DUCATI THE STORY OF A LEGEND
Whenever I step into the Ducati Museum, the real meaning of what we are today and what we were yesterday comes to life. The careful choice of the models exhibited, the stories behind each milestone and the heroes of an over 90-year history transform the museum into a place where you feel truly close to the values and scope of the brand. The Museum is where Ducati takes centre stage to celebrate its remarkable history, enabling you to sense the full flavour and power of the brand. It’s the place where we come to have a look back on our heritage with a discerning eye, seeking inspiration to constantly improve tomorrow and go beyond our limits in the future. Ours is a relentless quest for excellence, designing motorcycles that offer unique emotions; fuelling our performance on the track. Tomorrow will see Ducati go even further, becoming the motorcycle that stands apart from the crowd, where creativity, technology, quality and design merge together on a unique blend. More than a motorcycle, because we do not design just bikes, we create an exciting world of experience. We have made history, now we are set to make the future. Please enjoy the rich pages of this book as if you were inside the Ducati Museum. It was created for you!
Claudio Domenicali CEO Ducati Motor Holding S.p.A.
The Ducati Museum, through its exhibition, the installations and its colours is the expression of the key values that characterise the brand: Style, Sophistication and Performance. Each value is interpreted and has more than one layer behind the meaning of each word. Style of course is above all the concept of design, which can be seen in each motorcycle. Italian design, recognised the world over, for its immediate appeal and iconic value. The epitome of motorcycling design such as the Ducati 916, since 1994 a masterpiece of style and performance, benefitting from the same close attention to detail a tailor would give to every stitch of a made-to-measure suit. Style also in the way each model interprets the style of an era, or sets the trend for the next generation of motorcycles. Finally the style of the museum which is conceived along the lines of an art gallery, displaying each model to enhance its intrinsic value. Sophistication represents the uncompromising approach we adopt in everything we do. Sophistication is the road we take towards the ultimate goal. A solution as sophisticated as the Desmodromic system whose refinement is the eloquent example of how Ducati achieves perfection instead of compromise. We see sophistication as a commitment to treat each detail as a fundamental part of the whole. And in the museum, the way we have interpreted each narrative thread in a singular fashion shows how our sights are set on showcasing each aspect for what it is, without ever seeking a compromise to accommodate them all indiscriminately. Performance will initially mean our racing pedigree to a visitor coming face to face with a sequence of competition motorcycles and trophies celebrating countless victories on the track. Yet there is more to performance than a chequered flag or the horsepower needed to win a race. Performance is what delivers the topmost riding experience, the fun had when all our senses are satisfied by the lightness of the bike, its agility, the voice of its engine and the beat of its heart. This is also the experience we wish to convey in the museum, designed to accompany each visitor through the legendary tale of Ducati. And each motorcycle or milestone wants to be a moment in which the visitor will hold their breath and discover the unique emotions of the Ducati universe.
Andrea Ferraresi Ducati Centro Stile Director
It is true that the Museum traces the history of Ducati from its origins to the present day, so a visitor may expect a historical narrative covering nearly 100 years. However, the concept behind the Ducati Museum is closer to an art gallery than a historical collection. Hinging on two values which characterise the design of Ducati motorcycles – lightness and essential styling – the Museum reproduces these sensations for visitors as they discover the iconic models that have made Ducati the unique brand it is today. When I was asked to elaborate a concept for the Museum, I knew the only way to represent the models we would exhibit was to treat them as true works of art. They had to take possession of the space around them, becoming the centre of attention. The shapes and colours of the bikes were to come to the foreground, caressed by diaphanous, ethereal elements that would never distract from the beauty of each model. I wanted them to float against a white background as if they were raised above the down-to-earth context of a traditional museum, as if they were free and ready to ride away. I was inspired by the fundamental values of the Ducati brand, Style, Sophistication and Performance. There was a story to tell. I was aware that each model could contribute in a unique way to narrating the history of the company, so I had to let each motorcycle speak its own truth. And the values naturally came forth. In a modern approach, the clean lines of the motorcycles are never overwhelmed by elements which usually guide visitors in a museum. On the contrary, each exhibit reveals the beauty of the bike, adding a special dimension to the story it tells. The Museum speaks through emotions, using a language that bypasses the rational side of the story. My hope is that it strikes a chord with each visitor, making their journey to the heart of Ducati one in which they celebrate the victories, rediscover the achievements and sense the passion.
Paola Bosi Ducati Corporate and Creative Center Art Direction
1. Ducati moments
3. Road bike history
4. Racing history
Narrative routes The Ducati Museum is conceived as a way of telling the story of the company using four different narrative routes, designed to guide the visitor through the history of Ducati from its origins up until the present day. Ducati moments are the highlights of the first route. They represent the facts, people and technological innovations that have marked the evolution of the company. Next come the Origins, taking us from 1926 to 1946. Everything began when Antonio Cavalieri Ducati founded Società Scientifica Radio Brevetti Ducati, a company specialising in radio communication technologies. The products developed by Ducati brothers Adriano, Bruno and Marcello ranged from capacitors to electric razors and cameras, all of which proved successful on the market. The production of motorcycle components signaled the start of a new era for Ducati. Part of another route, exhibited across four different rooms within the museum, are the 20 most iconic models that have made the history of the company so great. The history of Ducati in the world of racing comes to life through the extraordinary sequence of competition bikes around the museum. Each tells of victory and a rider whose name will be eternally linked to Ducati’s exceptional racing saga. This route is completed with a display of trophies and rider suits belonging to those champions.
1926 | The Cavalieri Ducati Brothers
Adriano Cavalieri Ducati pictured with an “ACD” radio device (1924).
On 4 July 1926, encouraged by their father Antonio, the three Cavalieri Ducati brothers, Adriano, Bruno and Marcello, founded a small business in the centre of Bologna called Società Scientifica Radio Brevetti Ducati. In the wake of Guglielmo Marconi’s pioneering work on long-distance radio transmission, which earned him the Nobel Prize in Physics, the small laboratory began to develop and sell capacitors. In no more than ten years from its founding and following the success of the electrotechnical components that were produced, the brothers decided to lay the cornerstone of the factory in Borgo Panigale, on the outskirts of Bologna. With just two manual workers and a secretary in 1926, the company grew to a few thousand employees when the factory opened in 1936.
that production efforts at the Borgo Panigale factory focused on equipment which would help the Italian armed forces.
Experience broadened and products such as radios, interphones, electric razors and electromechanical calculating machines were added to the portfolio. When the Second World War broke out for Italy in 1940, military needs meant
As war drew to an end, German troops retreated from southern Italy, but still had a hold on the premises in Borgo Panigale. Following the bombings of 12 October 1944, production came to a standstill.
A reproduction of the “ACD” radio transmission system.
1946 | Cucciolo
A Cucciolo advertisement (1948).
The Cucciolo assembly line, from the (Archivio Motociclismo, 1947).
Immediately after the Second World War, Italy went through a period of rebirth thanks to substantial economic growth. Everyone was looking to make a new start, but there was a critical shortage of motorised vehicles. Mobility was a key issue and Ducati also needed to get its factory up and running again. Thus, when the time came to relaunch production, the Ducati brothers turned towards a new market, namely componentry for the motorcycle sector. In 1946 the Cucciolo, an auxiliary engine which could be fitted to all types of bicycle, answered the country’s widespread need for mobility. Practical, compact and economic (it sold for 48,000 Lira, corresponding to 700 Euro), the Cucciolo ran happily on different types of fuel, reached a speed of 50 km/h and covered 100 km with a litre of petrol. It soon became an international success also thanks to the global sales network Ducati had already created prior to the war.
1954 | Taglioni and the Marianna
In 1948 the Ducati brothers handed over the shares of the company to the State. Production was split up and two separate entities were formed: Ducati Elettrotecnica (now Ducati Energia) and Ducati Meccanica, which was to become Ducati Motor Holding. Having entered the motorcycle industry, Ducati decided to enter the world of long-distance road racing, competitions that were highly popular and allowed excellent exposure to the public. On 1 May 1954 a new engineer and designer joined Ducati, Fabio Taglioni. The decision proved to be a winner from the very start: in 1955, his Gran Sport “Marianna”, the first racing motorcycle produced by Ducati, fitted with a 100 cc single-cylinder engine, won both the Motogiro d’Italia and the Milano-Taranto, extremely popular races at the time. Born in Lugo in 1920, Taglioni was one of Ducati’s most important designers and the Marianna, named after the Marian year in which it made its debut, dominated the Italian road-racing scene throughout the second half of the 50s. Thanks to the popularity of these competitions, which would draw crowds to the roadside, Ducati became a name synonymous with performance and reliability.
Fabio Taglioni on board the Spaggiari riding school’s Ducati 250 race bike. (Archivio Motociclismo, 1970). On the right, Francesco Villa at the 3rd Motogiro d’Italia. (Photo by Walter Breveglieri, 1955).
