If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then this little Ducasu sure is something or other. It’s powered by a 385cc parallel twin that makes a claimed 25 horsepower—but hey, just look at that single-sided swingarm!
I love small bikes, and I’m a fan of cosplay. I’m a fan of people being so enthusiastic about something that they become obsessed with it and feel almost supernaturally compelled to make homages to it by hand. When people love something enough to paint it or draw it or turn it into a realistic-looking cake, I am completely down. I didn’t grow up with a lot of money, so I totally know about showing up to school with Pro-Wings instead of brand name shoes. I get it.
This, though? This is just kind of strange. Yes, there are lots of copies of Ducati designs, especially in China. While digging into Ducasu a bit more, a cursory search even found some electric bikes that were clearly made to look like little Supersports powered by electrons instead of petrol. None of that is particularly surprising.
No, the thing that seems weird about Ducasu isn’t the designs themselves. Instead, it's the combination of those designs with the company name choice, font choice, and of course the logo choice. We can’t skip over discussing the logo choice. I mean, just look at it.
Like any company that’s been around for a long time, Ducati has had multiple versions of its logo over the years. I chose two modern variants that were obviously extremely influential on whoever designed Ducasu’s logo. Note the font choice (which is almost but not exactly the same), as well as the border around the rounded triangular shield logo. Or a guitar pick; I’ve always kind of thought this form factor of the Ducati logo resembled a guitar pick.
Two Ducati logos and the Ducasu logo, side by side.
Google Translate interprets the text above the Ducasu logo as "Shanghai Construction Technology."
Going back to the 400cc Ducasu bike itself, note the extremely similar font choice used on the actual bike. The white one uses red and green accents, as Ducati likes to do with its striking Italian flag-inspired graphics. There’s also a black version of this bike with what are nearly Kawasaki lime green accents, and the Ducasu logo on that bike is far smaller and may not even be in the same font (it’s hard to tell from the low image quality).
Who or What is Ducasu?
It’s one of multiple brands owned by Shanghai Jianshe Motorcycle Technology Company Limited, according to the company website. Although it’s not clear how long the Ducasu name has existed, the parent company has apparently been in business since 1994. In addition to selling bikes across China, it also lists a number of countries that it currently exports its bikes to.
It’s also not like Ducati doesn’t have a proper presence in China. Something like this would almost be more understandable in a market that Ducati didn’t reach, you know? A little cheeky, “if you can’t buy a real Ducati, homemade cardboard bikes are fine.”
However, Ducati sells a full range of its very real bikes in China—including both the Supersport 950 and Supersport 950S. You’re going to have to pay considerably more for one of those than the 20,000-ish yuan (about $2,741 as of September 29, 2023) that one of these Ducasu 400s will run you, of course.