing is.

    My list of previous bikes have included everything from an RD 250 ‘Elsie’ to my current Speed Triple and there is no fucking way that you are going to get me on anything that does looks like that.

    There seems to be some weird new class of bike that goes beyond the Hardley clone, the BB king and V-Max seem to shout ‘hey look at me’ but only in a straight line, they appear to be specifically designed to not only NOT go around corners, but they even seem to look like they could never go around a bend. Maybe this reduces the pressure on the riders to learn the art of counter steering and skip the whole excuse making ‘I don’t like to push it on teh street’ (hence my 4″ chicken strips) while discussing acts of moto dering doing at the local Starberks.

    Maybe this is an act of marketing genius.

    Whatever it is, I really wish it would crawl back under the rock it came from and allow the compensating set to continue buying Corvettes to cruise PCH on a sunday with their attractive seat covers…..

  • Jay Allen

    Shame on Ducati for following the current trend for the sake of $$$. While I’m at it, shame on Yamaha, Kawasaki, Suzuki, Honda, Toyota, Nissan, Jerry Lee Lewis, The Rolling Stones . . .

    BTW Boomers brought us Rock and Roll ; )

    • Grant Ray

      Boomers did not invent Rock and Roll. That claim goes to post-war black Americans primarily from the South and Mid-West.

    • http://www.thisblueheaven.com Mark D.

      Technically speaking, all the big 60′s acts in Rock and Roll were born before or during WWII, so by definition, NOT boomers.

      Boomers brought us disco and The Eagles. Thanks a lot, fuckers :)

  • david Folch

    hey have you ever heard about this italian manufacturer CR&S ?
    they “possible Ducati cruiser” look like the DUU for me…


  • Pete99

    Hey everybody give the Boomers a break. At least they keep that piece of shit Harley Davidson company going. Loud Pipes Save Lives Harley Crowd – LOL…….

  • powermatic

    Why not? After all, it worked so well for BMW…

  • http://verywhitenoise.com jonb

    You know, at the end of the day, with Roland Sands working with DMH, I’m shocked and disappointed this is what we get.

    They couldn’t breathe some 2010 sensibilities into the Supermono and give us an amazing new bike?

    • Grant Ray

      Ugh. Can we not talk about the coolest Ducati ever that somehow never made it to the street production version we all deserved? I’ve been pining for that bike since it was splattered all over the cover of Cycle World back in 1993.

  • baddad

    1.)Ducati already made cruiser in the 80ies called Indiana.


    2.) This bike looks ugly, like old Multistrada and most of new Ducati stuff looks very much like japanese design.

    3.) There are people bigger than 185cm and they look silly and inpractical on 600 ccm mosquitos

    4.) The offer of motocycle market is very wide (touring, naked, streetfighter, enduro, sport and supersport, cruiser, supermotard, scooter, electric….) very wide in range of ccm and HP if you want something different, you can customize or build something from the scartch. So I dont see reason for this intolerance and hate of one segment and whole generation ( Peter Fonda, Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix, Jean Luc Godard, Velvet Underground, Weather Underground, Frank Zappa, MC5….)Mao Says: “Let a Thousand Flowers Bloom…”

  • jackie

    The Vmax is bitchin’, so is the Yamaha Warrior; the Vrod has it’s place too, as does Triumph’s huge power cruiser. Love Moto Guzzi’s Griso as well.

    It cracks me up that half of you piss and moan about a manufacturer coming up with another option of something fun to ride, and then try and comment on the design, style and purpose of something that’s covered in tape, foam, and clearly not a final product.

    More options are always good. And a couple bad 3/4 shots from the rear of a proto-type don’t make a final bike.

    Side note: I don’t get this thought “…most of new Ducati stuff looks very much like Japanese design. “

    Just for curiosity’s sake which Ducati? The Hypermotard? The Monsters? The Multistrada? The race bikes? If you want v-twin performance, in a myriad of layouts, all guided by one design ethos with a corp history going back decades, which Japanese manufacturer would someone turn too.

    And what’s this about not enough mid-capacity sport bikes? For an online pub dedicated to catching and following all things motorcycle, you sure are talking out your ass there. We have more options from more manufacturers than ever before.

  • Peter

    Vyper or Hellcat?

  • aaron

    There is nothing “bitchin” about a Yamaha Warrior. All models based on Yamaha’s roadstar engine are like mcdonald’s version of the whopper–an embarrassing knockoff resultant from purely vulgar economic concerns. And Ducati making a cruiser is like a fine downtown Italian restaurant making big macs. It’s confusing, silly, and beneath them.

  • morgan13

    Anyone that thinks this bike is going to be a Harleyfied cruiser competing for some B.s. american market share doesn’t understand Ducati or hasn’t been paying attention. For a company that consistently, year after year, sees almost 50% of the motorcycle magazine coverage and mantains sales at 4 or 5% of the motorcycle market(very low) I thinks its a bit ludicris to accuse them of pandering to anyone.

  • Neil Devine

    Rode one. Fun. It was very easy to ride. I was not paying attention to cornering, but it cornered fine to me, and that sound as I decelerated…wow! I was just enjoying myself. I kept thinking I was supposed to not like something but it was too fun and sounded too good. Comfy. I could see getting on the slab for a while and heading into the countryside. And I can also see getting lots of questions from people who are amazed by it. Hey, it was FUN!