Friday, June 25, 2010

Ducati for the Regular Guy

The Multistrada 1200, built around Ducati's most powerful motor, the 1198 L-Twin Testastretta, is capable of speeds in excess of 150 mph. But, unlike typical sportbikes, it was also engineered with the reality of urban roads and the needs of everyday riders in mind. Comfort was as much a stated goal as performance was.

Billed as "four-bikes-in-one," a push-button control provides instant traction, torque and braking adjustments, even while in motion. Pre-set modes allow the capability to go from a high-performance, quick-response ride to a more mundane commute.

Pricing starts at $14,995, with "sport" and "touring" option packages priced at $16,495 and $19,995.

TheStreet spoke to Michael Lock, chief executive officer of Ducati North America, about the launch and its significance for the company.

What is unique about the Multistrada?

Lock: This is a more rational motorcycle than what we've made in the past. We wanted to be able to deliver not just a fantasy product, but one you can use every day.

Sport bikes have become incredibly related to actual racing bikes because the Baby Boom generation demanded that authenticity of experience. But chances are that the typical superbike buyer is 48 to 52 years old, weighs 250 pounds and probably hasn't been to the gym in 20 years. These motorcycles, for someone like that, are actually a torture rack. So we have this growing gap in the sport-bike world between who the buyer is, what their aspirations are, and what actually will satisfy those aspirations. Producing bikes like the Multistrada, we used all the technology to make a comfortable, unintimidating motorcycle. You don't need to be a superhero to ride it.

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