Bologna , Italy is home to all things red. With Ferrari, Lamborgini, Bolognese sauce (red meat pasta sauce), and most importantly Ducati all in the same region you cannot help but notice that this region is all about passion for engines and beautiful styling. How can I forget to mention the excellent food.
Touring the Ducati tour was one of the most amazing motorcycle experiences to date. While waiting outside for our tour guide to appear from the Ducati Factory we could not help but notice the rumbling of several Ducati engines in the background. The beautiful music that these engines make in harmony made the hair on the back of my neck stand up.
First stop was the Ducati Museum. They collected all of us in the main entrance where the new 2012 Ducati Hypermotard, Multistrada, 848, and last but….this is probably the only time it is last the Ducati 1199 Panigale. All 4 of the bikes fresh right off the factory assembly line gleaming in bright Ducati red.
The museum is a giant circle with the very beginning of time Ducati’s up to present day. We started with movie projectors and calculatrs first. Yes, you read that right Ducati started first as a gadget maker then on to the early 1900’s when they produced the first motor powere bicycle then the 30’s and 40’s up to present day World Superbike and MotoGP bikes from previous champion Casey Stoner and Nicky Hayden’s bike.
The museum was nice but I really wanted to see where the Ducati’s were made and how they were brought to life on the assembly line. We started at the engine assembly where multiple lines were setup per Ducati model type. The average amount of time to complete an engine is 15 minutes all by hand. The more we walked through the factory the more apparent it becomes that everything is hand built. The people on the assembly line are all proud to work at this factory almost beaming with pleasure posing next to their creations.
Moving on to the part of the assembly line where the engine is married to the chassis is a beautiful moment. Joining the trellis frame to the Desmosedici engine should be displayed in a glass showcase.at an Art Museum. Several lines are running at once each per Ducati model. All buzzing with building the latest models.
The final line was the Panigale line where we followed the line until the end where the finished Panigale is rolled off the line to the Dyno. They started the Panigale up for the first time and it gave me shivers it sounded so good. They ran it for a while on the Dyno checking the ABS, Traction control and all the controls until they finally just let her rip to about 100 MPH (160 KPH) and the DYNO room was shaking and rumbling in concert with the Ducati. An amazing tour ended with the sound of the new Panigale. All this takes 10 Hours from the time they turn the first bolt till they pack the bike for shipping to have any Ducati ready at your local dealer.
If you are not a Ducati fan (Ducatisti) at the beginning of the tour you will be at the end.
Interested in a tour visit Ducati Tour to make a reservation.
More pictures from the Ducati Tour