For the model year, the Ducati Scrambler Icon gets a subtle update with a host of new features, including cornering ABS from Bosch.
Ducati has begun teasing a “joyvolution” for its Scrambler brand. Is a new model set to debut in less than a week’s time?
Air conditioning for your helmet, Ducati hooking up with Hero, and Harley-Davidson vs. President Trump – this episode is a triple threat of hot topics…and deep squirrel holes.
It is by pure happenstance that the featured story at the top of the Asphalt & Rubber homepage is about the new Ducati Hypermotard, which also coincides with today’s story that highlights more info about the 2019 model. Sometimes it is better to be lucky than good.
With that said, more information about the new Ducati Hypermotard has leaked, though it will depend on who you ask what those specifics are when it comes to this new machine. This is because we have conflicting reports from the British site BikeSocial and Italy’s GPone.
Both sites have proven themselves to be reliable in the past, which makes it difficult to decipher their differing opinions on the new power and weight figures of the Ducati Hypermotard. So, let’s dive into what we know, and what we don’t know.
Step aside Marco Melandri, because Alvaro Bautista just stole your seat in the factory Ducati World Superbike team. Announcing his signing today at the British GP, the Aruba.it Racing – Ducati team will have Bautista within its ranks for the year.
Additionally, Chaz Davies has signed up again to be on the Ducati Corse squad, which shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone in the paddock.
Both Davies and Bautista will ride on the new Ducati Panigale V4 superbike, which will make its first proper racing debut in the 1,000cc format next year.
The street model for this machine has yet to be seen, though we have caught glimpses of the test mule for the race bike making laps around various circuits – and it has shown astonishing speed in the process.
Perhaps the longest tooth in Bologna’s motorcycle lineup, the Ducati Hypermotard 939 is set to get a sizable update for the 2019 model year, spy phots have revealed. Taking a page from the original Hypermotard 1100 model by Pierre Terblanche, the 2019 Ducati Hypermotard gets a steel trellis subframe, along with an underseat exhaust system with dual cans. The rest of the Hypermotard looks largely unchanged for the upcoming model year, though we can hope for a substantial electronics package revision. This is because the Ducati Hypermotard would benefit greatly from a color TFT dash, a better ride-by-wire setup, and an IMU-powered traction control and braking, which could include the new rear-slide control feature that is found on the Ducati Panigale V4 superbike.
Is Ducati thinking about making a 300cc sport bike? Is it going to do so in India? With Hero MotoCorp? That is the talk of the motorcycle industry today, though this isn’t the first time that this idea has been floated in the two-wheeled rumor mill. The reason this rumor keeps coming around is that Ducati seems to be one of the last motorcycle brands really to adopt the small-displacement motorcycle strategy. Motorcycle manufacturers are continuously investing in motorcycle models that would sell well with entry-level riders or in developing nations. This has lead to a boom in motorcycles that that are under 400cc – most of which are produced in Asia, though also sold in the western markets.
Once again, you are going to see a number of Brembo brake recalls in the coming days, if not weeks, as the Italian company has yet another sweeping recall this year. Unlike the first recall, which affected the piston on the high performance master cylinders found on a number of superbikes and other sport bike motorcycles, this recall affects the rear brake pads. Sport bikes will be the focus of the recall, as the again the parts are performance based, and specifically the recall concerns the brake pad friction material which may detach from the brake pad backing plate. Brembo says that its brake pad supplier (Federal Mogul) improperly thermal treated the brake pads at a higher temperature, which resulted in a reduced bonding of the pad material to the backing plate. This was caused by human error.
More doom and gloom for the motorcycle industry, as Ducati Motor Holdings sales are slumping for the 2018 model year. Selling 32,250 motorcycles so far this year, the Italian brand is short 7.4% the volume it sold this time last year. To translate unit sales into fiat currency, the 32,250 motorcycles sold equals €448 million in revenue going into Audi’s coffers. Of note, Ducati’s revenue contribution to Audi AG accounts for 1.4% of the automaker’s total revenue. For the second quarter of this year, Ducati sales were down 8.9% compared to Q2 2017. This means that 20,319 Ducati motorcycles were sold in Q2 2018, compared to the 22,300 sold in Q2 2017. All segments for Ducati are down, except for its “Sport” category (SuperSport and Superbike models), which is up 29%.
We didn’t hear too much about “Project 1309” from World Ducati Week 2018, which is surprising considering what the past has shown us about Ducati’s secret reveals, but the Bologna brand was once again giving a teaser to fans in Misano. In the past, World Ducati Week has been the place where Ducati showed us the first Scrambler model, and last year the event debuted the return of the Ducati SuperSport. This year, it is another new bike. A new Diavel, to be precise. Set to compliment the current XDiavel model, the new Diavel features the same 1,262cc DVT engine with variable valve timing, but puts it into the more sport Diavel riding platform. This means tucked in feet on rearsets, rather than the XDiavel’s foot-forward controls.
The Clash’s hit song “Should I Stay, Or Should I Go” might perhaps perfectly fit the business situation for Ducati, within its parent company, Volkswagen AG. The Italian motorcycle brand’s status in the German conglomerate has for the past few years been held on a tenuous string. Rumor about its divestiture, its selling to another company, are constantly dogging the iconic brand. Talking to Bloomberg TV after Volkswagen’s quarterly earnings report, VW CEO Herbert Diess explained that there are two paths forward for Ducati, and one of them includes selling Ducati to the highest bidder. “We have to look which is the best ownership for Ducati,” said Diess to Bloomberg.