Is the Ducati 0803 a cruiser or a muscle bike?

Dailies -


2011-Ducati-Cruiser-Side.jpgThis latest spy photo of Ducati Project 0803 nèe Ducati Vyper is the first to clearly demonstrate its “generous” proportions. It looks like a Ducati Monster ate a few too many panini more than it does our traditional idea of a raked out, be-tassled cruiser. So what the hell is it? Do the Testastretta 11 degree engine, USD forks and Brembo Monoblocks make it a performance bike or does the 240 rear tire and huge size make it a cruiser? Can we afford to write-off anything with a sit-up-and-beg riding position, traction control and a ride-by-wire throttle as nothing more than a fashion accessory for people who listened to “Freebird” one too many times?


  • kawalaser

    I kind of like it.

  • CanofWhoopAss

    Bro, the bike’s big, bold and refreshing just like me…or am I thinking of my old lady’s douche? Anyway, bought me a T shirt that says “If you can read this the bitch fell off” Get it? Pretty funny huh? Now I just gotta get me this bike…and I will just as soon as I get a job an get my tools out of hock

  • Garrett Nelson

    I’m starting to like it as well. I’ve often thought it would be cool if Harley had built a real cruiser using high end materials and components, but knew they never would. And it looks like it will still have a pretty aggressive geometry so will probably handle just fine. Plus I’m a big guy so it’s nice to see some bigger bikes being built.

  • lordjdavis

    I loved my monster and I love my gt1000, but whatever this is, it’s gross. Looks like a monster and a street fighter (another duc I hate) fucked next to a nuclear power plant and this is what came out.

    • Matt

      I’m with you, but you left out where H.R. Giger got involved.

      • Wes Siler

        Ha, yeah, apparently Duc hired him to design their new model cammo, it’s all been downhill since Dune.

  • boom boom mountain

    Yamaha V-max and Victory Hammer owners may have another bike to lust after now…

    • DC

      Yup. An Italian V-Max. Muscle cruiser BRO!

  • Mark Ryan Sallee

    Uhhh, interesting. I’d probably be less hostile to it if it wasn’t a Ducati. Sort of like when Porsche started making the Cayenne SUV and Panamera barfwagon; okay, for a SUV it’s kinda badass and as a sedan the ‘Mera is a wicked performer, but…this isn’t Porsche and I don’t want it to be.

    • Ceolwulf

      Exactly – as long as you don’t think of it as a Ducati, it’s pretty cool.

    • CanofWhoopAss

      so whatelse would you expect a guy named sallee to write? Grow some ‘nads bro!

  • WS

    To answer you question Wes; my vote is on muscle bike. It may be sacrilege to purists, but I kinda like it. Another Ducati that I could fit on, besides the Multistrada

  • gregorbean

    Quick, shield the kids eyes! Good God that thing is one ugly piece of shit. And I actually love sit-up naked muscle streetfightery bikes. Ugggh, I just puked in my mouth a little.

  • Deltablues

    I bet once production paint and bodywork is on most folks will be changing their tune towards the Vyper. Now, as much as I love my Daytona 675 and as much as I am waiting for a renewed Ducati Super Sport line…I have to admit I also would like something like the Vyper as well. The ground clearance looks really good, they kept all the sporting hardware, so it should be a good handler and FAST…………..

  • Isaac

    It’s not the bike that I particularly hate. It’s way better than any H-D out there. Still not something I’d ride though.

    What I hate is that some Squid will throw an extended swingarm on it.

    • HorsePrivates

      Wow, have you ridden it? How can you make the definitive claim that it is better than a V-Rod Muscle?

    • Kevin White

      “What I hate is that some Squid will throw an extended swingarm on it.”

      You mean that’s NOT one in the picture??

    • Penectomy

      I think it already has an extended swingarm dumbass.

  • Tom

    Mullet fugly and missing one obvious thing, a rear seat for the big haired bitch.

  • Patrick from Astoria

    I love Ducatis, and I have a soft spot for a well-done cruiser. I’ve followed the stories about the development of this machine with some interest, I’ve considered the 240 rear controversy, I’ve been curious about the motivations of the marketing people. At this point I think this has come to one particular conclusion for me:

    To the best of my knowledge, that is the ugliest motorcycle I have ever seen in my entire life.

