The Scrambler line has been a big success for Ducati over the past year, so maybe they thought they could take 2016 off?
That's the impression I have after what I've seen so far.
With lots of manufacturers coming out with models that are more accessible and appealing to younger riders, to try to expand the market instead of fighting over the same shrinking pie, the rumors of a smaller Scrambler were intriguing. Today, Ducati CEO Claudio Domenicali unveiled that bike, the Sixty2, and he even said it was a model meant "to make the company more accessible."
What attributes do you think make a motorcycle more accessible to new riders or younger riders? A lower price? Lighter weight? A lower seat height?
Unfortunately, the Sixty2 doesn't offer much of any of that. It costs just $500 less than the larger Scrambler Icon, weighs about seven pounds less and has the same seat height. Really, the only reason I can see to buy the 399 cc Sixty2 instead of the 803 cc Scrambler Icon is if your age and country of residence mean you're legally not allowed to ride anything bigger. Which means I see no place for it in the U.S. market. Why not a light, 399 cc single with that Scrambler style, Ducati?
So there's the first pitch and it's a swing and miss.
Ducati also showed another new Scrambler, the Flat Track Pro. It's a new version of the Scrambler line, but it looks suspiciously like the Icon. Oh, but wait, it has a different sprocket cover. And an abbreviated front mud guard. And a different brake fluid reservoir cover and "flat track handgrip." And... that's about it.
Really, if you're going to have a legend like Troy Bayliss ride something onto the stage, can't you give him a better ride? I almost felt sorry for him.
So there's the second pitch and he got a good piece of that one but it's pulled foul. Oh, and the fan in section 234 didn't see that one coming and the ball exploded his beer all over the seventh row. Not the souvenir those fans were looking for tonight.
The third pitch? Well, there's still hope for the Scrambler line. Domenicali said another model will be unveiled in Miami in December.
Let's hope it's not a called third strike.