The Complete Buyer’s Guide To Ducati Motorcycles

Aug 26, 2020

Category: Rides

Often touted as the “Ferrari of motorcycles,” Ducati is an iconic Italian moto manufacturer with a history dating back nearly a century. Based in the city of Bologna in Northern Italy, — more specifically Borgo Panigale — Ducati produces some of the most sought-after, cutting-edge, high-performance two-wheelers in the world, and though this prestigious marque is best-known for its superbikes, the brand offers a wide variety of machines, from adventure bikes to sport tourers to cruisers to a full range of modern retros under the Scrambler Ducati label.

While there’s no denying that the Borgo Panigale firm makes some incredible motorcycles, it can be a bit tricky to wrap your head around exactly what it is that makes these bikes so special, and how they differ from models from other high-end manufacturers. So, with this in mind, we’ve broken down every single model currently made by the illustrious Italian brand, as well as all the relevant intel on Ducati’s history, mechanics, and technology, in order to properly understand the intricacies of Ducati’s current crop of two-wheelers.

Photo: Ducati

From Radios To Road Bikes

The Early History Of The Ducati Brand

The company that we know today as Ducati Motor was first founded in July of 1926 by brothers Bruno, Marcello, and Adriano Ducati — the latter of which had filed a patent for a short-wave radio transmitter that could reach America. Working under the banner of “Società Scientifica Radio Brevetti Ducati” out of the brothers’ native Bologna, the company originally sold radio equipment, and experienced a good deal of success in its first decade of operation, growing from less than half-a-dozen staffers into a massive factory that employed hundreds.

Unfortunately, the company’s size, success, and involvement in producing equipment being utilized by the nation’s military made it a prime target of Allied bombers when the Second World War broke out, and in October of 1944, Ducati’s radio factory was leveled amidst an Allied bombardment. Following the conclusion of the global conflict, an influx in demand for economical and utilitarian means of transportation in Ducati’s native Italy prompted the firm to rebuild their factory as a motor company.

Photo: Ducati

Before the war had even ended, Ducati had begun the development of an early 48cc, single-cylinder four-stroke engine that could be mated to a bicycle frame. Dubbed the “Cucciolo” (Italian for “puppy”) due to the high-pitch bark of the exhaust note, Ducati released the clip-on engine in 1946 to an incredibly warm public reception. Between the four-stroke cycle configuration and a two-speed gearbox, the “Puppy” was able to make the most of its 48cc lump’s 1.5hp, allowing for speeds of over 30mph.

In 1949, the growing Italian company released its first complete motorcycle model with the Ducati 60, a 60cc mill married to a three-speed gearbox that put down a whole 2hp. The manufacturer continued to blossom, and in 1954 Ducati brought on a young engineer by the name of Fabio Taglioni who would go on to design the mechanical architecture and hallmark traits that are now closely associated with the company, eventually becoming the brand’s chief designer and technical director and holding the position until 1989.

Photo: Ducati Cucciolo

One of the many elements “Dr. T” brought to the Ducati table was the implementation of a Desmodronic valve arrangement. Rather than using a conventionally spring-actuated valve setup, the “Desmo” configuration utilizes a mechanical-actuated system that helped to mitigate valve float at higher RPMs. With modern steel and metallurgy, this advantage no longer really exists and is more kept around for the sake of identity and tradition.

Ducati had experimented with multi-cylinder engine configurations on its race bikes, though stuck with producing single-cylinder models over the course of its existence. In response to models like Honda’s enormously successful CB750, Ducati released the 750 GT, the company’s first-ever L-Twin. The L-Twin was essentially just a V-Twin, but due to the angle of the cylinders, this monicker is used to help differentiate it from less performance-oriented, American-made V-Twins.

Photo: Ducati 750 GT

Ducati had been competing in racing since it first started building engines, and while it had experienced a good deal of success, it wasn’t until 1972 that the company really appeared on the radar of the global motorcycling scene when Paul Smart famously piloted a race-prepped 750 GT known as the “Imola Desmo 750” to victory at the inaugural Imola 200, besting some ridiculously stiff competition.

The L-Twin configuration became Ducati’s standard from that point onwards, and every single regular production model that it’s produced since then has been powered by an L-Twin. This did recently change with the introduction of Ducati’s MotoGP-derived flagship V4 platform, though the majority of its lineup has yet to receive the new four-cylinder powertrain.

Photo: Ducati Desmosedici GP 07

Picking Up Speed

The Contemporary History Of Ducati

By the conclusion of the 1970s, Ducati had really come into its own, releasing what is arguably the first true modern Ducati motorcycle with the Pantah. Not only were the L-Twin’s bevel-driven gears replaced by a two-valve desmo system driven by rubber belts, but it also featured the brand’s signature trellis frame, was adorned in quintessentially Italian bodywork, and was performance-focused through and through. It’s also probably worth mentioning Mike Hailwood’s iconic 1978 victory upon an NCR-prepped Ducati the year prior at the world-famous IoM TT race.

Ducati continued to grow and evolve alongside other motorcycle manufacturers of the era, developing a reputation as a distinctly sporty brand. The company made solid bikes, though wasn’t introducing anything too groundbreaking. In the 1990s, however, that would all change, as a series of events ultimately birthed the brand we know today.

Photo: Ducati Monster M900

While sitting on an enormous number of unused engines from its 900SS model, Ducati started exploring alternative ways of moving this seemingly unwanted product. So, famed designer, Miguel Galluzzi was called on to create a “parts-bin special,” taking existing off-the-shelf parts and components from the Ducati factory to build a new motorcycle. Borrowing the 888 superbike’s frame, the 900SS’s engine, and bestowing the thing with a new tank, tail, and circular headlight, Galluzzi created the now-iconic Ducati Monster.

Around this same time in the mid-1990s, the so-called “Michelangelo of Motorcycles,” Massimo Tamburini would design the game-changing 916 Superbike. Aside from modern electronics, every trait you probably associate with the Ducati brand appeared on the 916. This watershed model not only played a pivotal role in the creation of Ducati’s contemporary identity but was also hugely influential in the sportbike sector as a whole in the years that followed.

From there, Ducati continued refining the 916, following up the Tamburini-designed two-wheeler with the 996, and then 998, before replacing it with the controversial 999. A little after the turn of the millennium Ducati also launched its Multistrada model. The mid-aughts brought with it the introduction of numerous key Ducati models like the Hypermotard, Sport Classic, (both penned by renowned moto designer, Pierre Terblanche) and 1098 (and 848) superbike range. The 1098 R also became the first road-going production motorcycle to receive a MotoGP-style electronic traction control system — a feature that’s since become standard fare on modern sportbikes.

Photo: Ducati 1098

In 2011, Ducati unveiled its new Panigale superbike, which has since received several newer incarnations, the latest of which features the brand’s aforementioned V4 powertrain. Fast-forward to 2015, and on the heels of a global financial crisis, Ducati launched its more accessible Scrambler lineup, which quickly started accounting for more than a quarter of the manufacturer’s total annual sales. And that pretty much catches you up on everything you need to know about the history of the Ducati brand.

Dry Cluthes, L-Twins, & Race-Bred DNA

What Makes A Ducati Motorcycle Unique?

Without going too into the weeds, there are a few important aspects to understand about what makes Ducati’s motorcycles different. On top of their Desmo valve systems, Ducatis also employ what is called a “Dry Clutch.” As the name suggests, this is a clutch setup that doesn’t sit in an oil-bath (and therefore doesn’t suffer from the drag the oil causes) and leaves the component easier to access for servicing or repairs (or in race situations). This setup also helps with heat dispersion, plus it’s just plain cool to be able to see the mechanical interworkings as the thing spins.

