Ducati Museum
Above, the MotoGP bikes
Below the Superbikes

1948 Cucciolo 49cc racer

Doug Polen's Fast by Ferracci 888 Superbike that won the 1981 and1982 World Superbike, 1983 AMA Superbike titles.

851 Superbike

Marco Luchinelli won the opening race at Donnington Parkm GB, of the new 1988 World Superbike Championship on this 851 Superbike. He also used a similar bike to with the 1987 Daytona Battle of Twins race.

Winning Superbikes

Winning Superbikes

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FastDates.com Pit Lane News

Ducati Factory
Getting off our Multistradas in the front parking lot of the Ducati factory.

Ducati Edelweiss Imola Superbike Tour
The perfect trip for any sportbike fanatic, part 2
Ducati Factory, Museum and Store

By Jim Gianatsis, Editor   
Bologna Italy, September 2010 -
The 2010 Ducati Edelweiss Imola tour kicked off a new relationship that Edelweiss World Tours has established with the support of Ducati motorcycles. The first full day of the tour started off on a Monday morning with a short ride from our 5-star Carlton Hotel in downtown Bologna to the Ducati factory in the outskirts of the city in a town known as Borge Pigalle. A pair of Ducati Tour guides were expecting us and met us in the front parking lot when we arrived, as did freelance photographer Thomas who would accompany us throughout the week to photograph the tour for Ducati's marketing needs.

The guides were very adamant that we do not take photographs inside the factory which is normally policy, although we could take pictures later, at the end of the tour when we'd go upstairs to the front lobby where the Ducati Museum and a small Ducati store are located. Oddly enough they didn't make anyone check-in their cameras at the door, so the guides were constantly catching our group taking pictures and they 'ld make them delete them, then in there. I had last toured the Ducati Factory in 2004 during World Ducati week with then Ducati Press Officer Julian Thomas and had free reign to photograph whatever I wanted, including inside the secret off-limits Ducati Corse Race Shop.

This trip back, rather than handle a big bulky Pro Series Nikon camera, I came especially equipped with the hot new little Nikon S8000 CoolPix pocket camera which amazingly shoots better quality that the full size format Pro Cameras of a few years ago, and also shots HD movies with sound. So it wasn't any problem to record my visit again for this story by just lagging behind the tour, shooting behind people, and without flash using available light.

Testastretta engine assembly, one worker is responsible to bolt the entire motor together from parts in the cart.

Ducati engine test

nest, Testastretta engines get cold tested here in the protected enclosure, spun up by an electric motor to see that everything is working and they make good compression.

On this production line the Testastretta engines are being mated to the Superbike frames, then other components added.

Nothing has really changed at the Ducati factory in the 6 years since my last visit. No new additions or construction or production lines. It remains a big, clean, space and nice environment to work in. There are 2 main production lines with one handling the Superbike based models including the Streetfighter and the new Testastretta powered Multistrada MTS1200. And the other handling the aircooled DS2 engine powered bike like the Monsters and Hypermoto.

It was quite obvious though, looking at the activity on the Ducati production line, the world economic downturn which caused and even bigger decline in world-wide new motorcycle sales had hit Ducati. Almost as hard hit as the Japanese manufacturers who have seen sales and production drop around 80%. It seemed as if Ducati has been impacted nearly as much despite their ongoing barrage of Press Releases claiming that sales were only down 30% compared to the rest of the industry. Every 3 out of 4 work stations on the production lines were empty of bikes and workers, and the staging rooms for completed bikes were only 25% full.

Superbike production

The best indictor of sales though was the daily Production Count Sign hanging above the Superbike production line. It said they were building just 40 Superbikes this day on this line, x2 lines and a week count of 477 bikes at the factory this week. Multiply that 477 number times 44 weeks a year (they close the entire month of August for vacation, plus holidays) equals around 20,000 bikes being produced. That's down from a few years ago when they were cranking out some 42,000 bikes a year and every station on the production like had a bike and workers.

Bikes get road tested here on a rolling dyno, the final step before being crated for shipment.

Curroco racer

The Ducati Museum
One of the first motorcycle exhibits you see in the Ducati Museum is the first ever Ducati racer, this 1948 Cucciolo 49cc racer using the evolution of their first 1946 bicycle engine now placed in a real motorcycle chassis to go racing! See the original bicycle Cucciolo below.

This is a Ducati Desmo 250cc Single racer from 1966. How beautiful! I need one for my Ducati Superbike collection in my living room at home.

Ducati Museum Superbikes

The Ducati Museum displays every year of bike that Ducati has raced from 1948 up though today with the current Team Corse factory team Superbikes and MotoGP bikes, and some of their World Championship trophies! It's wild to believe that I've handled and photographed each and every one of these Ducati Superbikes bikes, individually over the last 20 years for the Fast Dates Racebike Calendar. Even more exciting, image the 20 beautiful models that have graced their seats....

Doug Polen Superbike

Remember some guy named Doug Polen, with a tuner named Eraldo Ferracci, who won 2 World Superbike then an AMA Championship titles? Yes, this is the 888 Superbike that won the 1981, 1982 World and 1983 AMA titles and was featured in the 1994 Fast Dates Calendar.

Ducati factory store

The Ducati Factory Store
There is a small Ducati apparel and souvenir store upstairs at the factory, upstairs in the main lobby, next to the Ducati Museum for the benefit of factory visitors. Shown here is the all-new Ducati store located just around the corner from the factory. It was closed on the Monday we were visiting the factory, so we came back on Sunday evening after the Imola Superbike races to buy all the Ducati gear we could afford before heading home! Display bikes in the store included one of Loris Capirossi's MotoGP bikes and the first Ducati in 1946 the Cucciolo.

Ducati factory store

More of the Edelweiss Ducati Imola Italy Tour:
Edelweiss Ducati Italy TourThe Factory & Museum & Store • Imola World Superbike Races

More Edelweiss Tours:
High Alpine AdventureWestern Alps Touring Center Tour

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Ducati Factory

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Inside the Ducati Factory


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