10 Incredible Facts About Ducati You Probably Didn’t Know - SUV VEHICLE

10 Incredible Facts About Ducati You Probably Didn’t Know

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Every time we have to write something about Ducati, words flow out of our fingers like magic. There’s just so much to talk about. This brand has made a mark on the automotive world that few can come close to, and its motorcycles are so revolutionary and gorgeous, that a lot of bikers would love to own a Ducati at least once in their lives.



Heck, Ducati motorcycles are easily among the most desired motorcycles in the automotive world, whether you are a track day junkie in Florida or a student in Russia. Count a writer from Goa in the same crowd.

The internet is already filled with tons of information and videos about Ducati motorcycles. You’ll find thousands of Instagram Reels with Panigales in them and YouTube videos of riders letting their Ducatis sing in the canyons or the racetrack. And every automotive publication is eager to get their hands on Ducati motorcycles. But what do you know about the Ducati brand? Here are ten facts about Ducati that you probably didn’t know.

In order to give you the most up-to-date and accurate information possible, the data used to compile this article was sourced from Ducati and other authoritative sources, including Motorcycle.com, and Motorcyclespecs.co.za.

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10 Ducati Started By Making Radios

SSR Ducati Factory
SSR Ducati 

Ducati, the largest motorcycle manufacturer in Italy, didn’t actually start out with motorcycles. Ducati was founded in 1926 by Cavalieri Ducati and his three sons, Adriano, Bruno, and Antonio. Back then, Ducati was known as Societa Scientifica Radiobrevetti Ducati or SSR Ducati, and it produced radio components like condensers and vacuum tubes.

The brand was so successful that it even established one of the most cutting-edge factories in the world in Borgo Panigale in 1935. The factory was forced to produce radios for the Axis forces but was destroyed on 12 October 1944. As a part of Operation Pancake, 40 Consolidated B-24 Liberators bombed the factory for 15 minutes with over 750 bombs, marking the end of the SSR Ducati.

9 Ducati Was One Of The Good Guys During WWII

Ducati Panigale V4 Speciale Closeup
Ducati

Just because Hitler could force Ducati to produce radios, he couldn’t force Ducati to turn on his side. During WWII, German soldiers would force Italian soldiers back to the frontlines, but Ducati would take in soldiers who escaped and give them uniforms and badges with recruitment dates a year before they arrived. Good Guy Ducat.

8 The First Two-Wheeled Ducati Was A Bicycle With A Motor

1948 Ducati Cucciolo 48cc
Wikimedia Commons

In 1944, Aldo Farnelli’s SIATA developed a small clip-on pushrod engine for bicycles, which was offered to the public a month after Italy’s liberation. This little thumper was called Cucciolo, Italian for a puppy, due to its sound. Ducati saw potential here and started selling complete motorized bicycle units in collaboration with SIATA; together, they sold over 200,000 Cucciolos in 1950.

Ducati Cucciolo Specifications

Displacement

48 cc

Engine Type

Four-stroke, pushrod, single-cylinder, clip-on

Max Power

1.5 HP @ 5,500 RPM

Top Seed

31.06 MPH

Weight

98 pounds

Fuel Consumption

200 MPG

(Specs sourced from Ducati)

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7 Ducati Races On Sunday, Sells On Monday

World Ducati Week
Ducati

Ducati may have joined the motorcycle world five decades after its competitors like Triumph, Harley-Davidson, Honda, etc., but it only took a year to get into the racing world after its inception. Ducati started trending on speed records in 1951 with the Cucciolo. And in 1954, Fabio Taglioni even founded a road-racing program with 100 Gran Sport models.

Since then, Ducati has been an ardent follower of the “win on Sunday, sell on Monday” model, and it typically spends 10% of its annual revenue on competition racing. This has worked out in favor of Ducati — for the most part — as Ducati has become one of the formidable forces in motorcycle racing, winning over 400 World Superbike Championship and MotoGP races!

6 Today, It’s The Only Brand That Uses Desmodromic Valves

Ducati Desmosedici Stradale V4
Ducati 

Ducati is wrongfully credited for inventing the Desmodromic valves, but that’s because it’s the only brand that still uses this old-school tech. The Desmo system was invented by Gustav Mees in 1896 and was used in everything from boats to Mercedes race cars for many years, since it fixed one major issue with engines at the time: valve float.

But Ducati only started using Desmodromic valves in 1956, when Fabio Taglioni brought this feature to the 125 Grand Prix motorcycle, creating the Ducati 125 Desmo. Since then, the Desmodromic valves have been a trademark of Ducati motorcycles. Modern springs are super reliable and Desmo valves are largely obsolete, but it’s commendable that Ducati still sticks to the tradition.

Notable Ducati Engines With Desmodromic Valves

  • Superquadro Mono
  • Desmodue
  • Testastretta 11°
  • Desmoquattro
  • Superquadro
  • Desmosedici Stradale

5 All Ducati Motorcycles Are Built By Hand

Ducati 916
Ducati 

Ducati’s motorcycles are known for being expensive, but why is that? Part of the reason is that they are completely hand-built motorcycles. Unlike other manufacturers that use robots for assembly, Ducati uses skilled workers. A person is responsible for each stage of the assembly process, and they check and sign when each stage is completed.

