SABBIONI FED­ERICO He’s the father of the Scram­bler fam­ily, but it all started with a write-off

Motorcycle News (UK) - - This Week -

When did you first be­come in­ter­ested in bikes?

I started to fol­low World Su­per­bikes rac­ing dur­ing my fi­nal year at sec­ondary school. I used to get very ex­cited watch­ing Carl Fog­a­rty rac­ing and be­came a great fan. He seemed a nice guy and was very com­pet­i­tive on the Du­cati.

When did you start rid­ing?

In 1997, when I was 18, I had an ac­ci­dent on my scooter on my way to univer­sity one day so when I got the in­sur­ance money from that crash I bought my first real bike – a Du­cati Su­per­sport 600. I had to buy a low power ver­sion be­cause of Ital­ian li­cence re­stric­tions.

Have you al­ways been in­ter­ested in en­gi­neer­ing?

Yes, since sec­ondary school I mostly liked the tech­ni­cal sub­jects so I de­cided to study me­chan­i­cal en­gi­neer­ing at univer­sity. And, of course, since I was in Bologna, there was only ever one com­pany I wanted to work for! For me get­ting a job at Du­cati was the ul­ti­mate dream. I was very lucky to get an in­ter­view at the fac­tory im­me­di­ately af­ter I grad­u­ated in June 2002 and by Septem­ber that year I was work­ing at Du­cati!

Can you en­joy rid­ing now or are you al­ways think­ing about the en­gi­neer­ing?

My at­ti­tude to rid­ing has changed quite a bit over the years for sev­eral rea­sons. One is be­cause I work at Du­cati so I’m al­ways think­ing about how the bike is work­ing rather than just hav­ing a sim­ple, re­lax­ing ride. Also, I don’t have as much time to ride as I did when I was young. My friends are all mar­ried with chil­dren and they all have jobs so it’s not easy ar­rang­ing a ride-out.

What does your job at Du­cati in­volve?

My role is ba­si­cally to lead each in­di­vid­ual pro­ject and be sure to achieve the tar­gets we set our­selves. Not only to make sure that pro­duc­tion sched­ules run on time but also to en­sure that the bike matches the orig­i­nal brief. So, for ex­am­ple, with the Hypermotard, it must be a fun bike for the rider. I’m not at the level of a pro­fes­sional bike tester but I still test the bikes and am in a good po­si­tion to judge what works and what doesn’t for the av­er­age rider.

Do you have a favourite Du­cati?

Prob­a­bly the Mul­tistrada. I think it is the most com­plete and bal­anced bike I have been in­volved with. It has the abil­ity to do a num­ber of dif­fer­ent things – you can tour with it, you can go for a sporty ride on a twisty road with it, you can do al­most ev­ery­thing with it at a high level. And that means a lot of fun and sat­is­fac­tion.

What’s the best thing about work­ing at Du­cati?

Hav­ing a very di­rect con­tact with an emo­tional prod­uct. If your com­pany makes wash­ing ma­chines or fridges it might be dif­fi­cult to get so ex­cited about your job! So this is a huge plus for some­one like me who loves tech­nol­ogy and also the emo­tion of rid­ing mo­tor­cy­cles.

Is there any one par­tic­u­lar mo­ment when you feel most proud of in your work?

Yes, when the first bike comes off the pro­duc­tion line at the end of a three or four-year de­vel­op­ment process. That’s al­ways very ex­cit­ing – to fi­nally see the con­cept be­come a real mo­tor­cy­cle and come to life. We call that mo­ment SOP – start of pro­duc­tion – and it’s the cru­cial date of ev­ery pro­ject. All the staff – all the en­gi­neers, all the mar­ket­ing depart­ment, all the pro­duc­tion line staff – they all stand at the end of the pro­duc­tion line to see the first bike com­ing off and we al­ways mark the mo­ment with a few glasses of cham­pagne. It’s a real emo­tional mo­ment to see a bike com­ing to life for the first time.

Fed­erico says build­ing bikes beats mak­ing wash­ing ma­chines. We’re with him

on that one


Du­cati 600SS

‘Crashed my scoot, bought a Du­cati’


Du­cati Mul­tistrada

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