Audi Motorrad Concept based on Ducati 848
By Mike Hanlon
April 12, 2013
French automotive designers Thibault and Marc Devauze and modeller Clement Couvreur have created this Audi roadster motorcycle concept based on a Ducati 848 engine but with elements of Ducati's Hypermotard and Monster. The recent purchase of Ducati by Audi means such a motorcycle is not all that improbable, and Audi adds considerably to Ducati's expertise with carbon fiber knowhow and Audi's Direct Shift Gearbox. Audi-owned DKW was once the largest manufacturer of motorcycles in the world - wouldn't it be nice to see a real one of these surface.
Thibault Devauze explained to Gizmag how the concept came to be: "In 2011, I was working at Opel when I went to Ingolstadt to visit my brother, who was an intern at Audi."
"We visited Audi's museum and BMW's museum in Munich and we were inspired by all the things we saw."
"A few weeks later, I heard that Audi had bought Ducati, and that gave me this idea."
"At the same time, my friend Clement Couvreur, an excellent modeler from ISD Valenciennes, came to work in my department at Opel.
"He was the first guy who I talked about my project and he was very excited about it. We made a deal - I would make the design and he would make the 3d model.
"Things didn't work out as we had planned. Two months later, he moved to France to join Peugeot's design team and I moved to Italy to join Granstudio.
"That made it difficult to work on the project collaboratively, and why it took two years and not two months as we expected at the beginning!
"A few months later, my brother Marc joined us and we finished the last 20% of the work. Marce helped a lot by managing all the details and doing all the 3D render.
"The bike is a vision of what an Audi bike could be. It is a our first bike for Ducati but if the reaction is good, we will do an other one which will be completely different."
We think it looks great, and as we've written before, the Ducatista are blessed that the Ducati marque has found such a fertile and supportive home, and it is to be hoped it brings many new and exciting chapters to the Ducati legend.
This concept fits the design language of Audi so well, that it could easily be imagined on the Audi stand at a major auto show.
Thibault's outline of the Audi Motorrad concept raised some interesting aspects. When the brothers visited the Audi museum, they realised how important motorcycles were to the Audi heritage.
The Audi name compromises many different famous marques, including NSU, Auto Union, Wanderer and DKW.
DKW was the world's largest manufacturer of motorcycles prior to WWII, and though its motorcycles were dominant in the smaller classes in pre-WWII Grand Prix across Europe, its greatest legacy was the RT125 two-stroke single.
The bike's designs essentially became open source due to reparations after WWII and became the basis for many other motorcycles, most famously the Harley Hummer, BSA's famous Bantam, Jawa 125, Royal Enfield's Flying Flea and Triumph's BDG125.
Remarkably, the RT125 appears to have been the basis for the foundation of a few not-so-insignificant motorcycle companies too. Yamaha's first motorcycle (the YA125) was a direct copy of the RT125 as was Kawasaki's first production motorcycle.
If that's not enough, there are also some striking similarities between the RT125 and MV Agusta's first motorcycle, the Turismo. MV Agusta remains one of motorcycling's most honoured marques, having won numerous World Championships. That's not a bad trifecta.
So a motorcycle wearing an Audi badge isn't all that far fetched, and the core of Audi's motorcycle IP is now centred on Ducati.
On the basis of the incredible legacy the DKW name leaves, perhaps it should also be resurrected as a sister brand to Ducati. Many other automotive marques have been reborn thanks to the landmark values they created, and DKW's provenance is stellar.