Very few road trips enjoy international press coverage and a ceremonial passing of a torch, but Ducati is behind this particular journey and it is celebrating the motorcycle manufacturer’s colorful 90 year history.
Australian Steve Fraser has concluded his trip from America’s Deep South to New York, and the ‘torch’ and Ducati motorcycle have returned to Europe, to Lisbon, where they are now in the hands of Englishman Hugo Wilson, who will ride to the Isle of Man.
The second leg of the American portion of Ducati’s worldwide celebration covered 4,200 kilometers when Australian Steve Fraser rode from the deep south of America up to New York. The 50 year old landscape photographer and expert rider travelled for 17 days, heading first to Cincinnati before crossing the Kentucky Mountains to Nashville, Tennessee. From there he continued on to Birmingham, Alabama, home to the Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum, the largest motorcycle museum in the United States.
Then came a long ride along the roads of Georgia, and on towards Florida and the famed Daytona track. Reportedly, the Australian globetrotter was particularly excited to take to the track at which Ducati scored two of its legendary wins, with Franco Farnè on the 125 Desmo VI in 1959, and with Marco Lucchinelli on the Ducati 750 F1 in the 1986 "Battle of the twins".
Tillman South Carolina and New York, New York - Source Ducati
Fraser rode through the Florida Keys and over the famous bridges, battling torrential rain at some points to make his way to the country’s most southerly point, located in Key West. Turning around, the road trip headed northwards towards the North Carolina Mountains where a series of hairpin allowed him to tap into the Multistrada 1200 Enduro.
Onto Virginia and then the town of Summit, New Jersey where a historic radio signal arrived from Europe on January 25th 1924. It was the first shortwave intercontinental transmission ever made and was sent by 21-year old Adriano Cavalieri Ducati from Bologna. The founding families work with radio is discussed in Clutch and Chrome’s article, ‘Ducati Museum - We Take You Three!’
The torch was then handed over to the next rider to tackle the sixth leg.
Aged 54, Hugo Wilson is a motorcycle magazine editor and the latest globetrotter. He has travelled the length and breadth of Europe by motorcycle, as well as all over the Mediterranean. A writer and photographer, Wilson has been passionate about motorcycles since he was 10.
“When I first saw my cousin’s Ducati, it was love at first sight! “Recounts the globetrotter, “And when I finally bought my own bike, it was of course red… a Ducati is forever.”
Hugo Wilson, starting his leg - Source Ducati
On Wilson’s travel itinerary, a visit to Silverstone, where legendary champion Mike Hailwood rode Ducati motorcycles to achieve two race wins in two different classes on the same day in 1960. Also, Donington Park track, where on 3 April 1988 the very first World Superbike race took place, won by Marco Lucchinelli on the brand new 851 SBK.
The actual Multistrada 1200 Enduro being used for this extraordinary ride around the world will be showcased at the Motorcycle Live show in Birmingham. The final destination during this sixth leg of Globetrotter 90th will be the Isle of Man, where Mike Hailwood achieved his greatest ever victory, winning the Tourist Trophy on 2 June 1978 with the Ducati 900 SS TT IOM to the joy of 300,000 spectators, a result that Ducati celebrated with the 900 Mike Hailwood Replica.
Readers can follow the Globetrotter 90th adventure through the road trip’s website, Ducati’s Facebook page or on Social media with the hashtag #globetrotter90.