Brand Breakdown

The Complete Ducati Buying Guide: Every Model, Explained

May 17, 2019 Cars By Photo by Ducati
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Ducati produces a wide range of motorcycles, but the Italian marque remains a premium, performance-oriented brand, with most models geared toward enthusiasts.

The company names its bikes with monikers that can have near-literal Italian to English translations, or pay homage to the brand’s historical upbringing. (For example, Ducati’s Panigale sportbike family pays tribute to the original manufacturing town of Borgo Panigale in Bologna, Italy, where Ducati began production and still exists today.) The numbers following the names refer to the general engine displacement. Essentially, the numbers denote the size and power of the bike; the larger the number, the heavier and more powerful the motorcycle. Further letters or names usually denotes the vehicle’s focus on a particular type of riding.

For example, let’s take the Ducati Multistrada 1260 S. Multistrada translates to “many roads,” which means it’s capable on all types of asphalt and is suited towards touring or sport-touring applications. 1260 references Ducati’s 1262-cc engine. S denotes the model is geared toward sport or street enthusiasts, which means items like additional “sporty” ride modes and/or an upgraded suspension. The Multistrada also comes with an off-road package denoted by the word Enduro; this references a type of motorcycling done off-road.

Beyond the naming terminology, each type of bike has unique styling and physical features that can help you understand its intended purpose.

Ducati Terminology

Desmodromic: A reciprocating engine poppet valve that is positively closed by a camshaft and leverage system, rather than a conventional spring. A hallmark feature in Ducati engines.
Desmosedici Stradale: The engine used in the Panigale V4 engine. Desmo = the poppet valve; Sedici = sixteen valves; Stradale = street-focused or road-going
Tetrastretta: “Narrow-Head” engine arranged in an “L” shape.
Ducati Corse: The division of Ducati that deals with motorcycle racing development.
Bosch IMU (Inertial Measurement Unit): The “brain of the motorcycle.” A computer safety system that measures six axis of movement, which aids or controls various systems on the motorcycle to increase the rider’s experience and overall safety. The IMU controls most of the below functions on Ducati’s high-end models.
DSP (Ducati Safety Pack): A feature found on almost all 2019 model year Ducati motorcycles, including ABS and traction control.
DVT (Desmodromic Valve Timing): Engine): Independent timing of the camshaft allows for optimization at high and low rpm. The result is maximum power delivery across the rev range.
DMS (Ducati Multimedia System): Allows riders to pair their cell phones or Bluetooth devices to the bike. Lets them take calls, listen to music, and receive text messages on the bike’s TFT display.
DSS (Ducati Skyhook Suspension): An electronic suspension system that keeps the motorcycle balanced by constantly adjusting front and rear suspension under acceleration, deceleration, and additional movement.
DWC (Ducati Wheelie Control): Can minimize or increase how much the front wheel lifts off the ground under hard acceleration.
DTC (Ducati Traction Control): A system that maintains traction by regulating power output from the engine to the wheels.
DPC (Ducati Power Control): Allows for lightning-fast starts while allowing the rider to focus on clutch control.
DSC (Ducati Slide Control): Controls torque delivered by the engine to prevent slide angles and maximize out-of-the-corner performance.
DQS (Ducati Quick Shifter): Lets the rider shift gears up or down without using the clutch.
EBC (Electronic Brake Control): Optimizes bike stability under extreme turn-in conditions.
DCL (Ducati Cornering Lights): As the motorcycle leans over additional lights on the bike illuminate through a curve.
VHC (Vehicle Hold Control): Useful on steep inclines, the system applies light braking to hold the motorcycle until enough forward motion is achieved.
EVO (Evolution): An acronym applied to any of the acronyms above to denote the evolution—or 2nd generation—of said system.
Enduro: A bike with off-road spec components: Longer suspension travel for clearing obstacles, knobby tires for better off-road traction, off-road ride modes, crash bars, skid plate, etc.
S (Sport-spec): Reserved for models that include upgrades for a more sporty or street-focused ride.
R (Race-spec): Reserved for models that include the best upgrades Ducati offers suited for high performance and track use.


Panigale V4 R

The Panigale V4 R is Ducati’s flagship supersport motorcycle, and the fastest and most advanced consumer motorcycle in the lineup. Developed for WSBK (World Superbike) racing, the V4R is a road-legal race bike that has been homologated for the series to include a 998-cc V-4 engine. The Panigale V4 R includes Ducati’s full suite of electronic rider aids, aerodynamics package, top-of-the-line Ohlins suspension. It uses lighter materials than the V4 and V4 S, including forged aluminum wheels and Brembo monobloc calipers. The Panigale V4 R produces 221 horsepower and 82 pound-feet of torque. It is not for the novice rider.

