A 2WD Hybrid-Electric Motorcycle for the US Military?

In the coming years, US special forces may be riding a tw0-wheel drive, hybrid-electric, multi-fuel motorcycle co-developed by BRD Motorcycles and Logos Technologies. Helping make this project possible is a Small Business Innovation Research grant from DARPA. The goal is to make a single-track vehicle for US expeditionary and special forces that will be nearly silent in operation, yet also capable of traveling long distances. Details on the proposed machine are light, of course, but it sounds like the 2WD dirt bike will be based off the BRD RedShift MX (shown above), and use an electric drivetrain, as well as a multi-fuel internal combustion engine to achieve its goals.

Colin Edwards Will Retire from Racing after 2014 Season

Announcing his decision during the pre-event press conference for the Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas, Colin Edwards told the assembled press that 2014 would be the Texan’s last season racing a motorcycle. Citing a lack of improvement on his performance in pre-season testing and at the Qatar GP, Edwards decision perhaps answers the lingering question in the paddock of when the American rider would hang-up his spurs after an illustrious career in AMA, WSBK and MotoGP. Talking about his inability to come to terms with the Forward Yamaha, which Aleix Espargaro was able to take to the front of the pack in Qatar, Edwards was at a loss when it came to understanding the Open Class machine and his lack of results.

MSF Updates Its Basic RiderCourse Curriculum

It is no surprise that statistics from the NHTSA show that motorcycle accidents and injuries are on the rise. According to the 2012 Motor Vehicle Crash report published by the NHTSA, motorcycle fatalities for that year rose to 4,957, up seven percent from 2011, while injuries increased 15% to 93,000. While the NHTSA statistics are misleading because the motorcycle category includes mopeds, scooters, three-wheelers, pocket bikes, mini bikes, and off-road vehicles, new riders need every advantage they can afford. The Motorcycle Safety Foundation has taken notice of these statistics and has revised the curriculum for its Basic RiderCourse to include a new Basic eCourse, which students will take prior to in-person instruction.

Yamaha Trademarks “R1S” & “R1M” at USPTO – “YZF-R1M” Trademarked Abroad – But Why?

Are new Yamaha YZF-R1 models coming down the pipe? That’s the question being asked after trademark filings in the US and abroad tipped off Yamaha Motor’s intention to use “R1S”, “R1M”, and “YZF-R1M” for motorcycle, scooter, and three-wheeled purposes. The filings are being taken as hints towards a possible multiple trim levels of the Yamaha YZF-R1 superbike, with the “S” and “M” designations being different spec machines than the current base model. The “S” nomenclature is a popular one in the two and four-wheeled world, though “M” would certainly be a novel designation, outside of say…BMW.

Bell & COTA Create Texas-Themed Limited-Edition Helmet

Continuing its theme of making limited-edition helmets for premier-class US rounds, Bell Helmets has teamed up with the Circuit of the Americas and Chris Wood, of Airtrix, to create a Texas-themed Bell Star Carbon helmet, just in time for COTA’s MotoGP race next weekend. Available only until April 13th, the Bell/COTA helmet features a red, white, and blue flag motif on the front, with both the American and State of Texas flags visible, which then wrap around the rear to merge with a hardwood design, reminiscent of the floorboards in a Western saloon. The helmet is also crowned with a Longhorn cattle skull, which adds to the Texan motif. The specially designed helmet also features a horseshoe, the COTA logo, and the 2014 Red Bull MotoGP of The Americas logo.

Aprilia Mounting a Return to MotoGP in 2016

Towards the end of the 800cc era, MotoGP looked to be in dire condition. Grids were dwindling, factories were reducing their participation, and teams were in difficult financial straits indeed. By the end of 2011, there were just 17 full time entries, Suzuki was down to a single rider, and were about to pull out entirely for 2012. How different the situation looks today. In a recent interview with the official MotoGP.com website, Aprilia Corse’s new boss Romano Albesiano gave a brief outline of their plans. The Italian factory will continue to work with the IODA Racing team for 2014 to collect data on the electronics and tires, which they will use as input on an entirely new project being worked on for 2016.

This Is Pretty Much What the Monster 800 Will Look Like

With the advent of the Ducati Monster 1200, it was only a matter of time before Ducati’s middleweight liquid-cooled “Monster 800″ would be spotted, and unsurprisingly the machines have a great deal in common. The one big difference seems to be that the 821cc Monster gets a double-sided swingarm, which has become Ducati’s new way of differentiating between its big and medium displacement models of the same machine, see entry for Ducati 899 Panigale. With the spied Ducati Monster 800 looking ready for primetime, and a pre-fall launch isn’t out of the question. Giving us an excellent glimpse into what the Ducati Monster 800 would look like, Luca Bar has again used his Photoshop skills to render up images of the still unreleased “baby” Monster.

