Ducati Motor Holding is a manufacturer Italy N of motor bike based with Bologna and very famous for its twin-cylinders out of V with 90° or L and its distribution Desmodromique. Its notoriety was in particular built after multiple victories the competition motor bike proof.
HistoryOriginating in the Sardinia, the Ducati family, calling upon investors, with Bologna the " founds; Societa Radio operator Brevetti Ducati" , whose objective was the production of components for the improvement of the transmission by radio. Field which, in 1926, represented the future.
Starting from this date, the Ducati company will not have of cease to increase and diversify its activités : it will produce calculating machines, apparatuses of Photo, and radios.
But the Second world war will leave its marks: in 1943, the factory of Borgo Panigale, industrial suburbs of Bologna, is invaded by the German Armée and, in 1944, it will be completely destroyed by the bombs. One needed much courage to the Ducati brothers to start again their industrial activity. For that, they started to produce, starting from 1946, an auxiliary engine, the " Cucciolo" , intended to adapt on the framework of Bicycle S, of which they had repurchased the license with SIATA. But, although the machine was well adapted to the needs for the time, the financial position of the Ducati family had become catastrophic, so that they last, to continue their activity, to call upon a State aid.
The assistance is granted, but under control of a syndic. Despite everything, and whereas the " Cucciolo" was a certain success, the company is declared in bankruptcy in 1949. The Ducati brothers then leave definitively the company.
In 1996, the Cagiva group is in prey with serious money worries. It decides to separate from Ducati, repurchased by the bottom of American investment Texas Pacific Group.
In 2006, the funds of Italian investment Invest Industrial repurchases 100 % of the shares of Ducati with TPG. The mark thus becomes again completely Italian.
ProductionEven if, in Italy, State is not always synonymous with moroseness, the production starting from 1949 is confined in utility machines lower than 100 cm ³ - auto-cycles, scooters - until 1954, year of the arrival of Fabio Taglioni, which will give to the Ducati models a more sporting orientation, with more important Cylindrée S, but the series production remains still relatively traditional.
However, in 1963, under the impulse of the Berliner brothers, importers of the mark to the USA, eager to be able to answer an invitation to tender of the police force, was drawn the model Apollo, an enormous motor bike of 270 kg dry, equipped with a 4 cylinder motor in “V” with 90° of 1.270 cm ³. Its weight, the absence of tires able to box its power of 80ch combined with its plumpness made fall through the project: Only two specimens were manufactured, of which only one existing with the Ducati museum. In 1964, the factory concentrates again on the one-cylinder ones, without never forgetting the performance, which will grow at the same time as the Cylindrée: 250,350 then 450 cm ³. Eager to diversify its production while preserving, for reasons of profitability, the same bases engine, Ducati will launch the series of the “scrambler”, machines extremely snuffed in the USA where they are used in the ways, but not really adapted to the whole ground.
In 1970 appear the last evolutions of the monos Ducati cylinders, equipped way “racing” with preparings polyester, orders moved back and handlebars “bracelets”. Models which knew a great success thanks to their price ratio/performance.
At the end of the years 1960, the motor bike knew in Europe an important renewed interest, which will involve the appearance of motor bikes of strong cubic capacity. Not to be in remainder, the Ducati factory implemented, thanks to Fabio Taglioni, one 750 cm ³ twin-cylinder in “V”, the 750GT which knew one big hit. It should be said that, if it were slightly less less powerful than competition, it was however much more making safe, since its framework, drawn by Colin Seeley, resulted directly from the competition.
In 1975, probably eager to pack its production and, the series of one-cylinder being done growing old, to continue to offer a production varied to the customers, Ducati put in production of the parallel twin-cylinders of 350 and 500 cm ³ in various versions: GTL, GTV and Desmo. Although the drawing was entrusted to the Giugiaro carriage-builder by it, the least which one can say, it is that the esthetics of this model was not a success. The massive aspect of the engine did not certainly improve the things.
Moreover, the performances suggested, compared to the weight were more than poor. Very distant, in any case, of it to what the customers of the mark were accustomed with the one-cylinder ones.
In spite of an esthetic recasting, these models never met success. Starting from 1975, the Cylindrée of the twin-cylinders in “V” increases to 900 cm ³ and will give rise to superb the 900 S, aesthetically so close to the motor bikes of competition, then with MHR, in homage to the victory Mike Hailwood with the Tourist Trophy.
Always in the search of a solution to present motor bikes of cubic capacity lower than its customers, Ducati present at the Living room of Turin 1977 one 500 “Pantah” equipped with a twin-cylinder in “V” which did not have, apart from its architecture, no common point with its elder, since the camshafts are pulled by notched belts. This engine, drawn by Fabio Taglioni, will have a great descent, in particular in 1985, with the 750 F1, on the engine basis of 600 cm ³ rebored.
In 1986, the Castiglione brothers had taken possession of the factory and started to propose a new model drawn by Massimo Tamburini, defector of Cagiva: The Paso, in memory of Renzo Pasolini, controls tragically disappeared. Paso, always on the basis of engine “Pantah” was the first motor bike of tourism to the engine entirely enclosed under its careenage. She was proposed initially in 750 cm ³, then into 900 with liquid cooling.
