Author: Ian Kerr MBE Posted: 22 Apr 2015
Ducati Desmodue –The Complete Story from Pantah to Scrambler
Latest in the Crowood ‘Motoclassics’ series is a book from keyboard of Greg Pullen who produces the magazine Benzina aimed at all fans of (primarily) classic Italian motorcycles. As a long-time fan of all two-wheeled products from Italy, you would expect the book to live up to its title and be a definitive work with very few errors, these only being picked up by those with a particular interest in the subject, unfortunately this is not the case.
Understandably the book starts with a useful quick canter though Ducati’s history and their early years with the now highly collectable single cylinder engines before moving onto the L-shaped V-twin configuration for which they are now rightly famed. However, Greg then starts the actual story of the Desmodues (two valves per cylinder) with the Pantah model, paying scant attention to the fact that all big bevel and pushrod Ducati’s that came before were technically Desmodues.
Some real marque ‘anoraks’ would also argue that the label was only applied retrospectively by the factory when they introduced the Desmoquatro models. You may think a small nit-picking point, but given the books title, it is worth mentioning!
However, the book then works its way through the firms’ history, the near collapses, various models, including the very important Monster range, their time under Cagiva and American ownership. It then brings things right up to the present with the launch of the new Scrambler models which Ducati are almost marketing as a separate brand.
As with all the Crowood books in the range, the layout is clean and makes for easy reading and is well-illustrated with colour plates throughout. Somewhat annoyingly though they have seen the need to credit each picture individually, instead of mentioning the various photo credits at the rear and I found it distracting. Likewise some of the more obvious typographic errors, especially the one concerning the dedication to Sports Motorcycles!
For anybody looking for an update on Ducati history and the modern day it is a good read, but if your bookshelves are groaning under other tomes, much of the historical information contained in this publication will already be present.
However, £25.00 for a quality publication is not a lot to pay to come up to date and the book will provide a good grounding for those new to the marque, perhaps enticed by the new Scrambler.
ISBN 978 184797 901 8
Available from all good bookshops or direct from the publishers Crowood www.crowood.com