Founded in 1926 by the Ducati family as well as several other Bolognese investors, the Società Radio Brevetti Ducati in Bologna opened their doors as a producer of industrial components for radio transmitters. Ducati's first product was called the Manens condenser which was intended to be used for radio equipment and was quickly followed by other products that were successful world wide. This allowed Ducati to expand quickly while also winning Ducati the respect of the world wide industrial community.
In 1935, the Ducati cornerstone factory was built in Borgo Panigale. This new factory was an ambitious and quite modern project for its time, which also had the objective of establishing a technological and industrial centre in Bologna. During this period of history the Ducati industry also developed internationally, and soon opened locations in New York, Sydney, London, Paris, and Caracas, which would assure direct assistance and service to its major world market clients.
WWII was extremely difficult for Ducati as their Borgo Panigale burnt to the ground in1944. Luck was on the Ducati brothers' side as they had spent the war's duration planning and studying their future products which were to be introduced to the world when the war ended.
In 1946, Ducati produced the Cucciolo which was a small replacement or auxiliary engine for bicycles which was destined to be the most famous engines in the world. At first the Cucciolo was sold in an assembly box which was to be attached to the bicycle, but the Cucciolo would soon receive its own frame. The Cucciolo's frame which was built by Caproni as it was based on a Capellino patent. The Cucciolo soon became a true mini motorcycle. Ducati became an affirmative trademark in the mechanical sector no thanks to the Cucciolo..
Engineer Fabio Taglioni, who was a teacher at Tecniche located in Imola, arrived at Ducati with lots of experience in constructing motorcycles of amazing performance and technical character. Soon after his start at Ducati his Taglioni design which was considered to be non-conforming, was entered into races where it was considered to have been baptised. Fabio Taglioni competed in many races including the Giro d'Italia. and the Milano-Taranto on Ducatis of his own design.
In 1958, a world famous motorcycle racer from England ordered a special motorcycle from Ducati. This Motorcycle was to be later dubbed the "Elite" which was a 200 cc light weight high speed motorcycle especially for racing.
By 1964, a Ducati motorcycle known as The 1964 Mach 250 reached the top speed of over 150 kilometres per hour and immediately won the respect of motorcycle racing sports fans throughout the world.
By 1972, Ducati who had attained a great amount of success with their Scramblers decided to follow their same methods for their own Italian market. Engineer Fabio Taglioni was Ducati's weapon of choice and created for Ducati a new two cylinder which was raced by Bruno Spaggiari and Paul Smart who pulled second and first places in the Imola 200 Miles race
Then in 1978, a racer who had grown up using the Ducati singles, Mike Hailwoodä, returned to racing for the Isle of Man TT and astonished Ducati fans with a first place win in the Formula 1 TT division of the Isle of Man TT. Ducati offered a limited edition 900 SS to the Ducati fans as a means of recognition for Mike Hailwoodä's win.
Ducati was bought out by Gianfranco and Claudio Castiglioni in 1983 and became part of the Cagiva Group of motorcycles. Ducati, under the new management of Cagiva became legends of the Super-bike era.
Marco Lucchinelli in 1988, utilising a motorcycle created by Cagiva engineer Massimo Bordi helped launch Ducati into the era of large displacement super-bikes and helped create a stepping stone for the Ducati Monster, which was a 1993 Ducati legend and became an asset as today it still accounts for at least half of Ducati's annual sales.
By 1995, Ducati was in financial crisis, despite their racing successes and many product innovations. With its cash drained due to unsuccessful sister company ventures within the Castiglioni group, they were forced to sell out to the Texas Pacific Group.
Together with the engineers from Cagiva and the new management from the Texas Pacific Group, Ducati was immediately turned around with massive sales and profit records.
Ducati organised the first women's rider school program which was a step forward in Ducati's new relationship, based on a new found understanding of women's needs and requirements in motorcycles.
In 2001 Bruno Cavalieri , the last of the three original Ducati founders died along with Fabio Taglioni, who was known as Doctor T, the father of the 90 degree twin cylinder engine.
In continuing with the spirit of Ducati and its people, Ducati launched their first worldwide advertising campaign. The advertising campaign featured both Ducati employees and Ducati riders and pays a tribute to its admirers and fans worldwide by using them as their own advertising subjects.
Original Authors: Nicholas
Edit Update Authors: M.A.Harris
Updated On: 02/06/2008