Ducati Preparing Mystery Bike, Journalists Invited at a Track Test for a Road Bike

Something new is brewing behind closed doors at Borgo Panigale, and apparently we'll have to wait until September to find out what it is. The only thing that was mentioned was a "track test for a road bike", but this phrase seems to only cause more confusion.
Ducati 1299 Panigale S 1 photo
Photo: Ducati
Honestly, all this is is a major source for pure speculation, especially as no spies reported anything related to Borgo Panigale's next move. It's anyone's guess what's cooking at Ducati, and the suppositions range from a new Streetfighter powered by the new 1299 engine, to an off-road Multistrada, and from a KTM 390-platform rival to a new 899 Panigale.


In our books, a "road bike" sort of eliminates the off-road-ready Multistrada 1200 right from the start. The bike seems to do just well as it is, and the recent airbag system and the variable valve timing version of the engine are two important upgrades that can take the bike well into the future.

Plus, it seems very unlikely that Ducati decides to tap into the off-road segment. A brand well-known for its excellence on tarmac, Ducati has, in time, become a synonym for sport bike excellence, and it's hard to believe why Borgo Panigale would want to change that.

1299 Streetfighter?

Some guys have been rather enthusiastic in anticipating that this new bike may be the 1299 Streetfighter. This option could make more sense, with certain reserves. The naked streetfighters have never been too successful outside Europe, and since one of the most important markets for Ducati is the US, such a move may be a tad risky.

The North American market doesn't seem to be VERY attracted to the naked superbike segment. Still, bike manufacturers have significantly upped their game and machines such as the upgraded, more powerful Aprilia Tuono 1100, Suzuki's GSX-S1000 or the BMW S1000R have added a lot of dynamism to the segment.

The 848 is not a strong seller, either and rumors have it sacked for 2016, leaving Ducati without a sporty naked machine for 2016. replacing the aging 848 with the 1299 Streetfighter could fill the gap, provided that the bike is also well-priced. A very expensive bike in a series that's not hugely popular is not going to become a strong seller.

As for the new engine, minor tweaks could transform the DVT engine in the new Multistrada into a sportier beast perfectly suitable for a big-bore fighter.

A small-displacement Ducati?

Even though Ducati officials said that the idea of building scooters was not "blasphemous" as some fans believed, seeing Borgo Panigale delivering a small-displacement line-up is a bit unlikey. Such bikes would definitely allow Ducati to penetrate a vast number of markets with cheaper motorcycles that woul sell like hot cakes.

Some say that such a direction could have a negative impact among loyal Ducati fans. However, this claim is not too pertinent, because it's like hearing a BMW rider say he or she won't buy the new S1000RR because the Bavarian is also building small-displacement machines.

Unlikely as it may seem, small-displacement Ducati bikes could be a hit. Catch up with us this week for an interesting editorial.

DVT or naked trim for the 899 Panigale?

Another rumor sees the 899 Panigale receiving a DVT engine, possibly with some extra ccs and power. At the same time, people seem to be in favor of replacing the 848 with a naked version of the 899 Panigale.

Such a move would also be a feasible one, because it would involve using the same platform, a game Ducati seems particularly good at. Being able to deliver multiple bikes based on the same platform and differentiating them using small changes in bodywork or ergonomics is a holy grail in the industry.

We can only hope that spies are more successful despite the unforgiving summer heat and can bring some extra info on the new Ducati bike. Until then, we don't even know of to feel really hyped or just mildly excited.
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