Photos of the Mugen Shinden Ni sans Fairings

Given the competitive nature of the electric racing realm, its rare to see the big high-power bikes without their fairings, as teams are reluctant to reveal their secret sauce. Debuting the Mugen Shinden San this past weekend in Tokyo though, Team Mugen did just that, giving us a glimpse into the inner workings of the team’s 2013 race bike, the Mugen Shinden Ni. You don’t have to be an electron-head to get excited by these photos, as any race bike with a carbon fiber frame and swingarm is pretty drool-worthy, though the Shinden Ni’s carbon fiber battery enclosure does hide a great deal of the electric superbike’s geek factor. While the sheer size of the battery bike is impressive, it was expected when the Shinden was first announced.

Mugen Shinden San (神電 参) Electric Superbike Revealed

Mugen’s third purpose-built electric superbike for the Isle of Man TT, the Mugen Shinden San, has been revealed in Japan. Campaigning two machines for this year’s TT Zero race, Mugen has John McGuiness and Bruce Anstey at the helm of its “Shinden San” bikes, as the duo looks for a one-two finish in this year’s race. With MotoCzysz not racing at the Isle of Man this year, Mugen is a hot favorite to take the top podium spots, as well as crack the 110 mph barrier for electrics on the historic Snaefell Mountain Course (Mugen is targeting a 115 mph lap). An evolution on the company’s previous designs, the Shinden San fits 134hp — 10hp more than last year, thanks to a new smaller three-phase brushless motor provided by Mission Motors — into its 529lbs bulk.

Trackside Tuesday: The Winning Personality of Jack Miller

Chatting with a couple of NASCAR fans recently, I was reminded that any competition is boring if you don’t care who wins. But if you do care, then even cars driving around in circles can be very compelling entertainment. Those NASCAR fans really cared about how their favorite drivers finished, and not only how they finished in the latest race, but what and how those drivers were doing off the track as well. Those fans had been captured by the personalities of those drivers. One of the things NASCAR does well is sell personalities. All major sports-related businesses do this to some extent, but some organizations do it better than others.

Ducati Superbike 1199 to Get Significant Price Increase

09/14/2011 @ 6:45 pm, by Jensen Beeler69 COMMENTS

Ducati Superbike 1199 to Get Significant Price Increase Ducati Superbike 1199 Superquadrata Valentino Rossi 635x453

If you’re one of the many Ducatisti that are salivating for the 2012 Ducati Superbike 1199, you better start unloading your IRA, cashing-out your savings, and raiding your kids’ piggy banks, because Ducati is set to increase its flagship’s base price for the 2012 model year. With the base model Superbike 1198 sporting a $16,500 price tag here in the United States, and selling for just shy of €18,000 in Italy, Asphalt & Rubber has gotten confirmation that Ducati will bump the upcoming Superbike 1199′s price tag by several thousand euros/dollars when it debuts later this year.

Expected to be a €20,000+ bike in Europe, we can only imagine what that price tag on the base model 1199 will amount to here in the North American market, though we wouldn’t be surprised with a figure in the $19,000 range (or just shy of it). With two higher-spec versions expected as well, an “S” and a race variant, A&R has also heard rumors that the pricier models will see an even larger price increase over the 1198′s figures, making owning a Superbike 1199 a very pricy commitment to one’s garage.

Part of the price increase is simply due to the increasing cost of building motorcycles in Europe, currency conversion, and Ducati maintaining its margins by passing on its costs to the consumer. However a considerable amount of the price hikes comes down on two purely subjective issues, the first being Valentino Rossi.

With the G.O.A.T. on-board as a factory Ducati Corse rider in MotoGP, Ducati figures that the nine-time World Champion’s street cred will help hock a few bikes come November — and to be honest, the Italian company is probably right. Rossi’s star power is likely already helping the Bologna brand sell some bikes, and with the debut of a new Superbike, the direct tie-in to The Doctor’s racing prowess virtually writes itself (let’s not forget the unavoidable “Rossi race replica” that’s sure to come from that marriage of Italian brands).

Another factor is that Ducati honestly just believes that the Superbike 1199, with its “frameless” chassis, warrants a higher price tag. With a bevy of new technology coming to Ducati’s flagship motorcycle, the Ducati Superbike 1199 is anticipated to raise the bar on the premium superbike category. Dropping roughly 20 lbs off the 1198, expect to see an extra 20hp or so come from the Superquadrata gear-driven v-twin motor.

With Ducati hoping to usher in a new era of motorcycle chassis innovation, that only thing that remains to be seen is if the Italian company can make it work. It’s going to be hard for Ducati to pitch the “MotoGP inspired” tagline while Valentino Rossi and Nicky Hayden are stuck in the back of the grid, and rumored to abandoning the carbon fiber chassis design. Then again, there’s a lot of factors at play when it comes to Ducati’s MotoGP woes.

Source: Bothan Spies

Comment:

  1. MikeD says:

    Not to fear…the $$$ is out there, is just a matter of who’s wiling to burn it. (^_^)

  2. Jake Fox says:

    Of course there are some who will buy it just because it’s purdy, expensive, and says Ducati. For those of us who like to buy performance with our hard-earned cash however, Ducati is going to have to absolutely dominate the field in Superbike comparos if it hopes to justify that price tag. I don’t see it happening.

