Ducati concept takes Diavel to the max
Verona, Italy - This outrageous concept appeared unannounced on the Ducati stand at the weekend's Verona bike show.
Developed entirely in the Advanced Design section of the Ducati Design Centre, the DraXter takes the inner-city Stoplight Grand Prix persona of the new XDiavel to the max, reinventing Ducati's heavy cruiser as a full-on quarter-miler.
It's based on a standard XDiavel, with its swing-arm stretched to conform to Pro Stock rules and carrying a super-wide custom rim shod with a Pirelli drag slick.
Brakes and suspension at both ends are taken directly from the Panigale superbike, the bodywork and detailing have been even further pared down from the already minimal Diavel, accentuating the original bike's front-heavy, in-your-face proportions.
And of course a competition bike has to have a racing number; the no.90 emblazoned on the DraXter concept celebrates Ducati's 90th anniversary this year.
Societa Scientifica Radio Brevetti Ducati was founded in 1926 by Antonio Ducati and his sons Adriano, Marcello and Bruno to produce electronic components, which it still does under the name Ducati Energia.
Barely a month after the liberation of Italy by the Allies in 1944 the Ducati family entered into a partnership with aircraft engineer Aldo Farinelli of SIATA to market a 48cc clip-on engine for bicycles under the name 'Cucciolo' (puppy), named for its distinctive exhaust noise.
Six years and 200 000 engines later Ducati began marketing a complete motorcycle with a Cucciolo engine. The 55M weighed less than 45kg and had a top speed of little more than 60km/h - but it burned less than 1.2 litres of petrol per 100km which, in impoverished post-war Italy, was more important.
Within three years the tail was wagging the dog and Ducati Meccanica became a stand-alone company, housed in the same Borgo Panigale premises it occupies today, although it is now part of the Volkswagen empire as a subsidiary of Audi-owned Lamborghini - and the puppy of 1944 has become a pit bull.