Ducati Scrambler, this motorcycle is Ducati's most prominent launch since the 1199 Panigale came to the world of motorcycle and changed the motorcycling arena forever. With the Scrambler, Ducati is going a step further and have created in essence, a motorcycle, that goes back to the roots of motorcycling. The time when the motorcycles were simple, fun to ride and so powerful in kindling passion inside their riders, that they became one with their motorcycles. Through the years, Motorcycling changed with the development in technology. The bikes went faster, became stupidly powerful and the simplistic mechanicals gave way to few of the most advanced electronics ever created.
All this electronic gadgetry did not kill the passion of motorcycling, rather it made it safer for the well learned as well as the new riders that came to motorcycling. However, that simplistic essence of pure motorcycling has somewhat disappeared from the shop floors around the world. It has to be noted that the financial crisis that hit us all in the year 2008 had a deep impact on the motorcycle industry also. The Premium niche segment was the worst hit, as the sales throughout the segment and across all companies plummeted, it was going back to drawing board for all the manufacturers. Another important point to understand was a fact that Carbon Foot print has gained an invaluable position in the overall workings for the automobile manufacturers all over. One of the major reasons why Audi bought Ducati and just recently MV Agusta 's majority shares were bought by Mercedes-AMG , were because these companies had to decrease the overall carbon footprint of their companies. Buying a Motorcycle manufacturer was the easiest and the most logical idea, as motorcycles are inherently better when it comes to creating a lesser carbon foot print.
Coming back to the Scrambler by Ducati, this bike follows a simple theme, to create a motorcycle which is simple, logically priced and which can bring to the company a customer base previously un catered too, while at the same time keeping the legacy of the company intact. Not a easy thing to do no matter how simple the logic sounds.
For the international markets like the US (which seems to be the biggest target audience for the Ducati Scrambler) and the UK, the Scrambler is being put forward and promoted as a 'Hipster Bike'. For the common developing world citizen "hipster' essentially means a person who opposes the materialistic over the board lifestyle, and appreciates the simple yet effective ways to live. That is indeed what the Scrambler from Ducati is, in a nutshell.
Though, for a life-style brand like Ducati , it is a highly risky way to go. Since, this bike has a huge potential to make the true blue hardcore Ducatisti cry blasphemy and reject the idea straightway. To manage it, Ducati has smartly placed the Ducati Scrambler as perhaps the most lifestyle-focused motorcycle ever to come from Bologna — so much so, Ducati made the Scrambler its own brand even. This is an important element, as on its own merits the Ducati Scrambler is a great back-to-basics motorcycle for the Ducati line, and at $8,600 for the Icon model, it makes for a killer entry point model for any rider into the Ducati brand.
However, for a motorcyclist living in the nations like India, and essentially the entire South-East Asia, the significance of the Ducati Scrambler lies elsewhere, he/she for all the practical purposes does not relate to either the hipster or the non-hipster category. That therein exist the most incredible ability of the Scrambler, a point of view, understandably not discussed in the international media. The Scrambler marks the birth of a truly Global motorcycle, a motorcycle that will fit everywhere, in every market it will be sold, and will fit every market due to a very different reason.
Look at the classic simple lines of the Scrambler, for a person in a country like India or Thailand, this means that the panels won't be extraordinarily expensive in case of a crash, while being so simply designed, the bike will look as new as ever. The engine goes with the same idea, the engine is from the Monster 796, and with 803cc, 75hp, air-cooled, v-twin engine which jumps off the line with good mechanical torque through the drivetrain, and revs cleanly to the next gear shift. Also, being a motorcycle having a engine capacity more than 800cc will invite way lesser import duties as say a bike with less than 800cc in India (while there is no way a bike can be imported which is below 600cc in India). So it fits Indian market as a entry level bike from Ducati, though assembling the bikes locally will always give Ducati an edge.
Above it all, the beauty of the Scrambler lies elsewhere, to the markets like the US and the UK, the Scrambler will probably be a second bike for the garage or for might just be an entry point for people who want a motorcycle which acts as one, in a good old fashioned way, but still has modern reliability attached to it. Will it be a 'Hipster' hit, only time will tell but it is going to be a sales behemoth for Ducati, that is for sure. For the developing nations, and that huge market in South East Asia, the Scrambler for 2015 is going to do exactly what the original Scrambler did all those years back in the 1960's.
In a world, where there was a need of motorcycles which were easy to ride, had ability to go off road more or less, bikes which were cheap and yet had enough in the looks department to be desirable. The Ducati Scrambler 250 was just the same, and it looked beautiful. The point is, the paradigm is shifting, as the markets in the US and the UK continue to be more or less stagnant, the market at this part of the world are seeing growth. Just look at the growth of a company like Royal Enfield, that has been growing at a staggering rate of above 50% year on year. The Royal Enfield Products are not cheap by any standard if you look it from the perspective of an Indian buyer, but this explosion in the market share of Royal Enfield is a clear signal that the customer in this part of the world is willing to go up the ladder.
Same holds true for the Harley Davidson Street 750, another motorcycle which has been more or less designed for the "hipsters' in US, while naturally, it was an absolute full fledged effort to crack the still cost conscious but )now) willing to pay right amount of money customer from countries like India. If the sales report of the Street 750 from India is any indication, this 'Hipster' model from Harley is master stroke from the company.
In essence this is what the original idea behind the Marketing of the Ducati Scrambler is, to create an awareness about this bike in such a way that it talks about style, specific-ness of it, how individual it will be for the more 'selfist'. While, it truly creates an absolute interest among the people they are not even talked about, people who will shell out (still a lot of) money at the rapidly rising market that is Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia and yes India is. In case of India Scrambler makes an even better sense to come in with a bang, after the debacle with their importer, Ducati needs to come in with style, and that too soon.
Ducati Scrambler is not just another product, it's a world in itself. We will even go further and say that, The Ducati Scrambler might just be the most significant motorcycle launch since the turn of the millennium. For this is the first time, a Niche Premium Motorcycle Manufacturer has built a motorcycle that is truly a world bike. Leave alone the hundreds of thousands of Dollars Ducati is putting into the marketing of the Scrambler, leavve alone the entire merchandise that is going to be made available for this 'life-style' motorcycle, the thing the Scrambler from Ducati excels at and excels with flair is the fact that it stands up and say, the prayers of the so called 3rd World Motorcyclist have been heard, that the game play has shifted and that the times have changed.
The Scrambler is going to make other manufacturers to participate and bring competition to it, in their own ways. It is Gorgeous, it has top equipment without overdoing it, it is retro and retro never goes out of fashion, and at the end of it all it is a DUCATI, a brand which has a mythical level of passion in our market. Scrambler is the beginning of an era where the motorcycles will again start to be emotive and in reach to masses. Scrambler is a bike that is beyond the "hipster' and the 'Non-Hipster' , it fits both perfectly.
It is of extreme importance that the international media understands the underlying greatness of this bike, that it go beyond the mere targeting of the "hipster' that we are reading about everywhere. Just like how history will look back at the Ducati 1199 Panigale and smile to tell the world how Motorcycles went all digital from analog days, the 2015 Ducati Scrambler will forever be known for uniting the world with a motorcycle that fits all perfectly. Yes, it will have its own quirks, but as an idea the Scrambler is just profound. The most important Motorcycle launch since the turn of the Millennium!!!