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Got S$132,000 to spare? Ducati has a new bike for you

John Gaw, general manager of Ducati Singapore, with Jorge Lorenzo, Ducati MotoGP Rider, and the Ducati 1299 Panigale R Final Edition.


COLLECTING cars is for wimps. Why not try an ultra high-end motorcycle, assuming you have S$250,000 to spare?

That amount buys a Ducati 1299 Superleggera, a limited-edition rocket that could out-sprint million-dollar cars with ease.

The Superleggera was one of the first bikes sold by Ducati Singapore when the franchise was taken over by Wearnes Automotive in July this year. Just 500 units of the extreme superbike will be built, and one was snapped up by a local buyer.

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Wearnes opened the new Ducati Singapore showroom at 45 Leng Kee Road on Oct 30, and launched four new models on the day.

One of them, the 1299 Panigale R Final Edition, is a version of the Superleggera with fewer exotic parts and a smaller price tag. It still costs a heady S$132,000 inclusive of COE.

The high-end motorcycle market is dictated by pure desire, said John Gaw, the general manager of Ducati Singapore. "It's a niche within a niche, but that hasn't stopped some passionate customers from buying what they really, really want."

BMW also produces a limited-edition superbike in the form of the HP4 Race. It costs an estimated S$140,000, but since it's more of a racing machine than a street bike, it wouldn't be road-legal here - it's strictly for collectors or racetrack addicts.

Yet, the lack of a road-legal exotic model hasn't harmed BMW's sales. The brand registered 179 bikes from the start of the year to the end of September, versus just 36 for Ducati.

Ducati's change of dealership means it's in a "transition year", said Mr Gaw. He expects sales to improve under Wearnes, especially since Ducati now has a range of Scrambler models that start at S$28,000, including one model with a 399cc engine that can be ridden legally with a restricted Class 2A riding licence.

The Scrambler range alone accounts for around half of the brand's sales in Singapore. While collectors get all the attention, it's everyday riders who will revive Ducati here.