  3. Rob749 says:

    Probably be around the $35k mark here in Aus (current 1198 is ~28), and with the AUD worth more than the USD, you should be thankful that its still <$20k.

  4. 76 says:

    if the 1199 shows up on the track and starts wiping the floor with the competition you can bet it will be a success, I think it needs to be proven before all the dreamers jump on board, including me.

    When it comes down to it the 1198 is more bike than I can handle racing so I cant see the 1199 helping me much other than having the best and most expensive

  5. MOCKBA says:

    there is no way I’m paying 20K for this bike, I’d rather buy an S1000RR. Also, I don’t think it’s a good idea to buy a first-year Duc anyways. It’s going to be buggy as hell.

  6. Sean in Oz says:

    $19K will buy you a jap litre bike here in Oz. An S1000RR is more like $26K. I dont even look at the price of Ducati’s. You guys have no idea how good you have it.

  7. SFaRChie says:

    I’ll wait on the sidelines for the noob rider with money to buy it new, then after 100 miles realize it’s too much bike and sell it for a steal. Happens all the time.

  8. Cpt.Slow says:

    As expected.

  9. Damo says:

    Personally I just don’t have faith in Ducati to make a huge jump with all these “new technical innovations” and get them right the first time.

    The bottom line is the the bike looks nice, but will most likely get smoked around the track by a $13,500 USD Honda just like the current gen does.

    Personally, I am a utilitarian and want a high performance, easy to maintain and cost effective bike. This Ducati appears to be none of those.

    Lets be honest though, buying a Ducati sport bike hasn’t been about superior performance since the mighty days of the 916.

  10. Kevin Gettmann says:

    I love these BMW guys! Ducati is AGAIN on its way to ANOTHER WSBK title and BMW, as good as they say it is, cannot seem to get close to the podium! Explain to all of us here how awesome BMW is again now?! I don’t care how great a value you think your bike is. Ducati’s qualify better, win more races, and more championships. That said, the BMW is a good streetbike, but when your in the $20k class a few $$ is not going to cause too many to walk away. Reality check: Win on Sunday, sell on Tuesday! …and we’ve been doing alot of selling lately!

  11. Spamtasticus says:

    Kevin, If you want to talk about performace in a race series then why are you quoting WSB results? We all know those bikes have hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of parts. If we want to compare bikes the world superstock class is by far the closest to what you can buy at the dealer. There, the BMW dominated every other bike by winning every race but one. I’m sorry that you are overwhelmed by all the press and praise the BMW is getting but al least give some thought to your post before submitting. Furthermore, a non abs BMW is $14,300 MSRP and $16,500 fully geared.

  12. Spamtasticus says:

    And lets not forget that this was with the first Racebike the make in 50 years. Ducatis are absolutely gorgeous machines/fashion accesories but when I bought a bike to race I bought the BMW and am trouncing ducs on the track.

  13. Recip-fan says:

    @spamtasticus

    I direct your attention to the current FIM Superstock 1000 point standings. Ducati leads both the riders and manufacturers championship. BMW is a close second but second nonetheless.

  14. Recip-fan says:

    Q.E.D

  15. Cpt. Slow says:

    Spamtasticus, It appears you are talking about the previous year World SuperStock championship with BMW Italia, which was (if I’m not mistaken) formally known as Xerox Ducati jr Team (part of the BMW raid on Ducati personnel).

    2011
    http://www.worldsbk.com/en/season/standings.html?p_S_Campionato=SST&p_Anno=2011

    Want “Cheap” performance? There are other options: R1, it a great bike? Complaining about a product being “too expensive” and there are smarter buys can be a little futile?

    If everything that mattered was about value for money, we’d all be shopping at Walmart, Driving a Toyota Corolla, and eating Taco Bell.

  16. Cpt. Slow says:

    With that said, Corolla’s are “great” cars and Taco Bell stops hunger for a nominal fee.

  17. Kevin Gettmann says:

    Hey Spam, thank you for the “lesson” in World Superstock. Now lets review, you mean the support race to WSBK. If World Superstock was such a premier class then why did BMW make such a point about entering WSBK? Your dreaming if Superstock is the big race that everybody watches on Sunday. Triple A baseball will always be the support series to “The Show” of Major League. Nobody says “wow, I finally made triple A”. WSBK is “Major League”. Oh, and you need to check your history a bit closer on BMW trying to make a race bike for the past 50 years. Kids these days…

  18. Damo says:

    First of all, Kevin, lets not bring any WSBK or even Superstock discussion into street variant discussion. Rider, team budget and rule concessions have way too much influence on those outcomes. They are almost completely disconnected from the actual street going package.

    Secondly, if Ducati makes such a “high quality product” why are they consistently rated low in mechanically reliability, while also having some of the most frequent service intervals? On top of all the factory recalls. How many 996′s do you see running around with 45,000 miles on them? I see quite a few Hondas and Yamahas that do. My bike is my main source of entertainment AND transportation, if you own a Ducati I guarantee you don’t do 10,000+ miles a year on it.

