If you read A&R with any sort of regularity, you should know by now that the European motorcycle companies have been cleaning house during these otherwise tough economic times, with 2011 being the high-water mark for many of these more premium brands. BMW Motorrad posted its best sales year ever in 2011, while Triumph and KTM have been holding their own as well.

The same has been true for Ducati, and now Ducati North America has posted its sales numbers for 2011, which show a 43% gain over the previous year. This increase in sales has now established North America as Ducati’s #1 market for the first time ever, and the Italian brand continues to grow here in the United States, Canada, and Mexico (while declining back home in Italy).

Ducati North America says its growth was fueled by the Multistrada 1200 and Diavel, the two motorcycles that have been primarily responsible for pushing the Ducati brand from a sport bike company into a performance motorcycle company. Also helping the bottom line was the Ducati Performance line of apparel and accessories, which was up 50% over 2010.

“Growth in the North American market is a top priority for Ducati. North America’s outstanding performance significantly contributed to Ducati’s global success in 2011, which has been a record year for us in terms of global sales, market share and profitability,” said Cristiano Silei, Chief Executive Officer of Ducati North America.

“This year the company made substantial investments in new product, key personnel and in the strength of our distribution network. These elements, combined with an array of extraordinary products, including our new Superbike, the 1199 Panigale, will continue to fuel our growth in 2012 and beyond.”

Source: Ducati North America

  • MikeD

    GodSpeed Ducati.
    Now don’t rest yourself in all your latest glory like some of the other guys and keep pumping new models out ( Where’s the baby Panigale ?, Baby Multi, u name it ).

  • Andrey

    I only wish their care and attention toward the customers with expanding gas tanks was as good as their care and attention focused on the bottom line!

  • MikeD

    OH, i’ve heard about this…did it happen to u ? Share some lite on it if it did.
    I guess it can’t be that much harder or more $$$ to make the plastic tanks ethanol resistant ? RIGHT ?

  • Had an issue with mine on the Duc and my RSV4 both companies replaced the tanks at my local dealer … 30 min procedure and off i went… not really a big deal to me…the dealer was great and so were the manufacturer …

  • walkingshadow

    sometimes I think that the Ducs for “poor” italian/EU market has made with less quality than overseas exported models or … u.s. market has a faster “model change” (at the first expensive-maintenance limit).

  • AK

    I help them get there lol ……

  • Westward

    I think I have an expanding tank issue too, just recently realised…

  • Jmart

    I filed a claim with Ducati at my local dealer and I had no problem whatsoever getting a replacement tank for my ’10 Streetfighter S. Ducati and the dealer were great.

  • Tentatively optimistic

    “I only wish their care and attention toward the customers with expanding gas tanks was as good as their care and attention focused on the bottom line!” – Audrey

    My sentiments exactly. There was a settlement which was finalised in NA, essentially that Ducati would replace the affected tanks WITH THE SAME MATERIAL once a fault was found. These affected 50,000 motorcycles in North America (varying degrees of expanding certainly). The alternate option was to provide shorter seats, bracketry and limit the steering stops if handlebars were hitting the tanks.

    Keep in mind, ethanol and its ability to hold water (in turn bloating the polymer of the tank) is to blame. ALSO. . . keep in mind that ethanol has been a fuel component of North American gasolines since the early 1990s.

    So. A 43% increase in sales in 2011. . . and Ducati couldn’t be troubled to serve its customers and offer a permanent solution for this issue.

    Draw your own conclusion of what Ducati is looking out for.

  • Croix Moto

    What? As if the turning radius on Ducatis isn’t wide enough already.

    And didn’t Ducati do any research when developing the tanks (what plastic would be affected with fuels in EU, NA, etc)? Seems there’s quite an oversight and didn’t do proper homework. . . .

  • Charlie

    Ive been fortunate to have not experience the expanding tank issues but have experience my fair share of other issues with my three Ducatis. But I still love the bikes that Ducati makes. If you’re that unhappy with your ducati then get rid of it and don’t buy another.

  • Andrey

    I have had tanks on two Ducatis (post 2006 models) that have expanded. Both were replaced by the dealer (Ducati Seattle ; fantastic bunch of guys but not sure about them now that a new owner gave the founder the ass out the door). Ducatis’ response is 100% ineffective and only serves to delay the problem until the legal time limit expires after which the owner is left with a tank that will expand and come off its mounts. If you read and follow the forums you will know that the only way to treat this is to coat the inside of the tank with Caswell tank sealant. This “fix” works but nobody knows for how long. I drain both tanks over winter to minimize the fuel exposure. Either way if you have not treated your tank in this manner when it was replaced, it will happen again at some stage. Ducati N.A. were also aware of the problem and continued to supply bikes to the American market with the same tank construction. Ducati N.A. ignored the issue and it wasn’t until owners mounted a class action lawsuit that they really responded. It is a PATHETIC and NEGLIGENT way to treat a loyal customer base and I for one will not be buying another Ducati with a plastic tank. Greed pure and simple and totally not customer focused… damn bastards those bean counters!

  • Cpt.Slow

    I been using seafoam (or your choice of a ethanol fighting agent) and my tank (knock on wood) has been fine. I actually also use the additive in my cars at least once a month. It’s not just to stop the ethanol from misshaping my tank but to help maintain my fuel lines (which are rubber) and help keep my injectors clean. Ethanol is bad news all around.

    I’m not sure how accurate this is but changing formulation of the tank post production is not as easy as it sounds. From my understanding, the company is to bound produce the motorcycle as it was presented originally and made legal to the given country.

    BMW has had their issues- I have also heard of KTM and Aprilia are suffering from the ethanol. A lot of the models have their tanks covered and reshaped to account for the potential expansion. Ducati seems to have followed suit and have reshaped their tanks.