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.
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.