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Ducati's Panigale is already winning Superstock races, though the Panigale-based superbike...

With the World Superbike Championship celebrating its 25th year in 2012, it is an ideal time to reflect on the profound influence the series has had on the development of the everyday motorcycle. The production-based World Superbike Championship Series is now unquestionably the most important global race series in terms of influencing buyer decision of sports motorcycles and performance accessories but as our research shows, it appears to be even more influential than that. Statistics sourced from lap-times and speed traps over the last decade indicate the rapid rate road-going sports motorcycles are improving racetrack laptimes. Indeed, today's showroom models on road tires, are now quicker than the fastest factory superbikes of just five years ago.  Read More

Audi buys Ducati ... time to celebrate

Audi has purchased Ducati Motorcycles. Not Volkswagen Group (Audi's parent) , but Audi, which is a subsidiary of Volkswagen Group. It seems a very good fit. It's early days and the announcement has just been made, but as a fan of motorcycles in general and Ducati in particular, we'rew all running around here like rats with a gold tooth in reaction to the announcement. Audi has the enthusiast spirit in its DNA to appreciate the magic of the Ducati Brand and empower it. It will ensure the resources are there to enable the brand to prosper. The Supervisory Boards of AUDI AG and Volkswagen AG approved the acquisition today in Hamburg. Hang in there Valentino, the cavalry are coming.  Read More

Ducati's Pangiale 1199 - an engineering masterpiece, but not the world's best looking bike...

Ducati has released a series of photos of its revolutionary Panigale 1199 superbike without its clothes on, showing exactly how the bike is held together in the absence of a traditional frame. But while the monocoque chassis is pretty fascinating to look at in the flesh, what strikes us most is just how incredibly compact the bike is - every component has been squeezed into the tiniest possible space. In fact, you can't even see clean through the bike at any point until you reach the rear hugger. This is mass centralisation and weight shaving taken to a whole new level… Good luck trying to service the thing yourself!  Read More

Ducati Monster Diesel launched

The announcement of a Diesel Ducati might catch you by surprise, but only until you realize that the bike has spark plugs and the word Diesel refers to the Italian fashion brand which has been sponsoring the Ducati Team in MotoGP. The collaboration is bearing fruit straight up with an "urban military chic" version of the Ducati Monster 1100EVO.  Read More

Casey Stoner on the GP10 to be auctioned

In a sign of the times, Ducati has announced it will be selling two very recent Ducati Desmosedici GP machines at auction. The bikes, a GP11 2011 factory Desmosedici which brought Valentino Rossi his only top three finish of the 2011 season, and the other a 2010 model GP10 which Casey Stoner took to victory in the 2010 Australian Grand Prix, are subject to an undisclosed reserve. The buyer will be required to enter into a confidentiality agreement.  Read More

Valentino Rossi tucked in at full noise on the 1000cc Ducati Desmosedici MotoGP bike.

If you've been having trouble comfortably wrapping your brain cells around the concept of what were once proud national symbols of excellence changing countries, such as the Malaysian-owned Lotus, the Chinese-owned Saab and MG or the Indian Jaguar and Range Rover, then please be seated before reading further. It seems that India's Hero MotoCorp, the world's largest manufacturer of both bicycles and motorcycles is considering the purchase of Italy's deeply loved manufacturer of sports motorcycles, Ducati.  Read More

Valentino Rossi (46) and Nicky Hayden (69) testing at Sepang

Ducati recently finished its first series of official MotoGP testing at Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia, beset by the typically hot and humid conditions and rain that interrupted track time. Nicky Hayden had a painful shoulder injury that limited valuable time on the bike, but Valentino Rossi continued until the rain arrived, finishing the session with the fifth-best time.  Read More

The clear strip of fibreglass on the tank enabled instant assessment of fuel on board

Just four decades ago, Ducati was known for its outdated desmodromic singles and little else. On April 23, 1972, Paul Smart and Bruno Spaggiari debuted Ducati's new desmodromic 750 v-twin with a 1-2 victory at the Imola 200 Mile Race. They beat Giacomo Agostini's MV Agusta, plus the best that Honda, Kawasaki, Suzuki, Triumph, BSA, Laverda and Moto Guzzi could offer. The famous victory set Ducati on a course that saw its big desmo V-twins dominating superbike racing for four decades. The official factory reserve bike from Ducatis most famous moment is coming up for auction, with bidding expected to finish beyond EUR150,000.  Read More

Ducati's 1199 Panigale

A formula one car, at 640 kg and about 800 horsepower, has a power-to-weight ratio around 1.25 horsepower per kilogram. The new 1199 Panigale, with 195 horsepower and 164 kg, has a ratio of 1.19 horsepower per kilogram. Granted, that figure changes significantly if you add my porky badonkadonk and a full tank to the equation ... but regardless, this roaring L-twin beast is not only the new power-to-weight champion of the production motorcycle world, it's a ground-up reinvention of the Ducati superbike that has reportedly been in development since the venerable 1098 first hit showroom floors in 2007. Even without factory support, the 1198 won this year's World Superbike championship ... and absolutely everything about the Panigale looks significantly better, including Troy Bayliss' lap times. Let's take a closer look at what is easily the most desirable supersports bike of 2012.  Read More

A kerb weight of 350 kg enables go-kart handling

There are many small cars with high-performance motorcycle engines, but there has never been one quite like the Spartan. Most use big in-line Japanese four cylinder engines which can produce meaty 200 bhp powerbands. The Spartan uses Ducati's 170 hp (106 kW) 1198 cc V-twin in a race chassis - there are no frills and the use of carbon fiber bodywork and the barest of essentials results in a kerb weight of 350 kg. Then there's the sound of the engine that won this year's World Superbike title just behind your left ear and the promise it feels at one with the driver ... it appears to be the perfect four-wheeled execution of the Ducati ethos. Fantastic picture library with this one.  Read More

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