Ducati has recently made waves with their power cruiser, the Diavel. But the Italians tried their hand at a cruiser over 20 years before, with the Ducati Indiana. Like most of the featured bikes on Bike-urious, the Indiana was an incredibly interesting motorcycle that ended up as a commercial failure.
In the 1980’s, it was clear that cruisers were the dominant motorcycle market in the United States. The Ducati Indiana was an experiment to see if the Italians could capture some of the cruiser market share. I say Italians and not Ducati, because despite the name on the gas tank, this bike was actually built by Cagiva (notice the elephant logo on the top of the right front fork?). Cagiva took a Ducati Pantah engine, and then threw it into a body that it looks like they copied from the 1985 Kawasaki Vulcan. Not exactly what you’d expect from a bike with the Ducati name on the gas tank. What a shame. Still, compared to other cruisers of the time, it handled better, accelerated harder, and stopped quicker. Most of this was due to the fact that it weight much less than the cruiser competition. Compared to other Ducatis, though, it was nothing more than a styling exercise to see if the Italians could make a cruiser. To be blunt, this bike was not very good, but it’s definitely an interesting sight these days. Only made for one year, the Ducati Indiana is very much a rare sight nowadays.
Want more information? Motorcycle Classics has a great article on the Indiana – check it out here.
This specific Ducati Indiana seems to be original, with the exception of a very bizarre aftermarket exhaust. Yoshimura is a well known company in the world of aftermarket pipes, but you don’t expect to see their work on a cruiser. I’m sure Yoshi has brought gains to the power of this bike, but the exhaust pipe definitely looks a bit out of place. Plus, you have to ask yourself – are you really going to notice an incremental percentage increase on 43 horsepower?
Find this Ducati Indiana for sale here on Craigslist for $5,000 in Hinton, Oklahoma. That’s definitely the upper end of the pricing spectrum for these bikes, but it has been on sale for a while. Maybe you’ll have some luck talking the dealer down.