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Dream Classics:
Ducati Launches 3 new Concept Bikes in Tokyo

Inspired by the Sportbikes of the 1970s,
Ducati’s Three Sport Classic Prototypes are the Stuff of Enthusiast’s Dreams

Tokyo Motor Show, Japan, Oct. 22st 2003: “Our dreams live in the legends of racing, in riders like Paul Smart who helped us to write some of the most wonderful pages in the history of world motorcycling. Our dreams live in the simple and classic lines, the rich details and the colours of those trail-blazing Ducati sport bikes of the 1970s.

The three bikes that we are unveiling today represent the perfect mixture of winning technology - always a Ducati hallmark - with the timeless beauty of Ducati Design. PaulSmart, Sport, GT - three motorcycles designed to wet the appetites of enthusiasts everywhere, giving our Ducatisti, we hope, something to dream about. The bikes you see today are one-off items. They are not for sale. And yet, at Ducati we know that dreams sometimes come true.”

It was with these words that Federico Minoli, President of Ducati Motor Holding, presented the company’s three concept bikes to the press at the opening of this year’s Tokyo Motorshow.Whilst all three machines embody the same essential concept, timeless Ducati design linked with high performance, the individual designs, named PaulSmart 1000, GT 1000 and Sport 1000 offer three particular expressions of Ducati heritage while utilizing the latest and most innovative Ducati technologies.

The Paul Smart 1000 is inspired by the 750 Imola on which Paul Smart rode to victory in the historic 200 Miles of Imola in 1972. The Paul Smart 1000 bike brings the spirit of its predecessor back to life with levels of performance able that surpass the expectations of today’s most demanding two-wheel enthusiasts.

The GT 1000 is a sport bike eminently suitable for everyday use, striking a perfect balance between the comfort of a two-seater and the performance of a two-cylinder Desmo. Tradition and stylish elegance are merged seamlessly in this machine, made even more interesting by high-spec componentry and by the handling and safety typical of present-day Ducati motorcycles.

The Sport 1000 is a gutsy “Café Racer”. Ducati through-and-through, with a coat of bold Ducati yellow paint, the Sport delivers timeless good looks and excitement that fans and enthusiasts expect of all Ducati sport bikes.

All three bikes are equipped with the Desmo 1000 DS engine and cut a stylish figure with the unmistakable tubular tressle frame, characteristic of models made in Borgo Panigale. State-of-the-art engineering solutions make these three machines benchmarks in terms of technology, design and performance. Clearly, Japan is an important launch scenario for the SportClassic family. It is also a significant market, where the Ducati marque enjoys popularity and is seen as a genuine status symbol. The Japanese have always had an eye for exclusive products – witnessed by the success of the MH900 in this market.

Today, Ducati has a market share of 4.65% (3,857 bikes sold in 2002), in Japan achieved through an increase in growth of 9.8% over the previous year, when a remarkable 50.9% growth was recorded. A further increase is forecast for 2003, and indeed the last few months have seen a string of positive signals arriving from this market, allowing Ducati to close out the second quarter in style, with overall sales for 2003 up 4.3% on the same period in 2002 and registering an all-time record for Ducati in a single quarter.

Also important is the imminent addition of two new Ducati Stores in Japan, which should be open by the end of the year, bringing the number of single-brand outlets to 9. In total, Japan has 67 points of sale around the country. This progress has been achieved thanks to the launch of new and dynamic products in the Japanese market, like the Multistrada, which both here and in many other countries — Italy included — is enjoying an incredible level of success, even beyond Ducati’s expectations (sales of 3,000 machines forecast for the first half, with around 6,000 built to meet demand for the rest of the year). The 999 and 749 have also seen successful launches in 2003.

Tremendous momentum has been generated by superb race track performances by the ‘Rosse di Borgo Panigale’, culminating in the rider’s title (Neil Hodgson on a 999) and the constructor’s title (won in 2003 Superbike). In MotoGP, the first year of involvement for Ducati in the series, a new bike, the Desmosedici, ridden by Loris Capirossi and Troy Bayliss, was the only real challenger to the Honda.

Also on view at the Tokyo Motorshow are all the important new bikes, accessories and apparel seen in Milan at the EICMA event. The Japanese market will see for the first time the ultra-new ST machines, the Sport Touring family (completely revamped and equipped with the new Desmo3 three-valve power unit), the new 999R and 749R (absolute gems of racing technology deriving directly from experience gained on the race track), the 749s, and the new Monster 620 (new 6-speed gearbox and new APTC clutch).

Added bonus! Janelle and Ducati 999S FastDates.com Screensavers
Click on the links to these pics and then save to your computer hard drive.
You'll find more pictures and a profile feature of Janelle in Meet the Models and in Members Corner.
1). Janelle's Curb Appeal   
2). Janelle on the 999S  
3). Janelle - Decissions!

Jannelle tests the 999S: Page One

Return to • New Ducati BikesPit Lane News

Order Your
Ducati Sport Classic Now
March 1, 2004 - Since the launch of the Ducati SportClassic family of concept bikes at the Tokyo Motorshow in October 2003, and their subsequent exhibition at key motorcycle shows around the world, they have received an enthusiastic response that has been nothing short of incredible.
Ducati has always made an effort to include our enthusiasts opinions in our decision making process, so in response to overwhelming requests Ducati has decided to put all three SportClassic models into production.

