DUCATI – Everything You Need to Know | Up to Speed

(motorcycle engine roaring) – It’s the two-wheeled Italian Stallion from the land of lasagna that gets motorcycle lovers buzzing in their leather breeches. They rose up from the rubble
of their bombed out factory during World War II to become the largest Italian motorcycle manufacturer ever! (motorcycle engines roaring loudly) They build race bikes then
they throw on a headlight and turn signals and call it street legal. (motorcycle engine roaring) Grab your leathers and strap on a helmet because this is everything
you need to know to get up to speed on Ducati! (energetic bouncy music) (horse neighing) (lightning banging) If you’re a biker boy or a bike gal, I’m sure that you’ve let
a little drool dribble while fawning over one of the company’s sexy two-wheeled steeds but before Ducati even started making some of the worlds finest motorcycles, they were building
something pretty unsexy. Radios. Radios were the smartphones
of the old days. It’s like Twitter but for your ears. Literally everyone had a radio so naturally there were
entrepreneurs looking to capitalize on this
new electronics market. Three italian brothers
by the name of Adriano, Bruno and Marcello Ducati, happened to be some of
those entrepreneurs. Adriano was a highly
gifted physics student, working in this newly
developed field of radio and had a few patents to his name. So in 1926 Adriano and his two bros formed the Societa Scientifica Radio Brevetti Ducati, really
rolls off the tongue. Great branding. Working out of a small
factory in Bologna, Italy, Ducati began manufacturing the smaller, electrical components for radios until eventually selling complete units. Another complete unit is Nolan. By 1935, the Ducati
brothers built a new factory that was considered one of the most modern manufacturing
facilities in the whole world and they employed over
7000 workers by 1940. Now around that same time there was also this little
war that was starting to gain traction, you
may have heard of it, it’s called World War II. This German dictator, who I won’t mention, but his name rhymes with Fitler, had forced the Ducati factory to manufacture military
radios for the access powers. Now in a war radios are very important! It’s how you communicate, it’s
how your enemies communicate and one way to stop your
enemies from communicating is to bomb the absolute
(beep) out of the factory where they’re building their radios and in October 1944 American
B-24 Liberator bombers carried out Operation Pancake. It took 15 minutes and 750 bombs to flatten the
state of the art Ducati plant, ending it’s radio making days for good. (upbeat music) During the war, German
soldiers would force Italian soldiers back to Germany to fight on the front lines. Now Ducati would take in
Italian soldiers who escaped and give them uniforms and badges showing their recruitment date a year before they’d actually arrived and the German soldiers
would show up to the factory and be like, where are
the escaped soldiers? And Ducati would be like, I don’t know what you talking about, dude. These guys, they been
here for, like, ever. Pretty cool. After the war, like
many European countries, Italy was left with
the task of rebuilding. So they fixed their eyes on the market of cheap transportation,
the only problem was Ducati didn’t have any experience building anything transportation related. So they went to the Italian
car tuning shop, Siata. Siata was building a small,
clip on, four-stroke engine that would turn your
boring pedal bicycle into a fricking bad (beep) motorized bicycle. The engine Siata built
was called the Cucciolo which translates to
little puppy in English and they did this
because the motor sounded like a little puppy. (barking) No, no barking. (engine humming loudly) It had 1.5 horsepower and
got you 180 miles per gallon. It wasn’t fast but it was economical. Siata couldn’t keep up with the demand so Ducati struck a
licensing deal to go off and build the frick out of the puppy sounding bicycle engine. And once Ducati took over they
started churning out 25,000 a year. Ducati would continue
building the Cucciolo and improve upon it’s
quality and functionality and in 1950, Ducati, built
their first true motorcycle, the 60 Sport. (motorcycle revving loudly) Now it used a 60 cc pull-rod
engine that made two and a half buff horse-prs
and went 40 miles per hour, it was the first to use
Ducati’s own frame with a built in gas tank. Three speed transmission and
front and rear drum brakes. Woo! Ducati would continue to make
these types of motorcycles and mopeds well into the ’50s but in 1954 they hired one
man that changed the direction of the company forever! By the mid 1950s Ducati grew tired of building small displacement,
docile, boring motorcycles. There was this thing called
the race of all races, was the Motogiro d’Italia. 300 kilometer endurance
race that tested the speed and durability of the machines
and the men that entered and for any motorcycle
manufacturer that won, it would be a guaranteed bump in sales. Ducati’s rival, Mondial, had just won this prestigious
race with their 125 Racer. On their staff was a young
engineer by the name of, Fabio Taglioni. Now Fab played a large part in the success in helping Mondial win the coveted race but Mondial snuffed the young Taglioni by not inviting him to
the post race party. Big mistake. So doing the most Italian thing ever, he quit the company the next day but he wouldn’t tell anybody why. I’m pretty sure it’s because he didn’t get invited to a party. Ducati’s general manager
approached the newly unemployed Italian engineer and presented
a proposition to him, work for Ducati, not
only building race bikes but to save the company from bankruptcy. Look, you got the skills kid,
