If You Want an Air-Cooled Ducati Buy it Now

Ducati GT1000

Three years ago you could find a 2-valve, air-cooled power plant in four distinct Ducati model ranges.  Next year it will be just one.  And the year after that?  We say none.

If you want to buy an old school Ducati Hypermotard from next year on, you’re out of luck.  At the 2012 EICMA show in Milan, Ducati introduced the new, liquid cooled 821cc Hypermotard and Hyperstrada range.

The faithful Pantah based power train has been deleted from the Hypermotard just as it was from the ST, the Multistrada and the Sport Classic (the whole model range was killed off) before it.

Ducati 1100evo Anniversary

For 2013 the only air-cooled Ducati model range is the Monster that is celebrating its 20th anniversary.  In recent years we have seen the launch of the ultimate 100hp version of the Desmodue power plant in the Monster 1100EVO and a blatant grab for the hipster business with the Ducati Monster Diesel 1100EVO.

The trend is clear and all the signs are in place.  The only thing missing is the “Final Edition” sticker on the bodywork.  Modern emission and noise controls make it very difficult for air-cooled engines to pass.  So the 2-valve Ducati’s days are numbered.  The Panigale shows that the company has no sacred cows.  The Pantah based twin is heading the way of the trellis frame and the cam belt.

Expect to see the new 821cc power plant debut in a Monster for 2014 although air might cool the cylinders of the baby Monsters for a little longer yet.

If we were Ducati, we’d be working on a 4-valve, liquid cooled 500cc power plant that can provide a modern Ducati take on an entry level motorcycle.  If we were really out there we’d suggest a new Sport Pantah 500 along the lines of the Sport Classic range.  Or how about halving that twin to make a very interesting 250cc Desmo single for the important emerging markets.  Ducati Moto3 replica anyone?

In any event if you’re an air-cooled freak the message is clear. Buy your Hypermotard now or your Monster next year.

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5 Responses to “If You Want an Air-Cooled Ducati Buy it Now”

  1. part of the appeal of the Monster was it’s simplicity. It was not only historically air-cooled, but it had a dry clutch, cable throttle, no ABS, no slipper clutch, and since the Desmodue, only 2-valves per head — one intake, one exhaust. Mechanically speaking, it only needed the parts to make a motorcycle run. Definitely a purist motorcycle. Just get on it and ride.

    Going to an all-liquid-cooled range for the Monster would turn off some of it’s fans. Being that the model is Ducati’s best seller, it may not a be a good idea. And the Ducatista are very fickle and let it be known when they don’t like a model (see the 999). We’ve seen liquid-cooled Monster’s before, but the S4RS wasn’t a Monster for long and was always sort of a novelty within the model range. For that reason, Ducati eventually made the move to effectively make it it’s own model of naked superbike-powered motorcycle and redesigned it as the Streetfighter around the time the 696 was introduced.

    I think the fans would eventually adopt a liquid-cooled Monster, but not after a stormy honeymoon. The riders that have been Ducatista for a while will take a minute to warm-up to the idea, but newer riders not caring or knowing of what traditionally makes a Monster a Monster would jump right on.

  2. well can’t keep living in the past…..

  3. Well, by that logic then Duc should be getting into electric bikes any day now. 😉

    As long as they keep an air-cooled Monster. Air cooled are much easier to work on, and great for the plain jane commuter. Require less maintenance, and simpler lines. There is something of value in simpler.

  4. But what will this mean for the Streetfighter 848? At least now there is a clear distinction between the Monster and Streetfighter lines — air-cooled naked and liquid-cooled naked. By introducing a liquid-cooled Monster, this clarity no longer holds.

    What will be the difference between the liquid-cooled Monster and the SF848? A slightly more aggressive riding position for the SF? No ABS available on the SF but yes on the Monster?

    I’m not sure how this will work out unless the Monster is a sub-800cc bike.

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