  • Beast Incarnate

    Muscle bike. Might be Ducati’s concept of what a “Ducati Cruiser” should look like, but that’s absolutely a muscle bike. That’s no cruiser riding position.

    I’ll wait to see the final product to have an exaggerated response either way.

  • Justin Penney

    Not as bad as I expected. Definitely looks aimed at the V-max, V-rod, Hammer set. If they can keep the weight in check … I think they’ll have a great chance.

    Would I buy it … not a chance. But I wouldn’t buy any bike in that class.

  • Turf

    dont care that it’s awful

    we’ve got Rossi

  • Brandon Glanville

    It reminds me a of a Suzuki B-King only Italian! Not sure this is the direction Ducati needs to go. Seems a little out of place.

  • TwinMe

    Hope they FIX that TAIL SECTION…looks like POO.

    Side view rear tire-wheel combo looks “too massive”. I think a 200 section would have done just fine.

    Whats with the Squidisshh 2 Meters long swing arm? Hope it helps traction and handling as people usually claim it does.

    GOD, Please… strike with Lightning whoever came out first with those FUGLY shotgun stacked exhaust canisters… why are they (Ducati) so fixated with the darn thing’s arrangement (0_0 )? I think underseat would look cleaner-neater.

    Is this thing using Side Mounted Radiators like the Honda RC51 or SuperHawk for that matter ?

    Still like the V-Max Better…But will keep on watching as this project develops… it migth turn from ugly ducklin into a pretty(or horrible) looking swan.

    I see Muscle, Cruiser and Standard all mashed up in one Motorcycle, there….. (_ )

  • CafeRacer1200

    This would be a great addition to the V-Max, V Rod genre. It beats the hell out of any Italian attempt at a cruiser thus far. Yes, I’m looking at you Moto Guzzi

  • Dario

    Most Hd cruisers don’t have foot pegs that far back. That alone makes this closer to a standard or a muscle bike like the VMax than a traditional HD cruiser. And because of that, the bike ain’t entirely uninteresting.

  • Ben Branch

    If they marketed this as a “Dragster” or some sore of drag racing bike I think it’d do a lot better than the “Cruiser” moniker. Just seems so wrong.

  • HootieWho

    I dont know what you bench racing guys are so worried about. This new Duc will still have big numbers and top of the line components for you to win every internet comment board race you enter.

  • IL Duce

    Drop some clip-ons on that bloated carcass and it would start looking almost cool.

    Dude, Route 66! Sturgis! Yeeeeeeeeeeehaaaaaaw!

  • El Guero

    Why do you guys keep talking about the 240 rear tire? It doesn’t look nearly that big. The new V-Max only has a 200, I would be really surprised if this was any bigger.

  • jonb

    i want to say it is bad ass. i want to agree you can’t write off a bike with sit up seating. For fuck’s sake this isn’t a mule tracker though, look at the wheelbase…

  • aaron

    interesting plate location, I’ve seen a few streetfighters like this (real streetfighters, not the ducati model… geez, that model designation pisses me off.) and I’ve considered it for my speed triple project… but I figured I couldn’t make it work without cracking issues or weight. make it durable = add to unsprung weight… maybe they have a decent compromise, but I’d imagine that unsprung weight is less important on a bike like this.

    I doubt this will see production, though, given the massive plastic fenders most bikes have to meet various laws around the world.

  • CMC

    Tighten up the wheelbase a little and it might not be that bad. Just don’t sell any concho-festooned saddlebags for it.

  • Chris

    Will it fit a 6’4″ American? I really hope it comes with enough adjustment to accommodate my frame.

  • jimboecv

    THAT is why Lock’s leaving….

  • Michele

    what do you think about an NCR Replica of this bike with the V4 of Desmo16? :)

  • Mitch

    Gotta be honest, I like it and wanna have a go. My concern is whether it’s going to have the go to match the looks and keep up with stuff like the VMax, V-Rod, M109R etc etc. If it can’t, well, what’d be the point?

    • Isaac

      There ya go Mitch. I was trying to place this bike. And you know what it is sort of like a V-Max. I think this may be a direct competitor.

      • HootieWho

        Wow, great observation Isaac, I never would have thought V-Max. You are very astute.

