Ducati Motorcycles reviews

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2018 Ducati Scrambler 1100 Sport

2018 Ducati Scrambler 1100 Sport

A Scrambler Even The Fiery-Eyed Pegdraggers Can Love

Ducati really made a splash when it reintroduced its Scrambler line back in 2014. The 800 cc model begat the 400 cc model, but the factory didn’t stop there, it also reached up into the higher displacements as well with the Scrambler 1100 series. For 2018, we have the Ducati Scrambler 1100 Sport that elevates the family line to a whole new level with some top-shelf suspension components and race-tastic livery meant to appeal primarily to the go-fast crowd. Much is shared with its big-bore siblings; chassis, engine and electronics, but the Sport endeavors to increase the line’s inclusivity by drawing in those fiery-eyed pegdraggers. Is it a bridge too far? That’s doubtful, because as far as I can tell, the factory has yet to hit any natural barriers to the potential of the new Scrambler line.

Continue reading for my review of the Ducati Scrambler 1100 Sport.

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2018 Ducati Scrambler 1100

2018 Ducati Scrambler 1100

Getting Better With Each Incarnation

There can be little doubt that Ducati’s Scrambler line has been a success thus far, and after expanding the mid-displacement (803 cc) family downward last year with the 399 cc Sixty2, the factory decided to go the other direction with its Scrambler 1100 range. Larger, more powerful and arguably more mature, the 1100s bring to the table the same sassy style as their smaller siblings along with 86 grin-inducing ponies and an electronics suite (riding modes, TC, ABS) commensurate with its greater capabilities. In short, the Scrambler line is all growed up now and ready to swim in the deep end; or is it. Let’s investigate this new branch on the Scrambler family tree and judge for ourselves.

Continue reading for my look at the Ducati Scrambler 1100 and Scrambler 100 Special.

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2014 - 2017 Ducati Multistrada 1200 / 1200 S

2014 - 2017 Ducati Multistrada 1200 / 1200 S

Poised To Be Your ’Everything’ Bike

Ducati’s multi-use Multistrada 1200/1200 S continues the family’s Jack-of-All tradition with a host of features both electronic and mechanical to further its adventuresome pursuits. Traction control, rider modes and ABS come bundled with the standard equipment package, but in truth are actually the more mundane of the available gadgetry. The Ducati Wheelie Control and the inertial-measurement device that feeds data to the lean-angle sensitive Bosch ABS are the stars of that show, but Duc packed even more onto its proven chassis to carry it through the ’17 model year. A Testastretta mill with Ducati’s Variable Timing provides up to 125 horsepower with plenty of bottom end to help you come out of the hole for that all-important lead position on the pack of cars clogging the road behind you.

Continue reading for my review of the Ducati Multistrada 1200 and 1200 S.

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2018 Ducati Scrambler Mach 2.0

2018 Ducati Scrambler Mach 2.0

Ducati’s Newest Addition To The Scrambler Stable

Ducati made some adjustments to its Scrambler lineup this year. The “Mach 2.0” moves in to help fill the void left by the departure of the Flat Track Pro and Urban Enduro but creates a niche of its own with a particularly nostalgia-inducing look meant to call to mind the 70s on the West Coast. Roland Sands Design in Los Angeles, California, drew on its vast experience as a custom bike builder on that very coast to dream up this variant on the Scrambler theme at Ducati’s request, and the result is ’pretty cool, man.’ The differences between the Scramblers can be subtle, though noticeable; but today I’m going to take a look at the Mach 2.0 and see what RSD switched up to set this ride apart from the rest of the range.

Continue reading for my review of the Ducati Scrambler Mach 2.0.

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2017 - 2018 Ducati Monster 797 / 797 Plus

2017 - 2018 Ducati Monster 797 / 797 Plus

An Approachable Naked Monster

Ducati added to its “Monster” family in 2017 with the accessible and relatively rider-friendly “797” version of its popular naked bike. This ride uses the same 803 cc mill that drives the full-size Scramblers, so while it isn’t a net-new engine, it is a proven one. Dual front brakes with ABS, Pirelli tires and fat Kayaba forks are but some of the features included in what looks to be the closest to an “entry level” ride that the Monster family has managed to date. I was eager to take a look at this new ride ever since it was revealed at the Milan show, and what I see so far does not disappoint. For 2018, the Monster 797 Plus replaces the base model with some extra goodies added in. Join me while I delve into the details to see what Duc has in store for us.

Continue reading for my review of the Ducati Monster 797 and 797 Plus.