    Also @ Cpt. Slow, comparing a Japanese bike to a “corolla” or “taco bell” isn’t even in the ball park. Funny that last year’s Fireblade finished ahead of the 1198 in every major magazine super bike shoot-out, despite its fastfood grade pricing.

    Everyone should ride what they want and Ducati and aprilia make the best looking bikes on the market as far as I am concerned, but you folks are talking Coke vs. Pepsi here. If we get into cold hard “production performance” numbers, Ducati doesn’t have a leg to stand on. I wont even get into performance vs. money. The last time they had the best bike on the market was around 1995.

  19. G.Irish says:

    @Kevin Gettmann
    I think the point being made is that World Superstock bikes are closer to stock, therefore, World Superstock results may be a better reflection of how good a given bike is off the showroom floor.

    My take on it is simple that BMW Motorrad doesn’t have the experience and skill to win yet in WSBK. I think the bike is a capable platform but the team isn’t there yet. A perfect indication of this is the fact that they’ve actually gone backwards in results this year, and the factory team has gotten beaten on a few occassions by the BMW Italia team. On equal bikes I would never bet on Ayrton Badovini beating Troy Corser and Leon Haslam.

    Still, we’re talking about the 1198 vs S1000RR. I’m sure the 1199 will significantly raise the bar. I imagine for a lot of people the question will be, “Is the 1199 so much better than I should spend $3-7k more for it?” For me, there’s the additional question of, “Should I drop that much cash on a first year Ducati and run the risk of dealing with a bunch of mechanical issues?”

  20. andrey says:

    A lot of hair splitting going on here in my opinion but I agree that this first model will no doubt have bugs, especially if you look at the recent poor fueling and expanding plastic tank issues.

    Jensen; great website and as usual, very well written but seriously: “gotten” ??!! terrible American english, how about “received”.

  21. MikeD says:

    How did it go from MSRP to who’s winning races…? Another one ruined. (-_- )’

  22. DareN says:

    On the contrary – great posts ,lot of insight.
    @andrey – to my knowledge, expanding tank issue was due to the ethanol in fuel – hard to blame Ducati for this one.

  23. Kevin says:

    @Damo – I’ll not argue the performance numbers of the current models, the magazine shootouts (that I don’t put a whole lot of stock in anyway), nor will I argue about the bang-for-buck…Ducati won’t win any of that. Where Ducati will always win is emotion, soul, feel, sound, experience, etc. None of us buy bikes to race and none of us buy a bike so we can squeeze 101% of its performance out of it.

    Everyone should have the chance to ride a modern superbike once (ideally with an exhaust)…I shared mine with as many people as I felt I could trust. If the torque and sound doesn’t give you the chills, then you must be dead inside. I’ve never had a Japanese bike make me feel like a Ducati does. Is it worth the extra price of admission or the extra maintenance (though this has gotten MUCH better)? To me it was.

  24. MikeD says:

    OK THEN, lets throw some more MUD. lol.

    @DareN…the ethanol deal wasn’t a decision no one saw coming or made from one day to another.

    OEMs should adapt and make the pertinent modifications to the hardware they sale in order to cope with such “changes”…( none of us own a refinery, so…nothing we can do ) gas w/o ethanol is as abundant as chicken teeth. Im sure you are seeing my point by now… or not ?

    We just buy, they build IT………might as well build it properly from the first go or take responsability.

  25. DareN says:

    Ethanol is made thru fermentation process in ethanol plant,not in refinery. You are ommiting the government regulations, arbitrary extending E content in gasoline without any regard to cost for manufacturers.
    But that is totally different tread…

  26. Damo says:

    @Kevin

    Oh I agree about the “intangibles” associated with an Italian v-twin (my current ride is an aprilia RSV Mille) The sound, the feel, the detail, etc. While I love all these things, I hate all the behind the curtain action you have to deal with owning these bikes. Luckily I have a Rotax powered aprilia, so the headaches are minimal.

    That being said I live in Massachusetts and ride my bike everyday, year round when the temperature is above freezing, so needless to say the miles rack up. I need a race rep that is fun to ride aggressively and deal with the beating New England weather and roads throw at it.

  27. Dave says:

    All of the current open class sport bikes are far more capable then 99.9% of the riders who buy them.
    If you like the bike, it fits your riding style and you can afford it, buy it.
    Comparing stats doesn’t mean a whole lot.

    Why would I care if some racer ran 3 tenths quicker on bike A then bike B?
    I’m going to run 15 seconds slower on both so I’ll take the one I like and can afford.
    The rest is just a pi$$ing contest.

  28. DareN says:

    @Dave & Kevin – great posts – nothing to add.

