A 400-cc version of Ducati's popular Scrambler sub-brand has been announced, allowing the Italian company into previously untapped market segments and, no doubt, fueling hope for further sales success.
The new Scrambler Sixty2 is an air-cooled, six-speed V-Twin getting its name from when the original Ducati Scrambler was introduced in 1962. It's a thoroughly modern machine, however, equipped with ABS, front and rear LED headlights, and Ducati's beloved desmodromic valve system.
Braking is handled by Brembo, of course, with single disc brakes front and back. Suspension consists of a Showa 41 mm traditional stanchion fork. At the rear: a Kayaba monoshock with adjustable spring preload.
More or less, this is the same bike as the existing 800-cc Scrambler, but with half the engine. Producing a claimed 41 hp, that smaller engine will appeal to new and returning riders, as well as people in Europe and Asia restricted to lower-cc bikes as a result of tiered licensing.
Ducati's press materials try to draw a philosophical line between the two bikes, suggesting the smaller version is aimed at an audience that was too young and too hip for the young, hip audience being targeted by the larger machine. To this end, it feels like the Sixty2 is being aimed at 14-year-olds.
Or, perhaps I just feel that way because I stopped skateboarding when I was 14.
Whatever the case, Ducati is eager to present the Sixty2 as an utterly fun machine that is easy to customize thanks to a large collection of accessories. To illustrate this point, at a launch event for the Sixty2 in Milan, a duo of mechanics spent the evening stripping down and redesigning a Sixty2 using little more than a few wrenches and screwdrivers.
No doubt Ducati is hoping the Sixty2 will be as popular as its big brother. In the first 10 months of the 800-cc version being available to the public, it sold just shy of 15,000 units. As a result, Ducati saw, for the first time in its history, one of its bikes on the worldwide best-seller list, coming in at 10th.
Those sales also served as the foundation for Ducati's overall sales success in 2015. For the first time ever, the company surpassed the 50,000 units sold in the year.