When, in December 2001, Livio Lodi took over from Marco Montemaggi as Curator of the Ducati Museum, he knew that this would be no mere job but, rather, a mission: to educate new generations of "Ducatisti" and allow the old "Ducatiani" to relive the emotions of rediscovering the history of this "small" company.
That's no easy task, as the word "museum" can be off-putting.
A museum is normally thought of as a cold place for the plain storage of ancient artefacts, and in this modern era, in which change is constant, far-reaching and often sudden, the "luxury" of remembering the past is not always permissible.
Not so for Ducati. This Bologna-based firm has made tradition a key component of both its corporate image and its entire way of relating to the global motorcycling community. Tradition, of course, sometimes has to adapt to the times, but in competition and on roads all over the world Ducati has always
known how to come up with products of stunning authenticity and simplicity, flanked by painstaking attention to the development of new ideas and concepts that are always in keeping with the philosophy that makes Ducati motorcycles so special.
In 1956 the company introduced the Desmodromic system; in 1970 it launched the L-twin engine and in 1980 its trademark Trellis frame; in 1986 the four valve cylinder head was introduced. Some may say that Ducati is unreasonably attached to these technologies, that they might appear to be ‘old'; yet it is thanks to these ‘obsolete' solutions that we've managed to achieve results that were, in some ways, unimaginable.
The task of the Ducati Museum is to tell this story, to let people discover (or rediscover) what has made Ducati so famous and so loved. It doesn't do so in an ‘academic' fashion, but employs the allure that comes from rediscovering lost or
forgotten history, arousing the same emotions that might be experienced by an archaeologist on finding the traces of some long-gone civilisation.
Modern archaeology: that is what the
fascinating display of motorcycles represents. No less fascinating are
the stories that tie these machines to the riders who made them famous;
they are as inseparable from each other as knights and their steeds.
Today, arousing people's interest with a book containing only text is, in fact, no easy task, yet with the aid of images even distant history can immediately be brought to life.
It would be reductive and plain wrong to think that Ducati has only become famous through its recent success in MotoGP: that same Desmosedici has, in its DNA, everything that Ducati developed before it, from Superbikes and the production-derived racing bikes to the motorcycles of Smart and Hailwood®, all the way back to the tiny Cucciolo, the very ‘seed' from which the towering oak of
Ducati tradition grew.
this history, in seeing these motorcycles and listening once again to
the words of those who witnessed their success, it is quite simple to understand the secret
that has made Ducati so famous: passion.
A passion that leads to a true love of the brand and a special pride in being - as an employee, customer or fan - part of the same family: the grand Ducati family.
Welcome to the Dream. Welcome to the Ducati Museum.
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