Throttle Jockey: Ducati debuts stylish, fun, affordable Scrambler model

first_img All the New Whiskies You Need to Drink This Fall The Best New-School Kentucky Distilleries The Best New Men’s Grooming Brands You Need to Know About Editors’ Recommendations London Opens World’s First Cheese Conveyor Belt Restaurant When it comes to motorcycles, most people don’t equate “Ducati” with “affordable,” but that may change with the new Scrambler, an $8,495 retro-inspired citybike.Just revealed at the 2014 Intermot show in Germany, the new Scrambler, which features aggressively notched tires on large wheels, 6 speeds and an air/oil-cooled 75 horsepower 803cc engine, is targeted at urban commandos ready to take on the crumbling infrastructure of modern metropolises.Inspired by lightweight Ducati Scramblers of the 1960s and 1970s, the new Scrambler features LCD instruments, ABS brakes, LED lighting and cool touches like aluminum gas tank panels that harken back to its forebearers. Four color options will be available and more options, such as a pleated leather seat that looks fantastic, can pop the price up to a tick under 10 grand.And while the original bikes were built with actual dirt action in mind, the new Scrambler looks more suited to efficiently threading clogged urban landscapes filled with potholes and construction zones, even though Ducati’s promo/lifestyle video (below) for the Scrambler has it engaging in some off-road shenanigans as well.The Scrambler is part of an emerging trend we’re seeing in the motorcycle industry: good-sized, affordable bikes that appear simple but are actually fairly filled with tech, including ABS brakes, fuel injection and stout performance. The Scrambler will compete with several other new bikes hovering in the $10,000 range, including the new Indian Scout, the perennial Harley-Davidson Sportster, the new Yamaha FZ-09 and SR400, Honda’s slate of CTX bikes and the CBR500R, among others.All of those bikes have several things in common: approachable but ample power, a more simplistic design ethos and low price tags. They’re great for beginners – or for veteran riders who may have parked their bikes to raise families and serve careers.Will the Scrambler take on the $20,000 Multistrada in the off-road department? Not likely, but clearly that’s not the goal, either. The Scrambler looks like a fully-formed fun machine that should entice scooter grads and young professionals who’ve been considering a motorcycle but had perhaps written Ducati off due to the price of entry.Now, anyone who can set aside a couple hundred bucks a month should be able to park the prestigious Italian moniker in the garage – or on the curb outside their first apartment.The Scrambler should start getting showroom floors dirty in January.The Land of Joy from Scrambler Ducati on Vimeo. Woodford Reserve Adds a Wheat Whiskey to the Distillery’s Core Rangelast_img read more

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Stock markets lower after big gains commodities lower as greenback strengthens

The Toronto stock market was lower Monday as investors locked in some profits from last week’s solid gains and commodity prices fell in response to a stronger American dollar.The S&P/TSX composite index fell 87.49 points to 12,453.32, giving back a good-sized chunk of last week’s gain of almost two per cent, while the TSX Venture Exchange added 0.74 of a points to 1,228.96.The Canadian dollar maintained lift from Friday’s much stronger than expected December employment report, up 0.01 of a cent to 101.32 cents US.U.S. indexes also backed off with the Dow Jones industrials 61.67 points lower to 13,373.54 after charging ahead almost four per cent last week. The Nasdaq dropped 11.42 points to 3,090.24 while the S&P 500 index was off 6.51 points to 1,459.96.Equity markets ran ahead last week after U.S. lawmakers passed a bill to avoid a combination of government spending cuts and tax increases that have come to be known as the “fiscal cliff.”Stocks also got a boost Friday from jobs data as U.S. employers added 155,000 jobs in December, roughly as expected — a good sign that hiring held up during the tense fiscal negotiations in Washington.The TSX energy and mining sectors led decliners as prices for oil and copper fell while the greenback gained ground against many other currencies.The American currency has strengthened in the wake of indications that the Federal Reserve could wind up its bond buying stimulus program by the end of the year.Minutes from the Fed’s latest policy meeting last month showed a split over how long to continue the purchases amid concerns that the continued bond purchases, known as quantitative easing, would destabilize the economy.A higher U.S. dollar pressures commodities because a stronger greenback makes it more expensive for holders of other currencies to buy oil and metals which are dollar-denominated.The energy sector was down 0.8 per cent with the February crude contract on the New York Mercantile Exchange down 26 cents to US$92.83 a barrel. Suncor Energy (TSX:SU) shed 35 cents to C$33.22 and Talisman Energy (TSX:TLM) was 24 cents lower to $11.65.March copper dipped two cents to US$3.67 a pound and the base metals sector moved down 0.75 per cent. Teck Resources (TSX:TCK.B) gave back 37 cents to C$36.91 and First Quantum Minerals (TSX:FM) dropped 37 cents to $21.50.The gold sector slipped about 0.7 per cent February bullion fell $3.40 to US$1,645.50 an ounce. Agnico Eagle Mines  (TSX:AEM) faded 79 cents to C$49.60 and Centerra Gold (TSX:CG) declined 14 cents to $9.20.Gold prices have suffered in recent days because of uncertainty about Fed intentions. Quantitative easing has supported bullion prices because of worries the program would drive inflation higher.The TSX financial sector was down 0.55 per cent even as global regulators eased new rules obliging lenders to set capital aside. The so-called Basel III rules are a set of new international standards to make sure banks don’t fall back into the sort of trouble that caused the 2008 financial crash. On Sunday, the officials setting those rules delayed the date by which certain amounts of cash had to be readily available.On the TSX, TD Bank (TSX:TD) declined 62 cents to $82.18 while Royal Bank (TSX:RY) moved down 50 cents to $60.57.European banks rose sharply after the announcement. Deutsche Bank was up 3.6 per cent but the biggest gains were among ailing Spanish banks, which some had feared would struggle to meet the new cash requirements.Elsewhere in the financial sector, Bank of America shares ticked five cents higher to US$12.16 as it reached a US$10 billion settlement with Fannie Mae on residential mortgage loans sold by the bank and its Countrywide unit to the agency ahead of the nation’s 2008 financial crisis.Bank of America bought Countrywide in July 2008, just before the financial crisis. Countrywide was known for approving risky loans.All TSX components were in the red, including the defensive consumer staples sector where Shoppers Drug Mart (TSX:SC) slipped 46 cents to $41.97.Traders will also be focused on the start of the fourth-quarter earnings season in the U.S., which will be kicked off by resource giant Alcoa Inc. after the close Tuesday. Its shares were off two cents to US$9.24.Analysts expect Alcoa to turn in earnings of six cents a share, a big improvement from the three cent a share loss the company posted a year ago and the 13-cent a share loss from the third quarter.The company has been pressured by a global manufacturing slowdown, and in particular by falling demand from China last year. Also, aluminum prices lost about two per cent during the fourth quarter on the London Metal Exchange.European bourses were lower with London’s FTSE 100 index down 0.35 per cent, Frankfurt’s DAX fell 0.55 per cent while the Paris CAC 40 declined 0.74 per cent.In other corporate news, Air Canada (AC.B) says it hit record load factors for the month of December and for 2012 as a whole. Its load factor rose to 82.1 per cent last month while the full-year number was 82.7 per cent, up 1.1 points in each case.Air Canada saw 2012 passenger traffic rise 2.6 per cent over 2011 and its shares climbed 10 cents to $1.87.Rival WestJet (TSX:WJA) said its load factor for December hit a record 81.9 per cent and its shares were unchanged at $20.21. read more

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