  29. MikeD says:

    DareN says:
    September 15, 2011 at 9:27 AMEthanol is made thru fermentation process in ethanol plant,not in refinery. You are ommiting the government regulations, arbitrary extending E content in gasoline without any regard to cost for manufacturers.
    But that is totally different tread…

    OEMs should adapt and make the pertinent modifications to the hardware they sale in order to cope with such “changes”…( none of us own a refinery, so…nothing we can do ) gas w/o ethanol is as abundant as chicken teeth. Im sure you are seeing my point by now… or not ?

    We just buy, they build IT………might as well build it properly from the first go or take responsability.

    Don’t try to get all technical on me…im just a consumer, i don’t make laws and pass GAS FORMULAS legislations…nor manufacture the destiled ethanol, nor RUN the USA Goverment, etc…

    Is a case of u(DUCATI) are only given lemons…SO LEARN TO MAKE LEMONADE(Build ethanol resistant tanks, lines, etc)…their already bloated MSRP im sure could handle it.

    The rest of the world has done the transition just FINE.

  30. mxs says:

    What does have a racing to do with a success or not selling a street model???? There’s no race on Sunday, sell on Monday, Tuesday ….what ever, it’s a myth.

    Not only the machines are vastly different, but I believe that it’s blatantly obvious that things important to racers are completely different to my needs. Do you think that a racer cares whether an engine burns oil or needs a valve job every 6000kms?????

  31. DareN says:

    MikeD,
    3 words for you – don`t buy a Ducati. That is your God given right as a consumer.

    Kevin,
    I have just sold my 10 years old Aprilia Falco with 30K miles ion it because of its cracked Rotax engine.
    You don`t see me bashing Aprilia..

  32. Richard Gozinya says:

    Holy crap, if your estimate’s correct, that’s more money than an MV Agusta F4. That’s seriously stupid, pricing your bike above a boutique exotic.

  33. Damo says:

    “All of the current open class sport bikes are far more capable then 99.9% of the riders who buy them.”

    I agree with this 100%.

    The problem is I have met one exactly one Ducati fetishist who openly said, “Yeah it isn’t fast as a new Japanese bike or as reliable, but my first bike was a Duc so I always go back to them. Form over function.”

    @Kevin, You are making me nervous I am getting very close to 30k on my RSV Mille :(

  34. DareN says:

    Relax,Damo. I have done a lot of research and have not found another cracked Rotax engine. Enjoy your Mille!

  35. Will says:

    If you can’t afford it, don’t bitch about it. Those who can purchase it, will. Last time I went by the duc dealership seemed to me there were a lot of superbikes in the service department, which tells me people are buying them, and riding them…a lot. Who cares about the maintenance. If you can’t afford it maybe you weren’t supposed to have it.

    I love it when people discuss which brand is selling what for what and what brand is better. Seriously, who gives a rat’s ass about that stuff? Just go ride your bike.

    And whoever guaranteed that owning a duc means you don’t ride 10,000+ miles a year, BS, I put almost 13k on my 1098 in the first year.

  36. Westward says:

    @ Damo

    You should stay away from declarative statements like, – “if you own a Ducati I guarantee you don’t do 10,000+ miles a year on it.”

    I have yet to meet another rider of any bike, that has an average of over 10k miles, on a bike that is older than four years old… A guy has a seven year old bike, does he also have 70k miles on it? I know plenty of people with bikes almost ten years old, and not a one of them has close to 100,000 miles on them….

    My first year of Ducati ownership, I put over 28,000 miles on my brand new Ducati. Then, put another 12,000 miles on it, in less than 10 months after… The second Ducati I purchased, I put almost 11,000 in the first year…

    I’m a bit like “SFaRChie” now, I buy second hand, but nearly new Italian manufacturing beauty…

    However, I do agree with your post mentioning the 916, and Dave’s post about 99.9% of riders…

  37. Westward says:

    I also know a racer that pilots a Ducati in sanctioned races, and is killing the competition like it’s the first ten minutes of Savings Private Ryan… So, I say to you, it isn’t the bike, so much as it is the rider…

    Every series from MotoGP, WSBK, BSB, CEV, AMA, etc. etc. they have the best of the best, in equipment and personnel… But at the end of the day, it all comes down to who’s 4ss is in the saddle…

  38. @andrey

    What? Gotten is the past participle of the verb get. :-P

  39. Zebra says:

    I’ve read alot about people talking about problems with a new model Ducati and I have to say I own the very first 1098S to ever hit the U.S.A and I’ve had ZERO problems with it since I’ve owned it (besides it’s time to replace the battery now) The bike has been trouble free, and that’s with the full Termi’s and race chip. I do race, but not on this bike because I don’t want to wad it up at Daytona or Barber and be crying because it is an expensive machine & almost a work of art. I won’t cry (except for the pain involved) if I wreck one of my Hondas or Yamaha’s at the track. I won’t likely ever again have the money to blow on a high-end motorcycle, so I’ll be looking forward to other peoples’ take on the new Ducati while I’m enjoying my S.

  40. Cpt. Slow says:

    “if you own a Ducati I guarantee you don’t do 10,000+ miles a year on it.”

