Who? Ducati Motor Holding S.P.A
Where? Global HQ can be found in Borgo Panigale, in Italy’s Bologna province where parent Lamborghini, itself part of the Audi group, can be found. Ducati UK Ltd. is based at Silverstone’s technology park with a national dealer network providing sales and support.
What’s the story? Having first cut their manufacturing teeth in radio components the Ducati brothers first signalled their ambitions in the biking world with a two-speed four stroke engine, dubbed the Cucciolo. Launched in 1946 this was designed to be attached to standard bicycle and by 1950 had sold 200,000 units, prompting its use within Ducati’s first production motorcycle. The mid-50s saw the arrival of legendary Fabio Taglioni, who remained Ducati’s chief designer and technical director until 1989. It was Taglioni who championed the desmodromic valve system – removing the need for springs; this is still in use in a more refined form today. Surviving the collapse of the Italian motorcycle industry only through state intervention and enduring a succession of ownership changes, Ducati nonetheless remains a prized marque with a reputation for producing particularly stylish and innovative motorcycles.
Key Models? 1964’s single-cylindered Mach 1, with a top speed of 100mph, proved to be the fastest 250cc model on the market, earning in its race form as a TT win for Mike Rogers. The Monster, introduced in 1993, was another great landmark, the naked V-twin becoming Ducati’s best ever selling model. It was swiftly followed by 1994’s 916, universally acclaimed not just for its sheer beauty but mighty performance and handling, which saw the bike notching up an impressive nine SBK titles. Then, of course the Ducati 999, which superceded the 916 and later 998, deserves its place in history. Named Motorcycle News’ Bike of the Year in 2002, the triple nine was another SBK and retail success.
Anyone I know ride ‘em? When it comes to actors, they don’t come any bigger than Tom Cruise – the Mission Impossible star likes a big ‘ol Ducati too. Pirates of the Caribbean’s Will Turner, aka Orlando Bloom, is also another fan of the prestigious Ducati marque.
Coolest customs? American builder Marco Artizzu’s naked Supersport 600, with leather seat, super knobbly tyres and bedecked in Racing Green is pretty special as you can see in this video. You want radical? OK, how about England’s own master Roger Allmond and his Techno Bobber, built around a Monster sourced 996 engine, fork legs and Brembo brake calipers? Shinya Kumura’s retro Café Racer Ducati 999S – (commissioned by some chap called Brad Pitt) – which is also very tasty in its own distinctive way.
And what about Insurance? If you’ve customised your Ducati, don’t forget to talk to our motorcycle specialists about your insurance needs, call today on 1800 818 751 and we will find the right insurance package to suit you.