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Ducati Motor Holding is the motorcycle manufacture division of Italian company Ducati. The company was founded by Antonio Cavalieri Ducati, Adriano Cavalieri Ducati, Bruno Cavalieri Ducati and Marcello Cavalieri Ducati in 1926. The company is owned by German automotive manufacturer Audi through its Italian subsidiary Lamborghini, which is in turn owned by the Volkswagen Group. The current headquarters of the company is in Bologna, Italy.
The current chairman of the company is Rupert Stadler. Being a motorcycle company that produces high performance, highly successful racing motorcycles, as well as motorcycles for the commercial market, has proven to be a winning strategy for Ducati. Ducati's success was a combination of Ducati engineers' passion for their work, their detailed attention to the design process, and a well-defined, developed method called the “Ducati Method.” The “Ducati Method” helped lead to modular design via extensive use of CAD and simulation technology to optimize the design before physically developing the components followed by intense testing to validate the design.
Ducati also started racing in the new MotoGP Circuit during the 2003 race season. With unexpected positive racing results, Ducati became one of the biggest companies in the motorcycle company. The bikes of the company are supremely and efficiently design to provide comfort as well as thrill to the driver. With that, the makers also keep in check the safety of the customers.
Various additions with the passing time has helped the company to maintain a good grip over a particular consumer market. In racing bikes, they utilized rider feedback from the races, videos of each race, track tests, data on race performance, and functional data acquired by on-bike sensors.
Ducati used the data from the track to identify problems that could not be detected in simulation. This type of data is excellent for measuring relative performance, evaluating structural stress loads, drivetrain torque, and system temperatures. The company has a current revenue of more than $700 million and a capacity of producing 55,000 vehicles annually. Other than motorcycle, Ducati also deals in clothing and other vehicle accessories.
The long and interesting history of Ducati is full of excitement and thrill just like their bikes. Ducati has been on a path of simple development and a planned strategy in order to achieve objectives. The step-by-step functioning of the company has been fruitful for the makers and the owners. Ducati’s strategic mobility in the consumer market along with the right judgement of the consumer’s needs and preferences has been commendable.
The company has taken control over the European market and has widely been established in American and Asian Markets. Ducati was a quintessential Italian motorcycle manufacturer. It still is Italian, but it is owned by the German auto giant Volkswagen. Ducati has a terrific history of bringing bold motorcycle designs to the masses and for having built a reputation of a daring bike maker across the world.
Like any other pre-war era automotive giant, be it cars, motorcycles, or planes, Ducati had an incredibly humble beginning. In fact, they didn’t make motorcycles or engines at all. It was in 1926, when an Italian named Antonio Cavalieri Ducati and his three sons founded a company in the name of Società Scientifica Radio Brevetti Ducati in Bologna to produce vacuum tubes, condensers and other radio components.
The family built Ducati into a reasonably successful business, and thereby securing a factory in the Borgo Panigale area, to enable manufacturing on a larger scale in 1935. Heading into the Second World War, the company maintained production despite the factory being a repeated target of allied bombing. Parallel to that, a small firm SIATA based out of Turin was developing small pushrod engines, ready-made to be mounted on bicycles. Post Italy’s liberation in 1944, SIATA started selling the ready-made engines (they called it the Cucciolo, Italian for puppy).
The first batch of customers for this little Cucciolo engines where bicycle owners/enthusiasts who wanted to give this new product a try. It took some time for automobile entrepreneurs to buy into the product. Soon motorized bicycles were up for sale. In 1950, after more than 200,000 Cucciolos had been sold, in collaboration with SIATA, the Ducati firm finally offered its own Cucciolo-based motorcycle.
This first Ducati motorcycle was a 48 cc bike weighing 98 pounds (44 kg), with a top speed of 40 mph (64 km/h), and had a 15 mm carburetor (0.59-inch) giving just under 200 mpg US (1.2 L/100 km; 240 mpg imp). Ducati soon dropped the Cucciolo name in favor of “55M” and “65TL”. The ‘60s and ‘70s saw racing success for Ducati, building the Italian firm’s prestige as a racing marque. Racing highlights include: a 1972 win by Paul Smart in the Imola 200 with a desmodromic 750 Twin and the 1978 Isle of Man TT triumph of Mike Hailwood, who came out of retirement to racing the 900cc Super sport Twin.
Ducati was purchased in 1983 by the Castiglioni family and merged with the Cagiva Group. Again the marque found success on the racetrack, with further progression of its Twin-powered sport bike platform in the form of its 851 and 916 Superbikes. Highlights of the Castiglioni years include the introduction of its wildly popular Monster line – a naked street bike designed by Argentine designer Miguel Galluzzi. In 1985, Cagiva, a fellow Italian motorcycle manufacturer based out of Varese, bought Ducati and planned to rebadge Ducati motorcycles with the “Cagiva” name.
