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Discussion Starter #1


Ducati and Harley have traditionally operated worlds apart, but as of right now they're both producing products and selling semiotics that are competing for an identical pool of dollars, ostensibly at least.

Speaking of dollars, lets start at the cost, base Scrambler checks in at $8,495 while the Harley comes in a cool K cheaper at $7,500. While the Scramblers 803cc Desmo Twin kicking out 75 hp/50 ft-lb dwarfs the Harleys 750cc 53 hp and 47 ft-lb the point of this comparison is not so much mechanical but more marketing. Forgive me.

While the Street is cruiser-esque and the Scrambler is, well a Scrambler, the two distinct products are marketing with nearly identical messaging and positioning.

While we can argue until we're blue who will actually be the ones laying down cake one thing is abundantly clear, they want the young, or the young at heart. The positioning is youthful, carefree, not even so much about THE ride but the fact that you're riding. An idealized image in both cases, which is not a bad thing per se, especially when your business is selling motorbikes.

Campaigns leading up to launch both were hip with a heavy focus on lifestyle, not the lifestyle of motorbiking mind you, but the lifestyle of someone who might be interested in either a street or a Scrambler.






Compare those with Ducati





Now none of this will make a lick of difference to those of us dedicated to the Scrambler and the same is true for those in the Harley camp. The point of the respective campaigns is not us the dedicated, its to those who can be influenced that THIS is what they need to complete their look, their image. They're symbols designed to jive with a target demo that will say hey, I look like the type of person who should be riding a Scrambler/Street.

In that sense the Scrambler and the Street are DIRECT rivals.
 

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I for one think the Harley while cool looking will be of inferior quality and offer little in the way of handling dynamics. I've ridden many, many Harleys and while I think some are pretty good to look at (Softail Slim for one), they are of very low quality relative to their cost. The tech is antiquated, the bikes look unfinished to me and generally their performance is meager, so I think the 750 will not appeal to many guys and girls who actually know what they're doing on a bike. Over 500 pounds for 50ish horsepower is weak and the small single disk up front will likely be squishy and not perform well. I'm sure they'll sell a bunch of them since it's less than half than most of their other bikes, but I can't imagine very many people choosing it over the Ducati or a Triumph for that matter.
 

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Those are some rather interesting ways to advertise the scrambler, at least it should help to some extent with getting first time buyers.
 

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I for one Mingu was at one point thinking of buying the harley sportster, but when i look back on it now i was just really buying into the name (getting caught up in a mid life hip cup, not crisis), Nothing against Harley now, i just now know, there not for me.
All i knew i wanted to get back on the bike again

UNTIL i saw the first pictures of the scramble, I knew instantly, thats what i been looking for, thats what i want, and by god thats what i will get,
 

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If Harley Made this version of the Street

If this was a registerable bike would you want one?
YES!
The Ducati Scrambler Icon is Italy's answer to a question Harley missed.

 

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I really don't like radiators on bikes. I get why they are showing up, but they are just ugly. It's okay I guess on a sport bike with faring where you can hide it, but on any naked bike it just doesn't work for me.
 

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Last spring I was seriously looking at the Hyperstrada. We went up to my wife's Aunt and Uncle's place. Ted is an old FT racer and retired machinist. His team set a Bonneville speed record last year and they are working on this year. He has his own Triumph project. He weighs what he takes off and then makes his own lighter parts. Ted is a generation older than me. We know a lot of the same folks but he remembers the dads and moms and I remember the kid's, wife's and girlfriends. He was mostly flat track and we did some of that but mostly we did motocross, endures, Grand Prix and desert races.

Does anyone here remember the 2 hour Grand Prix?

Part of the garage / beer conversation was his complaint that the industry needed to make an old school bike. He thought it was a market that was unfulfilled. I agreed.

Then Ducati did the summer teaser campaign. I waited like everyone else. I was thinking it would be a 450 - 650 single. We were all wrong. Didn't matter, I still wanted it. It was what I didn't know I wanted until I saw it.

It's OK if it is an old man's bike. I am an old man. 59 this year. I bought the Icon cause I will spend the $1,500 on what I want to. Like you i am waiting. I am waiting to wheelie thru as many gears as I can. I am waiting to take a fire road feet-up, tucked-in, completely sideways with an ear to ear grin.
 

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MJ,
You're not old. I finally quit racing hare scrambles and sold my fantastic KTM 250 XC last month. Tore my shoulder again.... Anyway at 75 it is time to look for a bike that I will enjoy, that will remind me of the pleasures I had in the '60's riding light weight and good handling Nortons BUT without the electrical, carburation and build issues. The scrambler is the first bike to almost exactly meet my desires.

Mingu,
Marketing programs are launched with absolute accuracy & serene assurance. It is not our riding experience until we are allowed to freely live it, ride it, experience it however inadequately or sharply focused. The big difference is we are allowed to change our minds, to not follow the "trend" so carefully laid out like a trap and to travel the beat up, pot holed road of our choosing instead of the high road of advertising.

Stu
 
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