1956 | Desmo
Technical drawing of the Desmo system.
Following the success of the Marianna in road racing competitions, Ducati began looking to the world of track racing, commissioning Taglioni to design a Grand Prix motorcycle with 125 cc capacity. Taglioni conceived a new engine based on that of the Gran Sport Marianna and equipped with an original distribution system, Desmo, that would mechanically adjust the opening and closing of the valves without the use of springs, thus guaranteeing greater performance and reliability. The Ducati Desmo made its debut in 1956 at the Swedish Grand Prix, on the 125 GP of Modenese rider Gianni Degli Antoni, who would clinch first place. Ultimate proof of the reliability of Ducati motorcycles came in 1957, when Leopoldo Tartarini and Giorgio Monetti travelled the globe, each aboard a Ducati 175 T. A roundthe-world trip lasting an entire year, the pair covered 60,000 km and crossed five continents. A memorable adventure which contributed to making Ducati a household name at an international level.
1962 | Scrambler
Historic Scrambler advertisement. Below, Ducati brand detail.
During the 50s, consumer goods that had appeared unattainable just ten years previously were suddenly within everybody’s reach. The first utility vehicles to appear on the market allowed more and more families to become car owners, meaning that motorcycles began to lose their traditional role as a mere means of transport, becoming instead a symbol of freedom, rebellion, and life on the road. The Sixties saw the birth of one of the most iconic Ducati models: the Scrambler. A bike inspired by the Scramble Races so popular in the United States, the Scrambler 250, with its 250 cc single-cylinder engine and narrow case, immediately gained the public’s interest. In 1968 it was relaunched on the Italian market as an updated version with 450 cc engine and a bright colour range. A bike that was set to become an icon of freedom for an entire generation, it was designed for recreational use and was fun to ride, with a wide handlebar, long seat and a perfectly central riding position.
1972 | Victory at the 200 Miglia di Imola
The early 70s marked the arrival of large-capacity motorcycles on both the market and the racetrack. Inspired by famous American 500 cc and 700 cc races such as the Daytona 200, the first edition of the 200 Miglia di Imola took place on 23 April 1972. All the major motorcycle manufacturers were invited and Ducati, in the space of just three weeks, transformed the 750 GT Desmo, selected four riders and fielded four bikes. Up against some of the most talented riders, as well as the most successful of all time, Giacomo Agostini, the four Ducati bikes proved unbeatable during qualifying. British rider Paul Smart moved ahead in the final stages of the race, crossing the line first with his Ducati 750 Imola Desmo in front of 75,000 spectators. Bruno Spaggiari finished second, topping off an unforgettable race weekend. As a result, the shift to Desmo became definitive, also for production models.
Paul Smart and Bruno Spaggiari in the race (1972).
Paul Smart on the top step of the rostrum. (Archivio Motociclismo, 1972).
1978 | Mike Hailwood triumphs at the Tourist Trophy
Twenty years after his Ducati debut, Mike Hailwood, one of motorcycle racing’s biggest names, was eager to get back in the saddle. He teamed up with the NCR team and prepared to ride a Ducati 900 in the 1978 Isle of Man TT, one of the most legendary motorcycle events of all times. After four years away from competitive racing, no one expected Hailwood to be in with a chance of winning. Aided by the team’s chief mechanic, Franco Farné, Hailwood powered his way around the 37 mile (60 km) public road course to claim victory. Fondly known as “Mike the Bike”, he lived up to his name, surprising everyone and writing another page of history for himself, the Tourist Trophy and Ducati. Such an unexpected victory at the Tourist Trophy further boosted Ducati’s reputation and saw it take on even greater feats throughout the 80s.
Commemorative Mike Hailwood victory poster (1978).
1985 | Ducati finds its colour: Red
In 1986, Italian designer Massimo Tamburini created the Paso 750, the name a tribute to rider Renzo Pasolini, who was known as “Paso”. Tamburini adopted solutions that were fashionable at that time, such as the full fairing that hid the mechanical elements from view. Its characteristic colouring saw solid red become the official Ducati colour, one which is still a hallmark of Ducati sports bikes even now.
1988 | First victory in Superbike
FIRST WIN FOR THE 851 WITH LUCCHINELLI
Ducati decided to enter the Superbike World Championship, the category for production-derived bikes that launched in 1988. On 3 April that year, with former 500 world champion Marco Luchinelli, the first Ducati Superbike, known as 851 due to its engine capacity, scored the win in the championship’s inaugural race at Donington Park. Developed by Massimo Bordi and Gianluigi Mengoli in 1986, the Ducati 851 engine was the first four-valve Desmodromic V-twin engine produced by Ducati. Luchinelli finished fifth that year, but one thing was clear: Ducati was destined for success.
1990 | SBK Riders’ title The Superbike World Championship entered its third year in 1990 and Ducati had already started embracing new technologies that would put the team ahead of its competitors. A four-valve V-twin with electronic injection, carbon fibre elements to keep weight to a minimum, special composite materials and many other features demonstrated how Ducati was consolidating its leadership in the SBK category. Aboard an 851 twin with Desmoquattro engine, Raymond Roche earned Ducati its first Riders’ title. This marked the start of a golden era for the Bologna-based manufacturer, that went on to score a series of victories in the Superbike World Championship to become the most successful manufacturer in the category.
Raymond Roche celebrating in the Superbike World Championship (1990). On the right, a photo of the Superbike World Championship (1990).
1992 | Monster
The Monster 900 is the most enduring model ever produced by Ducati, with more than 325,000 bikes built over twentyfive years of uninterrupted production. Presented to the public in 1992 at the international motorcycle trade show in Cologne, the Ducati Monster immediately created a buzz in the industry thanks to its revolutionary design. Stripped to its essentials, the Monster was built around a frame deriving directly from Superbikes, with a street-legal 904 cc engine and a fuel tank with characteristic bison back silhouette. There was no fairing, due to a desire to revive the naked look that had been fashionable for road bikes since the 70s. The Monster 900 brought the sport naked category to life and soon became the most personalised model to come out of the Borgo Panigale factory. With the Monster, the concept of the motorcycle evolved. No longer a simple means of transport but an authentic cultural phenomenon, which is shared even now by an entire community of fans: the Monsteristi.
1993 | Ducati 916
When Massimo Tamburini completed the Ducati 916, it was plain for everyone to see that a masterpiece of design and engineering had been created. Right from its launch at the 1993 Milan motorcycle show, the 916 revolutionised the global motorcycle landscape and, decades later, it is still hailed as one of the most beautiful motorcycles ever built. The 916 did not only boast a unique design, but also presented technical characteristics that would set a new benchmark for sports bikes in the 90s. Meticulous attention to the finest details meant that the 916 was a perfect example of how style, sophistication and performance could come together in one single bike, a model that proved successful both on and off the track. Throughout its racing career, the 916 won four Superbike World Championships and laid the foundations for future victories right up until the early 2000s.
1998 | World Ducati Week
The summer of 1998 saw celebration of the Ducati community. The first World Ducati Week was organised by the Ducati factory in Borgo Panigale and the Misano World Circuit, now dedicated to Marco Simoncelli. A quintessential element of the Ducati universe, the World Ducati Week is the largest international Ducati gathering, an unmissable event that attracts thousands of fans from all over the globe. The perfect combination of motorcycles and fun, the event only confirms the fact that Ducati is so much more than a motorcycle.
Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli
1999 | Ducati Corse Driven by the undeniable success Ducati motorcycles were enjoying in international competition, the company decided to set up a division devoted entirely to racing. Ducati Corse was created in 1999 in the wake of countless victories in the Superbike World Championship. Based at the Borgo Panigale factory, it employs a dedicated team. To date, Ducati Corse has won multiple Superbike World Championships. In 2007, with the arrival of Australian rider Casey Stoner, the company achieved the ultimate in the MotoGP World Championship, winning the Riders’, Manufacturers’ and Team titles’.
2003 | The first win in MotoGP
Ducati began competing in MotoGP in 2003, following a regulation change the previous year that would allow 4-stroke 989 cc engines to line up against two-stroke 500 cc engines. Pre-season winter tests were held and Loris Capirossi immediately set some impressive times. During an IRTA test at the Catalunya circuit, the Italian set the overall fastest time, a new lap record, as well as the top speed. Then came the first race of the 2003 season, one in which Capirossi scored a front row start and a podium finish. At the same Catalunya racetrack, during the sixth race of the season, Loris Capirossi took pole position and brought the Ducati Desmosedici home in first place. With one win, six podium finishes, three pole positions and a fastest lap, it was clear that Ducati, third in the manufacturers’ standings, had arrived in MotoGP with the aim of competing at the highest level.
