DREAM MACHINES: DUCATI LAUNCHES THREE NEW CONCEPT BIKES IN TOKYO
Photos courtesy of Ducati Motor S.p.A.
“Inspired by the Sportbikes of the 1970s, Ducati’s Three Sport Classic Prototypes are the Stuff of Enthusiast’s Dreams”
Update: Time to order your Sport 1000, GT 1000 or Paul Smart 1000 from your local Ducati dealer. Starting March 1st 2004 and until September 1st 2004, Ducati dealers worldwide will accept advanced reservations for the first production of all three Sport Classic models. By reserving early these customers will be first in line to receive their bikes, and will benefit from favorable introductory pricing.
Reservations can be made only at your authorized Ducati dealer. Those who reserve a Sport Classic before September 1st 2004 will also have the added benefit of access to a special section of ducati.com that has “insider” details about the development process and interviews with the Ducati Sport Classic development team. Additionally they will receive special mailings from Ducati that include Sport Classic memorabilia and offers.
“Our dreams live in the legends of racing, in riders like Paul Smart who helped us to write some of the most wonderful pages in the history of world motorcycling. Our dreams live in the simple and classic lines, the rich details and the colours of those trail-blazing Ducati sport bikes of the 1970s.
The three bikes that we are unveiling today represent the perfect mixture of winning technology – always a Ducati hallmark – with the timeless beauty of Ducati Design. PaulSmart, Sport, GT – three motorcycles designed to wet the appetites of enthusiasts everywhere, giving our Ducatisti, we hope, something to dream about. The bikes you see today are one-off items. They are not for sale. And yet, at Ducati we know that dreams sometimes come true.”
It was with these words that Federico Minoli, President of Ducati Motor Holding, presented the company’s three concept bikes to the press at the opening of this year’s Tokyo Motorshow.
Whilst all three machines embody the same essential concept, timeless Ducati design linked with high performance, the individual designs, named PaulSmart 1000, GT 1000 and Sport 1000 offer three particular expressions of Ducati heritage while utilizing the latest and most innovative Ducati technologies.
The PaulSmart 1000 is inspired by the 750 Imola on which Paul Smart rode to victory in the historic 200 Miles of Imola in 1972. The PaulSmart 1000 bike brings the spirit of its predecessor back to life with levels of performance able that surpass the expectations of today’s most demanding two-wheel enthusiasts.
The GT 1000 is a sport bike eminently suitable for everyday use, striking a perfect balance between the comfort of a two-seater and the performance of a two-cylinder Desmo. Tradition and stylish elegance are merged seamlessly in this machine, made even more interesting by high-spec componentry and by the handling and safety typical of present-day Ducati motorcycles.
The Sport 1000 is a gutsy “Café Racer”. Ducati through-and-through, with a coat of bold Ducati yellow paint, the Sport delivers timeless good looks and excitement that fans and enthusiasts expect of all Ducati sport bikes.
All three bikes are equipped with the Desmo 1000 DS engine and cut a stylish figure with the unmistakable tubular tressle frame, characteristic of models made in Borgo Panigale. State-of-the-art engineering solutions make these three machines benchmarks in terms of technology, design and performance.
Clearly, Japan is an important launch scenario for the SportClassic family. It is also a significant market, where the Ducati marque enjoys popularity and is seen as a genuine status symbol. The Japanese have always had an eye for exclusive products – witnessed by the success of the MH900 in this market.
Today, Ducati has a market share of 4.65% (3,857 bikes sold in 2002), in Japan achieved through an increase in growth of 9.8% over the previous year, when a remarkable 50.9% growth was recorded. A further increase is forecast for 2003, and indeed the last few months have seen a string of positive signals arriving from this market, allowing Ducati to close out the second quarter in style, with overall sales for 2003 up 4.3% on the same period in 2002 and registering an all-time record for Ducati in a single quarter.
Also important is the imminent addition of two new Ducati Stores in Japan, which should be open by the end of the year, bringing the number of single-brand outlets to 9. In total, Japan has 67 points of sale around the country.
This progress has been achieved thanks to the launch of new and dynamic products in the Japanese market, like the Multistrada, which both here and in many other countries – Italy included – is enjoying an incredible level of success, even beyond Ducati’s expectations (sales of 3,000 machines forecast for the first half, with around 6,000 built to meet demand for the rest of the year). The 999 and 749 have also seen successful launches in 2003.
Tremendous momentum has been generated by superb race track performances by the ‘Rosse di Borgo Panigale’, culminating in the rider’s title (Neil Hodgson on a 999) and the constructor’s title (won in 2003 Superbike). In MotoGP, the first year of involvement for Ducati in the series, a new bike, the Desmosedici, ridden by Loris Capirossi and Troy Bayliss, was the only real challenger to the Honda.
Also on view at the Tokyo Motorshow are all the important new bikes, accessories and apparel seen in Milan at the EICMA event. The Japanese market will see for the first time the ultra-new ST machines, the Sport Touring family (completely revamped and equipped with the new Desmo3 three-valve power unit), the new 999R and 749R (absolute gems of racing technology deriving directly from experience gained on the race track), the 749s, and the new Monster 620 (new 6-speed gearbox and new APTC clutch).
Founded in 1926, the Ducati company is a maker of sport motorcycles with powerful “desmodromic” engines characterized by innovative design and cutting-edge technology. The Ducati range of bikes covers five market segments, differing in terms of technical specifications and customer profile: Superbike, Super Sport, Monster, Sport Touring, and Multistrada.
Ducati bikes are sold in more than 40 countries around the world, mostly on the European and North American markets. Ducati has won eleven of the last thirteen World Superbike Championship titles and notched up more individual race wins than all the other competing marques put together. For more information on the company, visit the Ducati website.
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