HIGHWAYS AND BACKROADS: The route of the Multistrada world ride. Image: Ducati / Newspress
Audi, Bike Enduro, motorcycling, Motoring News

Ultimate bike test: Around the world on Ducati Multistrada

  • Last of seven globetrotters reaches Ducati factory in Italy
  • Ducati-symbolic sites en route visited by riders
  • Six-month, 30 000km, ride now part of Ducati history

Image: Newspress

BACK IN BORGO PANIGALE: Long-distance rider Timo Schäfer back at the Ducati factory, the final rider in a team of seven that carried the baton he is holding around the world on a Multistrada 1200. Image: Ducati / Newspress

BORGO PANIGALE, Italy – Ducati Globetrotter 90th ride has ended where it began, at the Ducati factory here, with seven riders covering 30 000km around the globe.

The Italian motorcycle manufacturer’s HQ was the final destination for Timo Schäfer, the last of the seven who, between July 4 and Dec 16 2016, took a turn to ride a Ducati Multistrada 1200 who visited the blog and followed the Enduro around the world.

Image: Newspress
QUIET MORNING AT DUCATI: Long-distance rider Timo Schafer re-enacts his arrival back at the Ducati factory and museum. Image: Ducati / Newspress

On hand as Schäfer reached the factory were Ducati CEO Claudio Domenicali and many of the company’s employees. Domenicali congratulated Schäfer and his six fellow adventurers for “finishing an incredible journey with grit and passion”.

Domenicali believes the trip, undertaken to celebrate 90 years of Ducati production, would live on as an important event in the company’s history.

READ MORE Carman’s Corner features about Ducati

The riders were Indian globetrotter Vir Nakai, Frenchman Laurent Cochet, Belgian Jessica Leyne, Brazilian Eduardo Generali, Australian Steve Fraser, Briton Hugo Wilson and finally Schäfer – each in a leading role.

Each is an expert rider, passionate traveller and, above all, a skilled story-teller. Day after day on the Globetrotter90.ducati.com blog they kept a diary to record and tell the many Ducati fans exactly what was happening along the way.

MARATHON RIDER AND OLD-TIMER: Timo Schäfer and retired Ducati race rider Paul Smart get together with the long-distance Ducai in England. Image: Newspress
MARATHON RIDER AND OLD-TIMER: Timo Schäfer and retired Ducati race rider Paul Smart get together with the long-distance Ducai in England. Image: Ducati / Newspress

Stage by stage, the seven passed on a special torch, a symbolic baton created by the Ducati Design Centre and equipped with a camera to record and share every emotion experienced during the trip.

From Bologna north to Scandinavia, then east to Russia and along the Trans-Siberian Highway to Japan. Aross the Pacific to cross the USA then the Atlantic back to Europe before the torch and Multistrada 1200 Enduro reached home base after visiting symbolic places in Ducati history.


The seventh and final globetrotter was mechanical engineering student Timo Schäfer, 30, from Karlsruhe in Germany. He picked up the baton on the Isle of Man, off the north-west coast of England, on December 2 and came ashore at Maidstone in southern England where he met rider Paul Smart.

The young German and the legend that is Smart relived what Ducati considers to be its most significant win of all. On April 23 1972 Smart won the first 200 Miglia (Miles) race at Imola on a production 750 GT with team-mate Bruno Spaggiari second.

THE ROLLING CREW AT MONZA: It's the old track, but that's where Ducati won its history races. Image: Newspress
THE ROLLING CREW AT MONZA: It’s the old track, but that’s where Ducati won its historic races. Image: Ducati / Newspress

The meeting between globetrotter Schäfer and now 73-year old Smart came to a very special end. As they were saying farewell, Smart could not resist climbing on to his Ducati Scrambler to accompany the final globetrotter as far as the Eurotunnel, despite freezing rain!

Schäfer then rode through France, Belgium and a good part of Germany with the temperature consistently below zero to Bavaria and the Audi Forum in Ingolstadt, which is hosting the “More Than Red – Passione Ducati” exhibition until April 30 2017 to celebrate 90 years of the Bologna-based motorcycle company.

The Multistrada 1200 Enduro and Schäfer, still muddy after the long trip, were welcomed and soon overwhelmed with photo requests from exhibition visitors who then wanted to hear all about his adventure.


From there Schäfer pointed the bike over the Alps and back into Italy and the Monza racetrack where on November 30 1958, the then futuristic 100cc (yes, one hundred) Ducati Siluro, set 44 world speed records in one day. One of the heroes that made this feat possible was Santo Ciceri, and globetrotter Schäfer was privileged to meet the man himself at the very same track.

READ MORE about the Ducati round-the-world ride

He and his Multistrada then travelled on to Florence to greet another Ducati living legend – Giuliano Maoggi. Born in 1926, Maoggi won the fourth Motogiro d’Italia in 1956 on a Gran Sport 100, known as the Marianna and designed by Fabio Taglioni.

Having crossed the Futa pass (video) Schäfer reached Borgo Panigale and the end of the ride on December 15 2016.

Globetrotter 90th adventure:
• Official site Globetrotter90.ducati.com
• On Twitter and Instagram #globetrotter90


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