2007 | MotoGP World Champions
MotoGP regulations were amended again in 2007, so that only 4-stroke engines up to 800 cc were allowed to compete in the category. Ducati lined up with a bike so powerful that Casey Stoner literally dominated the season. Scoring ten race victories that season, Ducati claimed all three titles in the top category: the Riders’ title, the Manufacturers’ title and the (often overlooked) Team title. With its 2007 MotoGP triumph, Ducati became the first Italian team in thirty-four years to clinch both the Riders’ and Manufacturers’ titles in the reigning class.
Casey Stoner poster celebrating the world championship title (23 September 2007).
2012 | Panigale
Following years of success in the Superbike World Championship, Ducati supersport evolution gave way to a new concept of motorcycle, in the shape of the Panigale, which was exclusively presented at the 2011 Milan motorcycle show. An eloquent blend of design and performance, the Panigale heralded a new generation of Ducati motorcycles that were revolutionised on a technical level, from the new Superquadro engine to the frame. The goal? To achieve maximum performance. The Panigale was conceived around an aluminium monocoque frame also serving as an airbox, making for a compact, lightweight and agile bike. It marked the beginning of a new chapter in Ducati evolution, as the company introduced new technical features into the super sport category and won prestigious design prizes such as the Red Dot Award. The 1199 Panigale also became the first ever motorcycle to win the Golden Compass award, combining iconic styling with optimum performance and the ultimate in racing technology.
2014 | Scrambler Icon Unveiled during the 2014 World Ducati Week and in production since 2015, Ducati Scrambler is a brand in itself. With unique personality, it comprises a range of different models, opportunities for personalisation and a complete line of accessories and apparel. The name recalls one of Ducati’s most popular models, the Scrambler of the 60s, reinterpreted through some of its most characteristic design elements, such as the wide handlebars, the long seat and the teardrop fuel tank, all of which make a comeback on the Scrambler Icon. A successful blend of tradition and modernity, the brand has seen the birth of a dedicated and carefree community that now takes centre stage in the “Land of Joy”.
SELF – EXPRESSION DESIGN POST-HERITAGE FREEDOM AND FUN
NON – CONFORMIST ESSENTIAL
INVENT YOUR OWN STYLE
SCRAMBLING CONTEMPORARY ICON
THE LAND OF JOY
Capacitors On 4 July 1926 Antonio Cavalieri Ducati and his three sons, Adriano, Bruno and Marcello, founded what was then known as the Società Scientifica Radio Brevetti Ducati and began manufacturing capacitors with the aim of supplying a growing radio transmissions industry. The Manens short wave capacitor became their leading product, designed by Adriano, a Physics student, at just nineteen years of age. Built in the basement of the family’s residence in the centre of Bologna, this was the first in a series of capacitors and components destined for the radio manufacturing industry. Immediately successful, the Manens was produced and widely distributed, evolving until the early 1930s when the Ducati family decided to transfer production and build the factory in Borgo Panigale.
An image depicting the electric capacitor (1937 product catalogue).
Ducati Radios In 1939, shortly before the Second World War, Ducati began to manufacture radios. All the necessary components were produced inside the Borgo Panigale factory and its range of radios soon saw Ducati leading the way on the Italian market. Great attention was paid to the design of the different models and precious woods such as briar, pear or olive were frequently used to enhance the characteristics of the radio. The Ducati brothers, especially Adriano, were inspired by another Bolognese genius, Guglielmo Marconi, whose pioneering studies had won him a Nobel Prize just years before Ducati started business.
An advertisement for the Ducati Mobile Radio in pear wood (1937).
Dufono interphones With a stylish, functional and in many ways futuristic design, the Dufono in black or white Bakelite, produced by Ducati in the mid-30s, was the precursor to modern-day interphones and conference call systems. It enabled internal audio communication inside a company, hotel, bank or even a hospital. Innovative in terms of the opportunities it offered, speeding up communication within an organisation, the Dufono was both a designer object and a functional, practical instrument. The new radio transmission technologies that were harnessed in its development were the same as those used by Adriano Ducati when setting up long-distance communication between Italy and the United States.
Part of a diagram explaining the uses of the Dufono (1938). Left, a Dufono advertisement (1938).
Ducati Raselet Razor In 1940 Ducati had yet another eureka moment that saw it launch Italy’s first electric razor, combining its experience in the fields of precision mechanics and electrical systems. The Raselet boasted an ergonomic, functional design and black or white bakelite was once again used to enhance the aesthetics of the product. Beneath the razor’s outer case was a 6000 rpm electric motor that powered blade movement, ensuring a clean shave with no need for foam or water. Ducati always had one eye on the future, just as the advertisement said: “You can’t stop progress”!
Raselet advertisement (1938).
Ducati Projector Continuing to keep up with the times, Ducati moved into the field of precision optical instruments. In the 1940s, it developed a narrow gauge 16 mm film projector that was in line with the latest cinematographic technologies.
Duconta Shortly before the Second World War, Ducati entered another market segment, introducing the first Italian electromechanical calculating machine. Only a handful of these Duconta machines survive to this day.
Micro Cameras Perhaps one of the most sophisticated products to emerge from the Borgo Panigale factory was the Ducati Sogno micro camera. Equipped with a rapid shutter curtain and interchangeable, high-precision lenses, it was conceived prior to the war but only introduced onto the market after the conflict.
On the left, Antonio Cavalieri Ducati Junior, Bruno’s son, shown in an advertisement for the Ducati camera (1943). On this page, a Ducati projector advertising flier (1948) An image of the Duconta calculating machine (1943).
ROAD BIKE HISTORY
1946 | Cucciolo
Post-war Italy needed to get back on its feet and one of the most urgent needs was mobility. Transport was a vital part of economic recovery following the conflict. Rebuilding the factory in Borgo Panigale after the bombing in October 1944 was an opportunity Ducati exploited in order to kick-start the business again. The electrotechnical facility turned to a new sector and in 1946 developed the first auxiliary engine for bicycles. The Cucciolo represents Ducati’s first step into the motorcycle industry but was also a first step towards the company’s rebirth. Based on a design concept developed by Aldo Leoni and stemming from an idea by Aldo Farinelli, a technical journalist with a passion for motorcycling, the Cucciolo was a 48 cc engine, delivered as a kit that could be fixed to almost any bicycle. Compact and inexpensive, the two-speed, four-stroke engine reached speeds of 50 km/h and could travel 100 km on one litre of fuel.
The Cucciolo did not just transform bicycles, by making them powerful and agile, but was also able to transform Ducati as a company, thereby playing a small part in postwar recovery in Italy.
The Cucciolo was a practical solution that was easy to export to international markets and it was not long before it experienced success abroad. In a black and white photograph with the Chrysler Building in the background, the Cucciolo travels the streets of New York.
1949 | Ducati 60 On the back of the successful Cucciolo engine, Ducati looked to the future and began manufacturing the Ducati 60, its first ever complete motorcycle, at the factory in Borgo Panigale. A lightweight model that still had the anatomy of a bicycle rather than a motorcycle, it was powered by an evolution of the Cucciolo engine and was able to cover 100 km with one litre of fuel. Weighing just 44 kg, the Ducati 60 was easy to ride and particularly comfortable. This made the motorcycle attractive to women who were able to cover short distances around town or in the countryside without having to depend on other means of transport.
Ducati 60 advertisment (1949).
1956 | 125 Sport By 1956, Ducati was specialising in a motorcycle sector that was more sports orientated. The 125 Sport boasted not only the proportions of a real motorcycle, but also the performance. Designed by Fabio Taglioni not long after he arrived in Ducati, the 125 Sport featured technical solutions already seen on the Gran Sport Marianna that had triumphed in a number of long-distance road races in the mid-50s. One of these innovations was the engine with bevel gears, a solution that debuted at the Motogiro d’Italia. Both the 125 Sport and the 100, which had slightly smaller capacity, were highly successful in that same race. The 125 Sport was one of the first street motorcycles to adopt the technical solutions seen on racing bikes. Achieving such positive results in such a popular race clearly paved the way for its commercial success.
Miracle of the Motogiro Long-distance road races were popular during the 50s and when Ducati entered the Motogiro d’Italia with the 125 Sport, it was not among the favourites as the majority of motorcycles competing for victory were more powerful. Unexpectedly though, both the 100 and 125 Sport won on two consecutive occasions before the competition was suspended in 1957. No one had expected to see Ducati triumph so easily, and so the 125 Sport became known as the “Miracle of the Motogiro”. Inscribed on the fuel tank is the word “miracolo” surrounded by a chequered flag motif. A simple way to celebrate an extraordinary feat.
1956 | 125 S single-cylinder The ongoing success of the Marianna in long-distance road racing was enough to persuade Ducati to further develop the 125 cc single-cylinder engine with bevel gears for its production motorcycles. This was the first engine that Fabio Taglioni had designed for competition purposes and it gave way to a series of production single-cylinder engines, capacity increasing to as much as 450 cc by the mid-70s. Those who had witnessed Ducati’s success in the Motogiro d’Italia wanted a bike with similar sports performance that they could ride on the road. Ducati has a long tradition of adapting competition engines for use on production models and the 125 S single-cylinder engine was in a certain sense the first example of this.
