When it comes to Ducati’s new model rumors, the only thing we know for certain is that in roughly two months’ time, the Bologna Brand will to debut, at a track in Spain, a new motorcycle.
Early speculation pegged that new model as a 1299-based Streetfighter – a model that we concluded we were unlikely to see in Spain, if for no other reason than it us a very “un-Ducati” way of launching an entirely new model motorcycle.
Taking a longer look at Ducati’s lineup, and having a few other rumors float our way, a more likely supposition would be an update/addition to the Ducati 899 Panigale, likely something along the lines of an “S” model.
The logic here is simple: 1) it isn’t crazy to see the two-year-old 899 Panigale get a refresh, 2) the model certainly fits the bill for an on-track debut, and the real kicker, 3) there is a $4,300 gap to bridge between the 899 ($14,995) and base model 1299 ($19,295).
That huge step in price between Ducati’s Panigale modles is ripe for a ~$17,000 variant of the 899 that could better fill the demand curve for enthusiasts, and of course it would add another model with more premium components from the factory, which always help the bottom line.
Like with the rumored “RC” versions of the MV Agusta F3, we are waiting for a brand to draw first blood with electronic suspension or semi-active suspension (we’re surprised more models don’t have traction control!) in the supersport segment .
We would also expect to see Ducati add forged aluminum wheels to the mix, and of course some sort of “Corse” kit that would include an exhaust and other track-oriented goodies, like we see on the Ducati Panigale R.
A model refresh launch in September makes a whole lot more sense than a new model debut, as a bike like an updated 899 Panigale would get lost in the onslaught that is the EICMA show. Also, an early-fall release gives the new model some extra attention, and leaves more room for Ducati’s big announcements in November.
Of course, we are just spit-balling here. But the logic makes sense, right? Fortunately, we won’t have to wait long to test the theory. Stay tuned.