the skills to pay the bills. I need you to build me a race bike. Yes, I can do that. Also, Ducati is on the verge of closing so we’re really counting on you. Wait, I just started to
work here, are we closing? No, we not closing! You just said we are closing. We not closing, we fine, we rich! Arrivederci! Ciao! (motorcycles rumbling) At the time, Ducati was
struggling to stay afloat which is why they needed to
win the Motogiro d’Italia. Taglioni accepted the challenge and was hired on as
Ducati’s chief designer and technical director. He went to work and built
Ducati’s first racer, the Grand Sport Mariana. Named after the sauce! The bike weighed less than 180 pounds and could run up to 120 miles per. This is the ’50s, that’s scary! A year later Taglioni
built a 125 cc version with racer Juliano Maogi on the
seat, the 125 Mariana scored a first place win in the 1956 Motogiro d’Italia. Wanting to improve his
racing machine even further, Taglioni, starting
working on another bike, a motorcycle that would go
on to shape the company in a way that is still preserved to this day. In 1956, he built the 125 desmodromic Racer. The Trialbero. What made this Racer
unique from the Mariana is that it used a camshaft to both
open and close it’s valves. Get your learning caps on because we’re going
into the Tech Talk zone. (bouncy tech music) Now to understand why Taglioni
used desmodromic valves in is engine design, you
first need to understand how the more common spring
return overhead valves work. Valves are opened by a cam
and closed by a return spring. In the early days of engine design, motors would blow up due
to valve spring failure. This was a problem early
on when the metal used to make springs was crappy. Instead of using springs to return valves, a desmodromic system replaces
those springs with cam lobes and collars. It forcibly pulls the valve to close it, perfectly timed with the
rotation of the crankshaft. So why is that better? Well, for one you don’t
have to worry about the springs failing and your motor blowing up. The second thing desmo
systems avoid is valve float. It’s inefficient and you lose power and Mr. Fabio was a racer at his core and he was always searching for. That’s right, he’s still gone. Okay, yeah, roll the auditions. (machine buzzing) – I need more power, baby! – More power, baby! – More power, baby, more power, baby, more power, baby, more power, baby. – [Man] More power, baby! – More power, baby. – More power, baby! – No, none of those people are right. Some of them were pretty
good, especially the kids, they were very cute, but
it’s just not the same. If you have any information
leading to the location of the audience member, please, post on Instagram or Twitter, #uptospeed. Now Taglioni didn’t
invent the desmo system but he did implement the
technology into his engine design. Ducati still uses it in
all of their engines today. The new 125 desmo Grand Prix, Trialbero Racer debuted
in The Swedish Grand Prix at Hedemora in July 1956. It made 19 horsepower with 12,500 RPM. It could rev all the way up to 15 K. An engine revving that high in
1956, is fricking crazy, man! Factory rider, Degli Antoni, took the new desmo-powered race bike and lapped the entire field
on his way to victory! It fricking spanked! Ducati continued to use racing
as a way to sell motorcycles and in 1959, they hired a
young and up and coming racer, Mike, The Bike, Hailwood as
one of their factory riders. The 19 year old Oxfordshire
chap had the skills to win and his dad, Stan Hailwood, had a sound faith in his
son’s racing ability. So much faith that he went to Ducati and asked them to build his son a bike that would dominate the
competition and they said, okay, but for it to be
financially worth it, you have to buy 2000 of them. So like any good father, Stan, said, sure, put it on my Oxfordshire Express. And 2000 of the newly designed
250 desmo Twins were made, not only was Stan Hailwood a dope ass dad, he was also the first
Ducati dealer in Britain. (motorcycle revving loudly) Now Ducati would continue to
make more economical road bikes in the ’60s, producing some of the fastest half cars money could buy. The Ducati Diana or the Daytona, as it was branded in the States, was a $719, 24 horsepower, road going beaut! Based on the Diana, they
released the Scrambler. Yeah, those modern styled Scramblers that hipster dudes love these days, they are updated versions of
the Scramblers from the ’60s. In 1964, Ducati built the Mach 1, which was the fastest
production 250 in the world, reaching speeds in the
access of 100 miles per. They built their first production
desmodromic model in 1969, with their Mach 3D, a
350 cc single cylinder that went 112 miles per
and they built a bike to try and kill Harley Davidson. They called it the Apollo. Ducati was approached by the
Berliner brothers to create a rival bike to sell to
police departments in the US. Now Taglioni was tasked
with building the bike, he came up with a air-cooled
1257 cc, two valve, V4 that made 100 brake hrsprs, almost twice as much as the
Harleys of a similar size. The bike had so much power, baby, that it would destroy tires. The material used to
make tires in those days weren’t strong enough to
handle all the hrsprs, so they detuned the bike to 80 hrsprs and that was still too much, so they detuned it to 65 hrsprs. After all that detuning the
Apollo was now underperforming. Ducati didn’t find success
with the concept V4 but they did find success with
their first production Twin, the 750 GT and it couldn’t
have come at a better time. Ducati was in financial
trouble and by 1969, they were completely taken
over by the Italian government. Honda had hit the scene with
their super popular CB750 and Ducati quickly realized they also needed a 750 sized bike to compete against the
