“Italian Engineering” is an oxymoron

I’m a glutton for punishment. For better and for worse I now own my fourth Italian motorized vehicle, a Ducati 999 motorcycle. It’s always amusing to me when I find examples of anomalous technical data that could only be proffered by Italian engineers. To wit, I wanted to verify the proper tire pressures on the bike. The user manual I have lists the pressures as such:


If you convert these to PSI, you’ll find that there’s about a 7% difference between the two values. Close enough for Italian engineering :-).


  1. CAZZO

    When you design and build a motorcycle [well anything! :-)] we will take notice of what you gota sat…..

  2. pjnevada

    Just a clarification… The Intel 4004 was co-invented with Ted Hoff (born in NY) who proposed the architecture; and along with Mazor (Chicago) created the instruction set. Faggin designed the silicon along with Shima (Japan). And the 4004 bears as much resemblance to the I5 processor in my MacBook as a Model T Ford does to a Ferrari

  3. Andrea

    Italian engineer here, working in automotive technical documentation. Ignore the kg/cm2 value. It’s a fake conversion somebody has added to *embellish* technical data. I still remember when I was a freshman in my job and I had to fight to add one more digit to the conversions or to check all the conversions.

  4. Shawn

    No offense intended, for sure! I’m half-Italian myself. I was mostly being a smart-ass. I’ve owned three Italian cars and one Italian motorcycle. They have never let me down, but they certainly have all had various amusing tweaks (like the inexact tire pressure info). The 999 is a stupendous bike. Can’t imagine what two or four wheel machine could be more fun or satisfying!

  5. Alex

    But what do you think of the motorbike? If you think that of Italian Engineering why do you keep buying Italian vehicles? Could it be because they are sturdy, reliable and last a lifetime? Ducatis, Ferraris and Lamborghinis are very reliable, long lasting machines. hundreds of Roman Bridges, 2000 year old and older still stand and carry traffic. Beretta has been in business since 1568, so they must be doing something right. If you read the accounts of US soldiers in combat, you will find that M-16 rifles jam all the time. That does NOT happen with the Beretta AR-70s.The Italians came up with the Pendolino High Speed Train concept and 12 European Countries Bought it. Is that an oxymoron? besides the microprocessor in your computer was invented by a certain Federico Faggin, who is an Italian Engineer.

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