The Ducatisti, fans of Italian motorcycle brand Ducati (VOW.DE), are a fickle bunch – with both undying love for the brand but also a critical eye toward purity. But you’d be wrong if you said the ducatisti don’t put their money where their bocca is.
Ducati is coming off yet another record-breaking year for sales both globally, and in the U.S. – the brand’s number two market behind Italy. And so far, 2023 is no different.
“Our sales momentum has been very strong, both all over globally, but also in North America. And we delivered an exceptional result this last year,” said Jason Chinnock, Ducati North America CEO in an interview with Yahoo Finance. “The great news is that momentum that we’ve built up is continuing.”
Ducati’s performance could have been better, Chinnock said, but the ever-present component and supply chain crisis crimped supply. But buyers didn’t substitute for other bikes, even though Ducati’s are priced at the top of the food chain.
“Absolutely,” Chinnock said on whether buyers are still hungry for Ducati’s high-priced offerings, despite economic concerns and longer than usual waits for its bikes. “The reality is our price point being that ultra premium, we haven’t really seen an impact with our clientele.”
Case in point has been the reaction to two of Ducati’s newest bikes, the muscular Diavel V4 and Multistrada V4 Rally. Both bikes are not for the frugal, with starting prices of $26,695 and $29,995 respectively.
“While the [Diavel V4] hasn’t actually been delivered in the market, we’ve seen customer order portfolio, which is basically how we predict our sales, exceptional for this motorcycle,” Chinnock says. “In fact [it has been] by far the best launch that we’ve had for a new model out of the Diavel lineup.”
While Ducati’s gas-powered offerings are still highly popular, the brand is still looking out towards the not too distant future, where electrification lurks. Though motorcycle fans generally speaking are skeptical of an electric whoosh compared to a V-twin’s engine’s high-pitched wail, Ducati says there is interest in electrifying its bikes.
Ducati this year will be the sole manufacturers of electric race bikes in the MotoE racing championship. And you can bet when Ducati’s first customer electric bikes come out, they will be sure to leverage tech and design from the race bikes.
“Our objective is to take the technology of what we learn from this series at that level, and find a way to distill it down to what we can bring to, let’s say, our client level,” Chinnock says. “And we have a lot of excitement behind it.”
The first race for the season, and the first time the Ducatisti will be able to see the radical new electric race bikes in the flesh, will be this May at the world-famous Le Mans circuit.