MILAN, ITALY, NOV 12 – Ducati again took center stage on the eve of EICMA, the world’s biggest motorcycle show on the outskirts of Milan, Italy, by trumpeting a record year and introducing three new models and several updates.
“2011, it was a very good year, well actually the best year ever for our company under many perspectives,” Ducati CEO Gabriele del Torchio said at the start of the presentation in the Centro Congresi Auditorium at the Fiera Milano. “Starting from our growing market share, growing turnover, better financial results and sales results and visibility of the company, so an excellent.
“We started 2012 and the big question was will be able to do exactly what we did last year? Now, you know that in terms of economy and the financial world is kind of in a meltdown in many countries. So we did have some worries that we just didn’t know what would happen. But once again we’ve been so resolute and we decided to do even better than 2011. So I’m proud to say that 2012 will be yet another excellent year, a record year for Ducati. Well, actually it will be much more than a record breaking year.”
The first five-year strategic plan finishes up at the end of this year with Ducati having increased market share from 2.6% in 2006 to 5.2 or 5.3%. In what they call Ducati Relevant Market (DRM) share, the number is close to 11%.
October year to year sales are up by 4% “and you can see here some incredible significant results. The U.S. is the most important market and then Italy, and a growing Germany and a growing France, as well.”
U.S. sales through October were 8457 bikes sold, with Italy second at 5442 and Germany third at 4502. The company is projecting record sales of over 44,000 for 2012.
Del Torchio addressed the recently concluded MotoGP season, saying it was “quite a complicated season actually. We haven’t been as successful as wanted. Now, it doesn’t mean anything. I mean it’s a spur, it’s an encouragement. Our motto is a ‘Never give up.’ Ducati is ready for the 2013 season with a great team. You can see here the riders. You have Nicky Hayden, you have Andrea Dovizioso from the official GP team. We also have Ben Spies together with Andrea Iannone on the satellite team.”
Michele Pirro, recently of the San Carlo Honda Gresini CRT team, joins Franco Battaini as a test rider and will compete as a wild card del Torchio said. “We are highly resolute here and determined to do much better than this year.”
2013 Ducati Diavel Strada...
2013 Ducati Diavel Strada
After about a 35-minute presentation del Torchio turned the stage over to Ducati general manager Claudio Domenicali. Domenicali began by introducing a new Diavel, the Diavel Strada, a touring version of the muscle machine that joins the Diavel, the Diavel Dark, Diavel Cromo and the Diavel Carbon.
The Strada stands out for its “touring-friendly components” that includes a wind screen, more swept back and higher handlebars, a larger more heavily padded seat, a back rest, side luggage, and power outlets for heated clothing. The Strada comes in titanium with a black frame and wheels and luggage.
2013 Ducati 1199 Panigale...
2013 Ducati 1199 Panigale R ABS
Next up was the Panigale R ABS, the most expensive Ducati mass production machine-the Desmosedici RR was a limited run-at $29,995.
For 30 grand you get a very high performance motorcycle which is aimed at competing in World Superbike. It begins with titanium rods, an important upgrade on an engine that had rod trouble in racing form. According to an AMA Pro Road Race official, Ducati asked for an allowance for kit rods for the Panigale. They were turned down.
The crankshaft is lighter and, with revised mapping, the Superquadro’s engine now revs 500 rpm higher to 12,000 rpm.
Other racing enhancements include a high-penetration racing screen, fairing mirror caps in
machined alloy and a full Termignoni exhaust system with dedicated ECU mapping. Ducati claims an increase in power of 3% on top and 15% in the mid-range.
The R also has a a 4-point adjustable swingarm pivot, that, through a pair of eccentric adjusters can move the pivot +2mm higher, - 2mm lower and -4mm lower than the standard position.
The bodywork is liberally sprinkled in carbon fiber, bringing the total dry weight down to 363.7 lbs., with the standard ABS system.
The stars of the show were next to come. The Hypermotard and Hypermotard SP were ridden into the darkened auditorium and onto the stage. The SP version ($14,695) has a host of enhancements over the standard version, which retails for $11,995.
Both bikes, new from the ground up, use the 110hp Ducati 821cc Testastretta 11° engine
in a new trellis frame equipped with top-of-the range chassis components. The SP is fitted with 50 mm Marzocchi forks and an Ohlins rear shock. It also has Marchesini forged wheels and Ducati’s Safety Pack (ABS and Ducati Traction Control) and three riding modes, Race, Sport, and Wet.
The SP has Pirelli’s Diablo Supercorsa “SP” tyres in 120/70 x 17 for the front
and 180/55 x 17 for the rear. The package weighs 377 lbs.
Claudio Domenicali unveils...
Claudio Domenicali unveils the Hypermotard SP
The final model to be unveiled is the HyperStrada, a “touring” Hypermotoard crossover that comes with side luggage and a top case option. The seat is more thickly padded and slightly lower, with passenger grab handles. There is a pair of power outlets for navigation systems or heated clothing.
Unlike the SP, the Hyperstrada has 43mm Kayaba upside-down forks and a single Sachs rear shock. It rides on Pirelli Scorpion Trail tires on the ten-spoke Panigale-style cast aluminum wheels. In full touring trim the Hyperstrada is 22 lbs. heavier than the SP.
All three Hypermotoards are fitted with the Bosch three-level ABS controlled Brembo braking system.
The all new four-valve, liquid-cooled 821cc Testastretta 11 engine makes its 110 hp at 9250 rpm. The Torque peak of 65.8 foot-pounds is made at 7750 rpm.
The engine was designed with efficiency, emissions, and low maintenance in mind. The major service interval (valve clearance check) has been upped to 18.541 miles, 30,000 kms.