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The citrus-scented gardens at the Ace Hotel shook with the sound of Ducati this week as the Italian motorcycle maker came to Palm Springs to introduce its highly anticipated new Scrambler.

Ducati flew an entire staff and more than 40 motorcycles from its Italian base in Bologna and flew or bused in almost that many journalists from all over the two-wheel world to unveil the new motorcycle -- the first of three such waves of journalists being flown to the desert to ride, test and admire the new machine.

The massive rollout means Ducati is introducing much more than a single bike. For Ducati, the Scrambler is a brand -- a lifestyle choice that comes with a vast array of gear, accessories and apparel, all emblazoned with the "Scrambler" logo and all designed to drive sales beyond the core Ducati customer.

On display throughout the three-day desert affair were racks of Scrambler jackets, hoodies and T-shirts, shelves of branded gloves, goggles, boots and helmets and displays of optional saddle bags, handlebars and even an official Scrambler knapsack.

All of these, Ducati executives explained, are designed to make each of the four Scrambler models a canvas for personalization -- and drive accessorie sales.

"The core value of the Scrambler is self-expression," said brand designer Mario Alvisi. "That is why we created the brand."
The new line comes in four flavors -- the Icon, pictured here; the Classic, which has an orange tank and spoked wheels; the Full Throttle, which has lowered bars and a custom exhaust pipe, and the Urban Enduro, which has spoked wheels, camo paint and a raised front fender for off-road riding.

The Italian company acknowledged that it has painted itself into a difficult, if lucrative corner. For years, Ducati North America Chief Executive Dominique Cheraki said, the company was intent upon building a better, faster, lighter and more powerful motorcycle.

Read more here: First Ride Ducati apos s hot new Scrambler - LA Times


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