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