popular Japanese superbike. So the company went to, you guessed it, (beep) Fabio Taglioni, their Lord and savior to design such a bike. The 750GT used Taglioni’s new, L-twin, they call it that because
of the 90 degree angle between the cylinders and also to differentiate
itself from Harley’s V-twin. The 750GT’s stiff frame and
quality suspension gave the bike an edge over other superbikes
but it still lacked power. (motorcycle engine roaring) So Taglioni went and developed
a desmo version of the bike, the 750 Imola desmo and
in 1972 at the running of the Imola 200, British
racer, Paul Smart, and Italian racer, Bruno Spaggiari, won first and second place on
their new Italian stallions. (motorcycles buzzing loudly) The Imola 200 is Europe’s
version of Daytona 200 so having a Ducati as the winning bike was a huge fricking deal. By 1974 you could walk
into a Ducati dealership and drop some liras on
on a 750 Supersport, a production bike built on the foundation of the Imola race bike. Only 401 of them were built in 1974, it was pretty much a race
bike with a headlight and turn signals. It might be considered the most
significant production bike in the company’s history and
by far the most sought after. Just look them up,
they’re super expensive. Ducati would close out the
’70s on top with their boy, Mike, The Bike. After an 11 year self-imposed retirement, Mike Hailwood decided to throw
his leg over Ducati again, this time at the Isle of Man TT. Aboard his Ducati 900 SS, Hailwood, shocked the motorcycle scene
by winning the Formula 1 class. Their 900 SS went on to become
their number one selling bike but in the eyes of Taglioni, he knew that to keep the
company from closing in years to come they needed to keep evolving, which is why Donut is
bringing a bunch of new shows to you guys in 2020, to
make sure you don’t miss any of those hit that notification bell, baby! Taglioni knew that his bevel engine design was too expensive to be
feasible for any longer. He developed a new twin that
used the same 90 degree, L layout but replaced the
expensive bevel system with a cheaper, easy to
manufacture rubber belt. To this day, Ducati still uses
belts to drive their cams. (motorcycle engine rumbling loudly) The new engine was
first put in the Pantah. The 500 cc Pantah not only
featured Taglioni’s new motor but Ducati’s new trellis frame. This design lets the frame
flex in lateral direction, which in layman’s terms, it helps the bike hook up in corners and corners is good for racing. (motorcycle engine roaring) Only a few years would go by
before Ducati released their 750 F1 to acclaimed success. For the first time on a Ducati road bike, it got Ducati’s signature dry clutch. If Harley V-twins are known for their plop plop exhaust note, Ducati is known for it’s
bag of bolts clutch rattle. (motorcycle engine rattling loudly) It’s very distinctive,
some people like it, some people don’t but it’s unmistakable. Even the sales success of
the F1 was overshadowed by Ducati’s deep financial woes. It seemed no matter how good or how many motorcycles
Ducati built and sold, they were always on the
verge of closing down due to financial troubles. Remember, this was Italy in the 1980s, they were still under
communist rule and Ducati was a state-owned organization and the state of Italy was no bueno. Ducati needed capital to stay afloat or else they’d have to close their doors. Lucky for them, there was
another Italian company looking to save Ducati’s (beep). Cagiva. Cagiva was a young motorcycle company owned by the Castiglioni brothers. When Cagiva bought Ducati in May 1985, they knew the Japanese
manufacturers were already ahead of the game and they needed
a bike in their line up that could compete with the
powerful Japanese four bangers. They needed a new, powerful engine. (motorcycle engine revving loudly) The desmo Quattro, a
liquid-cooled, multi-valve, fuel-injected evolution
of the 750 cc L-twin. The new motor would form the basis of their new flagship sport bike, the 851. The 851 was a screamer. It made roughly 100 hrsprs,
making it the most powerful Ducati ever built at the time. It set the stage for the World Superbike
Championship series dominance. Since the series was
formed in 1988, Ducati, has more World Superbike titles
than any other manufacturer combined! The 851 was the bike that started their
dominance in the series, taking the Championship in 1980. It paved the way for Ducati’s of the ’90s and more specifically the most famous and beloved motorcycle
Ducati has ever built. The 916. (motorcycle engine roaring loudly) The 916 may go down as
Ducati’s most beautiful bike. Overnight it seemingly changed
the world of superbikes as we know it. Not only from a performance standpoint but in the looks department. This Italian beauty was
the belle of the ball. The shape of the bike was
based on the shape of a woman. I’m not making this up. When the dudes were
explaining how the bike looks, the designers said, the
916 has the silhouette of a voluptuous woman. (gasping) Curvy hips! To be fair, if you ask any Italian guy
what inspired his design, of anything, he will
probably say it was a woman. The 916 had exhaust pipes
that went under the seat, which improved aerodynamic performance and while it didn’t make as much power as the Japanese bikes at the time, the L-twin desmo engine produced
a more even torque spread, which made it easier to ride fast. Combine that with it’s awesome
handling and amazing brakes, it was unstoppable! It was the 1995 Motorcycle of the Year. They kept the overall package of that bike for the next 10 years, using the 916 as the foundation
for the 996 and the 998. Over that 10 year period, Ducati, won six world titles, 65 pole positions, 115 races and 306 podiums. Around the same time the 916 came out, another bike was released
that helped cement Ducati as one of the most