1956 | Siluro One of the most unlikely motorcycles displayed in the museum is the Siluro (in English, the torpedo) and it is easy to see why this unique Ducati 100 was named after an underwater missile.
Based on Fabio Taglioni’s Gran Sport Marianna, which won the Motogiro d’Italia and other long-distance road races in the 50s, the Siluro had a 98 cc engine. With respect to the original Taglioni project, few mechanical changes were necessary and on 30 November 1956, the Ducati 100 Siluro took to the oval speed track in Monza.
The full aluminium fairing was designed to be similar in shape to the fuselage of a plane.
Ridden by Santo Ciceri and Mario Carini, the Siluro set an incredible 46 world speed records. Among these, a distance of 1000 km covered in 6 hours at a maximum speed of 170 km/h. The Siluro was so fast that it actually managed to set new speed records in categories reserved for bikes of up to 250 cc.
This Ducati project focused entirely on speed, so apart from being as light as possible, the Siluro also had to be aerodynamic.
Rivets were used instead of screws to prevent any unnecessary resistance to the airflow around the chassis of the bike.
1957 | 175 T One of Ducati’s most significant feats during the 20th century involved Leopoldo Tartarini and Giorgio Monetti. With the aim of marketing the brand globally and promoting the 175 T, the pair set off on a 60,000 km trip around the world, crossing five continents and stopping in 36 different countries. In doing so, Ducati did not just increase its popularity across the globe, but also demonstrated beyond any doubt the reliability of the 14 hp single overhead camshaft engine that equipped this motorcycle, a direct descendant of Taglioni’s Marianna. Employees at the Borgo Panigale factory, Tartarini and Monetti set off on 30 September 1957. The journey lasted an entire year and visitors to the museum can watch video footage documenting the trip. The exhibit also includes a map that indicates the main stages of the trip, which ended in Bologna on 5 September 1958.
1970 | Scrambler 450
Successfully presented in the United States in 1962, on the request of the local importer, the Scrambler also became popular in Italy, though with a larger 450 cc engine. An entire generation of young Italians, born just after the Second World War, were influenced by American trends. Much of the music of the time originated there, as did that typical West Coast style. America, California, surfing, a sense of freedom and life in the open air attracted both guys and girls in the early 70s. Originally created as a bike designed primarily for Scramble Races, the Scrambler evolved into a street bike with an off-road character. It may have shed some of its dirt track attributes, such as the off-road tyres and narrow case engine, but its impressive agility and design features such as the teardrop fuel tank and wide handlebars remained intact. The Scrambler also introduced a non-conformist colour scheme, at least for Ducati, with yellow and orange making an appearance in the first series, followed by green and light blue in the second series. Easy to ride, with a versatile engine, and supported by a fresh and attractive image that appealed to young Italians, the Scrambler 450 has earned its place in the Ducati history books.
1971 | 750 GT
That which occurred in the 70s would have considerable impact on the motorcycling world. Large capacity bikes began to appear on the European market, the bigger engines designed to offer greater performance. Motorcycles therefore became increasingly sports orientated, performance playing an important role. The 750 GT with its 748cc engine was Ducati’s response to this phenomenon. Fabio Taglioni designed a new L twin-cylinder engine with bevel gears that excelled on both the road and the racetrack. In 1971, the 750 GT went into production and immediately rivalled other models in terms of its performance. The narrow, compact engine made the bike slimmer than its competitors, but what really characterised the 750 GT was the unmistakeable sound of the engine.
The Ducati sound One of the most distinctive features of a Ducati is the sound made by its engine, something that dates back to 1971, when Fabio Taglioni built the first twin-cylinder engine for the 750 GT. The 750 GT exhibit is enhanced with an installation that physically reproduces the sound wave generated by the engine, with a peak corresponding to maximum revs before the sound tails off. The adjacent monitor transforms the sound into abstract waves on the screen, bringing another sensory dimension to the Ducati voice.
Powerful and elegant, the 750 GT was the first Ducati twincylinder road bike. In 1973 it served as the base for one of the most beautiful and successful bikes of the 70s, the 750 SS Desmo, which was displayed at the Guggenheim museum in New York during The Art of the Motorcycle exhibition.
1978 | 900 twin-cylinder
In the mid-70s, Ducati developed a 900 cc L twin to replace its previous 750 cc bevel gear engine. Capacity was increased to precisely 864 cc and the desmodromic system was adopted. Easily identifiable by its square casing, this new engine appeared on the 900 SS in 1975, and on other production modelsright up until 1984. In 1973, the engine was used to power a 900 SS prototype during the Montjuïc 24 Hours. In winning what was considered one of the classic motorcycling endurance races, Ducati demonstrated that the new engine was both powerful and reliable.
1979 | Pantah
In the late 70s, Ducati produced one of its most successful motorcycles, the Pantah 500. Taglioni knew it was time to merge the performance of the twin-cylinder engine with the agility of the newly developed trellis frame. Together with Gianluigi Mengoli, Taglioni took another evolutionary step with the L twin, implementing a two-valve Desmodromic system controlled by rubber toothed belts rather than bevel gears. The new trellis frame, to which the engine was firmly fastened, made for a more agile, easier to handle bike.In 1979,
Italian magazine Motociclismo referred to the Pantah as the best 500 cc sports bike of its time. And it was this very model that paved the way for a new generation of Ducati sports bikes. The Pantah 500 marked both the end of state-run management for Ducati and the dawn of a new era. All the ingredients needed to transform Ducati into one of the world’s iconic brands were now in place. Design, performance, iconic style, an unmistakable sound, typical frame layout and generous power output: all of which are at the heart of every Ducati.
1979 | Trellis frame One of the cornerstones of Ducati’s technical evolution is the trellis frame, introduced for the first time in 1979 on the Pantah 500. Made of tubular steel, the frame had the advantage of being both lightweight and stiff, so as to guarantee precision riding, the bike very agile and easy to handle. The result? A perfect blend of performance and rideability, which allowed Ducati to build motorcycles that were extremely enjoyable to ride. The trellis frame thus became a key element of Ducati production. In the Museum, the trellis is depicted as a constellation of stars that metaphorically light up the technical path taken by Ducati.
1985 | 750 F1
New energy flowed through the Borgo Panigale factory in the mid-80s as a result of its new ownership. Intent on renewing the brand’s competitive spirit, the 750 F1 was born. The first motorcycle of this new era clearly focused on performance. The 750 F1 was the obvious forerunner to future super sport models. Adopting the same chassis as that seen on the TT1 and TT2 race bikes, it was very compact, lightweight and agile. The result was an essential bike that was extraordinarily powerful and great fun to ride. With its beautiful tricolour livery, the 750 F1 was a symbol of Italian engineering excellence and was also the last Ducati to be designed by engineer Fabio Taglioni, more than thirty years after his arrival at the Borgo Panigale factory. On completing the project, Taglioni retired, leaving a patrimony of magnificent motorcycles that, just like the 750 F1, would leave an indelible mark on Ducati production history.
1986 | Paso
Having confirmed its strong Italian identity with the 750 F1, Ducati was ready to write another key chapter in its history. In 1986, Massimo Tamburini designed his first motorcycle for Ducati, the Paso 750, which represented a turning point in many ways. This was one of the first road bikes to adopt a full fairing and was also the model responsible for making red the official Ducati colour. Born in Rimini, Tamburini dedicated his life to motorcycle design, driven by a passion he nurtured from a young age. The Paso soon became a symbol of 80s motorcycle design and led Ducati into the field of industrial design. Its flowing lines were accentuated by the beautiful red colour, which made its dynamic styling even more captivating and unforgettable. The Paso name was a tribute to Renzo Pasolini, a talented rider also born in Rimini.
Ducati Red One of the symbols of the great change Ducati was experiencing in the 80s was not a motorcycle, and neither was it an engineer or an engine. It was simply a colour: red. The Paso 750 had been designed with this in mind, the full fairing, windshield and even the seat emphasising the impact of the colour red. Red signifies passion, the colour associated with the energy and commitment Ducati was devoting to its racing and ever increasing performance. The colour became one of the distintive traits of motorcycles built in Borgo Panigale, painting a new landscape on which Ducati would build its future.
1988 | 851 Tricolore
If the Desmoquattro was a milestone in the history of Ducati engine development, the 851 represented its incarnation. Built to take the racing world by storm, the 851 Tricolore proudly sported the colours of the Italian flag and was the forefather to a generation of high-performance road bikes produced throughout the 90s. First conceived by Gianluigi Mengoli and Massimo Bordi as a 748 cc twin-cylinder equipped with electronic injection in 1986, just two years later its capacity increased to 851 cc, opening a new chapter in the history of Ducati superbikes. The technical drawing which accompanies the exhibit is a cross-section of the Desmoquattro engine head. The 4 valves, Desmodromic system and double camshaft are all clearly visible. From its very first outing on track, the new four-valve engine highlighted the racing pedigree of the 851. Although it was a standard production model, it featured numerous details that had been conceived for track use. One such example was the tank’s rapid release system which allowed for immediate access to the underlying mechanical parts during a pitstop.
