In a recent interview by Moto.it with Claudio Domenicali, the Ducati CEO fielded a number of questions about the Italian company’s business and its relationship with its German owners (read it here in Google English), but one question was of particular interest: a Ducati Scooter.
The often rumored, often debated, and often denied subject is perhaps the most feared topics for Ducatisti, and it ranks generally just below discussions on which oil to use, which tires are best, and how to break-in a motorcycle engine properly.
That being said, it seems we are headed for another round of debate, as Domenicali is quoted as saying the following to Moto.it: “a scooter marked Ducati is not blasphemy.”
Domenicali goes on to say that Ducati has never ruled out a scooter model, which isn’t exactly true; but since Ducati is a brand, it can be applied to virtually any commercial good, like a cup of coffee or even a scooter model (the two examples Domenicali gave Moto.it).
The key for Ducati, according to Domenicali, and something I have echoed in my own writings on the subject, is that any scooter from Borgo Panigale must hold true to Ducati’s core brand elements, i.e. high in performance, high in design, and high in product lust.
If Ducati can stick to those elements, the company should be able to produce any model it wants, especially now that the Ducati brand incorporates sport bikes, sport-cruisers, adventure-sports, and scramblers alike.
The Italians at Borgo Panigale may not call a Ducati scooter by the dreaded s-word, but a quick look at the BMW brand shows that a premium European motorcycle company can easily balance a couple scooter-type models within an already robust offering of other two-wheeled vehicles.
Of course, such models will have to make economic sense for Ducati to produce in the first place, but considering that huge swaths of the riding populations in Southeast Asia, India, China, and South America that ride small-displacement machines — many of which are just knock-offs of the venerable original Honda Cub design — Ducati will eventually have to get in to the game if it truly wants to be a global brand, not just a western one.
And when the Ducati brand does eventually go there, one can expect the Italian brand to draw deep connections to its long-lost product lines of generations before us, as it has done in “resurrecting” the Scrambler line, because as many forget…Ducati has already built a scooter model.
In the meantime, will we see a scooter unveiling during the fall trade shows? You certainly can’t rule it out, though we imagine we will see several other models from Ducati before we get to the s-word.