The dry clutch is also what gives Ducati’s engines their incredibly distinctive rattling sound. This coupled with the L-Twin configuration makes it tremendously easy to identify the roar of a Ducati engine, even sight unseen from several blocks away.

Photo: Ducati

Ducati has also looked to competition as a form of marketing its two-wheeled wares, and as such racing is intricately tied to the brand’s roots and identity. The manufacturer has historically implemented technologies and systems from its race machines onto its road-going production models. And more than 70-years after releasing its first motorcycle, this fact remains as true today as ever.

Not unlike purchasing a McClaren, part of what you’re paying for when you buy a Ducati is the luxury of getting a motorcycle that’s equipped with a host of race-derived features and hardware. Ducati very much continues relying on its Grand Prix racing program for cutting-edge R&D and was the first manufacturer to offer MotoGP-style electronic rider aids like launch and traction control, on a road-going production model. The engine found in Ducati’s latest flagship superbike is directly-inspired by the V4 engine that’s been used by the Ducati Corse team for well over a decade.

To summarize, Ducati’s motorcycles are largely distinguished by decades of race heritage, a unique engine architecture and sound, a distinctly performance-focused nature, and a quintessentially exotic Italian aesthetic design. And, while they do often boast superior performance, Ducati’s motorcycles do almost always cost more than most of their competitors, which ultimately allows for a unique sense of exclusivity that isn’t shared by most Japanese models.

Photo: Ducati 500 Pantah

The Truth About Italian Engineering

Unpacking The Myths & Misconceptions Surrounding Ducati’s Reliability

Throughout its modern history, Ducati has produced some unquestionably high-performance motorcycles, though the Borgo Panigale brand didn’t necessarily develop the best reputation for reliability, especially when it came to electronics systems. And considering these bikes aren’t cheap to have worked on in the first place, this is a pretty big detractor if one is considering a Ducati for daily riding duties.

Fortunately, Ducati’s reliability woes are largely now in their rearview mirror, with modern Ducks being no less bullet-proof than pretty much any other European or Japanese-made model. What’s more, Ducati’s current crop of bikes boasts service intervals of more than 15,000 miles (though oil changes are required more often). If you buy a Ducati today, you can genuinely expect it to fire up for you each and every morning.

It is still worth noting that the running costs of a Ducati do typically exceed that of their Japanese competitors. In addition to the actual motorcycle itself being more expensive, insurance is more, registration is more, aftermarket parts and accessories are more expensive, and, just like with owning an expensive car, having it serviced is almost always a more exorbitant affair — an area furthered by the unique valve setup.

Starting Out On Two-Wheels

Do Ducati’s Make For Good Beginner Motorcycles?

It’s pretty common to hear new and/or aspiring riders ask if Ducati’s bikes are appropriate machines to begin their two-wheeled careers, and the short answer is “absolutely not.” It wouldn’t be wise to learn to drive a car behind the wheel of a modern Lamborghini, and Ducati’s motorcycles are no different, minus the fact you have far less physical protection. Even Ducati’s non-superbike models are all still too large, heavy, and powerful to be conducive to new riders.

Despite boasting a fairly expansive lineup, Ducati’s current range of bikes just doesn’t lend itself to novice riders. The firm’s 803cc Scrambler Ducati range — which utilizes the same engine as then “entry-level” Monster 797 — isn’t the absolute worst choice for a new rider, though it would be extremely far down on our list of suggestions. Ultimately, the only real beginner-friendly model in Ducati’s current lineup is the Scrambler Sixty2, which is kicked along by a 399cc version of the air-cooled Desmo L-Twin.

Photo: Scrambler Ducati Sixty2

While modern Ducatis do boast features such as a Rain Mode that limits power by around 50%, this really doesn’t allow you to properly learn and grow as a rider, with a dramatically skewed power-to-weight ratio. And, though Ducatis do come with traction control and ABS, we’d still argue it’s absolutely essential to learn how to correctly pilot a motorcycle without relying on an electronics system — no matter how sophisticated — to keep you out of harm’s way. Plus, even with a modern electronics suite, big bikes are far less than forgiving of things like jerky throttle control and abrupt handlebar inputs.

Learning to ride a motorcycle doesn’t merely mean figuring out how to operate the motorcycle itself, but doing so while in traffic, surrounded by distractions and inattentive drivers. In fact, learning to ride on the road is a skill in and of itself. By riding a smaller, more manageable bike at first, you’ll be able to focus on the road, without having to worry about keeping the bike’s power in check. When you start out on a smaller bike you can also learn to better control the thing, develop solid muscle memory, and safe, responsible riding habits.

Learning The Language Of The Duck

Key Terms To Understand When Purchasing A Ducati Motorcycle

Since Ducati introduced its first sophisticated electronics systems in the mid-aughts, the brand has increasingly outfitted its motorcycles with an array of cutting-edge features and rider assists. These are typically denoted through acronyms that can mean very little to the uninitiated. So, with that in mind, we’ve broken down the language of some key Ducati terms you should know when in the market.

Electronics & Rider Aids

DCL Ducati Cornering Lights: This is Ducati’s version of active headlights. Regulated via a lean-angle sensor, these headlights can look through corners as a bike is turning, allowing the rider to better see where they’re going.

DDA Ducati Data Analyzer: Linked to a GPS unit, this system records metrics that can be viewed back on a laptop after your ride. These systems are intended for on-track use.

DMS Ducati Multimedia System: This is the name for Ducati’s own multimedia/infotainment system. Linking to a bike’s display, the DMS can be used to connect to a smartphone, allowing call answering or music playback to be controlled through the handlebar-mounted controls.

DPL Ducati Power Launch: Ducati’s version of launch control, this system enables riders to crack the ride-by-wire throttle wide open, allowing for the maximum amount of power without losing traction. This also lets the rider focus on clutch work, though this also doesn’t allow for much room for growth.

DQS Ducati Quick Shifter: This is the Bologna brand’s take on a multidirectional quick-shifter. This unit allows the rider to shift up or down through the gears without having to work the clutch or close the throttle, eliminating the brief periods where the rider is letting off the gas to shift and thereby affording quicker lap times around the race track.

DRL: Daytime Running Lights: This is a feature that’s become pretty common on high-end vehicles, and consists of a supplementary set of lights on the front of the bike that, rather than existing to illuminate the road, are used to be better seen by other drivers, especially in low light conditions.

DSC Ducati Slide Control: Similarly to traction control, Ducati Slide Control cuts power to the rear wheel upon corner-entry if said wheel starts stepping out (sliding). This can also be adjusted or turned off, too.

DSP Ducati Safety Pack: Rather than being a single feature, this refers to different suites of electronics packages that enhance rider safety. Models equipped with a Ducati Safety Pack — which is pretty much every machine in the current lineup — includes elements such as Riding Modes, Power Modes, ABS, Ducati Traction Control, Ducati Wheelie Control, Ducati Slide Control, Engine Braking Control, and Auto Tire Calibration.

DSS: Ducati Skyhook Suspension: This is Ducati’s version of electronically-controlled active suspension. It monitors speed, lean-angle, and riding conditions to optimize rebound and damping, independently adjusting the fork and mono-shock as needed in real-time.

DTC Ducati Traction Control: First appearing on the R-spec 1098 superbike, Ducati’s proprietary traction control system prevents the rear wheel from losing grip under hard acceleration by reducing power if wheel-spin is sensed, hugely mitigating the likelihood of high sides and low sides alike. The DTC system is also adjustable.

