Motorbooks’ The Art of Ducati

Story by Marcus Martellacci//
March 1 2017

I grew up in a house that had a large coffee table in the living room, the top and lower level of which were always home to a large collection of books and magazines. If I recall correctly, it was mostly automotive, motorcycle and aircraft magazines, mixed in with National Geographic digests and a selection of large hardcover coffee-table books – you know, the ones with all the beautiful, glossy images and the paper cover that would slide off and inevitably be ripped or wrinkled before being retired to the cupboard by a disapproving parent. Those large hardcover books and their vivid images were the source of many a daydream for me, and this latest arrival at our office from the Motorbooks series has my head in the clouds again.

This month, we’re taking a look at Motorbooks’ The Art of Ducati by Ian Falloon, with photos by James Mann. Falloon has written several books about the Italian manufacturer in the past, and as a motorcycle journalist, has been covering the brand for more than 40 years. His relationship with the factory and its staff has afforded an intimate knowledge of their product and its engineering, which he shares to great effect in his writing. Reading Falloon’s accounts, you’d think he’d been there to watch many of the models mentioned turn their first wheel – he is clearly an enthusiast.

But it’s the pictures in this 240-page book that capture the real passion of Ducati and its creations; Italian motorcycles are as much about engineering as they are art, and the book’s title reflects that perfectly. Imagine an American, German or Japanese motorcycle manufacture’s name on the cover instead – you might be inclined to choose another word to replace “art.” But here, it makes absolute sense. Mann’s images showcase the history of Ducati and allow the detail of each bike, its nuances and purposeful design to stand on their own against simple and clean backgrounds; there’s no clutter here, just the subjects in all their glory.

It’s also worth mentioning that the forward was penned by famed designer Pierre Terblanche, father of some of Ducati’s most polarizing designs, several of which – such as the 888SPS, Supermono, 999R and PS1000 – are very appropriately featured in this book.

The Art of Ducati, along with all of the Motorbooks series, can be purchased at or on Amazon. This book retails for under $50 at; ISBN 978-0760345443.


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