  • baddad

    I always liked Monster but it is too small for me and this bike looks like a right size. This is muscle bike – power cruiser, like Yamaha MT01, Warrior,VMax, Triumph Rockster,Kawasaki Mean Streak, Suzuki 109, HD Vrod, BMW Rockster…

  • MTGR

    Maybe I am too old to “get it” since I see a ton of high-dollar slammed and stretched R1s and CBRs cruising around on fat back tires, barely able to wobble through the average corner without dragging what looks like a billion dollars worth of chrome and pointless disco lights. And that is what this reminds me of, someone taking a Monster or Streetfighter and destroying everything it was designed to do.

    I guess if you handi-cap your performance bike enough then nobody expects you to be able to corner or stunt or do anything but run in a stright line. Which takes the pressure off some of these guys I’m sure, since watching them and talking to them leads me to believe even straight-lining is maxing out their moto capabilities.

    Hope Duc know what they are doing though, with the exception of the original V-Max, which still had some actual do-anything capability, the off-the-showroom floor production power cruiser market has been a small and seldom profitable niche. I would hate to see them looking for yet another last minute buy-out lease-on-life in about 5 years time. (don’t scoff, Duc has looked pretty solid in the past and still ended up back there, it can happen to anyone – just look at Harley)

    Personally, I agree with the one spy shot review that stated “this makes baby Jesus cry.”

  • the_doctor

    How is Ducati going to be able to afford this project AND Rossi? Perhaps one will pay for the other. Rossi wins on Sunday, sell V-Rod-alikes on Monday?

  • Richard GoesinYA

    (don’t scoff, Duc has looked pretty solid in the past and still ended up back there, it can happen to anyone – just look at Harley)

    Yes, please do. They had a tremendous 2nd qtr much to the chagrin of the readers of HFL.

  • spectator

    Ducati is looking for pent up motorcycle lust in older rich white guys (who are not craftspeople). No one will assume you are just a rich contractor, or a union cement finisher on the Ducati Vyper, and shit, this thing might actually handle pretty well in comparison to the truly ‘raked out’ S&S customs.

    In a world of poor designs (most cruisers, custom bikes) this is pretty cool. I have no need for it, but that doesn’t mean others won’t.

  • pdub

    I don’t know why everyone is so butt-hurt over this. Not my cup of tea but I get it. Ducati is becoming a brand in the way HD is lamely trying to remain being one. Yes they are still an upscale performance company catering to eurocentric motofashionistas but that’s small potatoes. What, do you expect them to sit in that ghetto and become MV Agusta? They’re diversifying. The Monster did for them what the iPod did for Apple. That is inject a mountain load of cash into their balance books and leave the only red in Ducati on the bikes. That kind of juice let’s you do things like, say, field a MotoGP effort. So now they’re throwing bait out into other waters. The Sport Classic, Hypermotard, Streetfighter, and Multistrada have nothing to do with lap times but each fills a certain riding role in the Ducati way. Why not a muscle bike? I know a guy with a dozen or so Harley’s all with well over $35k into them that also bough a Busa and a Vrod because he wanted something “to take his breath away” when he cracked the throttle. He has no interest in putting a knee down in a corner and really, really couldn’t care less of your opinion of that. This bike would both captivate his eye, maybe take his breath away, and get his money. Why not get his business too? It might help pay for Rossi’s salary.

  • pdub

    …and I’m with ya. I personally would be delighted to see them come out with an SS or Supermono akin to a track prepped Suzuki SV. A razor sharp, 90hp, 300lb track toy in Ducati red please.

  • Richard GoesinYA

    Pdub said “Ducati is becoming a brand in the way HD is lamely trying to remain being one.”

    I know you will not like reading this but…

    From the for 10-K that H-D filed with the SEC:

    H-D accounted for OVER HALF of all new “heavyweight” motorcycles in the U.S. in 2009- 53.3%. This is up from 45.5% in 2008. before someone says something ill informed and reactionary about the term “heavyweight”, the term is defined as an engine displacement exceeding 651ccs- we are not talking about Gold Wings and the like only. Chassis type is not part of the definition, only engine size. We are talking about the same classification as Bonnevilles (great bikes), CBR1000RRs, GSX-R 1000s (and 750s), Concours 14s, Triumph triples, etc., etc., etc. This means of all U.S. new registration in 2009 of ALL motorcycles over 651ccs, H-D outsold all others COMBINED. I don’t know how that can be bad news for them.