beloved motorcycle brands across the world. Il Mostro, or, The Monster. (motorcycle revving loudly) Designer, Miguel Angel Galluzzi, took inspiration from the street
fighter bikes of the ’80s, when riders would remove
their crash fairings to reveal the frame and engine, they also called them naked bikes. If there’s one thing you
don’t wanna mess with, it’s a naked street fighter. Just a little tip from big bro. With no fairings, The Monster,
exposed it’s trellis frame and signature L-twin engine, showing off the engineering beaut. Interestingly enough, The
Monster, was a parts bin special. The engine and front half
of the frame came off the 900 Supersport, the bottom
section of the frame off an 851, the forks from a 750 Supersport, the motorcycle that would go on to account for half of
Ducati’s sales by 2005, was more or less a beautiful,
Italian, Frankenstein. He’s alive! After years of success with
their current sport bike lineup and The Monster bikes, Ducati, pissed off a bunch of purists with their new sport bike, the 999. The more futurist shape of the 999 turned a lot of diehard Ducatistas off. It didn’t stop Ducati from
winning on the track though. It won three World Superbike
Championships in the five years that the bike raced the series. Now if you’re a MotoGP fan and curious why there are
no Ducati entries pre 2002, it really comes down to engines. In the early ’70s, the landscape of racing
was beginning to change. In the 500 cc class,
four-strokes dominated but soon the technology would shift and benefit two-stroke machines unfortunately for Ducati, they didn’t have a two-stroke engine but in 2002 MotoGP changed the
rules to favor four-strokes. So Ducati got back in the game with their first MotoGP
engine, the Desmosedici. The Desmosedici is pretty much two L-twins next to each other. It took fives years but in 2007,
Ducati rider, Casey Stoner, rode a Desmosedici to Ducati’s first MotoGP World Championship title, baby! You could even get your hands on a road legal version of
Ducati’s MotoGP bike, the Desmosedici RR. All you needed is 72,500 bones and you can
join the likes of Tom Cruise, as one of the few owners
of the motorcycle. Only 300 were sold in the US. On the production side of things, the 2000s brought a host of
new models to the market. We got the Multistrada in
2003, an upright adventurer. The Hypermotard, 2007, a
cross between a supermoto and a street bike and
in 2007 Ducati went back to the drawing board and built a completely new flagship
two-wheel rocket, the 1098. (motorcycle engine roaring loudly) Going back to the beautiful
look of it’s great granddaddy, the 916, the 1098, got some
classic Italian stylings with sharp lines, a single-sided swingarm and horizontally placed headlights. It even did pretty good
in the racing game. The FIM reached a deal
for the 2008 season, allowing twins up to 1200 cc to race. Ducati won 12 races during that season and the world title. Ducati took advantage of the
new World Superbike rules and bumped up the displacement to 1198 cc of buff biker power! The 1198 even got traction control, one of the first production
bikes to have that feature. From the 1198 spawned the 1199, the 1199 had the highest power to weight and torque to weight ratios of any production motorcycle
when it hit the market but like all things Ducati,
that wasn’t good enough so they built a version
called the Superleggera, which means light weight in Italian, you just learned something. The Superleggera used a
magnesium monocoque chassis, magnesium wheels and
carbon fiber body panels. It made 200 hrspr. (motorcycle engine roaring) It only weighed 342 pounds. It would’ve held the
title for highest power to weight ratio of any street bike, ever, but again in true Ducati fashion, they proceeded to push
the envelope even further! (motorcycle engine roaring loudly) It’s newer, younger, hipper
brother, the 1299 Superleggera, went fricking crazy with
first time features. It was the first ever factory
motorcycle equipped with a carbon fiber frame,
subframe, swing-arm and wheels. Add in carbon fiber body
panels, an aluminum tank and 250 horsepower and you have a motorcycle
that is unbelievable! Which brings us to Ducati’s
latest and greatest, the V4. In 2018, Ducati, ended an era of putting their signature
L-twin engine into their top of the line superbikes. Their Italian competitor,
Aprilia, had come out with a V4 powered motorcycle in 2010
and found immediate success. It was so good that the bike got banned from racing the following year. Ducati knew, looking forward, that it would be in their best interest to start working on a competing V4, so the Panigale was born. As Ducati’s first large
production street bike with a V4, it ended almost 60 years of
Ducati using Taglioni’s L-twin. From an engineering standpoint,
it’s another masterpiece, pulling from the MotoGP world. The V4’s engine rotates
in the opposite direction of the wheels, which helps the bike make quicker inclination changes. It has traction control, wheelie control and fricking drift
control and even winglets that hang off the fairing to help keep the front end planted. Fricking canards on a motorcycle, dude. We got one right here! It’s gorgeous. Right now, you can go
down to a Ducati dealer and get a 200 mile per hour screamer, one of the world’s fastest vehicles for the price of a well equipped Camry. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ma take that bad boy
and go pop some wheelies. If you guys wanna see
more motorcycle content, let me know in the comments. We may be working on a motorcycle show. Speaking of more stuff, we
have a second channel now, can you believe it? It’s called Donut Podcasts,
it’s got our podcast, Past Gas, on there, it’s gonna
have all of our podcasts. Make sure you hit that
bell so you get notified. I love you.