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Ducati Multistrada 950

Ducati Multistrada 950

Coming Soon, A Multistrada 950 Touring Model

Since it came out back in ’03, Ducati’s Multistrada family has gotten a lot of love from the riding community. It’s seen a number of upgrades and engine changes over the years, and the new-for-2017 “950” serves as the smallest Multistrada model this year. I wouldn’t call this an entry-level bike by any means, but it is the most accessible of Ducati’s multi-bikes, and thus is likely to help bridge the gap for folks looking to test the adventure-bike waters as it were. A 937 cc Testastretta powerplant drives the ride with 100-plus horsepower on tap and a host of safety-related features bundled in with the Ducati Safety Pack. Today I want to check out this newest bit of Ducatisti bait, and see how the genre has continued to evolve.

Continue reading for my review of the Ducati Multistrada 950.

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2017 - 2018 Ducati Multistrada 1200 Enduro / Enduro Pro

2017 - 2018 Ducati Multistrada 1200 Enduro / Enduro Pro

One Of The Nicer Adventure Bikes Out There

The Multistrada Enduro serves as a sort of Jack-of-all-trades as far as bikes go, and Ducati expands the family footprint even further for MY18 with the addition of the Enduro Pro. While it’s safe to say the base Enduro is capable of traversing the black as well as the brown, the Pro version brings a decidedly off-road bias to the table, not unlike some of the other serious business dual-surface rides out there. We’ll see for sure here shortly. The new variant has the same 152-horsepower plant as the base Enduro with a handful of useful bits and bobs such as tank protectors, a low-profile windscreen and Rally-style tires that really give it the off-road slant. Today I’m going to check out the Enduros in depth to see what all Duc has done for its dirtiest Jack to date.

Continue reading for my review of the Ducati Multistrada 1200 Enduro and Enduro Pro.

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2016 - 2018 Ducati Hypermotard 939

2016 - 2018 Ducati Hypermotard 939

The Hooligan Bike You Always Wanted

Ducati updated its Hypermotard for the 2016 model year and carried that forward to 2018. Fairly fresh off a revamp in ’13, the new Hypermotard variant brings Ducati’s EURO 4-emissions compliant Testastretta to the range along with its increased, 937 cc displacement and 113-pony output. The factory also padded the range with a MotoGP-liveried, 939 SP that sports top-shelf racing suspension and is generally skewed toward track work, or riders who wish they were doing track work. Both rides benefit from Ducati’s rider-safety technology with onboard traction control, ABS and the like. Good thing too, since this is exactly the kind of bike that will allow you to get in trouble all three ways: quick, fast, and in-a-hurry.

Continue reading for my review of the Ducati Hypermotard 939 and 939 SP.

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2015 - 2017 Ducati Monster 821

2015 - 2017 Ducati Monster 821

The Monster Goldilocks Range—Not Too Big And Not Too Small

What does you do when you have a powerful and popular naked sportbike such as the Monster 1200 and a smaller, simplified version of same with an 803 cc powerplant? You simply add a third model, according to Ducati. Introducing the stop-gap Monster 821 siblings. The base model carries many of the genetic markers associated with the Monster range with a 112-horsepower engine and host of electronic gadgets that never made it onto the entry-level 797 model. This plugs a significant gap in its naked Monster lineup and gives us an entry-friendly model with a taste of the refinement typically enjoyed on the larger-displacement rides. Ducati followed up with the race-tastic “Stripe” version that pulls adjustable front-suspension components off the top shelf for another layer of ride-quality control. Something for everyone? Perhaps not, but a damn good compromise between the existing models within the range in many ways.

Continue reading for my review of the Ducati Monster 821.

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2017 Ducati 1299 Panigale R Final Edition

2017 Ducati 1299 Panigale R Final Edition

Marking the end of the greatest show ever played by Ducati, the Panigale.

Ducati always has had this insanity in them to time and again bring up machines that push the boundaries of two-wheeled glory, a boundary that will make every other manufacturer look like a speck of dust. For this alone, we must hand it to the Italian with all pomp and flair that they can literally pull off a true bloody special edition.

And this expression was very much evident with their flagship model, the Panigale ever since it broke covers in 2011. It is one of the world’s most powerful twin-cylinder motorcycle, and Ducati is giving the world one last taste of the L-twins by unveiling the 1299 Panigale R Final Edition. This will mark the end of the L-twin Italian superbikes.