DWC Ducati Wheelie Control: As its name suggests, this is a front-wheel-lift mitigation system that prevents the front wheel from lifting off the tarmac under hard acceleration. Great for track use, but not the most conducive to developing proper throttle control.

EBC Engine Braking Control: This is a system that allows you to adjust the amount of engine braking on a bike to better fine-tune corner-entries.

IMU Inertial Measurement Unit: This is a six-axis sensor that measures movement, acceleration, lean, angle, and several other factors to help regulate other electronics elements such as antilock brakes and traction control. Ducati’s bikes run IMUs from the German brand, BOSCHE.

VHC Vehicle Hold Control: This system assists riders with starting from a standstill while stopped on an incline. The system activates the rear brake and then releases it if the system senses acceleration. Considering you can just use your rear brake, this is admittedly a fairly superfluous feature, but can be helpful for new riders.

Ducati Naming Conventions

EVO: Short for “Evolution,” this “Ducaterm” denotes a second, or later generation of a motorcycle model, component, or electronics system.

Ducati Corse: This is Ducati’s race division that competes in top-level series like MotoGP and WSBK.

R-Spec: This letter denotes a model is a Race version. Typically, Ducati’s homologation special (machines built to satisfy the minimum production output requirement to compete in World Superbike competition). These machines are built in limited numbers, are brimming with top-of-the-line, race-grade equipment, and feature engine displacements that don’t exceed maximum displacement for competition (usually 1,000cc’s).

SPS: Short for “Sport Production Special,” SPS is a term Ducati previously used on older limited edition, track-focused models.

S-Spec: Many of Ducati’s models are available in an upgraded S variant, which pretty much always includes higher-specced suspension — typically from Ohlins — along with a few weight-saving carbon fiber pieces thrown in the mix.

Superleggera: Italian for “Super Light,” this is the name of Ducati’s ultra-top-of-the-line, insanely-exclusive carbon fiber-framed, bodied, and wheeled R-spec superbikes.

Ducati Mechanical & Engine Terms

Desmodromic: Developed by Dr. T and first introduced on a Ducati in 1954, this is Ducati’s signature valve system and replaces the standard spring-actuated setups with a mechanically-actuated unit. Explained in further detail above, this system is often referred to as “Desmo” for short.

Desmosedici: With “Desmo” referring to the valve system, and “Sedici” being Italian for “16” (denoting the number of valves), this is the monicker for Ducati’s V4-powered MotoGP bike (as well as the road-going race replica, the Desmosedici RR).

Desmosedici Stradale: This is Ducati’s latest flagship V4 engine platform — and the first non-L-Twin since the early 1970s — and is a road-going version of the V4 engine used in Ducati’s MotoGP prototypes. This is also denoted through the “Stradale” part of the name, with the word translating to “Street”.

DVT Desmodromic Variable Timing: This is Ducati’s take on a variable valve timing system that allows for optimal power at both low and high RPM. This is admittedly a simple but rather clever mechanical feature that’s become increasingly commonplace on late-model superbikes, including models from Japanese motorcycle manufacturers.

Tetrastretta: Translating to “Narrow Head,” this refers to a specific type of Ducati L-Twin used from 2001 to 2007 before being replaced by the Testastretta Evoluzione (or Testastretta EVO).

The Complete Ducati Buyer’s Guide

A Run-Down Of Every Model Currently Available From The Bologna Panigale Brand

Photo: Ducati Diavel 1260 S

Diavel / XDiavel Range

Ducati has always produced a decidedly different breed of V-Twin engine than its American-made competitors, though 2011, the brand tossed its hat in the cruiser ring with the Diavel. Putting the company’s signature high-performance-spin on the cruiser genre, the bike boasts a comfortable leaned-back riding position, though its foot-controls are far back enough to allow for more spirited, knee-down-style riding. Aesthetically, Ducati also brings its own quintessential exotic Italian-styling to the cruiser table, with pronounced air-scoops, a low-profile LED headlight, a sleek belly-pan and set of radiator covers, and a superbike-inspired tail section, while retaining the firm’s hallmark trellis frame, single-sided swing-arm, and L-Twin engine. Backed by Ducati’s full suite of electronic rider aids, the Diavel is nimble enough for performing around-town duties, while still thoroughly lending itself to touring.

Diavel 1260

A truly unique take on the cruiser segment, the base model Diavel is an incredibly powerful motorcycle that highly-unlikely to ever be mistaken with anything else. The superbike and street fighter-influence on the class make the Diavel a really special machine, though at its core it’s still very much a cruiser, just an extremely sporty one.

Style: Sport Cruiser
Engine: Testastretta DVT 1262 Liquid-Cooled 1,262cc L-Twin
Power: 159hp / 95ft-lbs
Dry Weight: 481lbs

Purchase: $20,295

Diavel 1260 S

The Diavel S generates the same power figures as the base model, though features a more sophisticated electronics system, getting the lower-specced model’s cruise control, backlit handlebar switches, 3.5” TFT display, launch control, and self-canceling indicators, while also gaining Daytime Running Lights, a Ducati Multimedia System, and a bidirectional quick shifter. The biggest difference, however, lies in the S-spec’s upgraded suspension, which consists of fully-adjustable Ohlins units.

Style: Sport Cruiser
Engine: Testastretta DVT 1262 Liquid-Cooled 1,262cc L-Twin
Power: 159hp / 95ft-lbs
Dry Weight: 481lbs

Purchase: $23,195

XDiavel

If the Diavel represented Ducati dipping its toes into cruiser waters, the XDiavel saw the Italian brand full-on dive into the segment. Though they admittedly look very similar, the XDiavel falls much more squarely into the cruiser category, getting a completely redesigned steel trellis frame that utilizes the engine — which has been detuned for more laid-back power delivery — as a stressed member, along with a lower seat height (at 29.7”), forward foot controls, a slightly extended wheelbase, and a 30-degree rake and 5.12” trail versus the regular Diavel’s 27-degree and 4.7” setup. The XDiavel’s design was also given a highly-coveted Red Dot Design Award in 2016. And, in typical cruiser fashion, the XDiavel has a belt-driven final drive.

Style: Cruiser
Engine: Testastretta DVT 1262 Liquid-Cooled 1,262cc L-Twin
Power: 152hp / 93ft-lbs
Dry Weight: 485lbs

Purchase: $20,995

XDiavel S

Rather than being performance-oriented, the XDiavel S adds a few aesthetic tweaks. The S-spec is treated to machined aluminum mirrors, a premium seat, and glossy-black engine covers with machined timing belt covers. Unlike the vast majority of S-spec Ducatis, the XDiavel S doesn’t get upgraded suspension, though its fork tubes are hit with a black DLC-finish. Having said that, it’s still a pretty technologically advanced cruiser, retaining the base model’s launch control, ride-by-wire throttle, LED lighting throughout, backlit handlebar switches, BOSCH Corning ABS, traction control, and multiple ride modes.

Style: Cruiser
Engine: Testastretta DVT 1262 Liquid-Cooled 1,262cc L-Twin
Power: 152hp / 93ft-lbs
Dry Weight: 485lbs

Purchase: $24,495

Photo: Ducati Hypermotard SP

Hypermotard Range

In the early 2000s Supermoto (or “Motard”) bikes — dirt bikes with street wheels, tires, and suspension — started experiencing a major influx in popularity. As manufacturers like Suzuki stepped up to meet the demand with turnkey factory supermoto offerings like the DRZ400SM, Ducati opted to take a different route, calling on Pierre Terblanche to pen something of a supermoto-inspired sportbike that managed to capture the high-octane-appeal of the road-going MXers. The results were — and still are— unlike anything anyone had ever seen before, and on top of the Hypermotard’s stellar appearance, the machine is legitimately some of the most fun you can have on two-wheels (at times to a fault).