• Panigale V4R
Engine: 998-cc V4 Desmosedici Stradale R
Base price: $40,000

Panigale V4 / V4 S

The Ducati Panigale V4 is the Italian marque’s top-level liter-bike, with a MotoGP-derived 90-degree, 1103-cc V-4 powerplant. The Panigale V4 features Ducati’s full suite of electronic rider aids for maximum performance on and off the track, as well as styling sure to turn heads. Weighing in at 381 pounds and producing a whopping 214 horsepower with 91.5 pound-feet of torque, the Panigale V4 is basically a fighter jet on two wheels. Those numbers increase to 238 horsepower if you opt for the top-tier V4 S Speciale, which comes with a titanium race exhaust.

• Panigale V4
• Panigale V4 S
• Panigale V4 S Corse
• Panigale V4 Speciale
Engine: 1,103-cc Desmodromic 90-degree V4
Base price: $21,495

Panigale 959

The Ducati Panigale 959, the baby brother to the outgoing Panigale 1199 and 1299, is Ducati’s lowest–displacement middleweight sportbike. The Panigale 959 is geared for the track, pumping out 157 horsepower and 79 pound-feet of torque from its 955-cc V-Twin powerplant. It comes standard with Pirelli Diablo Rosso Corsa tires mounted on alloy rims, Ducati’s full suite of electronic rider-aids (traction control, Bosch ABS, DQS, several ride modes, etc.), and fully-adjustable front and rear suspension. The Corse version of the Panigale 959 receives special livery and upgraded components that make it a more formidable track weapon.

• 959 Panigale
• 959 Panigale Corse
Engine: 955-cc Superquadro 90-degree L-Twin
Base price: $14,995


Ducati Hypermotard 950 / 950S

The Ducati Hypermotard 950 is a supermoto hooligan machine, combining the upright ergonomics of a dirt bike and the performance of a sportbike. The Hyper pumps out 114 horsepower and 71 pound-feet of torque, and comes standard with a slew of electronic rider-aids including DTC, DWC, DPL, and Cornering ABS. Upgrade to the SP model and you score an upgraded Ohlins suspension package, increased suspension travel, forged alloy wheels, sticky Pirelli Diablo Supercorsa SP V3 radial tires, carbon fiber coverings, and a quick shifter.

• Hypermotard 950
• Hypermotard 950 SP
Engine: 937-cc Testastretta 11-degree twin-cylinder engine
Base price: $13,295

Cruiser / Power Cruiser

Ducati Diavel 1260 and xDiavel

Ducati’s answer to the American power cruiser, the Diavel offers riders a relaxed and comfortable ride without sacrificing the brand’s quintessential quest for performance. The Diavel family of cruisers utilizes the same Testersetta DVT engine found on the Multistrada, which pumps out 157 hp and 95 pound-feet of torque. Tuned differently than the Multistrada, the Diavel features more low-end and midrange torque, a longer wheelbase, and Ducati’s full suite of electric rider aids. S models receive an upgraded Ohlins suspension, Brembo brake calipers, dedicated wheels and a quick-shifter.

Just like many American cruisers, the Diavel can be customized — in its case, in 60 different ways (three footpeg positions, five different seats, three different handlebars, and a slew of rider focused accessories), making for an adaptable bike for various sizes of rider.

• Diavel 1260
• Diavel 1260 S
• XDiavel
• XDiavel S
Engine: 1262-cc Testastretta DVT L- Twin
Base price: $19,995

Sport Touring / Adventure

Multistrada 950

The Multistrada 950 is Ducati’s mighty middleweight sports-touring motorcycle. Powered by a 937-cc Testastretta 11-degree L-twin producing 113 horsepower and 71 pound-feet of torque, it’s perfect for long highway stints, twisty canyons, and well-groomed dirt roads. The Multistrada 950 comes standard with Ducati’s full suite of electronic rider aids, making for a highly customizable ride. The Multistrada 950 S version comes upgraded with an electronic (DSS) Sachs suspension, Brembo brake calipers, cruise control and DQS.

• Multistrada 950
• Multistrada 950 S
Engine: 937-cc Testastretta 11-degree L-twin
Base price: $13,995

Multistrada 1260

The Multistrada 1260 is Ducati’s pinnacle sport-tourer / adventure bike, capable of handling long rides on the highway and attacking twisty mountain roads with ease. The Multistrada 1260 features a 1262-cc Testastretta DVT L-Twin producing 156 horsepower and 95 pound-feet of torque. While the 1260 and 1260 S are focused more on street applications, the Multistrada 1260 Enduro receives options that make it more at home in the dirt. All Multistrada 1260 models include a full suite of Ducati’s electronic rider aids, and offer optional accessories for customization.