1988 | Desmoquattro 851
In the late 80s, Ducati took a huge technical step forward with an engine that would leave a mark on two decades of motorcycling. The Desmoquattro 851, built in 1988 for the bike of the same name, was the first four-stroke, water-cooled Desmodromic twin with four valves and electronic injection. The 851 is probably one of the most significant engines developed by Ducati in the last thirty years. Technologically ahead of its time, engine performance was so great that, with continuous updates, it remained competitive for fifteen years. In fact, the 851 and its direct descendants won an impressive number of races in the Superbike World Championship, for a total of eleven Manufacturers’ titles.
1990 | Cagiva Elefant Up until this time, Ducati had enjoyed success with its road bikes, its racing models and the Scrambler, initially conceived for dirt track competitions. Between the late 80s and early 90s, the Elefant introduced off-road adventure. Edi Orioli won the 1990 Paris-Dakar rally, and repeated the feat in 1994, again on board the Ducati-powered Elefant. The bike also proved itself in other similar competitions, such as the Atlas Rally in Morocco and the Pharaohs Rally in Egypt. Assembled in the racing department at the Borgo Panigale factory, the Elefant presented a series of custom features to better suit the extreme conditions of African rally-raids. The 904 cc engine delivered 85 hp and allowed the bike to reach speeds of up to 200 km/h even on those desert trails typical of the toughest African rallies. Special pistons were built for the L twin, and the bike also had a reinforced clutch and various magnesium elements so as to reduce weight and maximise resistance. Everything was designed around the rider’s needs, like the road-book located between the handlebars for example, protected by a transparent plexiglas screen.
1992 | 900 Superlight
While the 851 was enjoying success on and off the racetrack, Ducati also dedicated itself to another type of motorcycle, one that the world’s Ducatisti would particularly appreciate. This was the 900 Superlight, a limited edition of the 900 SS. A single-seater, the 900 Superlight was another example of how Ducati was ahead of the game in terms of R&D, and particularly weight reduction. Building lighter bikes has always been a Ducati priority, as lightness ensures better handling and greater performance, as well as increased safety and a more enjoyable riding experience. When the 900 Superlight first appeared on the market in 1992, it featured countless components developed to minimise the overall weight of the motorcycle. This study on lightness, which would reappear thirty years later with the 1199 Superleggera, was achieved thanks to a selection of the very best materials. Components included carbon fibre mudguards, a glass fibre single-seater tailpiece, a carbon fibre rear brake shaft and aluminium or magnesium rims, all details that were generally only seen on race models at that time.
1993 | Monster
Presented on 2 October 1992 at the Cologne motorcycle show, the Monster has remained in production longer than any other Ducati model. Equipped with the trellis frame deriving straight from the 851 and with a powerful 904 cc engine perfect for road use, the Monster 900 revolutionised the naked concept and defined a new motorcycle category, naked sport bikes. In the initial sketches, the bike was without a fairing, its essential elements developed around the trellis frame. These included the bison-back fuel tank that would go down in history and the large headlight that dominates the front end. Minimalist and iconic, the Monster was immediately appreciated for its range of personalisation options that made it truly unique and led to the birth of a new Ducati community, that of the Monsteristi, a group of enthusiasts who created their own language with which to express their personality and emphasise their sense of belonging. The word cloud serving as a backdrop to the Monster speaks many languages and represents the fundamental values of what has become a global phenomenon.
Quick-release fuel tank Perhaps the main feature by which to identify the Monster at first glance is the generously-sized fuel tank that extends between the rider and the handlebars. A closer look reveals another detail that highlights the creativity of the Monster design. In order to access the battery, fuses, air filter and other components, the large fuel tank needed to be lifted. But no screws or tools were required, as Ducati simply fitted what is essentially a ski boot buckle to the front of the tank, both practical and lightweight.
1994 | 916
By 1994, Ducati DNA had been fully cemented. Massimo Tamburini designed his masterpiece, the 916, described by MCN in 2014 as “the most beautiful motorcycle of the last 50 years”. It represented the pure essence of said Ducati DNA, fusing the concepts of style, sophistication and performance together in one unique bike. The 916 had everything that a Ducati designed and built in the mid-90s could possibly have. A work of art, the 916 was balanced, elegant and sleek, without any trace of excess. It was also incredibly exciting and efficient to ride. In addition to its unmistakeable design, it also boasted innovative technical features that saw it garner “Bike of the Year” awards from almost every specialist magazine around at the time. The 916 was undoubtedly a highly successful model. With this motorcycle, Tamburini sought perfection down to the very last detail. He even designed the heads of certain screws, leaving absolutely nothing to chance. The 916 was undoubtedly a masterpiece of design, but it was also the perfect synthesis of the three values for which the brand still stands out today. And it is this that the dedicated installation sets out to emphasise, recalling the DNA double helix and highlighting how the 916 is the physical representation of Style, Sophistication and Performance, genetic traits shared by all Ducati motorcycles.
Riding in the rain Considered by many to be a sculptor, moulding his motorcycles in order to achieve perfection, Tamburini stuck with the same philosophy when designing the 916. Each time the prototype evolved, rather than taking it to the wind tunnel, Tamburini would wait for rain and take the bike out on the roads around San Marino and Rimini. In doing so, he could observe the traces left by rain drops on the frame, evaluating the aerodynamic behaviour of each component and obtaining the necessary information with which to optimise the design. And this is how, step by step, the masterpiece took shape.
2006 | Desmosedici RR The principal idea behind the Desmosedici RR was to bring a real Grand Prix motorcycle replica to the streets. Deriving directly from the GP06 race bike, the Desmosedici RR was the world’s first MotoGP replica. Everything, from the design to the layout, dimensions and materials used, drew inspiration from the race bike. Performance was taken to extreme levels thanks to brakes, tyres and suspension that also derived from the MotoGP experience, while the 989 cc engine was a road homologated version of the V 90° four-cylinder Desmo with 16 valves that powered the Desmosedici on track. Between 2006 and 2007, the Desmosedici RR was produced as a limited edition comprising just 1500 units and it quickly became a collector’s item. When it hit the market, the public was so quick to respond that it sold out.
Ceramic protection As every single element of the Desmosedici RR was inspired by the motorcycle competing on racetracks around the world in 2006, Ducati did its utmost to replicate Grand Prix racing standards. The exhaust outlet came complete with a carboceramic protection for example, to guard against any rear end damage owing to high temperatures. The solutions and materials adopted were sophisticated, able to deal with extreme conditions and offer riders the same degree of safety both on and off the track. The Desmosedici RR benefitted from the same care and technical attention as a real race bike, and this has earned it a very special place in Ducati production history.
2007 | 1098 When Ducati designed the 1098, its main aim was to find the perfect blend of racing performance and tradition, using the technologies implemented on Ducati race bikes. With its unmistakable Ducati style, the 1098 was an attractive supersport bike, ready to give the best of itself on both the road and the track. With its red livery, the 1098 featured some distinctive elements such as the high tailpiece, compact front end, twin under-seat silencers and the single-sided swingarm, all typical Ducati hallmarks that had first appeared on the 916. Everything was stripped back to the essentials in order to contain the weight and boost performance to maximum levels.
2010 | Multistrada 1200
In 2012, Ducati introduced one of its most successful motorcycles of recent times, the Multistrada 1200. Significantly developed with respect to the first version, launched in 2003, the Multistrada 1200 took the Dual Sport segment to a whole new level, bringing new meaning to the concept of a versatile bike. Based on the engine deriving from the Ducati 1098, the Multistrada 1200 featured all the performance-oriented technologies of a race bike. It could in fact be considered the most powerful motorcycle in the Dual-Sport category, able to deliver up to 150 HP. Its design and volumes, revolutionary with respect to the Ducati superbikes produced up until that point, were inspired by the automotive world’s SUV concept, fashionable as of the early 2000s. Despite representing a new segment for the company, the Multistrada 1200 retained full Ducati DNA: Style, Sophistication and Performance.
Thanks to the new Riding Mode technology, the Multistrada 1200 was essentially four bikes in one, designed to respond to a variety of uses. Advanced electronics enabled the rider to select a set of specific parameters by pressing just one button, thus adapting the motorcycle to four different situations, from touring, to off-road terrain and from sports riding to urban usage. Whatever the road conditions, the Multistrada 1200 ensured maximum riding pleasure, adjusting its suspension and modifying the electronic controls and engine performance to suit rider requirements. A series of special accessories were also available for each riding mode. Emotions were multiplied, while comfort and safety were always guaranteed. As well as varying power output, the electronic management of each riding mode would adjust traction control, wheelie control and ABS settings accordingly.