Under all this is what I call a ‘Brobdingnagian’ twin Superquadro powerhouse that can scare the daylights out of most seasoned riders. If that still does not fit your bill, the electronics package on this, one would need a Master’s degree and a PhD to understand the concepts of it, and by the time you do understand, you would stop caring about it because your brain is gizzing already.

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2017 Ducati Multistrada 1200 Enduro Pro

2017 Ducati Multistrada 1200 Enduro Pro

The wild one gets bigger teeth and claw to take up anything coming its way.

We all know that Ducati is one such motorcycle maker which makes machines straight from the heart. Every motorcycle in the stable of Ducati speaks of some purpose which is beautifully blended with the pinch of hardcore passion. Ducati made a surprising move some half a decade ago when it unveiled the Multistrada for the first time in front of the world. Out of all the motorcycles from Ducati, the Multistrada proved out to be the most practical motorcycle which still doesn’t miss out on the specific Ducati principles.

The Multistrada gradually went on creating a new niche of motorcycles, thus changing the image of Ducati as a manufacturer of only hard-core supersports. Then in 2015, they gave us the Enduro edition. Unlike the urban design of the standard Multistrada 1200, the new Multistrada 1200 Enduro claims to expose the wild side of Ducati, with its pure adventure appeal.

Now in 2017, the brand has taken it to the next level. They have given the adventure junkie more tools to let the 1200 Enduro go “even more globetrotter with the Pro version”. To allow treading on even less-beaten track, the Pro features rally tyres, new tank bars, new colour schemes, type-approved titanium exhaust sets and more. Let me go ranting about them:

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2017 Ducati 1299 Superleggera

2017 Ducati 1299 Superleggera

Limited Edition StupidFast

Ducati raises the bar for semi-production race bikes with its limited-edition 1299 Superleggera. A space-age, carbon-fiber frame, swingarm and wheels carry Ducati’s most powerful twin-cylinder mill to date with 215 horsepower on tap to push a mere 368 pounds. Yeah, that’s right. The good news is that Ducati installed everything it could as far as electronic features go to help riders control all that power and keep the thing dirty-side down. I’m talking a veritable alphabet soup of gadgetry here, so let’s dig in and start deciphering it.

Continue reading for my review of the Ducati 1299 Superleggera.

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2017 Ducati Scrambler Café Racer & Desert Sled

2017 Ducati Scrambler Café Racer & Desert Sled

Ducati’s Scrambler line grows yet again in the ’17 model year with the addition of the Café Racer and Desert Sled. The Scrambler range has proven to be a veritable mine of possibilities as Ducati mixes and matches equipment to fit specific purposes. For instance; the features on the Desert Sled make it arguably the most off-road capable model in the entire range, and the Café Racer, well, it comes set up to look cool in an urban environment. Both rides get the same 803 cc mill that powers the rest of the Scrambler variants along with much the same chassis, but the differences, however minor, make all the difference in the world. I’ve been eager to take a look at these bikes, and I look at this as a chance to gauge what all Ducati has learned from a few years of customer feedback and factory testing, so let’s check it out.

Continue reading for my review of the Ducati Scrambler Café Racer & Desert Sled.

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2015 - 2017 Ducati Monster 1200 / 1200 S / 1200 R

2015 - 2017 Ducati Monster 1200 / 1200 S / 1200 R

Back in 1993, Ducati mixed and matched parts it had laying around to put together and called the creation Il Mostro, or Monster, no doubt because of the Frankenstein nature of its construction. The creators couldn’t possibly have predicted the success of the Monster line, or that models under the family umbrella would come to make up over two-thirds of Ducati’s worldwide sales, yet here we are in 2017 and the Monster experiment is still very much alive and well.

Although the Monsters have come with a variety of engine sizes over the years, and Ducati also currently offers an 821 cc version, today I wanted to focus on the base-model Monster 1200, the souped-up street racer “1200 S” and the tracktastic “1200 R” models. So without further ado, let’s check out this most-popular bike from one of the world’s most-recognized brands, and see what this current generation has in store for us.

Continue reading for my review of the Ducati Monster 1200, 1200 R and 1200 S.

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2016 - 2017 Ducati XDiavel / XDiavel S

2016 - 2017 Ducati XDiavel / XDiavel S

It’s safe to say that “cruiser” isn’t exactly the first word that comes to mind when one thinks of Ducati, or even the third, yet here we are with the XDiavel and its slightly dressier, “S” trim package that carries the brand into uncharted waters. The “X” is meant to signify the cross and blending of the two worlds— cruiser and sport — and the end result is what the factory calls a “Technocruiser” due to its melding of Italian performance DNA and a more cruise-tastic rider triangle than you normally see from this brand.