    Guaranteeing something you have no business guaranteeing can be called foolish at best.

    “Also @ Cpt. Slow, comparing a Japanese bike to a “corolla” or “taco bell” isn’t even in the ball park. Funny that last year’s Fireblade finished ahead of the 1198 in every major magazine super bike shoot-out, despite its fastfood grade pricing.”

    The performance envelope of these road going SBK’s are out of reach of 99.99% of consumers (and a great % of journalists).

    Brand bashing is a waste of time, in any industry. I wonder how many bashers have actually owned the brand he or she is bashing. Japanese motos being commuter friendly (then again, commuting on a sbk is probly not the best move, regardless of the country of origin) is not some state secret, get with your trusted sales person and narrow down something for your needs/wants. Get something that stirs the soul or your spread sheet, whatever is more important.

  41. T to the RL says:

    @MikeD

    “im just a consumer, i don’t make laws and pass GAS FORMULAS legislations…nor manufacture the destiled ethanol, nor RUN the USA Goverment, etc…”

    And therein lies the most fundamentally frightening thought of this entire thread.

    Just repeat this thought to yourself the next time you are wondering why an f’n gallon of milk or a pound of hamburger is so expensive or in a few years when you look back on the good ole days of gasoline and abundant power, as you strap yourself into your government mandated standard Prius.

  42. Spamtasticus says:

    @ kevin and others. You do get the fact that I mention WSS because this article and comments are about a production MC right?

  43. GeddyT says:

    I have owned Hondas, I’ve owned Suzukis, I’ve owned Kawasakis, and I’ve owned a pair of Ducs.

    My 749s and MTS1100s were the two worst bikes of the bunch, both from a quality and performance standpoint. Both were purchased low-miles used, and both were nothing but headaches. Both had embarrassingly awful fueling at part throttle and were prone to stalling (more so the 749s), and a manual choke on a 2006 superbike was just comical considering the MSRP. The Multi leaked oil and took forever to warmup, but at least was really comfortable.

    Suffice it to say I didn’t hang onto either for very long. My Honda track bike and both Honda street bikes (a 1000 and a pair of 600s) were faster, handled better, and were rock solid reliable–not to mention the much higher build quality.

    A friend of mine was later shopping for a bike and insisted on a Ducati. I tried to talk him out of it, and he wouldn’t listen. I asked him why his bike had to be a Ducati, and his answer was very honest: “Because it’s pretty and red and says ‘Ducati’ on it! It HAS to be a Ducati!” He even told me he couldn’t wait to buy his Ducati T-shirt!

    He bought an 1198, and I have to say I’m quite impressed with it. Seems Ducati quality has improved a LOT in a short time. Still, though, it’s the only sport bike I’ve every thrown a leg over that I’m not instantly comfortable on. Oh, and the radiator cracked from vibration and left him stranded on a cross country ride…

    I get that everyone’s experience varies, and I really don’t blame people for being fanatical about Ducatis. They’re beautiful machines. Based off of my experience, though, that whole company is a lot of form over function.

  44. Flynn says:

    Who cares about the race track and price. I have worked hard all my life and dreamed of owning a Ducati sport bike. Well my friends that time has come.

  45. Westward says:

    @ GeddyT

    What part of the world do you reside? I live in area were Ducati is less like a UFO sighting, and more like bag of M&M’s, you are bound to get a few of the red ones…

    I also hang out with a continually random, and eclectic cadre of Ducati and various other Italian and european made bikes. These are people who are passionate about their bikes, treat them like garage queens, but ride them every weekend as if there is nothing else to do… Not to mention, some of us are regular commuters, come rain or shine…

    Now I’m also talking about people that own, and have owned multiple bikes Ducati and otherwise, and I can not think of a single person, that has had the luck you have had, let alone be able to string three Ducati’s together to spin a trilogy of hardship…

    Are you sure you are not referring to a Harley, cause there is a masochistic group that love to spill their pain as if its a therapy session…

    Seriously though, the laws of physics work differently in parts of the world. In Australia, I hear tell the water spins the opposite direction down the commode…

    = )

  46. Tito says:

    I own 2 ducs a 1098s and a 749s,I ride them slot and have not experienced any problems with either one of them. They are very reliable and beautiful machines. I’m looking at purchasing a monster s4rs soon, hopefully it will be as reliable and fun as it’s brothers that I own. Viva Ducati!

  47. MikeD says:

    DareN says:
    September 15, 2011 at 10:00 AMMikeD,
    3 words for you – don`t buy a Ducati. That is your God given right as a consumer.

    I couldn’t have said better myself…point taken my good man. LOL.

  48. Jake Fox says:

    …except it’s four words.

  49. DucRacerX says:

    @Flynn. dumb newbie. buy a older Ducati and master that 1st!! before you kill yourself on a newer bike.

