Tempting Fate: Around the World on Ducati 175 Tourismos

Before Ewan and Charley, two Italian youths named Leopoldo Tartarini and Giorgio Monetti rode Ducati 175 Tourismos across five continents.

| November/December 2018

  • Ducati Tourismos
    Ducati 175 Tourismos
    Photo by Phil Aynsley
  • Ducati Tourismos
    The fuel tanks of the 175s received more artwork as the trip continued. This is Tartarini’s.
    Photo by Phil Aynsley
  • Ducati Tourismo
    The fuel tanks of the 175s received more artwork as the trip continued. This is Monetti’s.
    Photo by Phil Aynsley
  • Ducati Tourismo
    Ducati 175 Tourismo
    Photo by Phil Aynsley
  • Ducati Tourismo
    Ducati 175 Tourismo
    Photo by Phil Aynsley
  • Ducati Tourismo
    The luggage on Tartarini’s bike adorned with sponsors.
    Photo by Phil Aynsley
  • Ducati Tourismos
    Leopoldo Tartarini (left) and Giorgio Monetti with their 175s in India.
    Photo courtesy Giorgio Monetti archives
  • world map
    The full course of the journey, around the world in just less than a year.
    Photo courtesy Giorgio Monetti archives
  • Ducati Tourismos
    Tartarini (front left, white shirt) and Monetti (at right, plaid shirt) arriving back in Bologna on Sept. 5, 1958.
    Photo courtesy Giorgio Monetti archives
  • Ducati Tourismo
    Giorgio Monetti and his well-worn Ducati 175, photographed in 2018.
    Photo by Phil Aynsley

  • Ducati Tourismos
  • Ducati Tourismos
  • Ducati Tourismo
  • Ducati Tourismo
  • Ducati Tourismo
  • Ducati Tourismo
  • Ducati Tourismos
  • world map
  • Ducati Tourismos
  • Ducati Tourismo

Fourteen years ago, Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman gave adventure riding its biggest boost when they rode from London across Northern Europe to New York on BMW R1150GS motorcycles.

BMW supplied the bikes, which became a best-seller after McGregor and Boorman's ratings-winning, seven-episode TV series Long Way Round was released in 2005. But Ewan and Charley weren't the first corporate adventure riders whose efforts boosted sales of a particular model motorcycle.

That honor falls on Leopoldo Tartarini and Giorgio Monetti, who 60 years ago rode across 42 countries and five continents to promote Ducati's new 175 Tourismo. Like Ewan and Charley, they filmed their epic adventure, but on 16mm cameras with no sound. Sixty years later, a film and book are finally being released.

Like Ewan and Charley, Leopoldo and Giorgio had factory support (from Ducati), professional assistance in planning their route, and a list of dealers in some of the countries they travelled through if they needed help. Unlike Ewan and Charley, they rode without backup vehicles, did their own filming, took a year and covered over 37,000 miles, not four months and 19,000 miles. This is their story.



Who are they?

Two young lions of Italian youth culture of the 1950s, at first glance Leopoldo Tartarini and Giorgio Monetti appear to be polar opposites. Tartarini was a popular Ducati works racer, forced into premature retirement when a serious leg injury left him with a limp. Born into a Bologna motorcycling family, he had first ridden a minibike-sidecar outfit built by his father when he was just 4 years old. During World War II, Tartarini combined schooling with working as a mechanic at his father's business. When his father died in a motorcycle race after the war, Tartarini took over the business.

Monetti was from one of Bologna's wealthiest families, which dictated its sons qualified either in medicine or law. He chose law, but his passion was travel. While Tartarini was taking over his father's business, Monetti was taking extended breaks from his study to tour Europe on a variety of motorcycles, including a Matchless 500cc single, a tiny NSU 100cc 2-stroke, and a Gilera Saturno.

Silva
11/13/2018 11:13:36 AM

have a look at this... A new all-in-one edition just released is now dedicated to their adventure: BOOK + MOVIE + CD. https://www.facebook.com/rodaggiofilm/videos/334095813840682/


Silva
11/13/2018 11:07:46 AM

have a look at this... A new all-in-one edition just released is now dedicated to their adventure: BOOK + MOVIE + CD. https://www.facebook.com/rodaggiofilm/videos/334095813840682/


gornzilla
10/30/2018 4:45:59 PM

About a dozen years ago, I grossly overpaid for a beat up, incredibly unreliable, 1965 Ducati 250 and circled Australia on it. I blew it up on New Zealand before I could take it to Japan to sell it. Bob Brown, Ducati mechanic extraordinaire, had it shipped to him back in Melbourne and worked with Ian Gowanloch to rebuild it for me. Ralph Green (RIP) and I tried to get it shipped to India, but it was registered in California, a carnet (basically a passport for a vehicle) from Canada, it was in Australia and I was in India. I ended up with an Enfield 350 bought in Nepal, that I smuggled into India and I traveled as far south as you can in India on it. My Duc is living in the US with me and at some point, I'll cross the States and make it to Europe. It's so reliable now that it might have turned into a Honda.











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