With the normal motorcycle show season being thrown out for 2020, thanks to COVID-19, Ducati’s announced it’s doing five new model releases online this year, starting November 4.
If it was business as usual, this would be an Intermot year (the German show runs every second year), with a fair number of releases in early October at that event. Then, we’d have EICMA in mid-November, where most new bikes from Japan and Europe, particularly Italy, get released. Motorcycle Live in the UK typically has a couple of Brit bikes released in late fall. Finally, the Tokyo show mid-winter shows off the coolest concepts from Japan, and sometimes some Asian-market machinery.
Now, all those shows are cancelled, thanks to the coronavirus pandemic. Officials don’t want big public gatherings, and even if the health authorities were OK with the idea, many manufacturers would still be hesitant to expose their staff to the public.
Some shows (EICMA, in particular) say they’ll run an online, virtual show, but there’s not a lot of excitement over that idea, and some manufacturers have decided to go it alone, running their own online releases. That’s what Ducati is doing, it looks like, with five virtual releases scheduled between the first week of November and the first week of December. The releases run every seven days, with new machines coming November 4, 11, 18, 25, and finally on December 2.
We know there’s a new V4-powered Multistrada coming (read about that engine here), with radar-powered cruise control, and probably a Monster with a new aluminum frame. As for the rest, who knows? It could be something as unexciting as Euro5 updates to existing bikes. We’ll know soon enough, either way.