Inside the museum, the installation represents a map of Bologna, on which are highlighted the various routes suitable for the testing of this bike’s four Riding Modes.
The Urban Riding Mode adapted the Multistrada 1200 to the city, thanks also to a height-adjustable seat and tight turning circle. Sport Mode adjusted suspension and power output to bring the excitement one expects from a Ducati. The Touring Mode allowed the rider to cover long distances in search of new destinations, a wealth of accessories only enhancing the on-board experience. And as for off-road tracks, the Enduro Riding Mode would allow the rider to take on rough terrain with maximum enjoyment.
2013 | 1199 Superleggera
In 2013, Ducati set a new benchmark in the motorcycle world with the 1199 Superleggera. Based on the 1199 Panigale, the 1199 Superleggera was created with the aim of reducing weight to a minimum, for never before seen levels of performance. Just 500 numbered units of the 1199 Superleggera were built and its success, from both a technical and commercial standpoint, was immediate. The engine was more powerful than that of the 1199, with maximum power exceeding 200 hp, while the bike boasted a dry weight of just 155 kg. The performance of the 1199 Superleggera exceeded that of any super sport bike built up until that point. With it, Ducati reached new levels of technical sophistication, the bike unique in terms of both its exclusivity and the emotions it was able to provoke when ridden.
2014 | Ducati Testrastretta 1200 DVT
The Multistrada 1200 stood out for its extreme versatility, but the same could be said of the Ducati Testastretta 1200 DVT, a highly sophisticated engine that once again proved how the word ‘compromise’ is not part of Ducati vocabulary. This revolutionary engine was so versatile that it made its debut on the Multistrada 1200, further improving the bike’s ability to adapt to different conditions of use. The exclusive Desmodromic variable timing system would instantly adjust delivery, depending on whether there was a need for power, agility or simply smooth, easy riding. The process was ongoing and dynamic, so as riding conditions changed, the engine would instantly adapt. A high-precision device would identify engine revs and modify valve intersection to optimise performance. When the engine was running at high revs, power delivery was in line with that of a superbike, while a low rev range would ensure greater smoothness for a more comfortable ride.
2015 | Scrambler Icon In production between 1962 and 1975, the Ducati Scrambler re-emerged in 2015 as a motorcycle representative of a new lifestyle brand. When the Scrambler was launched at the 2014 World Ducati Week, it was as if Ducati had never stopped manufacturing it. The result of some sort of time travel, the Scrambler retained its original concept while adopting contemporary technologies and technical features. Carefully designed to evoke the same sensations as the model that had won over entire generations in the 60s and 70s, the modern-day Scrambler features many details that recall the original, highlighted by the “Born in 1962” inscription on the fuel cap. Simply turning the ignition key and starting the engine is enough to conjure up that Scrambler spirit. Built to offer not only good looks, but also enhanced riding enjoyment, the Scrambler boasts a strong identity, skilfully blending and balancing past and present. Easy to ride and personalise, the bike symbolises that laid-back lifestyle. As a result, the Scrambler has quickly become more than just a motorcycle. It has become a brand with a strong identity that has given life to a whole world of fun, joy and freedom. The first model to be released, the Scrambler Icon, easy to ride and boasting an iconic design, has quickly won over a new generation of free-spirited followers.
The strong personality of the Ducati Scrambler has seen the new brand quickly expand beyond motorcycles, accessories and apparel. The energy and creativity that characterise the Scrambler universe, encouraging freedom of expression and the sharing of positive emotions, are represented in the Land of Joy. The Land of Joy is where the Scrambler has its roots. It represents a desire to explore new frontiers, develop individual style and have fun. Precisely the sensations that a rider experiences on board the Scrambler. The Land of Joy is where you can feel proud and free to leave your tracks in the sand. It’s a place where the bike takes on the personality of the rider, and not the other way around. Entering the Land of Joy means personalising the Scrambler according to one’s own way of being, with no limits in terms of creativity and imagination.
2017 | Desmosedici Stradale The result of Ducati experience in the MotoGP World Championship, the Desmosedici Stradale engine ensures the same excitement you would expect from a race bike. It is in fact built to power top-of-the-range Ducati super sport models and ensure an adrenaline-fuelled riding experience. Extremely compact and lightweight, this V4 delivers over 214 hp, ensuring great torque at low revs as well as a very wide range of use. The record-breaking performance of the engine is also thanks to the Desmodromic system that allows for a maximum engine speed of 14,000 rpm. The V 90° layout makes for a compact unit that is well integrated into the vehicle.
1949 | Cucciolo Racing
In the early days of racing, Ducati earned its first track wins with the Cucciolo. Micro-engine racing was popular in the 40s. The first recorded victory was claimed by Mario Recchia during the Viareggio Grand Prix held on 15 February 1947. In 1950, two riders left their mark on this racing category at the Monza racetrack. Italian riders Ugo Tamarozzi and Glauco Zitelli broke several 50 cc class world speed records with a Cucciolo engine.
1956 | Gran Sport 125 Marianna
Franco Farnè on the Marianna 125, Motogiro d’Italia (Photo by Walter Breveglieri, 1956).
The Gran Sport Marianna was the first motorcycle designed by Fabio Taglioni shortly after joining Ducati. The bike was built to compete in long-distance road races, similar to those for four-wheeled vehicles such as the Mille Miglia. The best-known national competition in the 50s was the Motogiro d’Italia and Gianni Degli Antoni from Modena riding the Gran Sport Marianna took first place in the 100 cc engine category in 1955, the year Ducati debuted in the competition. 1956 saw another two overall victories for Maoggi in the 125 cc category and again in the 100 cc category with Gandossi.
The Gran Sport Marianna also dominated another famous competition, the Milano-Taranto which took riders from north to south along the Italian peninsula. Although the seat is long and appears to be designed to accommodate a passenger, it actually enabled the rider to adopt a different position according to the conditions. If there was a fast straight ahead, to pick up speed, the rider could slide back on the saddle and duck down for better aerodynamics. It there was an uphill climb, he could shift forwards toward the fuel tank.
Twin cables for roadside repairs A key to winning such races was the ability of the rider to intervene as a mechanic whenever the need arose. The Marianna was fitted with two brake and two clutch cables. If either were to break, it was a simple operation to just replace them, stopping at the roadside for a few minutes. The broken cable could be removed and the new one inserted without needing to waste time fixing it at both ends. Riders had a small toolbox fitted to the bike and small repairs could be handled to avoid delays during the race.
1958 | 175 F3
In 1957 Ducati introduced what can be considered the forerunner of modern-day Superbikes. The 175 F3 was derived from the 175 Sport production model and won its first race in Monza at the Nations Grand Prix in 1957. Ridden by Italian rider Francesco Villa, who had worked originally as a mechanic in Ducati’s racing department, the 175 F3 would repeat this initial success at the Monza racetrack in both 1959 and 1960 during the same Grand Prix race for 175 cc motorcycles.
Long before GPS Having been built for road races, the 175 F3 was designed to make the rider’s life easier, not just faster. This is why there are four hooks fitted to the top of the fuel tank. Conveniently fixed with a strap, a road map could be placed within easy view of the rider, who would use it to navigate the long distances covered during a competition such as the Motogiro d’Italia or the MilanoTaranto. This solution was therefore an early form of GPS that helped the rider during the course of the race.
1959 | 125 GP Desmo
Designed by Fabio Taglioni, the 125 GP Desmo was the first motorcycle developed by Ducati equipped with desmodromic timing and the first racing bike the company produced with a fairing. It made its debut in 1956 and Gianni Degli Antoni rode it to victory at the Swedish Grand Prix in Hedemora that year. The following years, Ducati came close to winning the World Championship with three victories achieved by Alberto Gandossi in Belgium and Sweden and Bruno Spaggiari’s win in Italy. In 1959 a young Mike Hailwood dominated the Ulster Grand Prix and concluded the 125 cc World Championship in third place.
Bruno Spaggiari wins the Nations Grand Prix of Monza (1958). On the right, Mike Hailwood after winning with the Ducati 250 Desmo (1960).
1960 | 250 GP Desmo
In 1960 Ducati continued to enter its bikes in national and international competitions, but no longer as an official team. The twin-cylinder 250 cc Desmo was another of Fabio Taglioni’s creations and it was built especially for Mike Hailwood with customised suspension and seat. Victory at several races in the British championship earned him his legendary nickname “Mike the Bike”. Mike Hailwood was one of the world’s most talented motorbike racers of all time with a career spanning two decades. He was also one of the few men to successfully race at Grand Prix level with both bikes and cars. Such a talented rider deserved special attention and each of the 250 GP Desmo bikes he rode had a partially concaveshaped fuel tank hammered manually to accommodate the rider’s knees and enhance aerodynamics.
