Antonio Cavalieri Ducati and his sons – Bruno, Marcelo, and Adriano Cavalieri Ducati founded Societa Scientifica Radio Brevetti Ducati in 1926. They were making condensers, vacuum tubes, and other parts for radios. It later went on to collaborate and produce engine-mounted bicycles for commercial public use. Ducati is headquartered at Bologna, in Italy. In 1935 they had become successful enough to enable construction of a new factory in the Borgo Panigale area of the city. Production was maintained during World War II, despite the Ducati factory being a repeated target of Allied bombing.
Meanwhile, at the small Turinese firm SIATA (Societa Italiana per Applicazioni Tecniche Auto-Aviatorie), Aldo Farinelli began developing a small pushrod engine for mounting on bicycles. Barely a month after the official liberation of Italy in 1944, SIATA announced its intention to sell this engine, called the “Cucciolo” (Italian for “puppy,” in reference to the distinctive exhaust sound) to the public. The first Cucciolos were available alone, to be mounted on standard bicycles, by the buyer; however, businessmen soon bought the little engines in quantity, and offered complete motorized-bicycle units for sale.
THE FIRST LOGO 1926-30 (L) & CURRENT LOGO (R)
In 1950, SIATA collaborated with Ducati to launch the ‘’55M’’ and ‘’65TL’’ motorcycles with a 48 cc engine, which became a huge hit with the public. In 1952, Ducati introduced the 65TS cycle and the 4-stroke scooter ‘’Cruiser’’, at the Milan Auto Show. In 1953, Ducati was divided into Ducati Meccanica SpA and Ducati Elettronica, the former produced motorcycles and the latter is engaged in producing electronic goods.In the 1960s, Ducati made history in the world of motorcycling by making a 250 cc road bike which was the ahead of its time, named the ‘Mach 1’. In 1973, Ducati pioneered the V-Twin displacement technology in motorcycle engines along with its patented Desmodromic valve design.
Ducati is today known for producing high-performance sports motorcycles and commercial sport bikes. After having changed hands frequently down these years, Ducati is today owned by the Lamborghini (Automobili Lamborghini Spa), which, in turn, in owned by German luxury carmakers, Audi. The Volkswagen Group is the main company which eventually owns Ducati today.
Ducati is globally renowned for its large-powered 4-stroke 90-degree V-Twin engines with the patented Desmodromic valve design. These modern motorcycles maintain a lead position as the top choice for motorcycle racing enthusiasts.
Fabio Taglioni, Ducati’s chief designer in the 1950s has been the inspiration for the modern engine designs of today’s high-performance motorcycles. Based on this, Ducati unveiled the ‘Pantah’ in 1979. The engine was further improved in the Ducati SS (SuperSport) series of the 1980s.
Today, Ducati is engaged in design and production of a large range of motorcycle engines, with varied engine capacities and cylinders, as well as the type of valve activation and the fuel delivery method. The company has manufactured engines with 1, 2, 3, and 4 cylinders, that are operated by pull-rod valves and push-rod valves. These have single/double/triple overhead camshafts. Ducati has also manufactured 2-stroke and a single-stage diesel engine, mostly for generators, motorboats, emergency pumps, and garden machinery.
Apart from a wide range of high-performance motorcycles, Ducati is also known for its immense global branding power. The company provides a large variety of accessories, lifestyle items as well as co-branded merchandise with other luxury brands bearing its logo and design on their luxury products.
Ducati’s history with motorsport began with speed records on Cucciolo motorized bicycle factory racers in 1951, followed in 1954 with bringing in Fabio Taglioni to found a road-racing program with the 100 Gran Sport. As of 2009, Ducati was still pursuing the “win on Sunday, sell on Monday” business model and spending 10% of company revenues, €40 million, on its racing business.
DUCATI RACING MOTORCYCLE 1968 (L) VS 2017 (R)
Ducati rejoined Grand Prix motorcycle racing (MotoGP) in 2003, after a 30-year absence. On 23 September 2007, Casey Stoner clinched his and Ducati’s first Grand Prix World Championship.
The company has won 14 riders world championships and 17 manufacturers world championships in Superbike world championship, competing since the series’ inception in 1988. At the end of 2015, Ducati has amassed 318 wins, more than any other manufacturer involved in the championship.Ducati has also won the manufacturer world championship for years 1991–1996, 1998–2004, 2006, 2008–2009 and 2011.
Ducati has also won the manufacturers’ championship for years 2008–2009, 2011 and 2016 in FIM Superstock 1000 Cup
The British Superbike Championship has been won by Ducati riders on nine occasions and entered since 1988. And the list goes on showing the capability of this motorcycle giants spreading its shadow and dominating in all possible motorsport events.
And the list goes on… this motorcycle giants have spread their shadow in almost all motorbike motorsport and dominated it most of the time. Most bikers will have Ducati on their list for it has one of the best bikes in all categories. Do you have any other bike in mind? Let us know what you think by commenting below.