These “Pantah”, although they brought many victories to Ducati in competition, started to acknowledge their limits. This is why was implemented the “DesmoQuattro” (748, 916,996), drawn by Massimo Bordi, which was always a twin-cylinder in “V” with 90° with the ACT pulled by belt, but having four valves per cylinder, cooled by water and with the food ensured by an electronic injection. Called “Testastretta” starting from model 998 because of its less bulky cylinder heads, it constitutes a major evolution compared to the previous models.
It will equip all the model with the family “Superbike”, the 851 and 888, the 916 and its evolutions (748, 996 and 998), the 749 and 999, until the last 1098. These models leave all of the deep traces in the history of Ducati as in the memory of the ducatists.
In 2003, Ducati innovates by presenting Multistrada. The manufacturer launches out on the market of the large trails to primarily road vocation. It uses the engine of the 1000 S. The standard version is joined in 2005 by a version S, equipped with Öhlins suspensions of better invoice. For 2007, the engine profits from an increase of 4 mm of boring, the cubic capacity passing to 1100 cm ³. On the stand of the living room of Milan 2005, Ducati presents a machine derived from Multistrada: Hypermotard. The reactions of the public are encouraging and the firm decides to put in production this motor bike. It is presented to the press in 2007. It takes again the twin-cylinder of 1100 cm ³ to two valves per cylinder. Machine voluntarily turned towards a use only leisure, the practical aspects were completely forgotten.
Surfant on the néo-retro wave, Ducati presents in 2003 the new range Sport Classic. It is composed initially of three models: the Paul Smart, the Sport and the WP. They have as a mechanical base one 1000 S, but aesthetically point out machines which marked the history of Ducati. For 2007, the 1000 Sport is supplemented by two variations: a version with a place passenger (biposto) and a version adopting the careenage head of fork of the Paul Smart (S). In 2004, Ducati created sensation by announcing its intention to launch the production of the Desmosedici RR - Racing Replica - the first adaptation to the road of a machine of MotoGP. It is presented in June 2006 Ducati. It causes enthusiastic reactions in the press motorcylcist, as well because of his esthetics very worked as because of its technology, directly derived from the motor bikes running in the reine. category Produced in small series of 400 specimens per annum as from July 2007, this model will be delivered starting from the end of the year 2007. But to have the privilege to control the counterpart of the motor bike of competition of Loris Capirossi or Sete Giberneau, 55.000 € should be spent. For this price there, Ducati offers a kit racing (exhaust, black box, crutch of workshop and cover), three years of guarantee with free maintenance, the choice between two decorations. The owners of 999R have priority for its reservation.
At the end of 2006, the range Supersport, however launched 1973, is removed, the factory preferring to concentrate its efforts on the range Sport Classic.
CompetitionFirst Ducati engaged in competition were not it in circuit, but with the Turn of Italy where one of them, a 90 cm ³ with ACT (Camshaft at the head) which gained its category in 1954 (???) with the hands of Giovanni Degli Antoni.
It is starting from 1958 that Fabio Taglioni will start to implement what will become the trademark of Ducati: the Positive distribution , with a one-cylinder double ACT of 200 cm ³ then a Driving equipped with three camshafts: 2 for the opening of the valves and 1 for their recall. This type of Moteur will make Ducati almost invincible on the circuits during the year 1958.
In 1971, the appearance in production of the twin-cylinder in “V” with 90° will give the opportunity to Ducati to reach the competition a level which she had never known with, initially, one 500 of Large-Price which one saw only on rare occasions, mainly to the hands of the British pilot Phil Read.
It is in 1978 that one of most beautiful pages of Ducati in competition will be written the: after having forsaken the motor bike for the car, Mike Hailwood, under the instigation of the British importer made her return on two wheels on most difficult of the circuits which ever existed: the famous " Tourist Trophy " . Insane, foolish bet that, however, large Mike Hailwood will gain with the astonishment of all with the handlebar of Ducati twin-cylinder of 900 cm ³.
The Italian factory continues to record many successes formulates 600/TT2 and 750/TT1 of it, with engines derived from the " Pantah" , but it is with the appearance of the engines " DesmoQuattro" what will begin the triumphal walk of Ducati in Mondial championship of Superbike, with the pilot titles of Raymond Roche in 1990, Doug Polen in 1991, 1992, 1993 and 1996, Carl Fogarty in 1995, 1998 and 1999, Troy Bayliss in 2001 and 2006, Neil Hodgson in 2003, James Toseland in 2004.
One of the most impressive services of Ducati will remain certainly its arrival in MotoGP (replacing the old GP of 500) in 2003. Category extremely disputed between Honda, Yamaha, Kawasaki, Suzuki and Aprilia to which Ducati decides to be attacked with a very new motor bike: the “Desmosedici” with 4 cylinders in “L” with which Loris Capirossi, at the time of the first year of participation of the mark in this level, is allowed to gain a Large-Price and to carry the mark to the second position of the championship manufacturer. With the lowering of the cubic capacity to 800 Cm3, Ducati inserts the nail with a news desmosedici which impresses by its top speed. One magific season old author, Casey Stoner carries the championship of the world 2007 with the handlebar of his Ducati.
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