By the time the purchase was completed, Cagiva kept the “Ducati” name on its motorcycles. Eleven years later, in 1996, Cagiva accepted the offer from Texas Pacific Group and sold a 51% stake in the company for US$325 million; then, in 1998, Texas Pacific Group bought most of the remaining 49% to become the sole owner of Ducati.
Off the track, Ducati expanded its sales line. The Ducati 916 evolved to the controversially-styled 999, then the 1098 and now the current 1198. A high-spec 1098R is Ducati’s Superbike racer, sporting production traction control. Ducati’s middleweight sport bike bumped up from the 749 to the 848. But the most impressive Ducati sport bike remains the Desmosedici RR, a production version of the firm’s GP racer. Other Ducati motorcycles are the Multistrada and Sport classics.
The Multistrada is versatile standard built around the air-cooled 1100 L-Twin. Like many of the Superbike and Monster models, there is an “S” version available which sources Ohlin suspension. Based off classic Ducati models the Sport Classic lineup features the Demo 1000 air-cooled L-Twin inside the traditional styling lines of the GT1000, Sport 1000S and GT1000 Touring.
Ducati has been a part of some groundbreaking innovations. Since its inception, the company has consistently performed in the innovation race. This has led to overcoming the battle with the competitors. The company is currently testing its brand new vehicle-to-everything (V2X) communications system, which will allow a Ducati motorcycle to communicate with other cars and bikes on the road as per its strategy of ''Safety Road Map 2025".
The first step will be to introduce cornering ABS on all Ducati models and then, Ducati will look to introduce a model with front and rear radar, for sale, by 2020. Along with this, Ducati is also experimenting with new technology in conjunction with various industry leaders and will hope to equip its bikes with latest safety systems in the near future. The new jet technology introduced by the company can be a future revolution for the numerous bike companies. It empowers and strengthens the bike. The motive of this technology is to give a boost to the already existing power of the Ducati bikes. That’s what the Italian company appears to have planned, according to a patent filing uncovered by Bennett’s insurance.
It’s not switching to a turbine engine, but has designed an adjustable nozzle that’s fitted at the end of the exhaust pipe to turn the escaping gases into thrust, similar to the ones used by supersonic jets. In this case, the idea doesn’t seem to be to push the bike faster, but to use the angle of the exhaust to rotate it forward to help keep the front wheel on the ground during acceleration. Anti-wheelie technology currently in use modulates the power going to the rear wheel, reducing output to achieve the same end. With the nozzle, the motorcycle theoretically could constantly adjust the pressure of the exhaust, while continuing to send as much power to the rear wheel as the tire can handle.
The technology hasn’t yet been spotted being tested on one of Ducati’s race or street bikes, but with news that it’s planning to introduce a street legal model powered by a version of its V4 racing engine, it’s going to need all the help keeping those front wheels on the ground it can get. Ducati has currently multiple safety innovations and developments running parallel with the concept of ARAS (Advanced Rider Assistance Systems) on its motorcycles. This system in the future will incorporate assistance or feedback from a number of sensors, including radars to gauge the surroundings for potential threats on the fly. These systems will interact with the rider and send alerts to prevent possible collisions with obstacles or other vehicles.
Ducati bikes have sleek and splendid design. The powerful engines used in the bikes are low sounding and very strong. This helps the bikes to gain high speed on the road. These attributes create perfect bikes which are a little costly, but worth every penny spent. Some of the most amazing bikes produced by the company are mentioned below:
The built quality of Ducati bikes is supremely efficient. The new V-4 engine introduced by the company has added to the existing dominance of the bikes. It produces a sound of bats leaving a cave which attracts attention of the entire crowd. The powerful persistence of the engine and combination of safety airbags makes the bike safe and speedy.
The ABS system is designed perfectly and has improved with time. Ducati bikes along with the powerful engine and innovations such as jet technology have increasingly built a huge market base. Ducati bikes are reliable and durable. They are favorable to the customers. With this constant improvement, Ducati continues to grow as a brand in the motorcycle market.
Ducati has been a great influence in the commercial as well as the racing world. The good thing about the company is the versatility in producing both luxurious and mediocre bikes. This strategy has helped Ducati gaining advantage in the customer market. The company which was once established from the scraps in Italy has now conquered the entire European market. Ducati faces tough competition from other competitors in terms of technology and innovations. Also, the prices of the bikes produced by the company needs to lower down a bit.
In this way, sales will increase which will further result in growth of revenue. Ducati is a great sports bike brand. It has gained attention in MotoGP which is one of the most watched sports in the world. The racing bikes have given the company the boost that it requires. With good future planning and proper advertisement and promotional strategies, Ducati will inevitably capture more attention and will cause more thrill with its terrific speed and power.
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