– Motorcycle News, Editorials, Product Reviews and Bike Reviews

Motorcycle News, Editorials, Product Reviews and Bike Reviews

Sport Utility Motorcycles

They started out plain and practical. Soon they were all the rage with the status seekers, the soccer moms, and just about everyone else. The category now includes the frivolous, and borderline ridiculous. Sport utility vehicles. From the Country Suburban to the Cacillac “Bling Bling” Escalade. Since a vehicle can have two wheels, as well as four, I suppose sport utility motorcycles are a sub-set of sport utility vehicles.

So, we have the plain and practical sport utility motorcycles, like the BMW R1150GS, and now the category expands. I think I finally understand where Ducati is going with the Multistrada. Practicality with style. Practicality with performance.

Of course, Ducati isn’t the only one playing this game (Suzuki, Honda, Triumph and Cagiva come to mind), but Ducati wants to take the sport utility motorcycle to a new audience . . . a new customer. The R1150GS customer will not buy a Multistrada, but Ducati doesn’t care. Ducati believes, like sport utility vehicles in the automobile segment, the market for sport utility motorcycles will expand dramatically — drawing new customers to the segment. On one level, the Multistrada is just a big dual sport, like so many others, but its blatant devotion to street, as opposed to off-road performance (it is not even an off-road pretender), signals its departure from the other motorcycles in the sport utility motorcycle segment. It is a very significant machine, for this reason. It could be an indication of what sport tourers and naked bikes are evolving towards. Think about it.

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