Bologna, Italy - Ducati has decided to put its Hypermotard concept into production thanks to a huge positive response to its presentation at the Milan bike show in November 2005 and an online survey.
The announcement was made online by Ducati CEO Federico Minoli on his Desmoblog.
The pared-down-to-basics, 75kW, 175kg Hypermotard was styled by South African designer Pierre Terblanche to tap the current trend for racing off-road bikes with street wheels, tyres and brakes - the Supermotards.
Ducati hasn't built an off-road bike since the 1960's so Terblanche was able to start with a clean sheet.
The result received a huge positive response at the show, followed by awards and worldwide recognition from both the news media and from motorcycle designer associations.
The Hypermotard was awarded "Best of Show" at its Milan debut and "Best Bike for 2005" by the Motorcycle Design Association.
Minoli then started an open debate about the Hypermotard among readers of his weblog to gauge the response of Ducati riders to Terblanche's outrageous concept bike and received hundreds of positive suggestions from Ducatisti worldwide.
On the blog Minoli wrote: "Thanks to the capital increase, the enthusiasm shown by Ducatisti and the work done in research and development, we have decided to add the Hypermotard to our production schedule without giving up anything else.
"We are also going to reduce the development time thanks to the work done while the bike was still a concept.
"I am therefore proud to announce that the Hypermotard will be available in the second quarter of 2007."
- South African Ducati importer Rosso Moto is expecting its first shipment in mid-2007. Prices will be announced at the SA launch.