Whether you’re commuting to work or loading up the luggage on your bike for a long trip, do you spend much time thinking about how that luggage was designed? Maybe you do, maybe you don’t. Either way, you definitely appreciate when it’s well-made, and you probably yell if it isn’t.
What are the important parts of motorcycle luggage? Hard shells that protect what’s inside them from the elements, and that keep everything in place when you roll over rough terrain. Thoughtful aerodynamics that don’t upset the way air moves around your bike when you’re rolling at speed. These things and more are what Ducati designers spend considerable amounts of time on once a new motorcycle model’s design is finalized.
After all, you need plenty of integrated accessory options to fit your new bike, don’t you? That’s true whether you’re Ducati or a Ducati customer. Panniers have to fit specific dimensions, as well as the brackets that hold them fast on the sides and rear of your bike. They should integrate with the lines of the bike they’re on, both for aesthetic appeal and also so they don’t disrupt the airflow that engineers worked so hard to manipulate when crafting that bike.
As Ducati designers explain, every single accessory design starts with a sketch on paper by a designer. After that, it goes through Photoshop tweaks, team analysis and refinement, 3D rendering, physical modeling, and so on.
That isn’t the whole story, though. After the initial design comes thorough product testing, where humans and specially designed machines alike put each new accessory prototype through the wringer. Waterfastness is a clear concern with panniers, but did you know that there’s a special machine made to simulate riding your bike over cobblestones for extended periods of time? It’s important to know that in such a situation, your shiny new top box and/or panniers aren’t simply going to rattle themselves apart, or dislodge themselves from their racks and spill your stuff all over the road behind you.
That’s what’s in this behind-the-scenes video from Ducati about how the process works, and it’s heartening to see.