Close your eyes and think of a Ducati motorcycle. Got it? Good. What's in your head? We'd guess something fast, beautiful and... red. That about right? Despite having roots firmly in the sportbike minefield, clearly the Italian motorcycle maker has its sights set on expanding its market share by entering into new and previously untapped markets. Evidence? We'll call the Multistrada Exhibit A.
And this sketch is about as strong an Exhibit B as you'll ever lay your eyes upon. Sometimes dubbed the Mega Monster by the motoring press, this sketch gives us an indication of what Ducati has up its corporate sleeves for the upcoming EICMA motorcycle show in Milan.
As you can see, a liquid-cooled Testastretta V-twin engine with the Multistrada 1200's 11-degree valve overlap angle, which smooths out power and improves fuel efficiency. We're expecting something over 150 horsepower in this application, and ride-by-wire and traction control will also be present. There's also a single-sided swingarm holding an absolutely massive rear tire (spy shots indicate it'll be a 240, but we'll see), USD front forks and monobloc calipers up front.
Naturally, Ducati's trademark trellis chassis is in full effect, in this case used for style and not really for substance. Ducati does indicate that the power cruiser will sport a reasonable 40-degree lean angle, but we have to wonder about the potential handling characteristics of a bike with a raked-out front end and wide-for-the-sake-of-style rear tire.
For what it's worth, assuming this bike is what we think it is, this is not the first time a European motorcycle maker has decided to dip a toe in the cruiser market. Way back in 1998, BMW released its R 1200 C range, and while the bike was much more technologically advanced than anything else on the market at the time (fuel injection, ABS brakes, telelever front suspension, single-sided shaft drive, etc.), it failed to reach the kind of sales figures hoped for by the German marque. We'll just have to wait and see how it all plays out for Ducati in November.
[Source: Ducati.ms via Asphalt & Rubber]