I have a theory. I think the Ducati Scrambler might be the best motorcycle available right now.
OK, before you hang me in some sort of hipster lynching, let me qualify that. But first, some news and background.
April of 2015 was the best sales month in Ducati's history. The company delivered 7,309 units to customers, largely thanks to the new Ducati Scrambler finally becoming available. The Scrambler isn't just a hit in the Unites States, where its hipster marketing campaign seems to be working wonders, but it's also doing even better in Italy, where Ducati's sales were up 69 percent this April with the Scrambler not just Ducati's best-selling model, but the best-selling model in general.
The Scrambler has done well in other markets, as well. Ducati April sales were up 52 percent in Germany, 54 percent in Spain, 50 percent in the U.K., and 13 percent in France.
Now, where were we?
Ah, yes. While some will say these sales numbers are purely a result of marketing and gullible buyers, I'd have to disagree.
I think the Ducati Scrambler is the best and most appropriate motorcycle for the way most people ride, assuming they want something with a pleasing style that is still fun to ride. I've had this debate several times in the last few weeks as units started popping up and people began considering them (my friends aren't the "put a deposit down after hearing about it" type).
What do most people do with a street motorcycle? They take recreational rides with friends on weekends. They get away to the beach or mountains for a break. They ride to work or to school. They use it for getting around and running errands. They want the bike to be fun to ride and want to feel some sort of emotional connection to it while doing all that.
For that kind of duty, the Ducati delivers the best combination of style and fun at a reasonable cost. The Triumph Scrambler is too heavy and has shit suspension and brakes. The Triumph Street Triple is too serious (read: sport-focused) and, for most people, too ugly. I've only ridden the Moto Guzzi V7 Racer from the V7 line, but thought it was an absolute turd (sorry guys, I know that's rude... but it's true). The Ducati Monster is too ugly and too expensive, and the Japanese options are all too boring, outside of the Yamaha FZ-07, which is fun to ride and a bargain, but is lacking in style.
This doesn't mean no one should buy any of those other motorcycles. If you're super into a very specific aesthetic, my buddy Sinuhe from The Mighty Motor proved that the only way to go is a Triumph Scrambler — seriously, that thing is unreal amounts of sexy. If you're the type to go play in the canyons or do the occasional track day (or you like things that look like Transformers), you couldn't do better than the Street Triple or new Monster 821. There will always be outliers and people for whom the Aprilia Shiver 750 or Suzuki SFV650 are just the perfect fit, but that just isn't most people. A more focused bike makes better sense if you're a rider who really does do long trips on the slab (seek wind protection and luggage carrying ability) or truly leaves the pavement behind (get yourself a dual-sport), but most street riders don't.
For most people, I believe that Ducati's new $8,500, 75-horsepower, 400-pound, stylish standard is the perfect blend of capable, comfortable, and nice-looking. While not excelling completely at aesthetics or performance, it's the best combination of both that's currently available and it has a very reasonable MSRP.
Now, hipster lynchers, you may proceed.