• Multistrada 1260
• Multistrada 1260 S
• Multistrada 1260 S Pikes Peak
• Multistrada 1260 Enduro
Engine: 1262-cc Testastretta DVT L-Twin
Base price: $20,995

Sport Naked

Monster 797

The Ducati Monster 797 is Ducati’s “entry-level” Monster, delivering its signature tubular steel trellis frame and stout appearance. The Monster 797 is well suited for urban dwellers and weekend enthusiasts just venturing into motorcycling. Boasting a 803-cc air-cooled L-Twin that produces 73 horsepower and 49 pound-feet of torque, it presents itself as a spry and engaging motorcycle. Unlike many of the bikes in Ducati’s line up, the Monster 797 is a bit of a purist motorcycle in that it lack many if not all electronic rider-aids. It does, however, come standard with a Bosch ABS system.

• Monster 797
• Monster 797+

Engine:803-cc air-cooled L-Twin
Base price: $9,295

Monster 821

One step up in the Monster family sits the Monster 821. Featuring a more powerful 821-cc liquid-cooled 90-degree V-Twin that produces 109 horsepower and 63 pound-feet of torque, it comes standard with Ducati’s Safety Pack, which includes three-way Bosch ABS, eight-level traction control, and three riding modes. The Monster 821 is an excellent choice for an entry-level or moderately skilled motorcyclist seeking a sport bike with comfortable ergonomics.

• Monster 821
• Monster 821 Stealth
Engine: 821-cc liquid-cooled 90-degree V-Twin
Base price: $11,995

Monster 1200

The Monster 1200 is Ducati’s top-of-the-line sport naked, which has evolved over the years to become a compact-yet-thrilling bike in the class. The Monster 1200 sports a 1198-cc Testastretta 11-degree L-Twin producing 147 horsepower and 91 pound-feet of torque. The Monster 1200 comes complete with the Ducati Safety Pack, while the S and R models receive performance and trim upgrades that enhance the riding experience.

• Monster 1200
• Monster 1200 S
• Monster 1200 R
• Monster 1200 25° Anniversario
Engine: 1198-cc Testastretta 11-degree L-Twin
Base price: $14,995

Sport Touring

Ducati SuperSport

The Ducati SuperSport combines Panigale styling with an ergonomically-friendly sport-touring package. Featuring a 937-cc Testrastretta engine producing 110 horsepower and 69 pound-feet of torque and coming standard with ABS, DTC, three ride modes, and DQS, the SuperSport makes for a stylish and sporty ride.

Sport / Sport Touring

• SuperSport
• SuperSport S
Engine: 937-cc Testastretta 11-degree engine
Base price: $12,995

Retro / Classic / Standard

Ducati Scrambler

The Ducati Scrambler couples retro style with modern technology into an approachable, fun package. The Scrambler family received a major update in 2019, which brought the Ducati Safety Pack into all models across the family. All Scramblers are powered by an 803cc air-cooled L-Twin producing 73 horsepower and 49 pound-feet of torque. Each Scrambler model features unique styling, riding ergonomics, and hardware and features to match: The Scrambler Desert Sled, for example, is more off-road focused, featuring an off-road riding mode, increased suspension travel and knobby tires; the Scrambler Cafe Racer, on the other hand, is for the urban dweller, featuring sporty clip-on handlebars for a more aggressive riding position, 17-inch spoked wheels, stylish graphics and sporty tires.

• Scrambler Icon
• Scrambler Cafe Racer
• Scrambler Full Throttle
• Scrambler Desert Sled
• Scrambler Sixty2
Engine: 803-cc air-cooled L-Twin
Base price: $9,395

Ducati Scrambler 1100

The Ducati Scrambler 1100 is the bigger brother to the original Scrambler, made for those who find the original Scrambler too small. Also, who need more power, as it packs a larger 1079-cc air-cooled L-Twin producing 86 horsepower and 65 pound-feet of torque. The Scrambler 1100 comes standard with Ducati Safety Pack and three ride modes. Upgrade to the Special, and you receive appearance upgrades and spoked wheels; the 1100 Sport, meanwhile, shines at the top of the class, with a full Ohlins suspension and custom gray color exclusive to the model.

• Scrambler 1100
• Scrambler 1100 Special
• Scrambler 1100 Sport
Engine: 1079-cc air-cooled L-Twin
Base price: $12,995

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Sam Bendall

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