It’s hard to ignore the shift the motorcycle industry is making by pivoting resources to smaller displacement motorcycles. A recent report from International Business Times claiming Ducati is looking to build smaller 300cc motorcycles is another sign of the trend. The Italian manufacturer is reportedly partnering with the Indian brand Hero MotoCorp to joint-build a Scrambler-like single cylinder and a miniature Multistrada with an identical power plant.
As of now, it’s unclear whether or not the two new motorcycles will make their way stateside, but what is for sure is Ducati is ready to tap into the largest two-wheeler market in the world. The partnership will supposedly see Ducati produce a 300cc fuel-injected single cylinder engine while Hero MotoCorp develops the chassis to carry it. Considering competing brands such as Kawasaki, Honda and BMW already sell bikes in the 300cc range, it’s not entirely out of the realm of possibility the US will see an even smaller Scrambler or Multistrada.
While most Japanese brands are long-time proprietors of small engine motorcycles, the growing number of options from BMW and Ducati is a realization that the market is shifting focus. The older generation of riders drove the market and inadvertently forced manufacturers to build bigger more powerful bikes as they grew up. Now that generation has nearly aged out of riding all together, a new generation of younger riders are demanding another era of approachable, tameable motorcycles to learn to ride. The industry shift is merely a countermeasure. It’s easy to say in hindsight, but had manufacturers never eased up on their entry-level bikes it’s entirely possible the market would be as stagnant as it has been the past few years. Either way, it’s refreshing, not to mention a relief, to see brands like Ducati pouring energy into new riders’ tastes.
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