Article posted: Tuesday, March 21, 2017
Don's Sardinia review of the new 2017 Ducati bikes.
3/8/2017 – 3/12/2017
Sardinia, Italy –
Local terrain is low and swampy in some areas and rocky as the altitude rises. Reminds me of Florida, North Carolina, and then Arizona. Roads are constantly winding around the base and up near the top of the rocky area with occasional views of the ocean. Temperature each day was 50 to 70 degrees and sunny. That said….here is a summary of my ride impressions for the six new Ducati’s that I rode:
Re-entering the smaller displacement market with the proven 803cc engine at 75 HP. This size Monster has always been popular typically as an entry bike because of price point and power that is not boring. It is a two valve, air cooled engine with three fueling modes, double sided swing-arm. After having ridden the 797, I can assure the rider, you won’t be disappointed. Handling is light and accurate, power is exhilarating. At $9295, this is a great value.
This one was my personal favorites of all six and a big surprise. Not only is it eye catching, but a great value at $11395. Black trimmed in gold with brown faux leather saddle, removable hump on the passenger end, and gold wheels. Balance on this bike is predictably good (it’s a Ducati). This bike is a joy on the local roads which include many double apex and decreasing radius turns . The Café’ responds as if it was truly meant for this purpose.
Another new entry. This model replaces the former Urban Enduro and comes with 75/25 off road capabilities. The Desert Sled has an 803cc, 75 hp engine with 50 LB FT of torque. Also, comes with a more aggressive off road style tire. It can be comfortably ridden standing up due in part to ride height and increased suspension travel. Handling is solid and accurate on and off road. This is relatively new territory for Ducati, but, much thought has been placed on the final result.
Winner! Up-Down quickshifting, 114 HP, available Panniers. Great bike for the twisties, moderate travel, track days, commuting, etc. . Stable, balanced, comfortable, are words to accurately describe this beautiful bike. The “S” model comes in red (of course) and White with red wheels. Versatile and affordable at $14795. Comfort is key on this new model. I truly enjoyed the ergonomics and power delivery of this bike.
Monster 1200 S
A true Ducati experience and a “blast” to ride. POWER and TORQUE. Redesigned from the 2016 “S” with increased horsepower, Ohlins suspension, quickshifter, a great new grey paint scheme. Price is at $16995 and very reasonable considering the features offered. From personal experience, I can tell the reader that this bike is especially good at track days and on curvy roads. Riding impression: WOW!
New for 2017, this bike just makes sense. At home traveling, commuting , off road and in the twisties. 113HP, 19inch front and 17 inch rear wheel designed for better travel over uneven surfaces. Weighing in at 453 lbs, it’s smooth and comfortable over a distance as well as in town. The little brother to the MS1200, this bike reminds me of the same experience to be had on the larger displacement 1200. Handling is very much the same with intuitive steering and great balance. Side panniers are available as well as a long list of accessories such as top box, touring pack, enduro pack urban pack, and much more. Included are the four fueling modes, ABS, and Safety pack. An overall favorite at our dealership, and all for a mere $13995.
Overall, this trip was an eye opener. Roads were nothing short of incredible with tight turns and the occasional sweeper. All bikes ridden (6) were typical Ducati….Impressive. A special thanks to Ducati North America, the support staff, and all those involved in the planning of this event. No small feat.