EICMA is the greatest show on this little planet of ours in the dense universe, with every year being grander and greater than the previous, this year's EICMA is poised to be something we will talk about for some time to come. Among the most important of the reveals expected this time at EICMA is the rumoured unveil of the Ducati's entry into A2 license segment, the Scrambler 400!
We have been hearing a lot about the existence and a soon arrival of a baby Scrambler to become the entry level Ducati for the new riders, and it is a well known fact that Ducati itself has declared its intentions to bring 9 new models to EICMA 2015 including two products that will make the Italian powerhouse exotic bike manufacturer into segments they have not played in before. With a belt drive power cruiser almost certain to arrive, it is the baby Scrambler that is hugely anticipated to be the other all new segment charger for Ducati.
Now, Italian Magazine, Motociclismo (Great Job guys!) has landed itself with what are the first ever spyshots of the rumoured Scrambler 400, and as expected the baby Scrambler is largely inspired and based on the bigger siblings and there is not much that differentiates the smaller Scrambler from the current one. However, there is one distinct difference among the Scrambler 400 an the Scrambler, and that is the front suspension, which on the 400 is a normal traditional Telescopic Front as against the USD's on the bigger bike. Also, from the pics the telescopic front forks on the 400 looks beefy and sturdy while giving the bike a particularly tasty front appearance, we like it big time!
Designed to entice the A2 license holders in and around UK, the Ducati Scrambler, when launched will target the segment that limits new learning riders to machines that have power output of 47bhp at the max and that should have a minimum weight of 175 kg. Thus it will be safe to expect a very familiar looking motorcycle will be unveiled on November 16th thorough Ducati's scheduled global live stream unveil of the 2016 model range just a day before the start of hte EICMA 2015.
The Scrambler should also help Ducati pitch a product to learning rider not just in EU but also outside it, in the markets that also implement a tiered licensing structure such as Australia, New Zealand, Japan, etc. This leaves an interesting discussion out in the open, 'Will Ducati also reach tot the A1 license holders, in a category of a 250cc/300cc motorcycle?' but that is something only time will tell.
Closer home, for the Indian market we are both considerably psyched and a bit confused regarding the Ducati Scrambler 400. Now it is almost certain that such a bike is coming, and it holds an incredible promise for the South Asian motorcycle market in terms of sales volume as well as brand reach of Ducati in the region, but, and there is infact a huge BUT here, how would Ducati bring the Scrambler 400 to India, since our ancient and archaic import structure means that importing a CBU sub 600cc two wheeler is nigh impossible in India.
This would mean that the only way Ducati can actually think about selling the Scrambler 400 (We really, REALLY hope they do) in India is by choosing to either assemble or manufacture the bike in India itself. Now with a Ducati manufacturing/assembly unit already in Thailand, it becomes a rather complicated thing in terms of logistics. The only solution can be CKD assembly in India, and if Ducati goes for that route then, it would also make sense to assemble the entire range in India (excluding the ones that are only made in Italy) and it means two assembly bases in South Asian market and that is one big investment.
Hoping to see what steps Ducati take on this regard!!