Writing about bikes for 20 years. Published in dozens of titles on five continents. Mildly obsessed with discovering how things work.
Ducati has announced that it will reveal its 2020 model range on 23rd October at a special event in Rimini. But what new models should we expect to see?
There’s already quite a lot of information about some of the bikes that will be joining the Ducati range next year, so here’s a summary of the bikes that we definitely know will be coming, plus a few predictions about other models that could join the line-up.
A stock Monster 1200 Anniversario lurks under the cover in Ducati’s image
The first thing to clear up is the teaser image that accompanied Ducati’s ‘save the date’ announcement about its 2020 range. Is the bike under that iconic red cover a real new 2020 machine?
As it turns out, the answer is ‘no’. Although little can be seen through the Ducati-branded bike cover, we can distinctly make out the shape of the stacked tail pipe and see the bottom edges of the wheels. Combine those clues with positions of protrusions like the bars, mirrors and indicators, as well as the shape of the seat and tank, and it becomes clear that this is a Ducati Monster. More specifically, it’s the Monster 1200 25th Anniversario, which was launched in June last year. The gold Marchesini wheels are the giveaway.
The Streetfighter V4 is already confirmed as a 2020 model
So the teaser picture is a dummy, but what will Ducati’s real 2020 range consist of?
One certainty is the Streetfighter V4. Already officially announced and shown in ‘prototype’ form, the Panigale V4-based machine is out to become the most powerful naked superbike on the market, which means it’s got to stick close to the Panigale’s astounding 214hp output. Yikes. We spotted the bike in road-going form earlier this month, confirming that in typical Ducati style there will be at least two versions – a base model using Sachs and Showa suspension and a higher-spec ‘S’ with Ohlins semi-active kit, exactly like the Panigale V4 range. A third, even higher-spec model is also likely. Originally, it’s likely Ducati would have opted to call this the ‘Pikes Peak’, since the prototype Streetfighter V4 took over from the Multistrada as Ducati’s weapon of choice for the famous hill climb this year, and there’s long been a Multistrada Pikes Peak model in the range. However, the tragic death of rider Carlin Dunne after a crash as he neared a record-breaking victory means any ideas for a model to mark the event are surely cancelled now. Perhaps instead we can expect Ducati to offer a Streetfighter V4 Corse as a range-topping version of the bike.
Ducati’s Panigale V2 is a revamped, rebranded update of the Panigale 959
Another bike that is sure to join Ducati’s 2020 range is the Panigale V2. Seen in spy pictures already, it’s an update on the existing Panigale 959 and will provide a lower-range superbike for riders not ready to jump straight to the MotoGP-inspired Panigale V4.
The name change to Panigale V2 hasn’t been confirmed but it makes a lot of sense. With the Panigale V4 Ducati has made a move away from focussing on engine capacity, and it needs to do the same with the V-twin model. Ducati’s Superquadro V-twin engine, already used in the Panigale 959, has already been offered in capacities up to 1285cc, and with Euro 5 emissions rules looming Ducati might opt to up the size of the 959’s replacement from 955cc to something north of 1000cc. The ‘Panigale V2’ name makes it clear that it’s a level below the Panigale V4, even if its engine capacity is closer than you might expect. Since the Panigale V4 makes 214hp, Ducati can safely up the V2’s power to around 170hp while still keeping a clear gap between the models.
Technically, the bike shares most of its main components with the Panigale 959, but the spy shots revealed that it will get a new fairing that apes the front end styling of the Panigale V4
Ducati’s V4 is also heading to the Multistrada
Ducati’s Streetfighter V4 isn’t the only new model for 2020 that will gain the firm’s Desmosedici-derived engine – there’s also a Multistrada V4 under development at the moment.
Already spied on test, the Multistrada V4 is expected to be sold alongside the existing Multistrada 950 and Multistrada 1260 models as an even higher-spec offering. As well as having more power than its siblings – and more than any other adventure bike – it promises to be Ducati’s technological showpiece. The spied bike featured the advanced front and rear radar systems that the firm announced last year, giving it adaptive cruise control to keep pace with traffic and rider warning systems for blindspots or emergency stop situations.
The same radar is also expected to be adopted on some versions of the V-twin Multistrada next year.
Will Ducati put the 1262cc Testastretta DVT into the Monster?
Moving beyond the bikes that we’ve already been shown or spotted on test, there are several other models that would make a lot of sense for Ducati.
One trend that we’re likely to see over the next couple of years as Euro 5 emissions rules are phased in is the rationalisation of manufacturers’ model ranges. Making engines pass emissions tests is expensive, so sharing the same motors across multiple platforms is a no-brainer. Looking at Ducati’s existing range there are clearly a couple of engines that could easily be dropped.
One is the 1198cc V-twin in the current Monster 1200. On the Diavel, XDiavel and Multistrada, Ducati has replaced its older engine with the 1262cc Testastretta DVT, with variable valve timing, so surely it’s only a matter of time before the Monster 1200 becomes the ‘Monster 1260’ with the same DVT 1262cc engine.
While we’ve already established that the Monster hiding under the cover in Ducati’s teaser image is an existing bike, the firm might well have chosen that Monster-shaped silhouette for a reason. It would be odd to use that naked bike shape to tease a fully-faired sports bike or an adventure bike.
Further down the Monster range we find another variant that’s crying out to be ‘rationalised’ in the form of the Monster 821. This bike has a 109hp, 821cc Testastretta 11° V-twin, while the Multistrada 950, Hypermotard 950 and Supersport all use a 937cc version making almost the same power output (between 110 and 114hp depending on model). Surely it makes sense to share the same engine across all four bikes? If we were planning Ducati’s 2020 model range, there would be a 937cc ‘Monster 950’ in there, no question, to replace the Monster 821.
Surely someone at Ducati has had the idea of putting the 1260 DVT engine into the Supersport?
Ever since Ducati launched the Supersport in late 2016 it’s been a mystery why the firm hasn’t added a larger version to the line-up.
Made from Monster building blocks, it should be a simple matter to put a larger version of the Testastretta 11° in place of the 937cc unit in the Supersport, and indeed at least one private owner has already transplanted a Monster 1200 motor into his bike. Of course, the latest and greatest version of the Testastretta 11° is the 1262cc DVT version, as used in the Multistrada 1260, so that’s variant is most likely to be used if Ducati decides to finally build a bigger Supersport. With the old Panigale 1299 leaving production, riders wanting a large-capacity, sporty Ducati with massive V-twin torque are short of options; a Supersport 1260 would fill the gap nicely.
Finally, what about the Scrambler? Ducati isn’t likely to ignore its hugely-popular retro sub-brand when it comes to model updates in 2020.
While the base model was given a mild revamp for 2019, the rest of the Scrambler range hasn’t had much attention recently so it makes sense for some new additions to the range. Nothing has been spied yet, but following the addition of the Scrambler 1100 to the line-up in late 2017 surely there’s been time to expand that end of the range. An off-road oriented Scrambler 1100 Desert Sled and a sportier Scrambler 1100 Cafe Racer – mimicking the models in the 803cc Scrambler range – would be the most obvious additions to make, giving Ducati some bikes to combat Triumph’s Scrambler 1200 and Thruxton models.
We might have to wait until 23rd October to see whether these predictions are right, but keep an eye open in the meantime since we’ll do our best to bring any spy photos or leaked information before the official launch date.