Ducati Applies for Frameless Motorcycle Patent

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Modular motorcycle design is the wave of the future, and it would seem Ducati agrees with this same sentiment that we’ve been harping on for the past 9 months or so. Perusing through the USPTO’s records for patent applications, we found this interesting nugget submitted by Ducati Motor Holdings S.p.A. Known better as Patent Application #US 2009/0308677 A1, or “Simplified Motorcycle”, Ducati’s patent application outlines a motorcycle that is devoid of a frame, and instead has all the components of the motorcycle bolt on directly onto the motor.

In it’s filing, Ducati’s lawyers use some inspired prose and jargon to describe what effectively could have been called a frameless motorcycle:

“A motorcycle comprising a propelling group or engine, a saddle support, a support for the rear wheel, and a front directional group comprising a handlebar integral to a steering headstock functionally associated to a supporting organ of the vehicle front wheel, wherein such front group is connected to a box-like body incorporating the function of filtering box, constrained to the engine and apt to support the latter by connecting it, therethrough, to said front directional group, said support for the rear wheel and said saddle support being constrained to the engine, the vehicle being not equipped with additional members apt to constrain said engine to such front directional group.”

This would seem to be the real world application of what we lovingly called “the nugget” back in early 2008, which we covered in the “Tradition is Not A Business Model” series. There’s an argument to be made that this patent will be considered null by the USPTO from prior art, but still it’s a worthy insight into where Ducati is exploring the future of its chassis design. What better way to replace the famous trellis frame design, than with a desmodromic lump. Thanks for the tip Jessica!

Source: Google Patents