Episode 01 - The Concept

Shaping Lightness

Interview with
Stefano Strappazzon,
Project 1708 Coordinator.

1708 is a project that can only be implemented in Borgo Panigale, Bologna, at Ducati Motor Holding. It is a project where excellence, engineering and dreams come together in a direction that is as aspirational as it is performative. It is such an ethereal and yet so extremely concrete project, made of matter, sounds, futuristic technologies, speed and very strong emotions.

We talked about it with Stefano Strappazzon, 1708 Project Owner.

“It’s every designer’s dream to work on a project like 1708. It’s a chance to develop solutions that you could otherwise never bring to market. It’s a unique opportunity to sit down with the team at the start of the project knowing that we’re all there to try to do the best that the company can do, to create a new benchmark from an engineering and research point of view”.

1708 is a project in which the dreamy aspect is fundamental. Because the brief is to create a bike that can establish a new engineering peak. This high goal motivated the Ducati staff to do their utmost to think and implement a new development process that has proven to be closer to aeronautics than motorcycling.

“With 1708 we were able to unleash our creativity in terms of technical solutions, materials and processes with the goal of pushing the limits for every specification and achieving maximum performance. It’s a process similar to what Ducati Corse does for MotoGP, but at the end of the project we have to ensure absolute reliability for the life of the bike, not just for the current racing season. You could almost say that 1708 is a MotoGP with mirrors and a number plate holder”.

 

 

All calculation methods for component testing come from Ducati Corse. But the Corse team does not guarantee the components for the life of the bike, only for a few races or at least a season. With 1708 we use the same technologies and materials that are used for prototypes, but we guarantee the reliability of a motorcycle in series. As in aeronautics, we develop an impressive number of virtual simulations, we subject the components to thermographies, tomographies and ultrasound checks. We want each of the 500 models produced to be perfect.

“1708 is a project where we can use an artisanal – almost artistic – process to design the components and the engine, and then employ all of Ducati’s know-how to ensure the reliability of each component as if it were made industrially. There’s nothing like it in the motorcycling world, it’s really a dream come true”.

 

 

Real dreams are anything but inconsistent. From dreams, ideas are generated, ideas become projects, projects become prototypes and prototypes become results and emotions. We must never underestimate dreams. The history of Ducati, as well as its present, show that dreams are the fundamental inspiration behind every project. Without a vision, even utopian, it is not possible to evolve.

“Projects like 1708 are demonstration projects, where we show what we can do. But they are also important moments of innovation for the company. Using tests on composite materials we define processes that have a positive influence on the entire company’s know-how.

And the result is amazing, both for the bike’s specs and its performance and, more importantly, as can be seen in the ecstatic faces of our riders when they get off the bike after testing”.

 

An investment in research and development that is really important for us, especially if we consider that it focuses on just 500 limited edition models.

1708 is an extremely Ducati project, in which we progressively engineer each unknown, cross feasibility barriers and shape lightness into the total emotion of speed.