1948 Cucciolo 49cc racer
Doug Polen's Fast by Ferracci 888 Superbike that won the 1981 and1982 World Superbike, 1983 AMA Superbike titles.
Marco Luchinelli won the opening race at Donnington Parkm GB, of the new 1988 World Superbike Championship on this 851 Superbike. He also used a similar bike to with the 1987 Daytona Battle of Twins race.
The Edelweiss Bike Tours
In the USA
Ducati Edelweiss Imola Superbike Tour
By Jim Gianatsis, Editor
The guides were very adamant that we do not take photographs inside the factory which is normally policy, although we could take pictures later, at the end of the tour when we'd go upstairs to the front lobby where the Ducati Museum and a small Ducati store are located. Oddly enough they didn't make anyone check-in their cameras at the door, so the guides were constantly catching our group taking pictures and they 'ld make them delete them, then in there. I had last toured the Ducati Factory in 2004 during World Ducati week with then Ducati Press Officer Julian Thomas and had free reign to photograph whatever I wanted, including inside the secret off-limits Ducati Corse Race Shop.
This trip back, rather than handle a big bulky Pro Series Nikon camera, I came especially equipped with the hot new little Nikon S8000 CoolPix pocket camera which amazingly shoots better quality that the full size format Pro Cameras of a few years ago, and also shots HD movies with sound. So it wasn't any problem to record my visit again for this story by just lagging behind the tour, shooting behind people, and without flash using available light.
Testastretta engine assembly, one worker is responsible to bolt the entire motor together from parts in the cart.
nest, Testastretta engines get cold tested here in the protected enclosure, spun up by an electric motor to see that everything is working and they make good compression.
Nothing has really changed at the Ducati factory in the 6 years since my last visit. No new additions or construction or production lines. It remains a big, clean, space and nice environment to work in. There are 2 main production lines with one handling the Superbike based models including the Streetfighter and the new Testastretta powered Multistrada MTS1200. And the other handling the aircooled DS2 engine powered bike like the Monsters and Hypermoto.
It was quite obvious though, looking at the activity on the Ducati production line, the world economic downturn which caused and even bigger decline in world-wide new motorcycle sales had hit Ducati. Almost as hard hit as the Japanese manufacturers who have seen sales and production drop around 80%. It seemed as if Ducati has been impacted nearly as much despite their ongoing barrage of Press Releases claiming that sales were only down 30% compared to the rest of the industry. Every 3 out of 4 work stations on the production lines were empty of bikes and workers, and the staging rooms for completed bikes were only 25% full.
The best indictor of sales though was the daily Production Count Sign hanging above the Superbike production line. It said they were building just 40 Superbikes this day on this line, x2 lines and a week count of 477 bikes at the factory this week. Multiply that 477 number times 44 weeks a year (they close the entire month of August for vacation, plus holidays) equals around 20,000 bikes being produced. That's down from a few years ago when they were cranking out some 42,000 bikes a year and every station on the production like had a bike and workers.
Bikes get road tested here on a rolling dyno, the final step before being crated for shipment.
The Ducati Museum
This is a Ducati Desmo 250cc Single racer from 1966. How beautiful! I need one for my Ducati Superbike collection in my living room at home.
The Ducati Museum displays every year of bike that Ducati has raced from 1948 up though today with the current Team Corse factory team Superbikes and MotoGP bikes, and some of their World Championship trophies! It's wild to believe that I've handled and photographed each and every one of these Ducati Superbikes bikes, individually over the last 20 years for the Fast Dates Racebike Calendar. Even more exciting, image the 20 beautiful models that have graced their seats....
Remember some guy named Doug Polen, with a tuner named Eraldo Ferracci, who won 2 World Superbike then an AMA Championship titles? Yes, this is the 888 Superbike that won the 1981, 1982 World and 1983 AMA titles and was featured in the 1994 Fast Dates Calendar.
The Ducati Factory Store
More of the Edelweiss Ducati Imola Italy Tour:
See "Code" for Getting web stats.
Copy and paste.
Insert at the bottom of each page in code, just after <body>