Therefore, starting March 1st 2004 and until September 1st 2004, Ducati dealers worldwide will accept advanced reservations for the first production of all three Sport Classic models. By reserving early these customers will be first in line to receive their bikes, and will benefit from favorable introductory pricing.
Reservations can be made only at your authorized Ducati dealer. Those who reserve a Sport Classic before September 1st 2004 will also have the added benefit of access to a special section of ducati.com that has “insider” details about the development process and interviews with the Ducati Sport Classic development team. Additionally they will receive special mailings from Ducati that include Sport Classic memorabilia and offers.

"I am extremely impressed with the outpouring of enthusiasm and support that Ducatisti have shown for the Sport Classics," said Federico Minoli, President and CEO of Ducati. "We have always believed in our fans instincts and opinions, and now, thanks to their passion, their and our dreams are becoming a reality."

Click here for more information on the SportClassic motorcycles.

Ducati's new 999 Superbike
Technical changes,
factory rider's impressions
Engineer Andrea Forni, head of the Ducati Vehicle Testing Department summarizes the fundamentals behind the Ducati 999's improved "dynamic response".

How would you describe the dynamic characteristics of the Ducati 999 compared to the traditional handling of the models produced by Ducati?
"The dynamic response of the Ducati 999 reflects the tradition of the Bolognese motorcycling manufacturer in the field of sports motorcycles, and moreover improves some of the features that have won the fame of our
Superbikes over the decades.
First of all, the directional stability is at peak levels, giving the rider the reassurance of solid, safe steering,
even in the most critical sport riding conditions on the track or road.
On uneven stretches taken at top speed, around curves on the track or highway at full momentum and down hills at maximum throttle, the front of the bike follows the direction decided by the rider, with exemplary
This without triggering steering oscillations, an undesirable side effect of the "extreme" chassis of many late generation sport bikes selected for maximum agility, even to the detriment of stability."

What were the basic design choices of the Ducati 999's frame and chassis?
"Our new Superbike maintains that unique stability that all Ducati's have, but it also improves some basic requirements of the super sport motorcycles thanks to specific design decisions. These include:
1) lowering the rider's seat level by 15 mm (6.9")
2) lengthening the swing arm by 15 mm
3) reducing the distance between the seat and handlebars by 10 mm

Was lowering the seat level done just to improve comfort?
This modification was not made, as one may think, just to achieve greater comfort; it significantly influences the dynamic response of the vehicle as well.
In fact, lowering the rider's seating level, implies lowering the whole center of gravity, which is significantly affected by the position the rider assumes on the motorcycle."

Why does the special positioning of the center of gravity on the Ducati 999 greatly improve its dynamic response?
"In the first place, lowering the center of gravity produces a reduction of the shift in load during braking and acceleration.
The result is a smaller tendency of the bike to pull up when accelerating violently (which reduces the performance during acceleration at lower gears), while the rear wheel tends less to lift during intense braking (an impediment to vehicle decelerations)."

Does the swingarm length affect stability during braking and acceleration of the Ducati 999?
Definitely. A longer swingarm produces a variation in how the static loads are divided up on the wheels, increasing the share of weight weighing on the front and therefore limiting the pull upwards.
So the excellent torque delivered by the Testastretta can be maximized even in the lowest gears without the
front wheel losing contact with the ground too easily.
The rider will always be guaranteed the greatest cohesion with his course. A long swingarm also improves the stability when braking because it increases the bike's wheelbase (distance between the front wheel shaft and the rear wheel shaft). This increase ensures a reduction in the shift in load
when accelerating strongly.
In fact, the loss of grip of the rear during hard braking is countered by the limited transfer of load, although a good part of the weight is concentrated in the front of the Ducati 999. As a result, the motorcycle doesn't "wag".

What are the parameters that assure the superb handling of the Ducati 999?
Lowering the whole center of gravity of the rider-motorcycle unit has beneficial effects on handling as well. In fact, the Ducati 999 is a motorcycle that bends over with little effort and extreme rapidity, demonstrating an enviable pace, even on the most tortuous stretches.

But how can handling and stability co-exist? The modifications described above were obviously "calibrated" in order to enhance the benefits without encountering the natural contraindications?
"For handling purposes, the potentially negative effects due to the increase in the wheelbase are widely compensated for, and exceeded, by lowering the center of gravity.
In addition, getting the rider closer to the center of gravity also reduces the moment of total inertia of the
"rider-bike" assembly with respect to the roll axis, making the variations of the bike's tilt faster and making it
possible to take curves in rapid succession at high speeds and with minimum effort.

But didn't all these modifications to improve the dynamic response of the Ducati 999 negatively
affect riding comfort?
"Lowering the seat level reduces the tilt of the torso with respect to the vertical and consequently the load weighing on the rider's wrists.
A very similar result is obtained through limiting the seat-handlebar distance. In this case, too, a part of the weight of the rider's torso is shifted from the wrist to the pelvis.
The overall result is less fatigue on the arms, with clear benefits on comfort, allowing a better and constant physical condition of the rider, indispensable for extreme riding."

advanced ergonomic solutions.
On the new Ducati Superbike, the rider can adjust, according to his riding style and physical structure, all parameters of the chassis (rake, height of rear), suspension (spring preload, rebound damping, compression damping of front and rear) as well as the position of the foot pegs (lengthways and in height) and the seat (lengthways on the single-seat version).
The goal of the ergonomic adaptability is one of the greatest results achieved with the Ducati 999."


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