Hypermotard 950

When Dax Shepard was asked why he opted to utilize Ducati’s Hypermotard in his 2017 film, CHiPs, the actor, film-maker, and bonafide motorcycle enthusiast responded saying that in all his years of riding, the Hypermotard is the only machine that can do everything he needed to have fun with bikes on film, throwing it up and down stairs, off of jumps, over curbs, drifting, canyon carving, and other forms of two-wheeled hooliganism. This pretty wonderfully sums up this model, as it really is a wildly versatile, insanely fun ride, right at home on the freeways, city streets, or backroads. The base model also sports just enough electronic intervention to comfortably push the limits, without having to worry, with multiple power modes, BOSCH Cornering ABS EVO, DTC EVO, and DWC EVO all coming as standard.

Style: Motard
Engine: Testastretta 11° Liquid-Cooled 937cc L-Twin
Power: 114hp / 71ft-lbs
Dry Weight: 392lbs

Purchase: $13,395

Hypermotard 950 SP

The Hypermotard SP is a more track-focused version of the hooligan machine, with the base model’s Marzocchi forks and Sachs mono-shock being replaced with top-shelf adjustable Ohlins units fore and aft. In addition to shedding 4lbs off the base model’s weight, the SP also gets a multi-directional quick-shifter, forged Marchesini wheels, and carbon fiber timing belt covers and front fender. Lastly, the SP is only available in a Ducati Corse-inspired white and red livery.

Style: Motard
Engine: Testastretta 11° Liquid-Cooled 937cc L-Twin
Power: 114hp / 71ft-lbs
Dry Weight: 388lbs

Purchase: $16,995

Hypermotard 950 RVE

At the 2019 Concorso d’Eleganza, the Centro Stile Ducati showed off a graffiti-themed, wrapped concept of a Hypermotard. Much to the motorcycling world’s surprise, the Bologna brand opted to release the concept as a limited edition production model roughly a year letter under the banner of the Hypermotard 950 RVE. Aside from the addition of a multidirectional quick-shifter, the only difference between the regular 950 and the RVE is the special livery.

Style: Motard
Engine: Testastretta 11° Liquid-Cooled 937cc L-Twin
Power: 114hp / 71ft-lbs
Dry Weight: 392lbs

Purchase: $14,195

Photo: Ducati Monster 1200 S

Monster Range

The original Ducati Monster was objectively a watershed motorcycle model, paving the way for what’s now an incredibly popular segment. This sporty naked roadster offers the perfect balance of thrills, practicality, and utility to make it a best seller for the brand for a cool quarter of a century. Though it’s been offered in a variety of displacements, Ducati current self the Monster in a trio of engine sizes, though the differences extend beyond displacement, with each model boasting its own electronics and running gear.

Monster 797

Coming in at under the $10,000 mark, the so-called current “entry-level Monster” features all the classic hallmark traits of the original 1990s model, with slight facelifts and aesthetic tweaks that at the same time help to modernize the thing. Packing just enough power for touring and freeway travel, the Monster 797 forgoes the lion’s share of Ducati’s electronics, only getting (Brembo-linked) BOSCH ABS.

Style: Naked / Roadster
Engine: Desmodue Air-Cooled 803cc L-Twin
Power: 73hp / 49ft-lbs
Dry Weight: 386lbs

Purchase: $9,295

Monster 821

Though it the Monster 821 only boasts an extra 18cc’s over its 797 counterpart (which is technically 803cc’s), it manages to be a much more lively, high-performance machine, thanks in large part due to the use of the liquid-cooled Testastretta 11°, engine, which puts down an additional 36hp and 14ft-lbs of torque. Furthermore, the 821’s added power is regulated via a full electronics suite, including multiple ride modes, BOSCH ABS, Ducati Traction Control, and a bidirectional quick-shifter. There’s also a TFT display, an anti-theft system, and a better-looking dual-can muffler.

Style: Naked / Roadster
Engine: Testastretta 11° Liquid-Cooled 821cc L-Twin
Power: 109hp / 63ft-lbs
Dry Weight: 398lbs

Purchase: $11,995

Monster 821 Stealth

The Monster 821 Stealth is a special edition version of the 821 that is essentially just a unique livery. The classic Ducati red — which is the only color the current 821 base model is available in — is replaced by a black-on-black scheme with silver and red accents throughout. It is worth noting that this special edition livery does come at a $900 premium.

Style: Naked / Roadster
Engine: Testastretta 11° Liquid-Cooled 821cc L-Twin
Power: 109hp / 63ft-lbs
Dry Weight: 398lbs

Purchase: $12,895

Monster 1200

The 1200 is the full-sized Monster in Ducati’s lineup, and as such gets a 1,198cc liquid-cooled engine pumping out almost 150hp and over 90ft-lbs of torque. The 1200’s power is kept in check via Ducati’s full suite of rider aids with cornering ABS, DTC, DWC, multiple ride modes, and a ride-by-wire throttle. Suspension duties go to a 43mm inverted Kayaba fork and a Sachs mono-shocked linked to an aluminum single-sided swing-arm.

Style: Naked / Roadster
Engine: Testastretta 11° Liquid-Cooled 1,198cc L-Twin
Power: 147hp / 91ft-lbs
Dry Weight: 412lbs

Purchase: $14,995

Monster 1200 S

A true high-performance S-spec model, this top-shelf version of the Monster 1200 gets all the same high-end bells and whistles as the base model while gaining fully-adjustable Ohlins suspension front and back. The base model’s ten-arm wheels are replaced by lightweight tri-spoke items on the S-spec, and DRL’s and a carbon fiber front fender are added to the mix, as well. The regular version’s Brembo M432 Monoblocs are also upgraded to the brand’s race-grade Monobloc Evo M50 items. The current Monster 1200 S also comes in a beautiful deep black-on-black livery with red accents that wonderfully compliments the bike’s design.

Style: Naked / Roadster
Engine: Testastretta 11° Liquid-Cooled 1,198cc L-Twin
Power: 147hp / 91ft-lbs
Dry Weight: 408lbs

Purchase: $17,595

Photo: Ducati Streetfighter V4 S

Streetfighter Range

Released in the last year, Ducati’s Street Fighter V4 is a naked version of the Italian company’s Panigale V4 Superbike. Like its fully-faired counterpart, the SF V4 generates north of 200 horsepower, more than 90ft-bs of torque, and boasts MotoGP-style aerodynamic winglets that generate a cool 75lbs of downforce at around 185mph (or 20lbs at 93mph). All 200 or so Italian horses are kept in check via a state-of-the-art electronics system, too. Ultimately, this is a more practical, road-friendly version of Ducati’s Panigale range, that’s just as aggressive-looking, if not more.

Streetfighter V4

Inspired by garage-built street fighters of the mid-aughts, the base model street fighter puts an updated twist on this popular class, adding a doe of two-wheeled exotica that simply isn’t present on the vast majority of competitor’s bikes. A little of $22K is a lot to spend on two-wheels, though it’s not a bad price considering you’re getting one of the best-looking and highest-performing machines on earth, easily capable of rivaling — if not outright besting — seven figures supercars in both lap times and beauty contests.

