When it comes to sales figures for 2018, it is a good news / bad news type of situation for Ducati Motor Holding.
This is because the Italian brand sold 53,004 motorcycles to customers last year, which is a 5% drop from 2017’s figures, and ends an eight-year growth streak for the brand. That’s the bad news.
The good news though is that Ducati claimed the title as the top superbike brand in the world, with 9,700 Panigale models sold in 2018. This marks a 70% increase over the 2017 figures, thanks largely to the new Panigale V4 model.
The Ducati Panigale V4 might be the pinnacle of superbike design, but today mark’s the machine’s fifth recall in its inaugural year of production.
This particular recall affects the Panigale V4’s cam chain tensioner, which may loosen over time, and possibly cause oil to leak from the bottom of the tensioner adjustment bolt.
Obviously, an oil leak could lead to a loss of traction for the motorcycle, and may cause the bike to crash, hence the need for a recall.
In addition to the Ducati Panigale V4 recall that we saw earlier this week, we have another safety issue from the Bologna brand.
This time it concerns the Monster 821, Monster 1200, and Supersport models from Ducati, which may suffer from the shift lever having been incorrectly assembled, which could possibly result in the shift knob detaching from the lever.
If the knob falls off the shifter, a bike could get stuck in gear, which poses a safety issue to the rider, so a recall has been created with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
In total, 2,705 units from the 2017, 2018, and 2018 model years are affected by this recall.
Fancy yourself the new Ducati Panigale V4? It’s going to cost you a pretty penny if you do, as pricing for the USA and Europe has been revealed, and the 215hp superbike is not going cheaply into that good night.
As such, Ducati lists 2018 pricing for the Panigale V4 as €22,590 in Europe, with pricing in the US set at $21,195 for the base model. For those keeping score, this is a premium of $1,200 over the outgoing Ducati 1299 Panigale.
When you get to the Panigale V4 S though, things start getting considerably more expensive. European pricing on the Ducati Panigale V4 S is set at €27,890, while pricing for the USA will be $27,495.
For the American market, this is a $1,700 bump on pricing when compared to the 2017 Ducati 1299 Panigale.
We have already reported on how Ben Spies is trying to put together a superbike comeback, with an eye on the 2018 MotoAmerica Championship. There is a long road from here to there though, and the biggest hurdle for the American road racer is finding a ride.
Our Paddock Pass Podcast colleague Neil Morrison has some news on that though, and as he reported on Crash.net, Spies could be looking to Ducati for support on his return to motorcycle racing.
Talking to Ducati Sporting Director Paolo Ciabatti, Morrison (that handsome devil) reports that Ducati is prepared to help the Texan…if he can foot the bill.
The Pikes Peak International Hill Climb is rapidly approaching, and the iconic “Race to the Clouds” continues to mature, despite this year being its 95th running.
Helping mitigate the safety issues that come with racing on the mountain’s 156 turns is Ducati North America, which already supports racer mentoring with the Squadra Alpina program. Now, Pikes Peak is taking another step forward.
Again with the help of Ducati North America, the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb will have emergency first-responders on motorcycles.
This is a page taken straight out of the Isle of Man TT, where traveling marshals move by sport bike between checkpoints, and are often the first medical personnel on the scene of a crash.
Accordingly, the two Ducati Multistrada 950 EMT motorcycles will be ridden by Dr. Gary Klein, a long-time race physician and safety team lead for the PPIHC, and Duxton Milam, a 20-year EMT and veteran flight medic with the National Guard.
Episode 53 of the Two Enthusiasts Podcast is out, and it continues our adventures in Austin, Texas. For this show, we focus on one of our favorite topics: Ducati motorcycles.
The show revolves around two interviews we recorded at COTA, one with Jason Chinnock, the CEO of Ducati North America; and the other with Julian Thomas, the press manager for the Ducati MotoGP team.
With Chinnock we talk about a number of topics, including Ducati’s new models, the current motorcycle climate, and the rumors about its V4 superbike. The interview ends with a very interesting discussion about ownership structures for motorcycle companies, which is proving to be a timely commentary.
With Thomas, we talk about the current state of the Ducati MotoGP team, the progress that they have seen so far this season, and how the arrival of Jorge Lorenzo has changed the team dynamic.
Both interviews have plenty of interesting insights, which we think even non-Ducatisti will find insightful and enjoyable.
You can listen to the show via the embedded SoundCloud player, after the jump, or you can find the show on iTunes (please leave a review) or this RSS feed. Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter as well. Enjoy the show!
Ducati North America is recalling certain Ducati Multistrada 1200 Enduro models, because of a defect found with the bike’s a Sachs semi-active rear shock absorber.
According to documents filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the lower shock-end eyelet may crack during heavy off-road use, and possibly detach from the swingarm.
This can obviously collapse the rear-end of the motorcycle, which poses a serious safety hazard, hence a recall being started with the NHTSA.
Ducati released a new financing program this week, maybe you saw the announcement already. If you even bothered to read one of the copy/paste jobs on this announcement, you probably got three sentences into it, and then realized you just lost a minute or two of your life, which you will never get back.
It is hard to make this topic sexy, and motorcycle journalists are lazy creatures (myself included)…which is why you probably just saw the press release reprinted on a website, with some Ducati advertising placed next to it, just for good measure.
The Ducati Premier Financing program is a big deal though, just not in a way that is immediately sexy to the casual motorcycle buyer.
In realities, Ducati Premier Financing is not that different from the BMW 3asy Ride financing program, in that it is a finance plan that is not too dissimilar from a leasing program, and it is aimed at making the monthly payment on a motorcycle incredibly affordable*.
Ducati is recalling over 5,500 units of its Scrambler motorcycles for a faulty kickstand pivot nut, which can potentially detach from the motorcycle. The recall affects 2015 and 2016 model year bikes, manufactured between February 17, 2015 and November 11, 2016.
If the pivot nut loosens or detaches, it can cause the kickstand position sensor not to function properly, which can lead to either the motorcycle stalling, or the rider being able to operate the motorcycle with the kickstand still down. Either scenario is potential dangerous.