Both had their beginnings in the same region of the same country, have won similar awards, and are champions of a tradition of innovation, style, and victories bred from an overwhelming passion for the automobile and the motorcycle. The answer to the riddle? Ferrari and Ducati.
Ducati, it may be said, is the ‘Ferrari of motorcycles’, and it’s unquestionably less expensive to own a ‘Ferrari’ on two wheels. Several friends, all fanatics of high performance, have bypassed the formidable budgetary obstacles to owning a Ferrari … by gripping the handlebars of a Ducati, born of the same traditions.
FROM SHORTWAVE TO MOTORCYCLES
Founded by Antonio Cavalieri Ducati, the famous motorcycle brand is a family affair, as is often the case in Italy. With his three sons, Antonio established his first company in Bologna in 1926, specializing in the research and manufacturing of shortwave radios. It was not until after the Second World War, following the destruction of their factory that the Ducati brothers shifted gears. The year 1946 marked the launch of their first twowheeled creation. They named it Cucciolo, and it was essentially nothing more than a motorized bicycle. But it would pave the road to an extended series of innovations and exceptional craftsmanship. Much of Ducati’s fame can be traced back to brilliant engineer Fabio Taglioni, known as ‘Dr. T’, who in 1954 elevated the brand with the invention of the desmodromic system, a mechanical device for opening valves that revolutionized the industry by enabling extremely high engine speeds. For example, the two cylinder, 850 cm3 engine on the 848 Ducati Corse generates 140 horsepower at 10,250 rpm.
Like Ferrari, the Ducati name has always been linked to the racing world, in keeping with the philosophy that the will to win is the motivation to excellence. Countless victories and world championships have been won by Ducati, notably in the Superbike series. Today, from the standpoint of technological innovation, Ducati and Ferrari stand as exemplars of the best in Italian manufacturing.