  50. DucRacerX says:

    And for all of you dorks above who want to argue over which bike is a better track bike. Ducati or BMW… none of them are better if the pilot sucks!!!! You can put a Desmosedici with Stoner on one and Capirossi on the other.. who wil win and who will finish in 15th place!!?? Bottom line I can smoke all of you tools on a tricycle. Forget the bike. How much talent do you have???

  51. MikeD says:

    DucRacerX says:

    Bottom line I can smoke all of you tools on a tricycle. Forget the bike. How much talent do you have???

    I’ll race u on a uni-cycle…with a clown on tow…while balancing two elephants while doing the flying trapecio girl.

    Way to go dude…calling people tools…is says a lot about u. LOL.

  52. Zebra says:

    @DucRacerX : Wow! Really? We’re all tools & dorks and you’re faster than all of us.. that’s quite an encompassing statement considering you have no clue as to who we are. So if you’re so fast I suppose you hold the track record for NJMP ? And I have to assume you’re a paid pilot for a team in the professional series as well? Or at least you’ve won the #1 plate in your class at Daytona’s Race of Champions? Well if none of those are true I think you should perhaps keep your opinions of other peoples’ riding abilities to yourself.

  53. Damo says:

    @MikeD

    I’ll see your elephants and raise you a lama!

    Seriously though, I understand the Italian bike mystique (like I said I am an aprilia fanboy) but I was just trying to make a point about cost, performance, etc. Also I am 6’2″ and weigh 205, when I threw a leg over the 1098, I instantly felt like I was on a torture rack. Where as I ride the living hell out of my aprilia. So my comment about racking up miles on such a bike is not universal.

    I understand the whole you can afford so why not buy it thing. If I really wanted to, I make enough money to go out and buy any race rep on the market. I am sure we all do! A fully kitted out Ducati is still less than a maxed out Honda Civic to put it in perspective.

    To sum it all up, my next bike purchase will most likely be another Japanese bike after I tire of my aprilia. That being said when we are out riding everyone will want to look at and hear about the Ducati and not my run of mill Japanese bike, regardless of how fast it is :(

  54. DareN says:

    Damo,
    what the hell are you doing up & writing posts at 4:45 am?

  55. sburns2421 says:

    If Ducati wants to raise the price of the new bike by 20% compared to the outgoing model, they have sorely miscalculated the “Rossi effect” on sales. Ask Yamaha how the $15k Fiat R1 sold. You can still find them new in dealer’s showrooms.

    Pricing this thing near $20k OTD means that almost everything: BMW, KTM , MV, and RSV4-R included…will be thousands less. There are so many great machines out there today that are massive overkill on the street performance-wise riders can choose any and know that thier new purchase is way better than they are.

    Ducati cannot expect to charge that much more than its competiton and keep sales. Even in the price segment of machines, buyers still factor “value” into the equation.

    Disclosure: have owned Ducatis for the last 15+ years.

  56. G.Irish says:

    @sburns2421

    Yeah, I also have to question the wisdom of bumping the price that high. Now maybe the cost of development and materials has risen 20% for the 1199 so they have no choice. Or perhaps Ducati has decided to raise prices in order to make owning an 1199 a more exclusive affair.

    Either way I think it’s a mistake. I thought it was a genius move to offer the base 1098/1198 at $16k. If the 1199 is starting at almost $20k a lot of people are going to look elsewhere. But perhaps the plan is that they’ll offer the 848 (or 849?) in that price range to grab the people who were only willing to pay ~$16k.

  57. Damo says:

    @DareN

    Eastern Time Zone.

  58. Kevin says:

    @sburns – Consider the pricing and sales of the Diavel. At the dealer I work at, we sold 1 base model at $16995 for every 3 carbon versions at $19995…and that’s before tax, tags, accessories, etc. On top of that, most of the buyers paid cash. That’s not to say that there weren’t more buyers out there that would have purchased the bike if the price were lower. However, as it was, we turned away multiple cash buyers because we didn’t have the inventory. We could have sold 50% more Diavels than we did. Again, I’m sure if the price were lower, sales would have been even greater…in our experience though, even at the $20k price point, sales were very strong.

    We’re seeing just as much excitement for the new superbike as we were for the Diavel, if not more. In fact, we already have a deposit for the first superbike we get…and we haven’t even placed our 2012 order. Just because you and I won’t be lining up to pay $20k, and that’s not a confirmed price, doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of buyers at that price.

  59. Westward says:

    @ Kevin

    That depends on your definition of plenty… Ducati could sale closer to millions if they were priced right for a base model relative to the competition… But then again, that is why they are not in the same league as Yamaha or Honda in volume…

    But I must admit, Ducati also gives you as few more bells and whistles than Yamaha and Honda too…

  60. sburns2421 says:

    We will see how the sales of the Diavel fare next year or the year after. There are many models which experience an initial pop in demand (Hypermotard being one good example). Then once that initial demand is satisfied sales are forever lower until the bike is heavily updated or replaced. Perhaps appropriately the banner ad on my A&R page as I write this is for the Midsummer Bike Dream promotion to get rid of existing inventories of base 1198 and Multistrada.