Style: Naked Superbike
Engine: Desmosedici Stradale Liquid-Cooled 1,103cc V4
Power: 208hp / 90.4ft-lbs
Dry Weight: 397lbs

Purchase: $19,995

Streetfighter V4 S

While still thoroughly street-ready, the SF V4 S is a more track-ready version of the hyper-naked, seeing the standard hardware jettisoned in favor of TiN-treated Ohlins NIX-30 fork, TTX rear shock, and Öhlins Smart EC 2.0 system and steering damper, plus three-spoke forged aluminum wheels, and Brembo Stylema Monobloc stoppers. You also get the full track-ready electronics suite, minus the Ducati Data Analyzer, and Ducati Multimedia System, though the bike comes prewired ready for those last two features.

Style: Naked Superbike
Engine: Desmosedici Stradale Liquid-Cooled 1,103cc V4
Power: 208hp / 90.4ft-lbs
Dry Weight: 392lbs

Purchase: $23,995

Photo: Ducati Multistrada 1260 Enduro

Multistrada Range

Italian for “many roads,” the Multistrada is a touring adventure bike first released in 2003, as an evolution of the Cagiva Gran Canyon. Over the years, the original Multistrada’s divisive appearance has been updated, and now sports a genuinely attractive appearance, with a rugged muscular look that’s still very much in line with the Ducati design ethos. And, though they’re admittedly better performers on the road (at least right out of the box), the Multi’s more than 6” of suspension travel front and back affords it adequate dirt-going capabilities. All-in-all, the Multistrada is a solid all-around bike, though if you’re looking into the Multifamily for off-roading or touring purposes, we’d recommend opting for a purpose-built variant such as the Enduro or Grand Tour.

Multistrada 950

Built to cover long miles, the Multistrada base model is still a plenty competent motorcycle, with a cutting-edge engine that benefits from cornering ABS, traction control, multiple ride modes, and vehicle hold control. With a few add-ons such as luggage or a taller windscreen, this model can also easily be adapted to better lend itself to more specific uses. The right upgrades will also transform the base model into a high-performance off-roader.

Style: Adventure Touring
Engine: Testastretta Liquid-Cooled 937cc L-Twin
Power: 113hp / 71ft-lbs
Dry Weight: 450lbs

Purchase: $14,495

Multistrada 950 S Spoked

The Multistrada 950 S Spoked variant is an upgraded version of the base model that, like its monicker suggests, is outfitted with spoked hoops, making this model more conducive to off-road use. Things don’t end there, however, as the S Spoked-spec also packs Ducati Skyhook Suspension Evo and a multidirectional quick shifter, making for that much more of an elite machine. Other goodies on this up-specced model include standard cruise control, a TFT display, and self-canceling indicators. Ducati also sells a regular S-spec of the Multistrada 950, with the same upgrades, minus the spoked rims and all-terrain tires.

Style: Adventure Touring
Engine: Testastretta Liquid-Cooled 937cc L-Twin
Power: 113hp / 71ft-lbs
Weight: 457

Purchase: $17,595

Multistrada 1260

Ducati’s flagship adventure bike, the Multistrada 1260 is a refined take on the big-bore ADV segment with a potent engine with over 95ft-lbs of torque, and a highly-sophisticated electronics package that enhances both on and off-road travel. With the exception of slide control, the 1260 features pretty much every Ducati rider aid. Like the 950-spec, the 1260 boasts 6.7” of suspension travel front and back, too. As one would expect on a roughly $20,000 adventure bike, all of the standard equipment on the big ‘Strada is unquestionably top-shelf, making this machine a pure pleasure for touring and commuting alike.

Style: Adventure Touring
Engine: Testastretta DVT Liquid-Cooled 1,262cc L-Twin
Power: 155.8hp / 95.5ft-lbs
Weight: 461lbs

Purchase: $18,995

Multistrada 1260 S

For an extra $2,300, Ducati will upgrade the base 1260 to the S-spec, which affords the Italian adventure bike the brand’s Skyhook Suspension, markedly more electronic rider aids, and other bells and whistles. On top of the regular model’s VHC, multiple ride modes, DTC, cornering ABS, and DWC, the S-variant is bestowed with a quick-shifter, TFT-display, multimedia system, and a number of other minor odds and ends.

Style: Adventure Touring
Engine: Testastretta DVT Liquid-Cooled 1,262cc L-Twin
Power: 155.8hp / 95.5ft-lbs
Weight: 467lbs

Purchase: $21,295

Multistrada 1260 Pikes Peak

In recent years, Ducati has utilized the Pikes Peak International Hillclimb as a stage and proving grounds for several of its high-performance models, including the Multistrada, which was ridden to first place on the American mountain road course in 2018. To commemorate the Italian firm’s success as the iconic Hillclimb event, it’s released a special, top-of-the-line Pikes Peak edition version that gets a slew of carbon fiber pieces, race-grade Ohlins suspension, a carbon fiber Termignoni exhaust, and a taller race windscreen, all decked out in a special race livery and riding on tri-Y-spoke wheels.

Style: Adventure Touring
Engine: Testastretta DVT Liquid-Cooled 1,262cc L-Twin
Power: 155.8hp / 95.5ft-lbs
Weight: 454lbs

Purchase: $25,795

Multistrada 1260 Enduro

Powered by Ducati’s latest Testastretta DVT 1262 engine, the Multistrada 1260 Enduro is the company’s genuinely off-road-focused adventure bike, equipped with everything needed to hit the dirt, right out of the box. Active suspension offering 7.3” of travel front and back, spoked rims, a higher-mounted exhaust, and a massive skid-plate collectively transform this full-size tourer into a seriously-capable dual-sport model when the tarmac ends — despite its approximately 500lb weight. This model’s suite of electronics can also be switched off to have some extra fun in the dirt if you’re so inclined.

Style: Adventure Touring
Engine: Testastretta DVT 1262 Liquid-Cooled 1,262cc L-Twin
Power: 158hp / 94ft-lbs
Weight: 496lbs

Purchase: $22,095

Multistrada 1260 S Grand Tour

While the flagship Multistrada is undeniably a great touring machine in its stock form, Ducati’s Grand Tour version features all the same upgrades as the S-spec, as well as numerous add-ons and accessories that make this machine arguably the best tourer in Ducati’s existing lineup. Tire pressure monitoring, heated grips, auxiliary LED spotlights, touring seat (and touring pillion), hard cases and top case, and a taller windscreen all make the Grand Tour ready to eat up endless miles. This top-of-the-line tourer also gets its own dedicated slate grey livery, further distinguishing it from the regular Multistrada models.

Style: Adventure Touring
Engine: Testastretta DVT Liquid-Cooled 1,262cc L-Twin
Power: 158hp / 95.1ft-lbs
Weight: 474lbs

Purchase: $23,295

Photo: Ducati Panigale V4 R

Panigale Superbike Range

The successor to the 1198, Ducati’s Panigale Superbike line first launched in 2011, starting with the 1199 model, which was still powered by the brand’s L-Twin engine, granted a ridiculously cutting-edge and powerful one. Though the Panigale range remains the company’s flagship superbike model, it’s since been treated to numerous facelifts and updates, the biggest of which was the introduction of the Desmosedici Stradale V4 engine platform. Since then, all new models are denoted under the V4 designation, or the V2 designation, which signifies the model’s two-cylinder (L-Twin) engine. In terms of performance, this is the absolute best Ducati has to offer (and just some of the best there is period). These are ridiculously-capable, race-derived machines brimming with the latest track-focused technology. It’s probably also worth reiterating that none of these models are beginner-friendly.

