Ducatisti can finally go anywhere.
Ducati has long been a manufacturer of beautiful, spirited motorcycles. Alongside that beauty and spirit has come a reputation of pretentiousness, and an “I don’t get dirty” mentality. I recently had a conversation with a friend about the Multistrada’s off-road capability, and his comment was “it’s a Ducati, you don’t take it off road.” Contrary to that statement, Ducati has brought forth the Multistrada 1200 Enduro—a bike with a nearly 8 gallon gas tank, 160 horsepower, all the technology we love, and a promise that it is indeed ready to get dirty.
Off-road capability is a pretty big leap for Ducati. I say a big leap because, as of now, the current stable of Ducatis are merely off-road possible, with off-road riding never being the main focus. It will be very exciting to see the ‘Multi with new shoes’ be put to the test against its obvious rivals—the BMW R1200GS Adventure and KTM 1190 Adventure. Here’s hoping the Ducati can hold its own.
More exciting than the changes to the Multistrada, is Ducati’s new direction. Ducati has adopted a new way of thinking, and a new way of appealing to customers. The old Ducati only produced beautifully finicky bikes with valve adjustments every 4,000 miles, and no thought of dirt. Now, dirt is certainly an option—and maintenance peace of mind is more or less a reality.
Before this change of direction, buying a Ducati seemed less like a purchase, and more like an initiation into some well-dressed cult. This is the image that’s been built up over the lifetime of the manufacturer, and has made Ducati what it is today. Now, Ducati is leveraging the sex appeal and exclusivity that they’ve always had, while giving consumers more of what they want. By giving the motorcycle-crazed public a piece of machinery that’s been designed to look good while being practical (i.e. the Scrambler, at a price point that’s accessible to the beginner), Ducati is shifting away from previous cult-like tendencies.
This has paid off to the tune of 50,000 bikes sold this year—a feat never before reached by Ducati. By switching from bikes that people drool over, to bikes that people drool over AND take home, Ducati has shown a willingness to bend their brand image to what consumers want, while still retaining the one thing that has kept them exclusive: Style.
Photos & Video Via: Ducati