A birthday is the single most important day of one’s life. The same goes for a motorcycle, says Adrian Stanners, service manager at Newport Beach Ducati. “We consider the PDI (Pre-Delivery Inspection) the most important service we do on a new Ducati,” Stanners said. “It’s the customer’s first impression with their bike and we want it to be perfect.”
After final assembly inside Ducati’s Borgo Panigale factory, America-bound bikes are rolled into a 30 x 45 x 90-inch metal crate in preparation for a boat ride across the Atlantic. Once off-loaded, motorcycles are stored in a warehouse before being distributed to a dealer—usually by tractor trailer.
On arrival at the dealership, a tech peels off the crate’s top metal trellis and unbolts the hardware that holds the bike upright and locks wheels in place. Then the machine is rolled forward and freed from its cage.
Back in the day when Ducati shipped its masterpieces in wooden crates the front wheel had to be mounted. Nowadays, larger crates allow the front wheel to remain attached, with it instead positioned sideways inside the crate. Aside from attaching (and plugging in the electrical connectors) the rearview mirrors, handlebar counterweights, installing the lithium-ion battery, and topping it off with premium fuel, this V4 is ready to ride.
Obviously the process is a tad more detailed than that. Wheel lugs and brake hardware is re-torqued, and fluids checked and topped off, if necessary.
“Sometimes we’ll find that bolts aren’t correctly torqued,” Stanners explained, “or stuff that you can’t see is damaged during transit,”
Just like an iPhone, the Panigale’s software may have an update since shipped from the factory. Plugging in the Ducati Diagnostic System tool reveals any potential updates to engine mapping or traction-control settings, for instance.
Despite careful attention to detail, safety recalls occasionally occur, so those fixes are also handled before delivery. Lastly, tire pressure and of course the clock are set. Now this shiny carbon-fiber-laden, tricolor replica racer is handed off to its lucky new owner.