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Old August 26th, 2017, 06:15 PM   #1
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I Ride: '13 Hyperstrada, '06 DR650, 2017 KTM 690 Duke
Will Ducati Enter Mid Range ADV Bike Race?

Given Ducati's uncertain future, it's pure speculation any of this would ever become reality, but fun to fantasize. I'd like to see what the "Ducatisti" here think: Fact is, Ducati totally has the ability to trump the current market or at least be in the running in this "new" segment.

At present, several major OEM's are involved in the ADV or Dual Sport niche, and some are in hot pursuit creating new, lighter weight mid range Dual sport/ADV bikes.

Yamaha, KTM and BMW ALL have current projects in development or even in Production. Both KTM and BMW are now producing smaller bikes in India, but looks like these projected 600cc to 800cc bikes will be made in home countries ... so NONE will be inexpensive.

Yamaha, BMW and KTM are producing a parallel twin in the 700cc area. Sad part is none of these bikes are very light. (see F800GS )

Surprising since KTM usually dominates the weight wars, but rumored weight projections are quite HIGH. BMW does not have a NEW 800 twin on the market as of now, but rumors persist they may revise current F800 or bring something else (smaller, lighter?) onto the market.

And what about Honda? Since they've just released the new 1000cc Africa Twin, it's not expected Honda will follow with a new, smaller, lighter bike mirroring the Africa Twin ... even though that is EXACTLY what Honda should do!

Honda have two engine platforms if they choose to do that, the CB500X P-Twin, and maybe one to two others I've missed that have potential to fulfill this roll.

Many are hoping Honda will boost up their 500X twin to a 650 twin, add more compression, hotter cams and tune for HP. The current 500 is like Mild Salsa made in New York City!

Kawasaki have several potentially GREAT ADV engines : Ninja 500 P-Twin and
Versys 650. They just need to meld tech from their 450 MX bike with modernized KLR concepts, add a modernized version of either motor above ...
could be a winner.

Suzuki have been selling the V-Strom 650 for 15 years. The last 5 years they've been peddling it as an ADV bike. It is not. Not really. But ... it could be.
But that would take money and Suzuki has NONE and don't want to spend any!

Of the Japanese, Yamaha are currently best placed to dominate this so called
mid range ADV niche. The coming T-7 could be interesting, but already, many speculate it will be TOO HEAVY. It uses the fabulous little P twin from the FZ-07, a light and fairly compact motor.

Now we get to Ducati. How should Ducati approach this? Or should they even bother? With the piles of profits made from the Scramblers, should they just
stand pat? Or bust a move and take that Scrambler motor and actually build a true off road capable ADV bike. No, would not win the HP wars but ... if done right ... and that is a BIG IF when talking about Ducati ... it could be an awesome bike ... and Ducati can do light when they want to!

How would YOU build a mid sized Ducati ADV/Dual Sport/Scrambler off road capable and ... VERSATILE ADV BIKE?
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Old August 26th, 2017, 10:24 PM   #2
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I Ride: Triumph Thruxton R.Ducati 916 foggy rep, NC30 Honda, RD350 YPVS F1, Ducati HyperStrada
put some panniers on the desert sled
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Old August 27th, 2017, 10:15 PM   #3
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I Ride: '13 Hyperstrada, '06 DR650, 2017 KTM 690 Duke
I know the Desert Sled, saw it at the dealers, never rode it. I just read a review on the Desert Sled to educate myself more about it. The Sled sounds lots better than the Scrambler I rode and Ducati improved a few things over standard Scrambler.

I was given a new (under 400 miles) Scrambler as a loaner bike. Had it for 2 weeks. I barely rode the thing. It was that bad. ... but ... as an ADV bike, it may have potential. Not sure how much different the Sled would be from standard scrambler I rode. It would have to be REALLY improved to change my mind.

One good thing? The clutch was PERFECT (unlike my Hyper!) The seat was one of the worst I've ever sat on! The suspension also deplorable. This bike would kill you if you tried to ride even moderately quickly on technical paved roads.

The Sled reviews I read said both seat and suspension were better than standard Scrambler. Dunno? (don't believe them)

The thing was down on power ... but to be expected. I could live with that.
Ducati claim 75 crank HP, so figure 60 to 65 at the rear wheel. OK, fine.

I believe Ducati could do better ... but the Sled is already over priced and too heavy, so making it truly better ... would cost even more.

Still, I feel it has potential ... and thanks for bringing up what was right under my nose. After my very dismal experience on the Scrambler .... the Sled never entered my mind. THANKS!

SCRAMBLER:
Things I liked about it:
Very low ... probably too low for many riders OK for me at 5'6"
Great clutch!
Shifted OK
Handled and steered fairly well (not even close to Hyper)
Brakes were good, not great.
Good fueling, modest power but revved out OK.

Best of all ... I like the utter simplicity of this bike. Not a lot a BS bling crap we now see on ALL the big ADV bikes which add thousands plus add massive complexity.

Reality Check: ADV travel bikes get the shit beat out of them and don't have a terribly long life. So, less to fail on this Ducati ... but unfortunately many Japanese standards from the 80's would probably be just as good or better.

Things I did not like:
Suspension: Bad beyond belief, yet review of Sled claimed it wasn't bad. Did Ducati bring in ringers for the Press to ride? It can't be the same bike I rode.

Seat: simply terrible ... but I forgive this as it's an easy fix.

So ... if you did suspension and seat ... you might have a decent mid range
adv bike. But I'd rather have my DR650. I think!

Price: WAY too expensive for what it is at $12.5 K USD. Once the Scrambler fad wears off and the Hipsters move onto something new these Scramblers may be collecting dust in showrooms. They will NOT SELL. I give the fad another year or two max. I hope I'm wrong as IMO, Scramblers are cool bikes ... any brand.

Last edited by Hyp Noob; August 28th, 2017 at 07:14 PM.
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Old September 4th, 2017, 10:47 AM   #4
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"Adventure tourer" and "Ducati" are mutually exclusive. As long as they keep making pretty little plastic princess bikes that are difficult to work on without special tools, they will never produce a true adventure bike. Fucking around in the dirt for a couple hours and actually riding across the country or across South America on dirt roads/jeep trails are two very different things.

The Desert Sled? Laughable. I'm sure it's fun to fuck around on for a couple hours in the desert but it's really made for hipsters to ride around town. It's far from an adventure bike.

Are there any accounts of someone actually riding a Ducati to Patagonia or around the world? Without a support vehicle...
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Old September 4th, 2017, 01:13 PM   #5
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*Fully adjustable suspension. This infuriates me. I can't believe it was never even an option for all Hyper models.
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