Rumors are swirling of a forthcoming performance cruiser from Ducati, allegedly called the Vyper. This shot purportedly shows an early clay styling model for the machine, revealing clear influence in the tank and tail from the Ducati Monster 1100. While the Ducati Vyper would be a clear departure from the brand's traditional performance-led values, it would continue a recent move to appeal more to the American baby boomer market.
Ducati has been chasing the increasing age and decreasing purchasing
power of the boomer generation with a renewed vigor for over a year,
first with the Roland Sands custom Ducati Hypermotard and then by giving
a dealer franchise to Orange County Choppers. A lame performance
cruiser rivaling the Yamaha VMAX and Harley V-Rod would give Ducati a
model capable of attracting people too boring to buy one of their
superbikes or nakeds.
Unlike the Ducati Adventure, we've seen no actual information or spy
photos of running prototypes to validate this rumor, but as Ducati
expands into more market segments, a performance cruiser begins to make
sense. It already has several variations on the large- and
medium-capacity superbike theme, air-cooled, road-focused performance
bikes like the Monster, a water-cooled, track-focused performance bike
in the form of the Ducati Streetfighter, retros, a supermoto and even a
tall sports tourer in the form of the Multistrada. What segments are
left? While we'd love to see a new take on the Ducati Supermono, the
limited market and high development costs for such a bike make it
extremely unlikely. More probable are smaller-capacity, possibly 696cc versions of the Hypermotard and Multistrada.
A performance cruiser using the 1198 engine, a steel trellis frame and
iconic styling cues from the Monster would give new buyers a way to tap
into Ducati's heritage.
At least that's the thinking behind the rumors. How likely is it? We're not holding our breathe.
Image via MotoRevue