Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The essence of the Ducati brand

I've been thinking a about what it means to me and how it makes me feel, to be a Ducati owner/rider. There's something special about the bike and the brand.



There is no doubt there is something almost Steve Jobs magical about the brand. For example, I can use the brand Ducati to amplify any point about luxury, quality, iconic branding. It resonates with everyone, rider or non, man woman and child. Almost everyone I know will know the point I am trying to make if I make it about Ducati. People all over the world look up to, and admire, a Ducati motorcycle, it embodies perfection in engineering, racing, riding and style. As a rider for the past 30 plus years of my life, I know the joys of motorcycle riding and, Ducati or not, that is something special to me, something I connect with on a very deep subconscious level. When I get on a bike, I am that young boy again maybe five or six years old, watching my brothers tear off down the scrub (it looked like a canyon when you are 2" high, but in all honesty it was just a valley in the scrub) with eyes wide open in absolute jealousy. Then my PeeWee 50 came and you could not get me off of it! A Pee Wee!
My Pee Wee looked just like this one, in fact I think I had trainer wheels even! Image courtesty of Bike Pics.com



 On the first day I rode up to show Mum, we had this drive through driveway, you could drive down along and up and out of it like a mini service road. Only when I got to the front door I couldn't stop, I didn't know about braking, or not accelerating and braking simultaneously - I just kept accelerating pulling a wheelie up the hedge and over onto my back - PeeWee screaming off into the ether.  I must have been five or six years old. From that day on I loved motorbikes, and I knew what a Ducati was. My brothers wanted them, we talked about them as the pinnacle of excellence in motorcycling. They were something the elite, the super rich, the best riders owned rode, and they only made red ones. That feeling of utter joy, abandonment of fear, and a sense of absolute immortality that takes over when I get on a bike has never really left me. Only now I know a lot more about riding them (in all sorts of conditions) and my adult sense of self preservation has kicked in.

I also know how to stop. I can keep up to some pretty  experienced riders, some of them with track and race experience. But I don't know half of what I should, and I digress. Motorcycles make me feel like a better man. Ridiculous that might sound to you but I just love being on two wheels. On the dirt, on the road, in the heat, hail, rain or shine I ride every day I can. Being on a Ducati only enhances that feeling to the point where I feel like a superior being from another galaxy. I am more than man. I am ultimate, the last man on earth and no one can touch me - I'm riding a Ducati.
Sookie - morning glory in Mt Macedon on a maiden voyage over the mountains

To me Ducati motorcycles are superior to every other motorbike I have ever owned or ridden, and there have been a few. It's the perfection of every nut bolt and chain holding them together. I remember getting home from the dealer on day one with Sookie, a brand new 2012 Ducati Hypermotard EVO SP, Corse edition glowing with carbon fibre goodness and all I could do was just sitting there looking at it. Admiring that every individual cable was exactly where it was meant to be, every bolt seemed like it grew in place and was completely natural. Every piece of carbon fibre seemed made of Batfink's impenetrable wings of steel and could never have been anywhere elese except exactly where it was. And the sounds it makes are like nothing else on earth. A symphony of rattles and chitter chatter of valves at idle and then a cacophony of clicks sometimes clunks and burrs up to 2000rpm which at the blip of your wrist explodes into a thunderous gut wrenching torque yielding power and sound so immense there is nothing else I'd rather be riding in the universe. Except maybe a Hoverboard.

All of these things are just part of the happyness of Ducati, part of that essence of brand. Last year Ducati sales in the United States rose 41 percent, in Canada rose 32 percent, and in Mexico’s two-year-old network jumped 174 percent. So the brand is doing well, no stats on Australian markets but the fact that the Diavel has done well here and they are releasing the Streetfighter 848 at the end of the month you can only take as a good sign that we are on the radar and very much a part of the Italian's marketing strategy. I'm so excited to be part of a brand like this, it resonates really nicely with me which is something I have never felt with any other motorcycle. I'm at home on Ducati. It's cult status stuff.