Five down, four to go. The question becomes, what are the next four?
I am referring, of course, to the promise Claudio Domenicali, Ducati’s CEO, made to “deliver no less than nine new models” in the 2016 range, as the Italian manufacturer builds on its growth of more than 20 percent in 2015.
So, what do we know so far?
The Monster 1200R was officially released at the Frankfurt International Auto Show, making it the first confirmed model of 2016. Two days ago, Motorcycle.com confirmed CARB documents showing that Ducati is also planning to replace the current 899 Panigale with a more powerful 959 Panigale sporting a new 955 cc powerplant.
Using the same CARB documents, it looks like the current 821 cc Testastretta 11-degree engine used in the Hypermotard, Hypermotard SP, and Hyperstrada line will get a displacement bump to 937 cc. Despite the displacement size, these bikes will most likely carry a 939 in their respective names.
I am a little disappointed with this particular update. I have been waiting for years for Ducati to release the Hyperstrada with an upgraded suspension option, similar to that of the SP. More power is only a piece of the puzzle and I would have rather seen the 821 muscle with an updated suspension package added to the bagged version of the Hyper. Anywho, I digress.
Assuming that the light aesthetic changes to the new 2016 Diavel Carbon don’t count toward the nine new models Ducati has promised us for next year, we are left with another four new models to be released.
With the success of the Scrambler, it is fun to think about the possibility of another retro-inspired, lightweight, air-cooled option. There has been buzz about a new, belt-driven cruiser to really take aim at the Harley contingent. But what about a true sport-touring option? We saw BMW revive the R 1200 RS and personally I think it would be cool to see Ducati do something similar and bring back the ST3. A nice, mid-size sport-tourer leaning more toward "sport" that "touring."
Ducati released a new “This Is Black” teaser video that ends with the date Nov. 16. Clearly, this is no coincidence, as Ducati has promised to unveil all nine new models at the EICMA show on Nov. 17. Until then, we are left to speculate. What would you like to see from Ducati in 2016?