I first visited the Ducati factory in 1977. The opening of the new museum prompted me to pay another visit. The main differences today are that many components are bought in, some such as front fork assemblies already fitted with brakes and wheels etc. and that all the old lathes and milling machines have been replaced with state of the art computer controlled equipment. This and the introduction of Japanese production methods ensure a consistent build quality and a large amount of component standardisation across the model range. This is a contrast to the seventies when no two bikes were the same, suspension components, brakes and electrical equipment often being different on bikes with adjacent frame numbers.
The museum is biased towards the race machines with only a few road bikes on display, but number and quality of the exhibits more than compensate for this.
 Here's a few snaps as a taster.

Developed during the later part of World War 2 the Cucciolo (little puppy dog) engine was designed to provide cheap reliable transport for post-war Italy, but they were soon used for racing.

At Monza on 30th November 1956 this 100cc stream-liner broke 44 world records. It's top speed was 171.9 km/h and it covered 1000km in under six and a half hours.



A typical example of the single cylinder engined bikes that achieved outstanding success in the road and track races of the 1950s

Another single cylinder engine. This is the current super-mono engine. A secondary connecting rod and counter balance weight are used to combat the vibrations inherent in this engine layout.



Ducati V-Twins arrived on the racing scene in dramatic style. Paul Smart rode to victory in the 1972 Imola 200 F750 race beating the MV of Agostini in the process.

Swan song for the bevel-drive engine. But what a swan song. Mike Hailwood's 1978 Isle of Man F1 race winning V-Twin.



Fast forward two decades. World champions again.

Bang up to date, in a retro sort of way, The new, limited edition MH900e



The factory canteen. You wait here to take a tour. Cheap bar !!

Photography isn't allowed in the factory so here is a photo I shouldn't have taken.

The factory and museum are at
Via Cavalieri Ducati, 3
Borgo Panigale (Bologna) - 40132 Italy
Tel. (39) 051 - 6413312, Fax (39) 051 - 6413342

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