Panigale V2

The Panigale V2 is the slightly smaller version of the Italian superbike and replaces the outgoing 959 models. Unfortunately (seemingly due to emissions laws), the underslung exhaust is no longer, though the swing-arm is now of the single-sided variety. The 955cc engine gets an extra 5 horsepower over its predecessor for a total of 155. You also get a track-ready electronics package complete with multiple ride modes (including a special race mode and sport mode), a six-axis IMU, ABS Cornering Evo, DTC, DWC, DQS EVO 2, and a TFT color screen with race display modes. Make no mistake, just because this is the smallest member of the Ducati superbike family, doesn’t mean that it isn’t a serious beast of a machine, after all, this is a cutting-edge,race-bred, nearly liter-sized Italian superbike.

Style: Superbike
Engine: Superquadro Liquid-Cooled 955cc L-Twin
Power: 155hp / 76.7ft-lbs
Dry Weight: 388lbs

Purchase: $16,495

Panigale V4

The first Ducati to receive a non-L-Twin engine in almost half-a-century, the Panigale V4 is the base model of the marque’s latest and most advanced flagship superbike. As per Ducati’s usual MO, the majority of the components and electronics systems present on this bike were born out of MotoGP and WSBK development, and are some of the most cutting-edge on earth. This is fairly crucial considering this two-wheeled scalpel puts down some 214hp and more than 90ft-lbs of torque. If you want the latest and greatest in the two-wheeled realm, this would be your jumping-off point. And, unlike the outgoing model year, every bike in the V4 lineup now features the “front frame” from Ducatis competition-spec V4 R, majority bolstering handling and front-end feel in the corners.

Style: Superbike
Engine: Desmosedici Stradale Liquid-Cooled 1,103cc V4
Power: 214hp / 91.5ft-lbs
Dry Weight: 386lbs

Purchase: $21,995

Panigale V4 S

At a full $6,400 more than the base model V4, you can expect a lot out of the upgraded V4 S, and Ducati doesn’t fail to deliver. Coming through with a host of add-ons clearly geared towards track day enthusiasts, the S-spec — which is one of the fastest motorcycles in production — gets a lightweight Lithium-ion battery, forged aluminum Marchesini wheels, and sport grips. The most discernible difference is the suspension, which steps the base model’s Showa front-end and Sachs shock (and steering damper) with an Ohlins NIX-30 fork, TTX rear shock, and Öhlins Smart EC 2.0 system and steering damper.

Style: Superbike
Engine: Desmosedici Stradale Liquid-Cooled 1,103cc V4
Power: 214hp / 91.5ft-lbs
Dry Weight: 384lbs

Purchase: $28,395

Panigale V4 R

In order to compete in World Superbike — the highest level of international, production-based motorcycle racing — manufacturers are required to build a minimum number of bikes (within a certain price limit) to meet homologating requirements. Because these are damn-near the exact machines ridden by the pros on the Ducati factory team, these are top-of-the-line race weapons brimming with the best hardware and componentry that money can buy. The V4 R is one such motorcycle, fitted with a competition-sized 998cc version of the Desmosedici Stradale (known as the Desmosedici Stradale R), downforce-generating winglets derived from the Ducati MotoGP team, an aluminum tank, lightweight wheels, an open clutch cover, and a cutting-edge electronics package to help manage the R-spec’s 234hp and 87.7ft-lbs of torque it generates when fitted with its track-only Akropovic exhaust system.

Style: Homologation Superbike
Engine: Desmosedici Stradale R Liquid-Cooled 998cc V4
Power: 221hp / 83ft-lbs (234hp / 87.7ft-lbs w/ Akrapovic Race Exhaust)
Dry Weight: 365lbs

Purchase: $40,000

Panigale V4 25° Anniversario 916

As mentioned earlier in this writeup, Massimo Tamburini’s 916 Superbike was one of the most groundbreaking and influential superbike designs of the modern era, so when its 25th anniversary rolled around, the Bologna firm opted to honor the illustrious two-wheeler with a limited edition version of its existing flagship superbike known as the Panigale V4 25° Anniversario 916. Starting with the up-specced V4 S, the 25° Anniversario 916 — which is limited to only 500 examples in total — gets an improved electronics package from the V4 R, an open dry clutch cover, and a livery paying homage to “King” Carl Fogarty’s multiple WSBK championship titles aboard the legendary 916.

Style: Special Edition Superbike
Engine: Desmosedici Stradale Liquid-Cooled 1,103cc V4
Power: 214hp / 91.5ft-lbs
Dry Weight: 381lbs

Purchase: $42,500

Superleggera V4

To qualify in professional-level racing, production-based bikes have to meet specific guidelines and rules regarding mechanical, sizing, and weight issues, as well as production costs. Italian for “Superlight”, the Superleggera is what happens when Ducati tosses out those rules and simply builds the best possible motorcycle it can with absolutely zero restrictions. The result is nothing short of incredible, boasting a carbon fiber composite frame, subframe, swing-arm, full set of bodywork, and wheels while generating up to 234hp and tipping the scales at around the 350lb mark (or 335.5lbs with the race kit). Everything on this motorcycle consists of the best that money can buy, with Ohlins suspension with TiN-treated forks and a titanium construction mono-shock spring, MotoGP-style winglets, full titanium hardware throughout, an open clutch cover, Brembo’s billet Stylema R calipers, “RaceGP” TFT display, and a full titanium 4-2-1-2 Akrapovic exhaust.

Style: Ultra-Elite Carbon Fiber Superbike
Engine: Desmosedici Stradale R Liquid-Cooled 998cc V4
Power: 224hp / 85.6ft-lbs (234hp / 87.7ft-lbs w/ Akrapovic Race Exhaust)
Dry Weight: 350lbs (335.5lbs w/ Race Kit)

Purchase: $100,000

Photo: Ducati SuperSport

SuperSport Range

Ducati’s SuperSport range dates back to the 1970s, and though it began as a race replica, the current iteration of the SS represents a more middle-of-the-road approach to motorcycle manufacturing, offering a bike with Ducati’s signature sporty nature, while still boasting an upright and comfortable enough riding position to lend itself to commuting and around-town applications. Outfitted with a Panigale-esque design with a single-sided swing-arm and double barrel shotgun-style cans, this fully-faired Ducati doesn’t pack the same punch as the company’s full-on superbikes, though is still plenty exhilarating in the corners. The current SS’s characteristics also make it a great choice for touring, especially with some luggage tacked on.

SuperSport

The base model SS gets a limited electronics package with only the essentials — BOSCH ABS, DTC, multiple ride modes, ride-by-wire throttle – though doesn’t require the same degree of intervention as its 200hp counterparts. This model can probably be best described as a more high-end and elegant version of bikes like Kawasaki’s Ninja 650, albeit with a bit more oomph and a markedly more exotic character. It also doesn’t hurt that the base model is only available in a striking titanium grey livery with a red frame and wheels.

Style: Sport-Tourer
Engine: Testastretta 11° Liquid-Cooled 939cc L-Twin
Power: 110hp / 69ft-lbs
Dry Weight: 403lbs

Purchase: $13,095

SuperSport S

The SuperSport S is a higher-performance version of the base model, replacing the standard 43mm Marzocchi fork and mono-shock — both of which are adjustable — with ultra-premium Ohlins forks with TiN-treated inner tubes and a matching mono-shock from the elite Swedish brand. A passenger tail cowl gives the SS-S a monoposto-look, plus it gains a quick-shifter as standard. All these upgrades do however come at a $2,700 premium over the base model.

