Ducati considers a Cruiser

The XDiavel (pictured above) is Ducati's interpretation of what a Cruiser should be. And Autmologist MAC approves. In the world...

The XDiavel (pictured above) is Ducati's interpretation of what a Cruiser should be. And Autmologist MAC approves.

In the world of motorcycling, there are few brands that are as sought after as Ducati. It is, in many ways, the Ferrari or Lamborghini of the two-wheeled world. Much like its four-wheeled Italian cousins, Ducati is renowned for producing hairy-chested, exotically styled performance beasties. But now, the maker of superbikes could be headed into brand new territory to produce its very first cruiser.

There is an adage that "if it ain’t broke then don’t fix it", so why on earth would the maker of such automotive legends as the Monster, Diavel and the Mulitstrada venture into the ‘old man’ end of the market, and produce a bike more suited to travelling long distances than the more traditional "get there first" of Ducati fame.

The answer lies firmly at the door of the new Ducati North America CEO, Jason Chinnock. The US of A is now the biggest market for Ducati - bigger even than Italy - where they experienced a massive 15% sales growth during 2015. US consumers buy 115,000 cruisers annually and thus Chinnock is eyeing a slice of what could become a significant bit of business for the legendary Italian marque. This sector of the market has traditionally been hogged by our old friends over at Harley Davidson, who seem to have created a real connection with the American public with its products.

But don’t write Ducati off just yet, as it has always looked to produce bikes with style, sophistication and performance, with the sort of styling that most of us just know is a Ducati. Judging by the pictures released of the new XDiavel, I reckon it has hit the mark on that one. Apart from increasing sales, the stated aim of the new offering is to be able to offer a product that is not just rooted in racing, but also one that will provide an emotional connection between the rider and the bike, apparently - a new-age road-rebel bike, perhaps.

Cruisers are not generally known for dynamic handling or "rip the skin off your face" acceleration, but according to Chinnock, the XDiavel will not compromise on the company’s reputation for fire-breathing performance reputation. One good thing is that there are no plans for an electric bike just yet, unlike its new competitor, Harley Davidson, which unveiled its LiveWire a couple of years ago. According to Chinnock, the technology is not yet capable of delivering the sort of experience that a Ducati owner would want just yet, and thus the experience just wouldn’t be worthy of being called a Ducati.


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