The Prancing Horse Despite its association with today’s Ferrari sports cars, the symbol of the black Prancing Horse has a long history which also involved Ducati. Emblem of Francesco Baracca, an ace fighter pilot during the First World War, it was used by Ducati designer Fabio Taglioni in honour of his origins. Both he and Baracca were born in Lugo, a small town less than an hour’s drive from Bologna. Baracca painted the Prancing Horse on a white cloud background on the fuselage of his fighter plane. Taglioni featured the same Prancing Horse on the 250 GP Desmo, after also using it on the 125 GP Desmo.
1971 | 500 GP Twin-cylinder
After a decade away from the racetrack as an official constructor, Ducati, whose motorcycles had taken part in races with private teams, made its world championship comeback in 1971 with the 500 GP twin-cylinder. Intent on competing with the best bikes on the international scene, Ducati developed its first racing model with a bevel gear, 90° L-twin, 500 cc engine. Ridden by Phil Read in the 500 cc World Championship class, this bike was the basis for Ducati’s first twin-cylinder road bike, the 750 GT.
1972 | 750 Imola Desmo
Fuel tank in fibreglass The bike that triumphed at the 200 Miglia di Imola in the hands of Paul Smart, in front of 75,000 spectators, was also the first Ducati to feature an unpainted vertical band on the tank, in fiberglass, thanks to which the fuel level could also be checked from the outside. In actual fact, the real reason for this technical choice was a need to make the bike as light as possible, by eliminating any superfluous accessory. There was therefore no room for a fuel level indicator or a simple reserve warning light, and the transparent band was the ideal way to monitor fuel level.
One of the most significant racing achievements for Ducati was possibly one of the least expected. In 1972, Fabio Taglioni designed the 750 Imola Desmo especially for the 200 Miglia race to be held in Imola on April 23. The bike was based on the 750 GT model, but with an L-twin cylinder engine featuring the desmodromic system. Up against the best riders of the time, including Giacomo Agostini, Ducati entrusted the bikes to British rider Paul Smart and Italy’s Bruno Spaggiari. As Imola was an anti-clockwise circuit with the majority of bends curving left, the exhausts were mounted asymmetrically on the race bike to avoid contact with the tarmac on the left-hand side. The livery chosen was a silvery shade common in the 70s. Beating the competition hands down, Paul Smart rode the 750 Imola Desmo to victory in front of a crowd of 75,000 spectators. Bruno Spaggiari finished on the second step of the podium to complete Ducati’s racing exploit.
1975 | 750 SS Desmo
Franco Uncini on the Ducati 750 SS Desmo (1975).
Encouraged by the success in the 200 Miglia di Imola, Ducati pursued development of the desmodromic system for its road and racing bikes. Introduced in 1974, the 750 SS Desmo began racing in Italian championships that were considered forerunners to Superbike competitions using bikes derived from standard production models. Both the exhausts were placed higher up to cope with racetrack bends in either direction and in 1975 Franco Uncini won the rider’s title in the 750 cc Italian championship. Two years later, Cook Neilson triumphed at the legendary Daytona 200 race on his 750 SS.
1978 | 900 SS IOM TT
1978 was another exceptional year in the history of Ducati racing. Four years after abandoning all motorsport competition following an accident in the 1974 German Formula One Grand Prix, Mike Hailwood, who had ridden a Ducati to many a victory in his early career days, made his comeback at the Isle of Man Tourist Trophy. One of the most thrilling road-racing circuits in the world, the Snaefell Mountain Course is pure adrenaline. Aboard the 900 SS, Mike Hailwood challenged a top rider of the late 70s, Phil Read on a Honda, and beat him against all odds. Such a spectacular victory was a remarkable achievement at the age of thirty-eight, twenty years after his debut in motorcycle racing.
Mike Hailwood, Tourist Trophy (1978).
The tennis ball In 1978, tear-off visors had not yet been invented, so Mike Hailwood had his own personal strategem for maintaining good visibility in such a tough and demanding road race as the Isle of Man TT. Behind the front fairing of his Ducati 900 SS, so that it was always at hand, Mike asked for a tennis ball, cut in half, to be installed. This would hold a water-soaked sponge that he could use to clean his helmet visor when necessary.
1981 | 600 TT2
1980 marked the start of a new era for Ducati racing motorcycles. The 600 TT2 was based on the Pantah 597 cc engine with a rubber belt drive and featured the trellis frame for the first time on a competition bike. Design was rational and essential, and these new features all contributed to reducing the overall weight and size of the motorcycle making it more agile and more competitive. Between 1981 and 1984, the 600 TT2 won four consecutive world titles with British rider Tony Rutter, and in 1981 and 1982 claimed victory in the Italian Championship with Massimo Broccoli and Walter Cussigh respectively.
1986 | 750 F1
An evolution of the 600 TT2, the 750 F1, named according to the category in which it would race, was the bike that brought Ducati back on top in the world of two-wheeled racing. The last of Fabio Taglioni’s racing bikes, the 750 F1 featured a new twin-cylinder engine with a larger displacement than previous models. Between 1985 and 1986, the 750 F1 was ridden to victory in national and international races. Juan Garriga dominated the 24 Horas de Montjuïc, a Spanish endurance race. Virginio Ferrari won the Italian F1 title in 1985, and Marco Lucchinelli rode to victory in the Battle of the Twins at the world-famous Daytona circuit.
Twin fuel caps Everything was done to increase speed on and off the track. The external battery was no longer fixed with screws, but with a quick-release system using guitar jacks. Furthermore, the fuel tank was equipped with two caps and inlets. This halved refuelling times during a race, giving Ducati riders a competitive edge over their rivals.
Marco Lucchinelli on the Ducati 750 F1, Daytona race track (1986).
1990 | 851 F90 Making its debut on 3 April 1988 at the first race of the first edition of the Superbike World Championship in Donington, the 851 featuring a new water-cooled, 4-valve, twin-cylinder engine designed by Gianluigi Mengoli and Massimo Bordi, immediately obtained first place with Italian rider Marco Lucchinelli. Just two years later, French rider Raymond Roche achieved a total of eight wins to take the World Superbike Riders’ title. The domination of the Ducati 851 F90 was underlined by sixteen podium finishes in 26 races and another race win for Italy’s Giancarlo Falappa who triumphed at Donington. Falappa achieved numerous race victories with the Borgo Panigale “Reds”, the last of which at Misano in 1994 aboard a 916.
Raymond Roche on the Ducati 851 F90 (1990).
1991 | 888 F91 Following in the footsteps of the 851, Ducati increased the displacement of the engine developed for the 888 F91, entrusting the bikes to American rider Doug Polen and Frenchman Raymond Roche. One of the first bikes to see significant use of carbon fibre and composite materials to minimise weight, the 888 F91 swept aside the competition winning twenty-three of twenty-six races in the 1991 Superbike World Championship. Doug Polen, who rode bike number 23, obtained the riders’ title and Ducati took the first of two consecutive manufacturers’ titles with the 888. Such clear domination in the Superbike category just three years after the Championship was launched projected Ducati to the heights of motorcycle racing.
1992 | 888 F92 The fact that Ducati secured the Superbike World Manufacturers’ title again in 1992 was an equally impressive feat, the team scoring twenty wins thanks to the talents of riders such as Doug Polen, Raymond Roche and Giancarlo Falappa. The factory racing team was headed up by Franco Uncini together with chief mechanic Franco Farnè. Doug Polen and Raymond Roche finished respectively first and second in the rider’s championship. On bike number 9, Giancarlo Falappa, known to Ducati fans as the “Lion from Jesi” due to his fearless riding style, scored four important victories for Ducati during the season. As a result, Ducati took the manufacturers’ title, having finished the season 100 points clear of the second-place constructor. Another hands-down victory.
1993 | Supermono With just sixty-seven bikes built, the Supermono was exclusively designed to compete in Italian and European Supermono championships. The single-cylinder, water-cooled, 4-valve engine had a displacement of 550 cc and with a 75 hp power output could reach speeds of up to 220 km/h. Based on a project by Pierre Terblanche, it was Claudio Domenicali, the engineer in charge of the technical department at the time, who transformed this project into reality. Packed with numerous innovative elements and clearly aerodynamic lines, the Supermono enjoyed success wherever it raced. Thanks to the extensive use of composite materials such as carbon fibre and magnesium, the Supermono weighed just 100 kg making it a racing thoroughbred. In 1993 Massimo Lucchiari won the European Supermono rider’s title and Ducati won the manufacturers’ title.
Mauro Lucchiari on the Supermono 550 (1993).
1994 | 916 F94 Already an icon of motorcycle design, the 916 soon became a symbol of Ducati’s domination of the Superbike World Championship throughout the 90s. Equipped with innovative technology, the 916 is Ducati’s most successful competition motorcycle of all time, winning four manufacturers’ titles in 1994, 1995, 1998 and 1999. Riding the 916 to victory at circuits all over the world, Britain’s Carl Fogarty, nicknamed “The King”, won four Riders’ Championships and for a long period of time was the most successful rider in SBK history. Known to many as “Foggy”, Carl will always be part of the Ducati family as is his number 2 bike, as legendary as the man himself.