For years, Ducati has been all about the sportbikes, and has recently ventured back into Scrambler territory after a roughly half-century hiatus, but this push into the power-cruiser sector is something new. Today I’m going to take a look at these two bikes to try and get a feel for how well they will stack up against the competition in this densely packed field.

Continue reading formy review of the Ducati XDiavel and XDiavel S.

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2017 Ducati SuperSport / SuperSport S

2017 Ducati SuperSport / SuperSport S

It has been four years in the making, but Ducati is finally releasing the revamped SuperSport family for the 2017 model year. This range brings sportbike handling and performance to the table with its race-inspired “Monster” frame and over 100 ponies on tap, but in a package meant to be less intimidating to prospective Ducatisti than some of their, shall we say, spicier models.

The factory touts this new line as “versatile and accessible,” and while the base SuperSport is meant to appeal to riders who want a sportbike that’s a little light on the “sportier aspects,” the “S” model takes on some of the trappings of a proper racebike for a decidedly more sport-tastic nature. Let’s check out what the bike builders in Bologna have in store for us with this newest effort.

Continue reading for my review of the Ducati SuperSport and SuperSport S.

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2014 - 2015 Ducati Streetfighter 848

2014 - 2015 Ducati Streetfighter 848

Ducati introduced the Streetfighter 848 back in 2012 to plug a hole in its lineup. You see, Ducati had found itself in the enviable position of having created a naked streetbike — Streetfighter 1098 — that was really too powerful for most riders’ comfort and safety envelope, and they needed to tame the beast a little bit for polite company.

Enter the 848, a Testastretta-powered Streetfighter that retains much of the performance of its predecessor with even better side-to-side response from the frame-geometry changes that make it more appropriate for the streets, but still far from family-friendly. This bike enjoyed a short run, and was phased out after the 2015 model year as other models from Ducati’s lineup provided a bit of overlap that covered this particular niche. Join me whilst I dig into this ride, and discover what the factory did to move forward from the too-powerful Streetfighter 1098.

Continue reading for my review of the Ducati Streetfighter 848.

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2016 Ducati Diavel

2016 Ducati Diavel

In “Sport” mode, give the throttle a twist and you’ll quickly see why the Diavel has a deep saddle. If it didn’t, you’re butt would slide off the back and you’d be holding on for dear life with one wheel in the air.

The Diavel is Ducati’s second venture into the cruiser market — the Indiana being the first — but I’m not sure the designers have the same idea of what a cruiser is as the American motorcycling public thinks about a cruiser. I’m not saying it’s a bad thing; I’m just saying it’s different. In fact, I’m really not saying it’s a bad thing; just the opposite. I’m kinda digging this sport-power-cruiser hybrid.

Continue reading for my review of the Ducati Diavel.

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2016 Ducati Scrambler

2016 Ducati Scrambler

The 2015 model year saw four new Ducati products built for a rather niche market; the Scrambler family that includes the ’70s-themed Classic, the flat-track race inspired Urban Enduro, the Full Throttle which combines an amped-up, flat-track race look with an urban hooligan touch and the Icon, a basic, modernized version of a traditional scrambler that serves as a blank canvas for riders looking to make a statement.

Ducati treated us to another branch on the Scrambler family tree in 2016 with the Flat Track Pro, another oval-dirt tribute bike that takes the racing references to the Nth degree. So far, it seems the Scrambler family is popular with a younger demographic, and I have even heard old-school styled Scramblers referred to as Hipster bikes. It figures, considering the dual-purpose nature of the family that provides decent road performance and maintains the ability to access, shall we say, alternative routes? Today I want to take a look at these five models, and check out the various subtleties and nuances that make each one unique.

Continue reading for my review of the Ducati Scramblers.

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2016 Ducati Multistrada 1200 Enduro / Pike's Peak

2016 Ducati Multistrada 1200 Enduro / Pike’s Peak

Two new members arrive in the Ducati Multistrada 1200 stable for 2016: the Enduro and the Pike’s Peak. Breaking with tradition, Ducati jumps with both feet into the adventure market with a tried-and-true Multistrada base and gives us a truly off-road-capable performance machine in the Enduro and a nod to hill-climb racing success with the Pike’s Peak.

They might have the same DVT engine and the same basic chassis, but with so many updates and upgrades, these two 1200s are really in their own class. In short, these aren’t your dad’s Multistrada.

Continue reading for my review of the Ducati Multistrada 1200 Endure and Multistrada 1200 Pike’s Peak.

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