Tanshanomi's Snap Judgments

Ducati Indiana

Tue, June 1st, 2010

1986–87 Ducati Indiana
The biggest criticism is that the Indiana was a waste of a fine Ducati L-twin engine. But as with the Cagiva 650 Elefant that I reviewed a short time ago, the 650 Indiana's mill was nothing all that remarkable.
Either Ducati (actually Cagiva at the time) thought that 'cruiser' was an excuse to build a bike that handled poorly, or simply didn't understand how a long-wheelbase, raked out cruiser should handle. Forks were particularly flexy.
While traditional sport-bike riding Ducatisi hated the idea of the Indiana, the appearance was an especially difficult pill to swallow. Ducati had seemed to lose their purity of design, their elegance, their Italian flair for form. Instead they got odd lines and somewhat deformed shapes. It's not really terribly garish, just ill-proportioned. And in fairness, the hallowed Ducati V-twin, with it's widely splayed and nearly horizontal front cylinder, is part of the problem; its shape hopelessly scrambles traditional cruiser styling cues. The predictable result is that the Indiana is loudly and repeatedly decried as the worst looking cruiser (perhaps 'bike') of all time. That's simply not true; there are a number of cruisers that are much less attractive. They just don't wear the Ducati name.
Ducati at its lowest point.
The seat was too high and too far foward. The pegs were oddly placed. It was a very poor cruiser to ride any distance. And then there's the insults and laugher you have to endure.
Cruising poseurs don't want it. Ducati nuts don't want it. Anybody who buys a motorcycle for function and comfort doesn't want it. That leaves out pretty much everybody.
Some ideas just don't make sense when they're translated from American to Italian and back.