    Over 651ccs, people. If you hate H-D for some reason, buy what you like and ignore this news. However, don’t use a bias to make unsupported assumptions about the numbers.

    Perhaps more interesting is that H-D had 12% of the heavyweight market in Europe in 2009, up from 10.6%.

    Granted, the same report shows an overall drop of new “heavyweight” motorcycle registrations in 2009 of 36.6% in the u>S. from 2008 to 2009, but this means that H-D is maintaining its position better than other manufacturers in a horrible market (the drop in Europe was 19.5%).

    In sum- bad times for all motorcycle manufacturers, but less bad for H-D. It seems to be positioned well for these difficult times. The fact that it is still profitable when so many businesses of all types are just hoping for the smallest loss possible and trying to survive until there is an economic turnaround, is a very good sign for it.

    • Wes Siler

      We’re currently looking into those figures with a hypothesis they may simply be shoving bikes down dealer’s throats, which then aren’t being sold on to actual customers.

  • keith

    Harley style with Italian maintenance – at least it looks comfortable.

    • TwimMe

      LMFAO ! U Sir have made my day.

  • StrawberryBalls

    Wes, how could they fudge registrations? Shipments would support your theory but not registrations. And shipments do not correlate to age group demographics.

    Anyway – The Vyper should be interesting. I am withholding judgment until it shows up painted and polished. So far it looks sort of ugly but who knows it could be a fun bike. I am sure it will be wicked expensive – so that sort of stinks.

    • Wes Siler

      That’s why we’re looking at it, it could be 100% honest, but we’re not ones to regurgitate corporate spin.

      • HammSammich

        Those numbers may also represent all registrations and not just new bike registrations, which could indicate a glut of newer used HD’s being re-sold because their first owners can no longer afford to pay for them. But that’s just my own wild speculation based on my dislike of forward controls and absolutely no factual evidence.

  • lloydy

    Its shit,everything a Ducati should’nt be.
    They’ll sell loads.

  • eric

    Reminds me of the vrod muscle I test-rode last year. Really liked that bike, except for the stupid WAAAY forward controls; should have had at least optional mids.

    Harley style with italian maintenance… now THAT’S funny.

    At least it won’t weigh 800+pounds like the vmax, so it should still be fast.

  • MTGR

    Re: Richard Goesin

    The big difference here regarding HD and Ducati is that Duacti is to Performance what HD already is to cruisers. How do you think all the Harley guys would react if HD suddenly announced they were cutting potential models or reducing chrome parts availability so they could invest in overseas roadracing instead? There would be in-breds and accountants and lawyers all over the US in an uproar.

    That is the kind of thing Ducati appears to be doing in reverse by jumping into the cruiser market. Yes they have done other diversifying but all their prior efforts were still primarily in niches where performance was still king, so you can understand why their hard-core long time performance oriented fanbase is a little upset about it.

    Hell HD made a poor performaing copy of their flat tracker for Europe and it put US HD fans into such an uproar that they finally brought it here too, even though they all knew it is too much of a bitch bike for too much cash to sell here anyway.

    Yes, HD had many record years of sales in the US. And yet, after little more than one off year they were asking for Government bailouts. I’m not sure that is a good defense for HD management’s insight or goals.

    I am glad HD is rebounding and I am sure Ducati will sell a bunch of these power cruiser abmoniations too. Hopefully Ducati will be smart enough to invest the profits better than HD apparently did. But that does not mean I have to be happy about the impact it is having on their performance-only image.

    • Richard GoesinYA

      Wow, hardly any of that was true, but don’t let that get in the way of your point. Hyperbole is fun!

    • Vince

      Government bailout? What bailout? The LOAN from Berkshire Hathaway to HD financial? Don’t go jumping the gun and mixing opinion with fact.

      Are you referring to this?

      Harley Davidson was included in one of the earmarks of the bill. Microsoft Corp., Boeing Co., United Technologies Corp., Electronic Data Systems Corp. and Harley-Davidson among others are to share 19 BILLION. But it is considered a research earmark.

      Harley had a 4 to 5 percent bad return rate I believe, but they actually with the long term loans and higher interest rates, made (make), by far, MUCH MUCH more money on the typical loan. One of the highest profits in the loan business.

