Ducati has become one of the most known motorcycle companies over the years. If you want speed and style (and who doesn’t) you think of Ducati!! After all they are the same people that gave you Lamborghinis. But do you know how the Ducati name started and how it became so famous? My guess is…no.
Ducati was started in Bologna, Italy, by a man named Antonio Cavalieri Ducati and his three sons, Adriano, Marcello, and Bruno Cavalieri Ducati in 1926. The Ducati factory started out making vacuum tubes, condensers and other radio parts. Back then the name of the company was Societa Scientifica Radio Brevetti Ducati. It wasn’t until 1950 that the first motorcycle rolled out of their shop.
The first motorcycle they produced was a 48 cc bike that only had a maximum speed of 40 MPH – could you imagine that? I can’t believe what is known as one of the fasted motorcycles once only maxed out at 40 MPH.
It is amazing to think of how much the Ducati motorcycle has changed over the past 60 years.
At a show in Milan in 1952, Ducati management made a big impression on everyone when they introduced their newest cruiser motorcycle a four-stroke motor scooter known as the 65TS cycle. Even though it was the most interesting new machine at the show in Milan, it did not have the greatest success. Only a few hundred of these great inventions were sold before the model was taken out of production forever.
It wasn’t until the 1960’s that Ducati finally got the break they were looking for by earning the place as being the producers of the fastest 250 cc road bike in production. This wonderful machine that gave them their start was the Mach 1.
After the Mach 1 was created the production line at the Ducati factory was booming everyone had to have one of these babies! Whether they were trying to buy one of the motorcycles or just trying to buy a piece or the company share, Ducati was becoming a very well known name all over the world.
In 1996, the Ducati Company finally made it state side when they were bought out by a company named Texas Pacific Group who bought 51% of the company for $325 million. Later on in 1998, they bought most of the remaining 49% so they could become the sole owner.
Around that time is when the Ducati motorcycle was a must have in American homes all around the United States. Once we say these they were needed. Could you imagine getting your hands on one of the first round of Ducati motorcycles and having it on display in your man-cave or garage? A friend of mine has a 916 Ducati which I think he would marry if he could he loves it so much. These are such a fine piece of machinery that no matter the year it was made it is one of the best and a well sought after item.
In April of 2012, there was a huge announcement that the Volkswagen Group’s Audi subsidiary will be buying Ducati for a total of $1.2 billion. The Volkswagen chairman Ferdinand Piech, who is a huge motorcycle lover, has long wanted to own the Ducati Company and name.
After a failed attempt back in 1984, he can finally live his dream and be a large part in the Ducati name. The Italian luxury car brand named Lamborghini was brought to great heights through the Volkswagen name. On July 19, 2012, Audi AG’s Automobile Lamborghini S.p.A. subsidiary gained 100% of the shares to the Ducati Motor Holding S.p.A. for a whopping $909 million!!
Whether you have been an avid Ducati motorcycle collector, a window shopper, or just love any motorcycle in general you can see and understand the passion that went behind the creation of these great machines. So much love for the bike, style, and speed went into creating what is known today as one of the fasted bikes to ever hit the streets.
David writes about the changing world of how classic brands continue to offer the same range of successful products decade after decade and survive the ever changing storm in one of the world’s most competitive and fad-focussed consumer markets.