Style: Sport-Tourer
Engine: Testastretta 11° Liquid-Cooled 939cc L-Twin
Power: 110hp / 69ft-lbs
Dry Weight: 403lbs

Purchase: $15,795

Photo: Scrambler Ducati Icon

Scrambler Ducati Range

Launched in 2015, the Scrambler Ducati range is a more accessible sub-brand of the elite Italian marque that aims to tap into a younger, hipper audience. To achieve this, Ducati drew inspiration from its single-cylinder Scrambler range of the 1960s and ‘70s to deliver a highly modular platform that could be used to generate a diverse array of model variants. These retro-flavored standards were originally offered in an 803cc air-cooled engine version — plus an entry-level 399cc variant — but has since grown to include an 1100 (1,079cc) version. These bikes — which are Scramblers in name only (aside from the Desert Sled version) — seek to offer nostalgic and vintage-loving riders the best of both worlds, with timeless retro aesthetics back by modern performance, mileage, safety, and reliability.

Scrambler Sixty2

Named after the year the original Ducati Scrambler was released, the Sixty2 is Ducati’s only true beginner-friendly model and sees the standard 803cc mill’s displacement cut in half. Plus, not only is it a Ducati, but the Sixty2 is one of the better-looking entry-level bikes on the market. It is, however, worth pointing out that the Sixty2 isn’t exactly cheap, with a price-tag that’s several grand steeper than that of KTM and Kawasaki’s more-competent 390 and 400 models. Features like adjustable suspension and an inverted front-end would also be nice considering the Sixty2’s MSRP.

Style: Standard Modern-Retro
Engine: Desmo Air-Cooled 399cc L-Twin
Power: 40hp / 25ft-lbs
Dry Weight: 368lbs

Purchase: $7,995

Scrambler Icon

The Icon is the base model version of Ducati’s 803cc Scrambler. It’s a damn-fine-looking bike in its stock form, though it’s also a fantastic basis for customization — a fact furthered by the existence of several bolt-on kits made specifically for the Ducati Scrambler. Inspired by the liveries on the original 1960s bikes, the Scrambler Icon comes in yellow or orange colors, as well as the Icon Dark all-black version with silver tank panels.

Style: Standard Modern-Retro
Engine: Desmodue Air-Cooled 803cc L-Twin
Power: 73hp / 49ft-lbs
Dry Weight: 381lbs

Purchase: $9,595

Scrambler Desert Sled

The appropriately-named Desert Sled is the only member of the Scrambler Ducati family that can genuinely handle both on and off-road duties. Thanks to the addition of longer-travel suspension, the Desert Sled has nearly 8” to work with, while a skid-plate ensure the L-Twin and exhaust stay protected. The Desert Sled’s off-road-capable performance is matched by a blend of modern and vintage off-road visual themes with a brush-guarded headlight, spoked rims shod in knobby Pirelli SCORPION RALLY ST rubber, a high-mount MX-style exhaust, and wide off-road bars.

Style: Scrambler
Engine: Desmodue Air-Cooled 803cc L-Twin
Power: 73hp / 49ft-lbs
Dry Weight: 425.5lbs

Purchase: $11,995

Scrambler Cafe Racer

With a windscreen, tight fender, rear tail cowl, side number boards, and clip-ons, Ducati has transformed the Scrambler platform into a bonafide Cafe Racer. The lower handlebars give this model a more hunched-forward riding position, that, while allowing for a much more aggressive riding experience, can quickly become painful on the back, not to mention it’s less-than-conducive to navigating traffic. The latest version of the Ducati Cafe Racer features a special silver and blue livery inspired by Taglioni’s early eighth-liter Desmo racers of the 1950s, and its tail cowl can be plucked off to allow for two-up riding.

Style: Cafe Racer
Engine: Desmodue Air-Cooled 803cc L-Twin
Power: 73hp / 49ft-lbs
Dry Weight: 396.8lbs

Purchase: $11,995

Scrambler Full Throttle

When Ducati released its Scrambler range, the modular air-cooled platform was promptly transformed into all host of different one-off and custom machines, including flat track racers used to compete in twins class competition. One Super Hooligan rider that piloted his own modified Ducati Scrambler ultimately inspired the Italian firm to release a version based on the racer’s black and yellow tracker, resulting in the Full Throttle. This is basically just a regular Scrambler (Icon) with a special tracker-themed tail and set of dirt oval racer number boards. Plus, like the Cafe Racer, the Full Throttle’s tail cowl can be removed for a passenger.

Style: Flat Track-Inspired Modern-Retro
Engine: Desmodue Air-Cooled 803cc L-Twin
Power: 73hp / 49ft-lbs
Dry Weight: 381lbs

Purchase: $10,995

Scrambler 1100 Pro

When Ducati released a larger 1100 version of its Scrambler, it wasn’t just looking to deliver a larger displacement version of its existing modern retro, but instead, give a more high-performance edge to the model without losing its comfortable riding position. The additional power also comes with upgraded running gear, with beefed-up suspension and a dual-disc Brembo brake setup. The “Ocean Drive” livery available on the 1100 PRO adds a custom-inspired touch to this classic-looking model’s appearance.

Style: Standard Modern-Retro
Engine: Desmodue Air-Cooled 1,077cc L-Twin
Power: 83.5hp / 66.75ft-lbs
Dry Weight: 417lbs

Purchase: $13,495

Scrambler 1100 Sport PRO

At the top of the Scrambler range sits the 1100 Sport PRO, which is an even plusher, more luxurious, and sport-oriented take on the already-competent 1100 PRO. These changes come from the addition of high-dollar Ohlins suspension and Brembo M 432B monoblocs, plus Ducati Traction Control, ride-by-wire throttle, and a trio of different ride modes. If you plan on spending some of your time on a Scrambler 1100 at the track or in the twisties, it’s probably worth splurging the extra $2,000 for the Sport PRO-spec.

Style: Standard Modern-Retro
Engine: Desmodue Air-Cooled 1,077cc L-Twin
Power: 83.5hp / 66.75ft-lbs
Dry Weight: 417lbs

Purchase: $15.495

Scrambler Club Italia

Based on the top-of-the-line, full-sized Scrambler Sport PRO, the Scrambler Club Italia is an ultra-exclusive limited edition version of the modern-retro, born out of a collaboration between Ducati’s style center and Scuderia Club Italia, a private cultural, sports, and motorsports club founded in the late ‘80s by ex-race car drivers. Sporting a special SCI livery, red leather saddle, dual can Akrapovic exhaust, and a numbered plaque, this model is only available to the club’s members. There are also numerous billet items such as the gas cap and indicator housings.

Style: Special Edition Standard Modern-Retro
Engine: Desmodue Air-Cooled 1,077cc L-Twin
Power: 83.5hp / 66.75ft-lbs
Dry Weight: 415lbs

Purchase: POR

Existing Model Guide

No Longer In Production, But Still Worth Considering

While we’re obviously big fans of Ducati’s current crop of cycles, the marque has plenty of fantastic older bikes that are well worth exploring. Below, we’ve rounded up some of the Borgo brand’s best existing bikes, whether you’re looking for a daily rider, a platform for customization, or a two-wheeled monetary investment.

Best Used Ducatis For Riding

Some Ducatis have stood the test of time better than others. Whether viewed from a mechanical, performance, or aesthetic metric, several bikes stand above the rest as the most enjoyable or utilitarian used options. Below are some fantastic options if you’re in the market for a used Ducati that you actually want to ride on a regular basis.

