Ducati, like many other brands from the automotive world that came from Italy, evokes a burning passion, unlike any other machine, no matter how brilliant or precisely engineered they may be. Ducati is a motorcycle brand loved by many, disliked by few, and noticed by all. Founded in 1926 not as a motorcycle manufacturer, but as a company that made radio equipment, the Societa Radio Brevetti Ducati went on until the factory was destroyed in a bombing in 1944, during World War II.

Some good came out of the rubble of the original factory, however. As reconstruction began, Ducati was looking to build different kinds of products, and as it turned out, the Italian government wanted them to focus on a motorized bicycle. By 1946 the first 50cc motorized bicycle from Ducati was available for sale. The rest is history and the brand has been evolving ever since, to the point where today is a major player in some of the most competitive segments of the motorcycle industry.

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Ducati Holds A Legacy Unlike Any Other European Motorcycle Brand

A front action shot of a 2022 Ducati Panigale V4 on a racetrack
A 2022 Ducati Panigale V4 cornering on a racetrack

But what’s so special about Ducati that differentiates it from other household names from Europe such as BMW, KTM, Aprilia, and Husqvarna, among others? There is more than one answer to that question, and one of them is the way the brand connects with its customers. Ducati follows the adventures of its customers and registers them on its website. More than that, they help their customers plan and participate in long adventures with unique travel packages that will send them on their way to unforgettable rides all over the world. They also offer training courses to bring customers together and get them more acquainted with their bikes and their capabilities. These are great opportunities for those looking to find a place among peers who share a common passion, the love for Ducati motorcycles.

The training sessions are highly didactic and specific, though they will meet each rider at their point of need. There are courses for beginners, all the way to the most advanced riders with professional instructors such as Andrea Rossi, Ducati’s official test rider. Ducati is an Italian national treasure, much like brands such as Ferrari and Lamborghini, it’s an icon Italians are proud of and the whole world has a chance to enjoy it. It is no coincidence red is Ducati’s official color, as it is the color most associated with passion and other strong emotions such as excitement, love, and even fury. Speaking of which, Ducati has created some of the most furious bikes on the market. The Diavel, the Multistrada, and the Panigale, all of them come with Ducati’s new V4 engine, arguably one of the best engines you can put on a motorcycle, are some examples of motorcycles with a blistering performance from the Italian brand.

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Ducati Has Built Its Brand Around Experiences

Image of a red Ducati Multistrada V4 Pikes Peak motorcycle
An action shot of Ducati Multistrada V4 Pikes Peak leaning down the corner. 

Much like Harley-Davidson, Ducati understands motorcycling goes beyond the product offered. Not that the product doesn’t matter, far from it, but what’s most memorable and able to create a long-lasting relationship between the customers and the brand are the experiences lived. In that sense, Ducati borrowed a lot of strategies from Harley-Davidson. They encourage and promote events that bring their riders together, and they even use it as an advertising outlet to show Ducati is not just out to sell motorcycles. Sure, one can buy a Ducati and only ever visit the dealer again when it's time for a service, but for many, the brand offers an opportunity for the customer to become enamored with its rich history, whether in motorsports, or travel adventures around the world.

Ducati, much like Harley-Davidson has an exclusive magazine published and delivered to Ducati owners. This investment in consolidating the brand as a way of life is what distinguishes this particular Italian brand from the rest. They’ve also made a very successful attempt at luring in younger generations with the Scrambler lineup, which is Ducati’s ‘Sportster’ per se.

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Italian Passion Runs Through Every Motorcycle

2023 Ducati Monster SP
via: Ducati
A rider on the Ducati Monster SP doing stunts on the highway

Even without their direct involvement, some memorable adventures have been made more special because a Ducati motorcycle was involved. Back in 2012 some brave fellow got on his Panigale and decided to travel the world. The ride was documented by the rider in a diary format and landed in several different forums and was aptly named: ‘Round the world with an Italian Supermodel’. It was a life-changing adventure for that rider, and what inspired him to do it was that supermodel sitting in his garage. The things people do for love.

Harking back to the question posed at the beginning of this article, this commitment to the brand and how it is experienced by its customers, the pride and passion carried along with the Ducati name, and the state-of-the-art motorcycles they make are what gives Ducati the edge as the one true premium European motorcycle brand. We don't mean to say that the other brands are bad, because that is simply not true, but for the most part, they lack that traditional Italian flavor when it comes to creating machines people not only want to ride, but also want to experience.