Could Ducati be building a street cruiser to compete against the likes of Harley-Davidson? That’s the rumor behind the so-called Ducati Vyper, which was started by a statement made by Ducati boss Claudio Domenicali, who revealed that Ducati is looking to branch out into a wider market. The 1400cc 170hp prototype is said to be already in running form, and has started preliminary tests at the Bologna factory.
The Vyper will feature a stroked version of the company’s Testastretta engine, and house it in Ducati’s signature steel-trellis frame. A 240 rear tire mounted onto a beefy hollow-section swing-arm is also believed to be on the new machine. Luca from Bar-Design has made some exclusive renders of the Ducati Vyper for Asphalt & Rubber, and if the original looks anything like this, we might just be believers in the Italian chopper concept.
The Vyper stems from a statement made by Claudio Domenicali in several interviews that hinted that was a possibility that Ducati could make a foray into a segment that Ducati has not competed in yet, in order to expand the range of motorcyclists riding the Ducati brand of motorcycle. Slated for release in 2010, the Vyper will make around 170hp, a boat-load of torque, and wear the standard Ducati trellis frame. It will also have a very low seat, which will contrast with the huge 240 rear tire.
It seems strange to think of Ducati as trying to compete with Harley-Davidson for the cruiser market, but the Italian brand may be able appeal to a younger crowd in a way that the American chopper brand cannot.
Luca Bar is a talented young Italian designer and member of the Motorcycle Design Association. He has published renderings for SoloMoto30, and competed in the “Design Your Dream Ducati” competition held by Ducati S.p.A. You can find his online portfolio at bar-design.net, and hopefully his future work here at Asphalt & Rubber.