    Funny thing is my local dealer is lousy with Diavels. At couple of base models and a couple of carbons just sitting there collecting dust the last time I was there two weeks ago.

  61. Kevin says:

    Fair point about the drop off in demand for a new model; that’s not a situation exclusive to Ducati (ie. BMW S1000RR). We plan to be cautious with the Diavel for 2012 for this very reason.

    Ducati is shockingly small when compared with the likes of Yamaha and Honda; it’s not their mantra to mass produce or whore out the brand (Rossi contract notwithstanding). They’re a boutique brand. Further to the point, it’s not the Italian mantra to mass produce anything. And even further yet, the entire country shuts down for the month of August. You don’t see the Japanese doing that.

  62. DareN says:

    Kevin,
    You are making excellent points.The exclusivity of the brand is its strongest selling point. I could buy a new bike right now,that being Honda or Yamaha, but I always wanted a Ducati and I am absolutely in love with the Streetfighter (even more so after riding one last year – courtesy of Racy Rentals in L.A.). So I have been saving my pennies & will be getting a SF in spring!

  63. Damo says:

    Exclusivity of a brand has never been a selling point for me personally. I cannot bring myself to pay for a name, unless that name is synonymous with the best thing available.

    My mantra is if I am paying more for it, it had better do EVERYTHING better.

    If I wanted brand exclusivity I would get a new aprilia RSV4 or an MV F4. Now you are talking exclusive.

  64. Jake Fox says:

    If you want exclusivity, build something unique. Anybody with enough cash can buy a bike, not everyone can make a bike.

  65. ipso says:

    I believe that is the most alluring bike I’ve ever seen.

    Although, to my mind, it borrows certain queues from the Honda (now dethroned.)
    http://www.totalmotorcycle.com/photos/2011models/2011-Honda-CBR1000RRe.jpg

    What are those tires? Marketing idea: take MotoGP tires (with a huge 205/55 rear, or whatever) and custom carve sipes – artistic like – to setoff the most unique looking bike imaginable.

    Dear God I’d love to monkey-fuck that thing around a track.

  66. Bill says:

    It’s always comical how many people come out of the woodwork to criticize Ducati. Regardless of race wins (dominating WSBK) technological advances (only company with the balls to put traction control on a street bike…others have finally followed) or phenomenal style and performance, those who don’t ride Ducati just can’t keep themselves from insulting a bike they have never done more than look at in a magazine. I have been riding for thirty years and have been on and owned just about every brand. They all have their merits. Yes, Ducatis are expensive compared to Hondas. Ferraris are expensive compared to Corvettes. I buy what I truly like, not what I can afford. Fortunately, I love and can afford Ducati style, the performance of their v-twins, their insane racing heritage, their culture and their ability to win. If you are a real rider, find a good Ducati dealership and go for a test ride. All of the good Ducati dealerships will let you test ride their bikes. I guarantee there would be a lot fewer critics if half the people talking crap actually had some experience to speak from. I had an S1000R…I got rid of it. It was a wicked bad ass bike but it wasn’t for me. I don’t like the way inline fours buzz. I don’t like the way they sound. I don’t like all the grotesque cheap black plastic draped all over the S1000R. I also don’t take that personal preference and decide that anyone who does like the S1000R is an idiot. The Ducati 1199 will be bad ass. It will be a lot more expensive than the BMW and the Japanese brands. At the level almost everyone on this forum is at, time around the track will be about personal skill and not about the bike. If you want to be a spend thrift and ride what everybody else has then get an R1. On the street and at the track you’ll be faster and slower than some of the guys on Ducs. I’ll be happy on my Duc.

  67. MikeD says:

    Bill said:
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    “I buy what I truly like, not what I can afford. Fortunately, I love and can afford Ducati style”
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Im gonna call u out on this one my good man. Thats complety UBER B.S.
    U are self-stroking and kidding yourself in your gold plated PARADOX.

    U may like w/e tickles ur pickle (BIKES,HOOKERS or WEED)….BUT if u ain’t got the $$$ U WON’T GET JACK…PLAIN AND SIMPLE.

    Last time i checked TASTE(good or bad) DIDN’T BUY ANY GOODS…YET.

    Sorry my man…i couldn’t help it there. The amount of B.S threw my off balance.
    Nothing personal. Just good old online bitching.

    U got the bills…that’s always great…im not hating u “player”…im hating the B.S. game.

    Jensen: If this is too much i understand if u have to take it down…(^_^)

  68. JoeM says:

    So, for everyone’s complaining about price, how many people actually know what the pricing is going to be? Do you think that this particular article is true just because it is on the internet? I am sure everyone will be surprised when the pricing comes out and the price doesn’t change much over an 1198. Ducati has not released pricing, specs or an availability date as of yet. My suggestion would be to bookmark this article and revisit it once there is accurate information…not just a guess as to what the price of the bike will be.

  69. JoeM, I hope you do bookmark this article and come back to it when the pricing is formally announced. :)