Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Fairfield, CT, USA
My guess is that Ducati is trying to emulate the success of KTM, which is equally expensive but has been extraordinarily successful in marketing itself over the last two decades. They both got in the motorcycle business at about the same time, but whereas Ducatis were (and are) fussy, KTMs developed their Austrian reputation for reliability, true or not. They perform very well, are every bit as expensive as Ducati, but KTM has about four times the sales as Ducati worldwide. Whereas Ducati went down the path of the cruiser, KTM did dirt bikes and enduros and built its brand that way.
The funny part is that off-road (real off-road) sales are a negligible part of the American sales, about 10% overall if I understand it correctly. But they are skewed to the younger crowd, so that people grow up on dirt/enduro bikes and then move to street. If they are going to maintain brand awareness, then the brands they aspire to will be the ones they gravitate to when they age. I aspired to Ducatis, but the younger crowd may just see Ducatis as finicky and laden with problems, whereas KTM enjoys both its own reputation and the overall aura of the German/Austrian engineering world.
My guess - only a guess guys - is that Ducati, now that it has become part of Audi, is taking a leaf from that playbook.
2005 999s Hephaistos polumetis
2003 ST4s ABS Senna Petrarca peregrinus ubique