  • Beale

    Bags and a windscreen and I’m in.

    And I really don’t like Harleys.

  • alexander

    First I see Christian bale on his 08 cbr 600rr at California super bike school Infineon in march then this – it’s obvious to me a new terminator is about to start filming. Hopefully he doesn’t crash this one like the cbr.

  • Milk Run

    I like it. My Monster is too small for me and I don’t want to ride hunched over all day. I don’t want a Harley.

    This bike has old guy ergonomics and young guy power and style.

  • pdub

    Eeeeyikes, this turning into a HD thread too? Not everyone loves them but everyone loves to talk about them. Sorry if I may have tipped that turd into the pool here. Um, I only mentioned them in passing relating to Ducati in that HD seem by product and PR communications that they are squarely focused on their brand and bikes IMO are only part of it. It’s a “lifestyle” thing. Ducati more and more the same thing. Unlike the american brand Ducati seem to want to grow the Ducatisti club and bring people in that don’t race or fantasize about racing. Not everyone who swings a leg over a bike is out to prove something or thinks the ultimate expression of riding is hanging off and dragging a knee. It’s ok though, Ducati make bikes for those people too and looks like they’re not slacking about it. I’d much rather debate how Ducati keeps from becoming MV Agusta than HD. MV essentially makes one awesome bike. MV has almost zero capability to be a presence in competition despite their history and the merits of their street bike. Almost no one fields their bikes as privateers either due to the cost of such a limited production machine. I think I’ve seen one dedicated F4 track bike, ever. So I’m all for Ducati taking their desmo engines and playing taffy with the possibilities.

  • MTGR

    I said HD ASKED for a government bailout, which they did around the same time the US auto makers did. The Government turned them down. It was reported in Cycle World, Motorcyclist, and several other places, possibly even here at HFL, though I can’t say for sure on that.

    Richard Goesin:
    I am surprised you said none of my comments were true when most of them were restating what you had just said? Yes, my take on what some mean is different, but I even openly agreed with several main points pulled right out of your prior posts?

    Are you disputing that Ducati has the same kind of hard-core fanbase in the Sportbike world that HD has in the cruiser world? I’ll admit that could be subjective assessment on my part, but I doubt it is far off the mark. If it is, then what is your take on why Duc fans are in an uproar about building a non-performance market machine?

  • Anders

    Reminds me of the Moto Guzzi V10 Centauro. That was also an attempt to create an Italian Muscle bike.

  • tuttle

    I cant wait for this beast to come out. i love ducati as well as mv agusta. my wrist cant handle a superbike position. my wrist are shot from work.
    99% of people i know have HDs now. I had one and sold it. i looked at the v-rod muscle but cant justify getting one. its dropping its ass in value already.
    If ducati makes this, please make sure they build it to to fit some over 6ft tall. please put the 1198 motor in it. can you also have the option for two-up riding? it would be bad ass to have a cruiser with ohlins,termis and that open clutch sound. kick HD ass on the fwy and sound better if you build it ill buy it.
    I think this is a smart move to for ducati to get some of its older customers back that had 996,998 but cant ride them anymore. cover the total the market. look at it this way thay gotta pay Rossi somehow.

  • Travis

    To get this back on track… as HD rider I will completely turn over my keys for this bike! That is just a matter of fact. ANYONE with half a mind knows the value of a Duct its made to ride & ride hard. 240 tire of not I bet it runs circles around anything HD has or will make. (See the end of Buell)

    That is why Ducati is making this bike to get people like me mid-late 30′s who ride a cruiser / muscle bike who isn’t die hard brand loyal.

    Yes I own a HD no I didn’t drink the cool-aide I know a damn good bike(for how I ride) when I see it.
    Its not going to be everyone cup of tea but the market Ducati is after is very very clear. HD better have something ready to do battle with this bike if the price point is close the V-rod muscle.

  • toeCutter

    Yeah they will sell Shitloads, like they did with the Hypermotard (now you can get one for 7k half price ) and some shops still have 2008 models in the showrooms! How about the Streetfighter… I have seen one or two in the streets…

    the only bikes they sell are SBKs and Monsters everything else is just burned money, like the sportclassics! If you look you can get 2007 brand new models around.. they sold thattttttt good!!!!!!