Welcome to Brand Breakdown, a series of comprehensive yet easy-to-digest guides to your favorite companies, with insights and information you won’t find on the average About page.
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 denote the vehicle’s focus on a particular type of riding.
Beyond the naming terminology, each type of bike has unique styling and physical features that can help you understand its intended purpose.
Are Ducatis Reliable?
Ducati builds handsome and thrilling motorcycles. The tradeoff is they don’t have a stellar reputation for reliability. That impression has been backed up by studies from Consumer Reports showing Ducati owners being dramatically more likely to report problems than Honda or Yamaha owners` — but less likely than BMW owners.
Newer Ducatis are more likely to be reliable than older Ducatis. Certain Ducatis may be more reliable than others. The cost of ownership when owning a Ducati may be higher than other motorcycles. But as with buying a Ferrari or a Lamborghini, many owners may accept that for the excitement of owning one.
The Superleggera (that’s Italian for “super light,” as Aston Martin fans will tell you) is a screaming mean machine — about as close as you can get to a racing bike with license plates. The engine screams out 224 horsepower and 85.6 pound-feet in regular form, or 234 hp and 87.7 lb-ft if you go for the racing exhaust. Combine that with a dry weight of between 335 and 350 pounds (the latter in race kit form), and it’s apparent you have an absurd machine even before you take a look at the brutally gorgeous carbon-fiber body.
- Superleggera V4
Engine: 998-cc V4
Base price: $100,000
Ducati 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 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 234 horsepower and 83 pound-feet of torque. It is not for the novice rider.
- Panigale V4R
Engine: 998-cc V4
Base Price: $40,000
Ducati Panigale V4 / V4 S / V4 SP2
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 386 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.
- Panigale V4
- Panigale V4 S
- Panigale V4 SP2
Engine: 1,103-cc V4
Base price: $23,295
Ducati Panigale V2
The V2 may only have two cylinders, but don’t hold that against it. Its so-called Superquadro V-twin pumps out 155 horsepower and 76.7 pound-feet of torque, more than enough to make it a hoot on a back road. Plus, compared to past Panigales with only a pair of pistons, the seat and suspension have been revised for added comfort and advanced electronics loaded aboard for better control, making this a great Ducati for anyone looking to slow-walk their way into the Sportbike world.
- Panigale V2
- Panigale V2 Bayliss
Engine: 995-cc V-twin
Base price: $17,395
Take the Panigale V4, and make it naked. That’s the basic idea behind this 2020 addition to the Ducati lineup, which ditches the Panigale’s fairings and adds higher, broader handlebars. Ducati claims its Joker grin-inspired headlight is part of what they call the “Ego Booster Design” — but we’ll just say that it looks pretty damn cool. The new Streetfighter V2 brings the classic style of the V4, but with a smaller engine and a lower price point.
- Streetfighter V2
- Streetfighter V4
- Streetfighter V4 S
- Streetfighter V4 SP
Engines: 955 cc Superquadro, 1,103-cc Desmodromic 90-degree V4
Base price: $17,495
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 Öhlins suspension package, increased suspension travel, forged alloy wheels, sticky Pirelli Diablo Supercorsa SP V3 radial tires, carbon fiber coverings, and a quick shifter. The Hypermotard 950 RVE offers a Graffiti livery and with DQS.
- Hypermotard 950
- Hypermotard 950 RVE
- Hypermotard 950 SP
Engine: 937-cc Testastretta 11-degree twin-cylinder engine
Base price: $14,195
Cruisers / Power Cruisers
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 engine found on the Multistrada, which pumps out 159 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
- Diavel 1260 Lamborghini
- XDiavel Nera
- XDiavel Dark
- XDiavel S
- XDiavel Black Star
Engine: 1262-cc Testastretta DVT L- Twin
Base price: $20,895
Sport Touring / Adventure Bikes
The DesertX is Ducati's off-road adventure-touring bike, which is all-new for the 2022 model year. Its 937-cc engine pumps out 110 hp and 68 lb-ft of torque. It features a 21" front wheel, a long travel suspension and a new frame designed specifically for off-road use.
Engine: 937-cc Desmodromic 11° Testastretta engine
Base price: $16,795
Ducati 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.
- Multistrada 950 S Spoked Wheels
Engine: 937-cc Testastretta 11-degree L-twin
Base Price: $17,595
Ducati Multistrada V2
The Multistrada V2 is Ducati's new entry-level Multistrada sport-tourer / adventure bike. It's designed to be a comfortable, fun-to-ride, everyday motorcycles. Its water-cooled, twin-cylinder 937 cc Testastretta 11° engine puts out 113 hp and 71 lb-ft of torque. It's more than $4,000 cheaper than the V4 and more than 30 lbs lighter.
The V2S version adds a Skyhook electronic suspension, cruise control, a full-LED headlight equipped with Ducati Cornering Lights function, Ducati Quick Shift Up & Down, a 5” color TFT dashboard \ and backlit handlebar controls.
- Multistrada V2
- Multistrada V2S
Engine: 937 cc Testastretta 11°
Base Price: $15,295
Ducati Multistrada V4
Ducati's Multistrada V4 is the all-new fourth-generation Multistrada. It uses a new 1158-cc V4 Granturismo engine that puts out 170 hp and 92 lb-ft of torque. It's more compact than the predecessor 1262-cc Testastretta DVT L-Twin and two pounds lighter. It also has a radar system developed with Bosch that facilitates adaptive cruise control and blind-spot detection.
- Multistrada V4
- Multistrada V4 S
- Multistrada V4 S Sport
- Multistrada V4 S Pikes Peak
Engine: 1158-cc V4 Granturismo
Base price: $19,995
Sport Naked Bikes
The Monster is Ducati's super lightweight, compact, entry-level bike, well-suited as a starter bike for urban dwellers and weekend enthusiasts. The new version is 40 pounds lighter than its Monster 821 predecessor with a 937-cc Testratta 11-degree twin-cylinder L that delivers 111 hp and 69 lb-ft of torque. The Plus trim adds a bug shield and a tail cover.
- Monster Plus
Engine: 937-cc Testratta 11-degree twin-cylinder L
Base price: $11,995
Sport Touring Bikes
The new Ducati SuperSport combines even more Panigale-like styling with an ergonomically friendly sport-touring package. It uses 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. A higher-performance 950 S model has Öhlins suspension on both the front and rear.
- SuperSport 950
- SuperSport 950 S
Engine: 937-cc Testastretta 11-degree engine
Base price: $14,195
Retro / Classic / Standard Bikes
The Ducati Scrambler couples retro style with modern technology into an approachable, fun package. The Scrambler family received a major update in 2019, bringing 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.
- Icon Dark
- Desert Sled
- Urban Motard
Engine: 803-cc air-cooled L-Twin
Base price: $9,995
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 needs 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 Öhlins suspension and custom gray color exclusive to the model. Two new Pro models add tweaks like a new livery and a metal X in the headlamp.
- Scrambler 1100
- Scrambler 1100 Pro
- Scrambler 1100 Sport Pro
- Scrambler 1100 Tribute Pro
Engine: 1079-cc air-cooled L-Twin
Base price: $13,495
Ducati Terms to Know
Desmodromic: A reciprocating engine poppet valve 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 axes 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.