100 thoughts on “DUCATI – Everything You Need to Know | Up to Speed

  1. as an italian this video made me cry, we were so great, so ahead in tecnology, now we live in our past T.T

    P.S. awesome video as always

  2. James, great storytelling dude! Still, italian pronunciation makes me cringe, bit I guess me (an italian guy) sounds just the same pronunciating American slang.

  3. Man you guys couldn't come out with a video at a better time. This incompetent political BS on both sides is a headache

  4. Your facts are cool. Your narration is a heaping pile of shit. I wanted to watch the whole video but it's just gross.

  5. Man it's insane how u can jus give a 10min talk and get guys up to speed on knowledge of a manufacturer.. It's some of the few things I like abt technology

  6. How could Hitler "force" a company in an ally country to do something? Fact of the matter is, Ducati won that huge military contract and was stoked as fuck about it. I didn't know this channel was fake news but I guess it's not surprising…

  7. You guys should do an episode on Triumph! There's a lot of interesting history, including a failed car company and a rebirth of the motorcycle company after shutting down for several years. Plus, the company was started in the 19th century, which would have to make them one of the first motorized bicycle companies.

  8. I've test driven one a few years ago. I bruised my left nut coming down on the tank after a minor highsider.

    I came back with my gear dripping wet from sweating so much. Most stressful test drive of my life and I had a sore sack for weeks after reminding me the best thing about a ducati is looking at it.

  9. Would love to see an up to speed on Yamaha. The RD 350LC (a bike so popular almost all of them were stolen at least once) to the rz500 (a 4cyl 2 stroke beast) to the crossplane demon that is the R1M they have made some incredible bikes and , i think, deserve an episode.

  10. "they build race bikes, then they throw on a headlight and turn signals and call it turn signal" couldn't be more true

  11. mate, everytime u say"cagiva" in that way, an italian engine designer die…πŸ˜…
    We still love your style…we need Mooooore pooweeer babe!!

  12. Have you been drinking the kool aid again? Ducati doesn't build race bike and slab on lights to make it street legal, that pratice was ditched years ago. However Suzuki still do and Aprilia does (βŒβ– _β– )

  13. I could not believe that Italy was communist, so I looked it up. Commies got 1/3 of the vote in 1984, more than any other party. Why do people vote away their own freedom?

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