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The History of Ducati Motorcycles

Ducati Motorcycles have a long legacy stemming back almost a century to the company’s founding in 1926. From their beginnings as a manufacturer of radio and electronic equipment in Italy to their current status as a subsidiary of the German Volkswagen Group, Ducati has produced a range of high-quality, powerful motorcycles with innovative designs and modern technology.

As a premier Ducati dealer in Florida, BMW Motorcycles of Jacksonville is located in Orange Park, where we have a wide selection of Ducati motorcycles for sale. Visit us to see our used Ducati inventory after you check out the fascinating history of this renowned motorcycle company.

The Ducati Brothers

Three brothers in Bologna, Italy, were the founders of the Società Scientifica Radio Brevetti Ducati: Adriano, Bruno and Marcello Ducati, along with their father Antonio. The company began as a manufacturer of radio components because of Adriano’s experiments with burgeoning radio technology. The Ducatis were very successful throughout the 1930s in this field, but World War II halted production when the Germans occupied the Ducati factory in 1943. The brothers had hidden many of their machines, but this was to little avail, since Allied bombing destroyed their plant in Borgo Panigale in October of 1944.

This event forced the three brothers to rethink their strategy while beset by financial problems stemming from the war and loss of income, resulting in their company being taken over by the Italian government. After a gift of twelve trucks from the Allies bestowed upon them by Bologna mayor Giuseppe Dozza, the brothers decided to diversify their production since the delicate and intricate radio and electronic parts they produced before were too complex. Thus, the company began to make four-stroke engines and then they saw the production of their first motorcycle in 1945. This bike, called the Cucciolo, was a true innovation, designed by Aldo Farinelli during the war. Farinelli mounted a propulsion motor on a bicycle, but the company he worked with, SIATA, couldn’t handle demand for the bike.

Ducati stepped in as the manufacturer of the Cucciolo, which became very successful upon its release in 1946. In July 1949, Ducati manufactured the first complete motorcycle, the Ducati 60. These successes cemented Ducati as a motorcycle manufacturer, and the motorcycle division split off in 1954, called Ducati Meccanica SpA. The brothers owned Ducati until 1948, when hardship forced them to cede their company to the Italian government, after which the company was transferred several times.

90 Years of Ducati

Ducati has experienced several milestones throughout their long history, from the development of their Sport and Special motorcycles developed in the 1950s to the success of the Monster Dark model in the late 1990s. Between the years of 1969 and 1973, the Ducati factory in Bologna, having been rebuilt after the war, was expanded with a new production facility. The Ducati Museum was completed in 1998 in the city of Bologna to showcase the full history of the company, from its humble foundings as a radio and electronics producer to the motorcycle powerhouse it became over the course of the 20th century. The museum is the second most visited museum in Bologna with over 40,000 Ducati fans visiting it every year. The company currently employs over 1500 people and has produced thousands of motorcycles over its long history.

Racing Roots

Ducati’s Cucciolo bike was used as a racing bike as early as 1951, only a few years after its initial production. The President of Ducati, Giuseppe Montano, hired a young engineer in the early 1950s named Fabio Taglioni, who began designing bikes made for racing. Taglioni developed the Gran Sport 100, also called the Marianna, which became a very popular racing motorcycle.

The expanded production plant created in the 1970s included a racing track around the parking lot for employees to test Ducati’s racing bikes. This track was replaced and upgraded in 1996 to make it safer, since testing the speed and performance of their bikes is still an important part of Ducati’s manufacturing process.

After several decades of Ducati motorcycles winning races, including world championships, the Ducati Corse racing team division of the company was founded in 1999. Over one hundred employees work for this division, based in Borgo Panigale, Bologna. Ducati has won several times at the Superbike World Championship with 318 wins, more than any other motorcycle manufacturer involved in the championship.

Want to become a proud Ducati owner? Visit our dealership in Orange Park to see our vast selection of used Ducati motorcycles for sale. Our talented staff can help you find the right bike for your needs. BMW Motorcycles of Jacksonville serves the cities of Tallahassee, Orlando, St. Augustine and Gainesville, Florida, as well as Savannah, Georgia, to the north.

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