Ducati motorcycles are known for their thundering V-Twins, striking designs, and of course, their Italian heritage. From Cucciolo to Desmosedici, the company's history can be traced by decades. When it was first founded in the northern part of Bologna back in 1926, there was no production of motorcycles in its Borgo Panigale plant, with the main focus being manufacturing radio equipment.
Unfortunately, the firm's Italian premises were decimated during World War II and, like other notable European marques, Ducati was born out of the ashes to the reputable stature we know today. The company started manufacturing motorcycles after the war, which were simply motors connected to bicycles. By the early fifty's, Ducati was manufacturing stand along motor scooters. Before the decade ended, they were already making a name for themselves in the racing world.
Below are the top 10 Ducati motorcycles of all time.
1. 1959 Ducati 250 Twin
In 1959, Mike Hailwood - a young British rider - appeared to have destiny on his side. Apart from being an extremely talented rider, his dad (Stan Hailwood) was also very wealthy, providing him with connections in the world of biking and the financial backing he needed. The only thing missing? The ideal bike.
When the Ducati 250 was created, Mike began his legendary ties with the company, making him one of the greatest racers of all time. Taglioni designed a fine twin cylinder for Mike at the young rider's father's request, a 250 with a stroke 55 x 55.25 and bore, similar to the 125 desmo valve gear. A central gear train was used to drive the distribution. The resultant bike could deliver 37 horsepower at 11,600 revs and came with a twin-tube cradle. When it first debuted, the classic 250 Twin sold for between $3,800 - $5,200.
2. 1970 Ducati 750 GT
Origins are usually riddled in mystery, but the Ducati 750's exact evolution is still discernible. The precise date of birth for the bevel gear twin cylinders with a 90degree V configuration (nicknamed "L-twin" configuration) is 20th March, 1970. Fabio Taglioni composed the first sketch of what is believed to be his best loved and most popular engine: the big pump (or pompone). The prototype did not take long before being placed on the bench. As far as balance was concerned, the longitudinally-arranged twin cylinder in a ninety-degree V configuration was the best choice. Its price in 1970s was $1,995, but you can get it for $5,000-$8,000.
3. Ducati 900cc Supersport Twin
After the round-case twins 750, Ducati introduced the Sport & Super Sport Desmo, realizing that the brand did not have any super sport motorbike worthy of competing against the Japanese. This led to the creation of the Ducati 900 to fill this gap. The first approach the company took was more touring-oriented, with Giugiaro styling the 860GT which, unfortunately, didn't capture the public's attention. Fortunately, they introduced a sportier model at the same time - the 900 SuperSport - that featured an 860cc engine derived from the initial L twin engine. Today, the motorcycle goes for $4,200 to $12,800.
4. 1987 Ducati 851
In 1987, Ducati introduced the 851 that instantly recreated the company's image and wowed testers with its powerful engine. After constant improvements, the bike became the premier four-stroke motorcycle of its time, representing both the brand's styling and its remarkable technical expertise simultaneously. The 851S, which was an upgrade of the original, went on to become one of the most sought-after motorcycles on the road. The asking price for the 851 is $5,000.
5. 1994 Ducati 916 SBK
Only a phenomenal motorcycle such as the 916 SBK could bury the 888 into the shadows. It featured two of the most important things professional riders look for in a bike: it was lighter and more powerful. Easy on the eyes and with an ageless grace, 916 came with a speed paralleled by a matching maneuverability and an engine that was comparable to a fine vintage wine! A clean model is worth $7,000 today.
6. 2004 Ducati Desmosedici RR - The Firebreather
The introduction of the Desmosedici RR brought the world of motorcycles to a standstill. Not only did it set the pace for race reps, but it also had an interesting history revolving its value. If you are looking for MotorGP rep, the Desmosedici RR is probably the most affordable motorcycle on the market (that is, if you consider $52,000 affordable). Designed with the GP6 MotoGP (which Sete Gibernau and Loris Capirossi competed on in the last model years of 990cc beasts before being watered down to 800cc) in mind, the only significant road concessions concerning the bike's engine were to ensure reliability. The RR's V4 989cc engine had 42.56mm and 82mm bore, which was boosted by desmo drive system and twin pulse firing order.
7. 2005 Ducati 999
The Ducati 999 hit the market by storm and was even hailed by the press as the greatest Twin ever manufactured. It proved its ability to win on tracks across the globe, with the most captivating features being the cool and innovative design. The Ducati 999 appears to be in motion even when resting. The idea was to produce a Dukati Super-bike with a spectacular design while enhancing rider ergonomics, offering exceptional performance, reducing complexity, and making maintenance easier.
The running gear, chassis, mechanical & electronic components, and aerodynamics were developed first before styling. The engines reflect these machines' sports personality, with the amazing twin cylinder engine introducing sheer performance expertise to every equipment version. These attributes were made possible while observing environmental concerns: each and every twin cylinder engine is in compliance with strict Euro2 regulations. The Ducati 999 sells for $7,800 to $15,800.
8. 2007 Ducati 1098 S
Introduced in 2007, the 1098S is arguably the most performance oriented Ducati of all time, thanks to massive utilization of racing components and extreme weight saving that further enhance the record-breaking project. The bike's suspensions achieve the maximum performance standards as the 43mm FG511 Öhlins front fork (which is fully adjustable) compensates for any road imperfection. It has a super-quality TiN surface finishing that allows you to experience completely what is happening between the road and the front tire, ensuring top riding control. The current price tag for the 1098S is $18,995.
9. 2008 Ducati 1198S
Nobody else has a V-twin 168bhp on its books, equipped with data-recording, Öhlins suspension, traction control, etc. If they do, it probably cost much more than the $19,000 Ducati 1198 S. What's more, chances are it wouldn't come with the same shattering performance all contained in a chassis that has more personality than Gandalf from Lord Of the Rings. It's one of those motorcycles everyone should be allowed to ride at least once in their life to experience the best V-twin ever manufactured! It has an asking price of $16,495.
10. Ducati Multistrada 1200
The Ducati Multistrada 1200 can adapt easily to any road conditions, ensuring safety, fun, comfort, versatility, and superior performance. The bike uses front-line technologies. The engine, in particular, adjusts according to rider choices or riding conditions, making the Multistrada 1200 undisputed when it comes to flexibility. Current price: $19,695.
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Written by Garrett Parker
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