On the left Carl Fogarty, victorious on his Ducati 916 (1994).
1996 | 916 F96 Troy Corser, the first in a series of Australian riders to leave their mark on Ducati, also rode with the number 2. In 1996, Corser powered the 916 F96 to another manufacturers’ title and also clinched the riders’ title. Team-mate John Kocinski also scored five race wins and a handful of podium finishes that season to consolidate the supremacy of the Ducati 916. The 916 F96 was virtually the same bike as the model used in 1994 and 1995. Since such a high degree of perfection had been achieved by designer Massimo Tamburini in terms of technical features and design, there was little to change. So with its carbon fibre twin exhausts tucked under the seat, powerful braking system and single-sided swingarm, the 916 F96 wrote another chapter in Ducati’s racing saga.
Troy Corser on the Ducati 916 (1996).
2001 | 996 F01 Having already secured two wins in the previous season with Ducati, Australian rookie Troy Bayliss rode the 996 F01 to a double title in 2001. He won the Superbike World Championship Riders’ trophy with six victories and nine podium finishes and together with teammate Rubén Xaus earned the points to bring Ducati another manufacturers’ title for the fourth year in succession. This was the last season for the 996 R equipped with the Testastretta engine, which had replaced the Desmoquattro. Riding with the same number 21 in subsequent seasons, Troy Bayliss would add another two riders’ championship titles to his collection in 2006 and 2008, making him the second most successful SBK rider of all time on a Ducati.
Commemorative racing livery In 2001 Ducati celebrated its 75th anniversary. At the last race of the season, on September 30 in Imola, Ducati decided to commemorate one of its most significant victories in the history of motorcycling. Troy Bayliss already had the title in his pocket, leading the rankings since May. The special racing livery chosen for the 996 F01 recalled the colours of Paul Smart’s 750 Imola Desmo that had won the 200 Miglia di Imola preceding another Ducati rider, Bruno Spaggiari, on the same circuit nearly thirty years beforehand, in 1972.
On the right Troy Bayliss in action on the 996 F01; Imola race track (2001).
2003 | 999 F03 After a decade of Superbike World Championship wins for the 916 and the 996, its direct descendant, Ducati boldly launched the 999 and was rewarded at the first race of the season, taking all three podium slots with Neil Hodgson, Rubén Xaus and James Toseland. Aboard his number 100 bike, British rider Neil Hodgson won 11 of the first twelve races and went on to claim the 2003 Superbike World Championship Riders’ title. The 999 dominated the entire season and Hodgson took another two wins and seven second-place finishes. At the end of 2003, he decided to have a red line drawn through the double zero of his bike number turning the 100 into the number 1 of a champion.
Neil Hodgson on the Ducati 999 F03 (Assen, 2003).
2003 | Desmosedici GP03
First victory of Loris Capirossi on the Desmosedici GP03; Catalunya race track, Barcellona (2003).
Following a change in regulations that gave rise to the new MotoGP class in 2002, Ducati announced its comeback to the highest category of Grand Prix motorcycle racing after a thirty-year absence.
Entrusted to Loris Capirossi and Troy Bayliss, the Desmosedici designed by Filippo Preziosi was a powerful bike with a water-cooled, 4-stroke engine with Desmodromic valve system. Immediately competitive, Loris rode his number 65 bike to a podium finish after obtaining a front-row start at the first race of the season at the Suzuka circuit in Japan.
However, the raw power of the bike made it necessary to adopt solutions which would ensure racing reliability.
At the Catalunya circuit during the sixth round of the 2003 season, Loris took the chequered flag to score Ducati’s first-ever MotoGP win. Thanks also to the results of his Australian teammate Bayliss, Ducati obtained an honourable second place in the Constructors’ Championship, in its first season in MotoGP.
A race win and eight podium finishes during the first season demonstrated the competitive level of the Desmosedici GP03.
The motorcycle was prone to overheating, so the perforated fairing surrounding the number 65 at the front of the bike helped keep temperatures down to an acceptable level during an on-average forty-five minute race, especially in the forty degree heat at the Catalunya circuit on 15 June 2003. This stratagem soon disappeared, but is clear to see on the bike exhibited, ridden by Loris Capirossi.
2007 | Desmosedici GP07
Casey Stoner, Grand Prix of Valencia (2007).
Just four years after its comeback to Grand Prix racing, Ducati completed the remarkable feat of winning both the Manufacturers’ and Riders’ title. MotoGP reduced displacement to 800 cc in 2007 and Ducati responded with a new design for its Desmosedici. New design, new rider: young Australian Casey Stoner joined Loris Capirossi to complete the team with the Desmosedici GP07. In his first season with Ducati Corse, Casey won ten races and scored four podium finishes, hauling in the points to take the 2007 Riders’ title and earning Ducati a first MotoGP Manufacturers’ Championship title with a significant advantage over the second-placed constructor. Loris added another win to his five-year career with Ducati in the MotoGP Championship at the Japanese Grand Prix.
Patriotic barcode Throughout the season, the Desmosedici GP07 sported a dazzling livery with a barcode printed in black and white along the side of the bright red fairing. At the season’s last race in Valencia held on the first weekend in November, the livery was changed to celebrate Ducati’s victory in the Manufacturers’ championship. As a tribute to Italy, the barcode on bike number 27 took on the colours of the Italian flag and the words “Made in Italy” were added beneath it. Casey finished second in Valencia, but crowned 2007 with a title for himself and one for Ducati.
2008 | 1098 F08 Following on from Ducati’s successful MotoGP season, the 2008 Superbike World Championship kicked off with a new motorcycle from the Borgo Panigale factory, the 1098 F08. A first season for the new superbike, and the last season for Troy Bayliss. Troy may have been thirty-nine years old but he was hungry for another title. This is exactly what he achieved together with a team that brought Ducati back to the top of the championship after a year where the glory had moved to the MotoGP squad. Eleven wins gave him the Riders’ Championship with a massive advantage over his closest rival.
The winning equation Troy Bayliss accomplished what no other Ducati rider had done before in the Superbike World Championship by winning three Riders’ titles on three different bikes built by Ducati, the 996 R, the 999 and the 1098. And the way he dominated his last full season for Ducati was confirmation of how the Australian rider wound up a glorious career with fifty-two wins overall. To celebrate his third title, Troy decided to teach the world a little mathematics, adding a plus sign between the 2 and the 1 of his bike number to make it 2+1 equals “3 times a champion”. And to wrap up the legend, he signed the fuel tank of the bike after the last race.
Troy Bayliss, Magny Cours race track (2008).
2010 | Desmosedici GP10 For the 2010 MotoGP season Ducati introduced the Desmosedici GP10. The bike was built around the engine, a load-bearing part of the chassis, and sported a carbon fibre monocoque frame. Clearly different from all the other bikes on the grid, it stood out even more when a pair of innovative lateral winglets were added half way through the season. On board his number 69 bike, Nicky Hayden took a brilliant third place at the Aragón Grand Prix, concluding the season in seventh place overall with a total of 163 points. After achieving six podium finishes and winning three races, Casey Stoner made it his last season as an official Ducati rider. This brought his tally with the team to a record twenty-three wins in just four years.
2011 | 1198 F11 2011 was yet another triumphant year for Ducati in the Superbike World Championship when Spaniard Carlos Checa added his name to the history books, becoming the first Spanish rider to win the Riders’ title. Riding the 1198 F11, Carlos scored a total of fifteen race wins, awarding Ducati yet another Manufacturers’ title, its seventeenth since the championship began. Carlos was also responsible for securing Ducati’s three hundredth race win in SBK.
Carlos Checa victorious on the Ducati 1198 F11; Assen race track (2011).
This book has been created thanks to the work and commitment of the following:
Editorial Director P. Cianetti
Photography Supervisor S. Pavoni
Project Manager F. Rossetti
Colour and Visual Consultant Ritoccando S.r.l.
Art Director P. Bosi
Product Content Supervisors A. Ferraresi, G. Malagoli
Main Photographer G. De Sandre
Historical Content Supervisor L. Lodi
Contributing Photographers Archivio Motociclismo, Archivio Ducati, A. Alai, L. Capuano, M. Mannoni, Milagro, PhotoZAC, S. Bramante, W. Breveglieri
Chief Editor Modis Consultant, F. Novellino Editing L. Miniati, K. Hantout (con’vince)
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© Fondazione Ducati - The organisation that passionately and proudly dedicates itself to Ducati not-for-profit activity. © 2019 Skira editore, Milan All rights reserved Printed in September 2019 by Skira editore, Milan Printed in Italy ISBN: 978-88-572-4079-4 Distributed in USA, Canada, Central & South America by ARTBOOK | D.A.P. 75 Broad Street Suite 630, New York, NY 10004, USA. Distributed elsewhere in the world by Thames and Hudson Ltd., 181A High Holborn, London WC1V 7QX, United Kingdom. www.skira.net