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If you like motorcycles, lots of interesting people and parties, you’ll probably love World Ducati Week just like I did. This was my first time experiencing it and hopefully not the last. I’ve always been a big bike enthusiast and after visiting this event, I’m sort of obsessed with getting my license and getting a Scrambler(more on this bike below) but that’s neither here, nor there.
The event took place in Misano Adriatico, an area in the Emilia Romagna region of Italy with lots to see and do. If you are in the area, be sure to spend some time on the beach, take a cooking class in Bologna and spend some time exploring San Marino. Enough of that though, now it’s time to learn more about World Ducati Week and Ducati the company in general…
World Ducati Week is a bi-annual gathering of Ducati motorcycle enthusiasts. Attendees can race Ducatis on an on-site track, learn more about Ducati’s latest innovations and meet thousands of fellow Ducati fans from across the globe. It’s basically a big gathering celebrating all things Ducati.
While the 2016 edition of World Ducati Week will only be the 9th time this event has been held since its debut in 1998, this year’s event will be a special one, as it marks the 90th anniversary of the Ducati brand.
Originally founded in 1926 to manufacture condensers, radio equipment and vacuum tubes, Ducati was inspired to begin producing its first bikes after a firm in Turin called SIATA produced an engine that assisted the motion of bicycles in 1944.
Selling 200,000 units by the end of the decade, Ducati then came out with a bike that integrated this style of engine within its body.
Ducati sold its first 48 cc model in 1950, with a top speed of 65 kilometres per hour and a weight of 98 pounds. Production increased slowly but steadily, and with innovations along the way, Ducati made history for the first time in 1964 when it introduced the Mach 1 to the market.
One of the fastest 250 cc bikes in the world when it was released, it seared the brand name of Ducati into the minds of motorcycle fans the world over.
Other innovations in areas such as desmodromic valve design and V-twin engines further cemented Ducati’s place in the world as a leading motorcycle manufacturer, making the company valuable to investors over the years.
The Ducati Monster was introduced in 1993, and went on to become the most popular bike in the company’s history by far. In the present day, it accounts for over half of the sales made by Ducati on an annual basis.
Ducati also furthered its brand in the 90’s by encouraging the growth of a community around its products. Nowadays, there are over 400 Ducati clubs worldwide,and over 20,000 subscribers to the Ducati owners website.
This has also led to the launch of World Ducati Week, which began in 1998, spawning nine events since that time.
What goes on during World Ducati Week?
With 65,000 people expected to pour through the gates in 2016, there will be plenty of opportunities to network and meet fellow Ducati enthusiasts from around the world during this year’s event. While the parties at night will likely be packed, there are also plenty of things to do during the day for fans of Ducati motorcycles.
Attendees will be able to race Ducati bikes on the Misano World Circuit, explore all the latest models, and attend the unveiling of the new 2017 model, and watch as they are put together in the factory. If you look around you can also find concerts, a barber shop, skate ramps and even a wall of death!
Additionally, the superstars of Ducati racing will be on hand to meet and greet with their fans. They also take to the track during World Ducati Week to show off their riding skills to attendees on the Misano World Circuit track.
Meet the 2017 Scrambler
The Scrambler has become one of Ducati’s best selling motorcycles in recent years. Sixty2, the most recent edition of this line, will be the big unveil at the 2016 edition of World Ducati Week.
Similar to the 803cc Scrambler that it released last year, the 2017 Sixty2 will boast half the former bike’s displacement at 399cc, but it will weigh the same, have slightly better fuel capacity, and it will contain less expensive parts.
This will make it more affordable to consumers looking for a less flashy bike that is long on performance. This bike is perfect for those who want something to cruise around on. From the moment I saw The Scrambler, I wanted one and after I sat on it, my suspicions were confirmed.
Globetrotter 90: A global adventure for intrepid bikers
Looking to celebrate its 90th anniversary in style, Ducati put out a call for bikers around the world to participate in an around the world rally. The name of this project is Globetrotter 90 and if you follow the link you can learn much more about this cool initiative. Designed to be done on the back of Multistrada Enduro, bikers will explore the roadways of countries around the globe, logging over 30,000 kilometers in just 120 days.
From the lengthy Trans-Siberian Highway, to the expressways of Japan and the United States and then the motorways of Europe, the 7 finalists that are chosen will have a life-changing travel experience. In addition to that, they will also visit locations throughout the world that hold a great significance to the history of Ducati.
The selection process is ongoing as we speak. They are looking for experienced riders that don’t just have the ability to ride their bikes skillfully, but also possess the social media savvy required to update blogs, as well as Facebook and Twitter feeds on a regular basis in a manner that furthers the brand of Ducati motorcycles. It’s the ultimate opportunity for diehard fans to have the trip of a lifetime and become part of Ducati’s history.
The online pool of applicants has presently been reduced to 14 finalists. Ducati enthusiasts from India to Colombia have reported to a boot camp in Tuscany, where these individuals will face a series of tests that will evaluate their driving ability, navigational and problem solving skills.
Their psychological and behavioral faculties will be assessed as well, as each of the finalists will be tackling a portion of the journey without the assistance of teammates.
The driving component of their training will be headed up by none other than Beppe Gualini. A veteran of Ducati rally races in Africa, he will put them through their paces by throwing every obstacle that could possibly confront them in their way.
He will also test their ability to make repairs on the fly, which are essential skills for those heading out on a solo global expedition. When the final 7 are chosen from this group, they will take turns driving the Multistrada Enduro around the globe, passing through some of the world’s most fascinating environments in the process.
The first departure was scheduled for the 4th of July, when the first selected rider of the 7 finalists departed on the back of a Multistrada Enduro from the Borgo Panigale factory in Bologna. At various locations around the globe, the other 6 will take their shift traversing their part of the voyage.
They will chronicle their journey as they go, whether it takes them across the vast expanses of Siberia, or the Great Plains of America. Anyway you look at it, it’s going to be a dream come true for the lucky Ducati fans selected and of interest for Ducati fans from around the world to follow.
Below are two videos from my time at World Ducati Week 2016.
In closing, I’d like to thank the fine people at iambassador and Ducati for creating, managing and sponsoring this campaign. That said, all thoughts are my own as they always have been and always will be.