Ducati DTC EVO Will Cost $565 MSRP

08/12/2017 @ 11:15 pm, by Jensen BeelerADD COMMENTS

A couple days ago, we told you that Ducati would be making the updated electronics package on the 2017 Ducati 1299 Panigale, called DTC EVO, available to 2015 and 2016 Panigale owners.

The software update lets the Panigale take full-advantage of the inertial measurement unit (IMU) that is onboard, letting the traction control not only manage wheelspin, as it does on the 2015 and 2016 models, but also allowing it to control how much rear-wheel slide is allowed, as on the 2017 machine.

While DTC EVO is standard on the 2017 model, the software wasn’t developed in time for the earlier 1299 Panigale models. Thankfully, it is an easy feature to add retroactively. Unthankfully though, Ducati is charging a pretty penny for the update: $565 MSRP.

When we heard the news that Ducati was making DTC EVO available to earlier Panigale owners – which is an awesome thing to do, by the way – we expected to hear that the update would be for free, since it is a very simply procedure to update the Panigale’s firmware.

At the very least, we expected Ducati dealers would be charging a nominal fee for the software update, such as the shop minimum, considering that it literally costs Ducati nothing to perform the update, the software development being a sunk cost from the development of the 2017 model.

Also, you would think that the opportunity to bring a bike in the service department, where other technical issues may be spotted and thus up-sold, would be benefit enough for Ducati to make the DTC EVO software available to 2015 and 2016 Panigale owners.

Ducati counters that the DTC EVO update adds a feature to the 2015 and 2016 models that wasn’t there previously, and also the Italian company needs to defray the costs of developing the IMU-powered electronics.

To our knowledge, Ducati is the first motorcycle OEM to offer a stand-alone aftermarket performance update from the factory, and thus is taking the motorcycle industry into new territory with its update program.

Outside of the motorcycle industry though there are some analogous business cases to note, the most relevant perhaps is Tesla, which regularly provides free software updates to its customers, some of which provide tremendous feature upgrades.

In the consumer electronics space we often see free updates for owners as well, though sometimes major upgrades come with a nominal cost. Either way you look at what Ducati is doing here, it is a new business model for the motorcycle industry.

We have some further thoughts on the subject, but what do you think? Should electronics updates like the DTC EVO software be part of the ownership experience, and thus come to owners for free? Or should they be treated like value added experiences, and come with an appropriate cost?

Source: Ducati North America