A Visit To Ducati Factory/Museum
File under Ducati
Author: Mike Werner
Location: Normandy, France
Making use of our business/holiday trip in Italy, we decided to visit the Ducati factory and museum. Ducati gracefully accepted to host us despite the short advance notice. The Ducati factory and offices are located in the city of Bologna . The street they are located on is called "Via C. Ducati".
You can not make a mistake that you have arrived at Ducati:
The sign can be seen for far away. But that's not the only sign that you have arrived at Ducati. Just check the parking:
Wall-to-wall Ducati motorcycles. It's obvious that like most manufacturers, the employees get a nice discount when buying a motorcycle.
Like anything in Italy, everything starts with coffee:
The Desmo Bar is located inside the factory.
The cafe/bar is quite large, and is the starting point for most employees.
After the coffee, we went to visit the Ducati museum.
Ducati did not start making motorcycles. They made things like calculators in 1942.....
... or radios in 1939..
... even projectors in 1941. Now, to the motorcycles:
The museum is spacious and well presented.
This is the first motorcycles Ducati built, the Cucciolo (1940's)
The motorcycles are lined up according to the dates they were introduced.
This is a Ducati powered Cagiva motorcycle that participated in the Paris-Dakar race in 1989.
How about this motorcycle, an ice speedway bike...
Just look at the spikes. Imagine that riding over your body...
A large part of the museum is dedicated to the SuperBike and MotoGP motorcycles, and the championships they have won.
Everywhere in this part of the museum you could see the many trophies Ducati have won...
Several displays showing the racing, or the magazine awards they have received over the years.
Like all self respecting museums, there's a nice little Ducati shop where you can buy t-shirts and caps.
That ended the museum tour. Next was the factory tour. Unfortunately no photographs were allowed to be taken, so I'm using some press material they gave me.
Some 500 people work at the factory, producing 40,000+ motorcycles each year.
They produce on average 185 motorcycle each day. Engines are made in one area..
.. on the other side, the frames are put together. There are no batches of specific motorcycles being built, they are on a per sales basis, so whatever motorcycle needs to be built, is built!
Then the engine is bolted onto the frame.
Slowly (it takes 3 hours to build one motorcycle) they edge towards the run-in area.
There they are placed on platforms, and the electronics are tested..
The engines are run and tested. Further on they are placed in an enclosed space where they are tested while running on a belt (ie, the wheels spin).
No, the bikes do not go out on a circuit for testing. I guess that would be the dream job for many..
So that ends our tour of the factory. I hope you have enjoyed it, and please don't forget to tip your guide...
It is possible to visit the factory (and museum), which I recommend if you're in the neighborhood. But you'll need to reserve, no sense showing up hoping that you can visit.
Click here for more information on the tours