Despite being hand-built, Ducati does not take months to assemble a single motorcycle. The process is quick and efficient, and Ducati can produce a single Monster every 88 minutes. No wonder the Monster has become their bread and butter, selling over 300,000 units globally.

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4 Ducati Is Known For Cutting-Edge Motorcycles

red 2022 Ducati Superleggera V4
Ducati

Motorcycles have come a long way, and all superbikes that are produced now are engineering marvels. Even the slowest superbike is loaded with more features than you’ll ever use, but Ducati sits at the upper end of the spectrum here. Ducati’s superbikes are loaded with tech and features, unlike its rivals.

Notable Ducati Innovations

  • The Ducati 1098 was the first bike to use an IMU
  • The Ducati Panigale V4 R was the first road-production bike to use aerodynamic winglets
  • The Ducati 1199 Panigale was the first bike to use a monocoque frame
  • Ducati produces superbikes with mind-boggling power-to-weight ratios, like the Superleggera 1299 and Superleggera V4

Ducati Superleggera V4 Specifications

Engine Type

Liquid-cooled Desmosedici Stradale V4 with a counter-rotating crank

Displacement

998cc

Max Power

234 HP @ 15,500 RPM with full racing exhaust

Max Torque

87.7 LB-FT @ 11,750 RPM with full racing exhaust

Frame Type

Carbon fiber front frame

Dry Weight

335.5 pounds with racing kit

Top Speed

200 MPH (expected)

Power to Weight Ratio

0.69 HP/LB

(Specs sourced from Ducati and Motorcycenews.com)

3 But We Love Ducatis For The Design

Ducati 916 and Panigale 30 Anniversario 916
Ducati

Take a look at a biker’s laptop and, chances are, you’ll find a Ducati motorcycle gracing their home screens. That’s not because Ducati makes cutting-edge motorcycles, but because it makes gorgeous motorcycles. Ducati’s motorcycles are stunning, even the most basic ones, like the Scrambler!

Ducati’s design philosophy is essentially Italian: sinuous, flexible, and seductive. You look at a Ducati and you know it’s Italian. In fact, Ducati is even credited for making the most beautiful bike ever, the Ducati 916, which was designed by Massimo Tamburini. This motorcycle has become a cultural icon!

Ducati 916 Design Highlights

  • Tamburini rode the prototypes in the rain to study the water streaks on the fairings
  • The motorcycle featured gorgeous under-seat exhausts that improved aerodynamics and gave the 916 a cleaner look
  • The single-sided swingarm facilitated quick tire changes during endurance races
  • The twin headlights were the most difficult part of the design process, according to Tamburini

2 Ducatis Are Not Two-Wheeled Ferraris

Ducati Streetfighter V4 Lamborghini
Ducati

Many people consider Ducatis to be the two-wheeled equivalent of Ferraris, but that’s hardly the case. Just because they are both red, is that it? You’ll be surprised to know that Ducati, with some of its strikingly aggressive designs, like the Diavel, is more like a two-wheeled equivalent of Lamborghini because the latter owns the former.

That’s right. On 19 July 2012, Audi’s subsidiary, Lamborghini, acquired 100% shares of the Ducati Motor Holding S.p.A for a whopping $909 million. Funnily, Audi is owned by Volkswagen, so if you own a Ducati, you are essentially driving an Italian, two-wheeled Volkswagen. Reliability issues suddenly start making a lot of sense, don’t they?

Ducati Ownership Over The Years

  • 1926 to 1950: Ducati family
  • 1950 to 1967: Government Istituto per la Ricostruzione Industriale (IRI) management
  • 1967 to 1978: Government EFIM management
  • 1978 to 1985: VM Group
  • 1985 to 1996: Cagiva Group
  • 1996 to 2005: Texas Pacific Group — yes, Ducati was American for a while
  • 2005 to 2008: Investindustrial Holdings S.p.A.
  • 2008 to 2012: Performance Motorcycles S.p.A.
  • 2012 to present: Automobili Lamborghini S.p.A., owned by Audi AG

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1 Owning A Ducati Is Unlike Anything Else

2024 Ducati Multistrada V4 Grand Tour Action
Ducati

Owning a Ducati motorcycle is unlike owning any other motorcycle. Ducatis have a character to them, and no matter how refined or high-tech they get, they ride like they have a soul. At the same time, Ducati motorcycles deserve a lot of attention and love. Owning a Ducati is an engaging experience that makes you feel more connected with your passion.

But there’s a downside, too. Ducati’s motorcycles are expensive to buy and run. Yes, Ducati motorcycles are top-of-the-line motorcycles with advanced technology and components, but their service and parts costs will still make you scratch your head in disbelief. There are plenty of Reddit threads of Ducati owners complaining about $1,000+ service bills. But hey, that’s part of owning your dream bike, isn’t it?

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