Ducati 916 - the bike, the legend

The evolution of a legend and a motorcycling icon: 916 > 996 > 998 > 999 > 1098


1994 - 2002

Poles: 65
Podiums: 306
Wins: 115
Titles: 6
Champions: Foggy: 4 Bayliss: 1 Corser: 1

No other bike has had quite the impact on the general public as Ducati's 916. It crossed boundaries in a way only Harley-Davidson had before, but where Harley had the bad boy image Ducati had Italian cool. It was sexy, sleek and fast.

Celebrities wanted to be pictured on the 916 because it was the thing to be seen on; bikers wanted to own one because it was beautiful and stunning to ride; racers wanted one because, in the hands of
'King' Carl Fogarty, it destoyed the superbike competition.

In its 10-year life span, from 1994 to 2004, the 916, and then the outwardly near-identical 996 and 998 versions that followed, stamped its mark on the world. Here's why we remember it so fondly.

Influence

Folklore has it that 916 designer Massimo Tamburini was so impressed by Honda's NR750 he canned his original design for the 916 and went back to the drawing board using the NR as inspiration. Underseat pipes, single-sided swingarm, a svelte feminine shape (viewed from above) and twin headlights. There are a lot of style pointers that both bikes share.

The 916 that never was...

After designing the 916 Massimo Tamburini switched allegiances and was commissioned by MV Agusta. In 1999 he unveiled the F4 750. Many believe that if he hadn't left Ducati this would have been the next 916, rather than the 999.

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