We sometimes get asked how a motorcycle is developed from start to finish. Usually, we answer with a very generic answer: designers draw it up, engineers make it work, and test riders refine it into something you’d actually want to buy. But there’s more to it than that, of course. What exactly are the test riders looking for, and who are these test riders anyway? If you’re one of those who have wondered this very thing, Ducati is here to help.


It’s not often that a manufacturer lets us in on how they make a motorcycle, but it’s also not often that a manufacturer has a test rider like Alessandro Valia. A former European Superstock 1000 champion, Valia has had a say in each Ducati model dating back to the 999. Notice I said each Ducati model. Valia rides and tests everything Ducati makes, and if you catch him after a glass of vino at dinner as I’ve been lucky to, he’ll be happy to tell you his favorite bike is not what you think – the Diavel!

Since it’s very possible you’ve burned through your entire Netflix queue at this point with the shelter-in-place orders, Ducati is doing the entire motorcycling community a solid and bringing on special guests to its Ducati Caffè video series to talk about bikes. For this video I suggest you carve out 51 minutes in your day to listen to Valia talk with Ducati PR man Giulio Fabbri about what exactly goes on when a new design brief comes across his desk. Having met and ridden with both Valia and Fabbri on numerous Ducati press launches, I can tell you both guys are passionate motorcyclists who can ride the wheels off just about anything. Enjoy the video.