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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been in Italy for work nearly a week now and had an unexpected day off today so I decided to make a short trip down to Bologna from Venice (about an hour) to visit the Ducati factory!

Upon arrival I was a little disappointed that I may not get in on the tour of the factory since you are supposed to have arranged an appointment in advance, but we happened to luck out by being american...which is unusual in Europe. The 2 tour guides (very cute italian females) happpened to have a thing for americans and my single friend who was with me picked up on it and ran with it. Next thing I know he was proposing to her and she was loving every minute of it :rolleyes:

Needless to say, we were on the next tour with her as our guide!

As for the tour... What a great experience to be able to walk the floor where my 2 Ducati were built. There is a HUGE sense of pride from all the Ducati employees and it come through in the tour when the guide asks what everyone in the group rode and for those with "Jap" bikes to go back to the front gate! There were a few other comments that shocked me because we are so politically correct in the USA that I think we sometimes forget that pretty much everywhere else you can say what's on your mind without fear of being sued for it because it hurt someone's feelings...

Anyway, the tour consisted of a walkthough of the machining facility, engine building, bike assembly (Hypermotards in full swing), the corsa section, and the final test run area. I want the job of being the test run guy! Each bike is put on a dyno and run through the wringer listening, feeling, and checking electronics to make sure everything is good. All in all in was about a 3-4 minute process with about 2-3 bikes inline. Got to watch a new Monster 1100S get run in and the good to go thumbs up from the guy doing the job. From there they seem to have an area where perhaps some tuning is done after the dyno run to fix any minor issues found.

Last was the streetfighter and desmosedici production area and then on to the museum. I've got pictures from the museum which I will have to post when I get home at the end of the week.

The highlight of the trip though... Spied the new Multistrada!!! Just as we were walking out the front gate, 2 ducati's come roaring down the street and stop at the front gate. At first I thought they were hyper's, but then noticed the tall windscreen and dual angled headlights similar to the 1198 but tilted up quite a bit more. The front fairing looks a lot like the hyper nose with the 2 "snout-like" opening at the front, but gets much wider to wrap around like the old multistrada front end did. The headlight area of the fairing looked very cool along with the windscreen which looks much shorted than the previous multi. The tail of the bike was alos very similar to the streetfigthers tail, but with an extra bump on top (most likely a second seat or storage area). Like the last multistrada the exhaust was under the seat, but was a pretty slick and well integrated looking can with dual outlets. Looks like what they should have put on the hyper...!!! Other than that the bike was basically the same aas the hyper and seemed to perform like it too... Both test riders pulled nice long power wheelies across the front parking lot to show off a little bit for the tour group. Thos epower wheelies were then followed by a nice display of backing it into a left hand turn to go around the back of the building:D Best of all was that 1 of the 2 riders tearing it up was a girl!!!

Overall great experience for any ducati rider visiting Italy. I just wish they had the PUMA Ducati V2 1000 boots in my size since they were on clearance for 200 euro. They largest size they had was one size too small but they were still damn comfortable. Way more than my alpinestars!

However, I did pick up some footpeg sliders while I was there so I look forward to grinding the down at my upcoming July 2nd trackday.
 

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one of the 2 girls is named Natasha... she lived in Dallas for years and misses the US. We got to know each other behind a display of the CUcciolo engine in the museum and then again behind Troy Bayliss' 1999 SBK... or was it the 2000? Lost track :D
 

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one of the 2 girls is named Natasha... she lived in Dallas for years and misses the US. We got to know each other behind a display of the CUcciolo engine in the museum and then again behind Troy Bayliss' 1999 SBK... or was it the 2000? Lost track :D
:cool:
 

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Great report!

From your description of it being like a Hyper am I to assume the new Multi is an air cooled DS1100? Rumor had it being a 1098 motor.
 

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I just bought my ticket to Italy so I can go on that tour!!!!! Well..... I imagined that I did. Sounds awesome and thanks for the report.

:abduct:
 

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I googled 'Natasha' and 'Ducati Factory' and came up with this (for those of us who like to watch...):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lTJdvRQ1c9w

Hint: it's indicates that Natasha is the blond with the glasses.
 

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I'm less than 300 miles away right now but I think I'm going to wait until I ship one of my bikes here so I can ride there instead. Anybody knows if you get a free T-shirt when you show up at the factory with a US tagged bike?!? :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
one of the 2 girls is named Natasha... she lived in Dallas for years and misses the US. We got to know each other behind a display of the CUcciolo engine in the museum and then again behind Troy Bayliss' 1999 SBK... or was it the 2000? Lost track :D
Yes! Natasha was our tour guide! Her love for the USA is the reason we got in on the tour unscheduled :)
 

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Very cool. The closest I got to a Ducati factory tour was the "Ducati" episode, Twist the Throttle (Discovery channel HD)

Pride goes a long way when it comes to assembly line manufacturing. I watched the Kawasaki factory tour on the same show series.With Kawasaki cranking out 1200 bikes a day, the assembly line workers don't have time for pride. The work stations are broken down into a few small tasks rather then being responsible for a larger assembly. I would be proud to say I was responsible for assembing a complete fork assembly at Ducati over knowing I only install the fork reflectors at Kawasaki.
The Kawasaki assembly floor electronically dictatated what torque wrench to use and what parts to install by a series of lights at each work station...taking the possiblility of human error out of the picture. To me this also takes responsibility away and then the pride of knowing you were capable to make the proper decisions.
 

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I was there last year and I thought it was amazing. I shook the hand of the guy that assembled alot of the 848's and he asked me if I knew the serial number, because he could look up who built it and if they were around.

We also got told by the cute Italian girl that if we didnt get off the assembly line, where we were looking at the Desmo's she would loose her job. We complied...

The working atmosphere was fantastic, something that I am not used to in North America. Pride in workmanship is evident and I felt proud to be one of two people on the 15 person tour that owned a Ducati. My girlfriend was the second. We actually planned the trip to Italy around the Factory Tour and I think I will try to go over again next year to do the DRE... Ducati Riding Experience.

The race development section looked interesting, too bad we were not allowed to go in... wonder why, lol!
Stoners bike was at the museum, as well as Foggy's, who is a good friend of a guy I work with. (I am still waiting for the autographed pic...)
 

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So let me see if I understand this so far. We get a nice report on a Ducati factory tour, we admire the chick leading the tour, we gush about all the pride built into a Ducati, then we determine the Japs have no pride in their work cause we seen a Kawi factory in full production on the Discovery Channel, then it is concluded one could not experience this in North America.............what a couple of meat whistles! :confused:

Out!
 

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Meat whistles...thats funny. I am not saying the guys at Kawasaki aren't proud of there bikes, they should be, all the Japanese bikes are phenomenal. I was merely stating it would be difficult to feel a part of the build process with it being broken down into small tasks. I am an Engineer and their is a big difference between designing a bolt and overseeing a project.
Watch the Suzuki episode, the build process appears more hands on, more along the lines of how a Ducati or Triumph is built. Kawasaki's line appeared very "robotic".
 

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So let me see if I understand this so far. We get a nice report on a Ducati factory tour, we admire the chick leading the tour, we gush about all the pride built into a Ducati, then we determine the Japs have no pride in their work cause we seen a Kawi factory in full production on the Discovery Channel, then it is concluded one could not experience this in North America.............what a couple of meat whistles! :confused:

Out!
meat whistles... HA HA HA HA! ahhhhh HA HA HA HA!.... meat whistles. :D
 
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