Photo: Ducati 899 Panigale

899 Panigale

Launched in 2013, the 899 Panigale is from the first generation of this superbike family, and though it doesn’t sport the facelift that the newer models possess, it’s nonetheless the most-accessible motorcycle in the gorgeous Panigale bodywork. Performance-wise, the 899 is far from long in the tooth, and it still features a full suite of electronic rider aids including ABS, traction control, and multiple ride modes. These can also be had on the used market from around $8,000 to $10,000 in solid condition.

Style: Superbike
Engine: Superquadro Liquid-Cooled 898cc L-Twin
Power: 148hp / 73ft-lbs
Dry Weight: 373lbs

900SS CR

The 900SS CR (short for “Cafe Racer”) is an interesting variant of the brand’s Super Sport model, adding some ’80s cafe-style to the Italian sportbike. These machines feature just enough bodywork to provide protection from the wind without having to constantly worry about the fairings getting cracked. This model does feature some slightly-dated technology, though if maintained properly, these machines can be plenty reliable. The handlebars and seating position make for a sporty yet sensible ride, and the dual-pipe exhaust system adds race-inspired elements to the equation. Best of all, these can be had in great shape for $3K-$5K.

Style: Cafe Racer-Styled Sportbike
Engine: Desmo 4V Air-Cooled 904cc L-Twin
Power: 84hp / 62ft-lbs
Dry Weight: 401lbs

Photo: Ducati Hyperstrada

Hyperstrada

Put simply, the Hyperstrada is a touring-focused version of Ducati’s Hypermotard, affording the already wildly-versatile machine that much more two-wheeled utility. Coming standard with a tall windscreen, luggage, and more comfortable handlebars, this model can not only be picked up for around the same price as a regular Hypermotard — if not cheaper in some cases — but can often be found on the used market with numerous other aftermarket upgrades. Secondhand Hyperstrada’s typically go for between approximately $5,500 – $8,500.

Style: Touring Motard
Engine: Testastretta 11° Liquid-Cooled 821.1cc L-Twin
Power: 110hp / 65.8ft-lbs
Dry Weight: 399lbs

Best Ducatis For Customization

With a high-performance nature, rich history, and exclusive appeal, Ducatis have been widely embraced by the custom motorcycle community. Having said that, not all Ducati models lend themselves particularly well to customization, with some boasting a bevy of wiring and sensors that make for an untold amount of extra work. To help get your build started on the right foot, we’ve outlined a selection of Ducatis that make for fantastic platforms for one-off builds.

900SS (1988–2007)

Ducati’s 900SS is almost certainly the most commonly-customize model from the Italian marque. This is mainly because of its affordable price and competent performance, but there are other aspects that make this two-wheeled workhorse lend itself to customization. The trellis frame is easy to modify and work a bespoke subframe into, and running gear can be upgraded to modern items with relative ease, as well. Whether you’re looking to build a tracker, a scrambler, or a classic cafe racer, it’s hard to go wrong when starting with an old SS. The 750cc versions of these 1980s to 2000s era models are equally ideal for going under the grinder.

Style: Sportbike
Engine: Desmo 4V Air-Cooled 904cc L-Twin
Power: 83.3hp / 60ft-lbs
Dry Weight: 414.5lbs

Monster S4R

Think of the Monster S4R is being an already upgraded platform for customization compared to the SS. This high-performance Monster comes fitted with a single-sided swing-arm and a potent 996 Superbike engine, stuffed in a similar trellis frame. There’s also no shortage of aftermarket parts available for the Ducati Monster, making the customization process easier and less costly. There are admittedly cheaper versions of the Monster to modify (with the 696 being a good bargain Monster), though considering you can leave the suspension and running gear alone entirely, this makes the S4R a pretty enticing offer.

Style: Naked / Roadster
Engine: Testastretta Liquid-Cooled 996cc L-Twin
Power: 113hp / 70.4ft-lbs
Dry Weight: 425lbs

Photo: Ducati 848 / 1098 Streetfighter

Streetfighter 848/1098

As much fun as modern Supersports and superbikes are, they aren’t exactly conducive to customization. Underneath their full sets of bodywork lie unsightly ancillaries, endless yards or wiring, and other random sensors and pieces that make for a tremendously more complex project. The Street Fighter solves these problems by presenting a modern naked superbike, already stripped of its bodywork and with its electronics neatly hidden from sight, letting you get right down to business. It also helps that these are fantastic looking machines in the first place.

Style: Naked Superbike
Engine: Testastretta 11° Liquid-Cooled 849cc L-Twin
Power: 132p / 69ft-lbs
Dry Weight: 372.5lbs

Photo: Ducati

Best Collector’s Ducatis

Whether due to limited production output, race heritage, or a myriad of other reasons, certain motorcycle models hold their value incredibly well, only increasing over time. And while CDs and IRAs are solid responsible investments, they don’t involve adding a classic Ducati to your stable. Below are three Ducatis that make for excellent collector’s bikes, no matter if you’re a true collector, or are just looking to make a buck. These bikes range from as low as $5,000 all the way into six-figure territory with clean holy grail models like an original “Green Frame.”

Mike Hailwood Replica (aka MHR)

Despite an illustrious race career that included numerous world championship titles, when Mike “The Bike” Hailwood entered the 1978 Isle of Man TT after a more-than-decade-long hiatus, few, if anyone expected much of the 38-year-old Ducati rider, making his victory all the more historic. To celebrate Hailwood’s win, Ducati opted to release a special edition replica model of Mike’s NCR-built racer, utilizing the existing 900SS platform. Upon its release, the Mike Hailwood Replica (or MHR) became Ducati’s best-selling model. Today, MHR specimens command significant price tags and are considered iconic pieces of Ducati history.

Style: Sportbike / Race Replica
Engine: Air-Cooled 973cc Bevel Gear-Driven L-Twin
Power: 76hp / 62ft-lbs
Dry Weight: 430lbs

Photo: Ducati 916

916 Superbike

First debuting in 1994, the 916 is one of the most iconic sportbikes of all time, and arguably the most influential of the last quarter-century. Penned by the late great Massimo Tamburini, the 916 not only packed cutting-edge performance but also sported a sleek, distinctly Italian design that, when viewed from above, mimicked the hourglass figure of a curvaceous woman. Every bike in the 916 range (including the 996 and 998) feature the same basic design, though there are also more expensive examples such as the SPS (or Sport Production Special) and Senna-spec 916 superbikes.

Style: Superbike
Engine: Desmoquattro Liquid-Cooled 916cc L-Twin
Power: 114hp / 66.3ft-lbs
Dry Weight: 429.9lbs

Photo: Ducati 750 Super Sport

First Generation (1974) 750 Super Sport (aka Green Frame)

The original Super Sport 750 is arguably the most coveted and sought-after Ducati of all time. Built as a race replica inspired by the machine Paul Smart rode to victory at the 1972 Imola 200, the 750SS was made by hand, and only 401 specimens were produced in total, all of which featured a distinctive seafoam green chassis (hence the model’s “Green Frame” nickname). Any clean original example 750SS (or 900SS) will cost a considerable amount, with tidy specimens commanding anywhere from $40 to $80K, and pristine examples running well into the six-figures.

Style: Sportbike
Engine: Air-Cooled 748cc Bevel Gear-Driven L-Twin
Power: 70hp / 52.8ft-lbs
Dry Weight: 397lbslbs

The 8 Best Beginner Motorcycles

Looking to start your riding career and aren’t quite ready for a cutting-edge Italian superbike? Well, fear not because our guide to the best beginner motorcycles contains more than half-a-dozen stellar entry-level choices that allow new riders to grow and progress, while still having plenty of fun in the saddle.

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