It is curious that the past couple of weeks have been rife with internet chatter about Ducati working on a 450cc motocross bike. It is a strange rumor, and if true it would be big news for Ducati.
Of course, for the very same reason that it would be big news, this rumor is also hard to believe, if for no other reason than Ducati getting into the MX scene would be a huge jump for the Italian brand.
What is more curious though is the timing of the story, as it comes only two weeks after we published some thoughts about how Ducati can expand its lineup, through the acquisition of a brand like TM Racing.
Most of the rumors seem to come from internet forums and minor news sources – the same places that have been showing the above image (and other like it) as proof of the headline.
Like our story though, these photos are just musings, not news. The above image is not from Ducati Design, but instead it is actually the work of Oberdan Bezzi, who regularly publishes design concepts that dream of bikes that manufacturers should build.
It would of course be interesting if Bezzi’s work here came true, as a desmodromic single-cylinder thumper would certainly be buzz-worthy in the MX space. Will we see such a machine though? That seems unlikely.
Asphalt & Rubber has had this conversation with Claudio Domenicali before, and the Ducati CEO seemed less than enthusiastic about the idea of getting into the motocross space.
The idea that a 450cc dirt bike design could be leveraged for Ducati’s move into developing markets is a bit off the mark as well.
This is because there is almost no overlap between a high-powered 450cc MX race bike, and a small-displacement commuting machine. This kills one of the touted reasons that is being put forth with these rumors for Ducati’s dirt bike.
Also of note, the MX market is saturated by six brands already, all of who are building very similar products. A successful entry into the motocross segment would likely require a game-changing package.
While the off-road sector is ripe for disruption, we are not sure that the Ducati brand is in the correct position for such a move. That is a bridge too far for the Ducatisti loyal, and thus the basis for our speculation a couple of weeks ago.
It will be interesting to see what MV Agusta does in the space with the Cagiva brand, however. And of course, whether any other Italian brands follow their lead, and get their tires dirty.
Source: Motohead Mag