As JT Nesbitt noted when the first Ducati Vyper spy shots appeared, the bike represents, "a monumental breach of brand trust and honesty. 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. The 240 [rear tire] will require greater lean angles, and the slowness in turns will be exacerbated by the huge difference in cornering rolling radii front to rear." Now, a second round of spy photos have appeared and Ducati's issued an official statement that appears to attempt, in part, to reassure fans that there's more to this bike than the 240-section rear suggests.
Update: an apparently official sketch of "Project 0803" -- the bike's internal codename -- has leaked, giving away significant mechanical details like the Testastretta 11 degree engine, traction control, ride-by-wire throttle and Brembo Monoblock calipers. Also, there's a new high-res spy shot below courtesy of MCN, who have more images here.
Ducati's statement reads:
As many you may have noticed, there has been quite a bit of activity in the past few weeks surrounding a supposed new Ducati model. I wanted to take this opportunity and send you a note saying indeed we do have a surprise in store for this year's EICMA show. Our R&D department is working around the clock to complete development of this radical new motorcycle, for which time to complete final design and engineering elements will surely come down to the wire.
I'm sending this letter today in order to inform you of our communication plan. Since many details of the bike (big and small) are still being sorted out; I have elected not to forward information or photography until the rolling prototypes come close to resembling what the final product will look like.
Stay tuned for further information from the Ducati Press Department; and I can assure you the final bike will impress all with the design, performance and technology everyone has come to expect from Ducati.
Looking at these new pictures, we see a bike that more closely resembles
the inflated proportions of bikes like the Suzuki B-King or Yamaha VMAX
than it does raked out cruisers, but despite looking like a Monster
that ate too many burgers, there's still some serious rake in that fork. The engine
will be the 155bhp 1198cc v-twin that's used in the Ducati Multistrada 1200, possibly in a different state of tune. Will that be huge enough to satisfy the
overcompensation crowd? We'll see at EICMA in November.