Ducati 916 brought to you by MadaboutMotorcycles

17 Jan 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on Ducati 916 brought to you by MadaboutMotorcycles
Ducati 916 Senna

Ducati 916

The Ducati 916 is an Italian sports motorcycle manufactured by Ducati from 1994 to 1998. In contrast to Japanese inline four-cylinder competitors of the time, its V-twin engine produced less outright power, but a more even torque spread. The 916 model was replaced by the 996 model in 1999.

Four Valves

The first development of the 916 model family can be traced back to the development of the four valve Ducati engine, the Desmoquattro, through the development and racing of the earlier Pantah models, to the road-going 851 and 888 models.

The chief designer of Ducati motorcycles since the 1970s was the late Fabio Taglioni (1920-2001). He introduced the Pantah in 1979; its engine was updated in the 1990s in the SuperSport (SS) series and all modern Ducati engines are derivatives of the Pantah, which employed a set of revolving cams to actuate the engine’s valves (eliminating valve springs), called desmodromic. Taglioni, did not, however, have an interest in four-valve head engines, and so this was left to his successor.

The eight-valve V-twin was the work of Taglioni’s successor, Massimo Bordi.

Ducati 916

Making its debut in 1994, the Ducati 916 was admired because of its new design and outstanding technical features. Designed by Massimo Tamburini and Sergio Robbiano and his team at the Cagiva Research Centre in San Marino, the 916’s water-cooled engine was a revision its predecessor, the 888, with larger displacement, a new engine management system, on an overall smaller motorcycle with a chome-moly trellis frame (which was shared with the Ducati 748 in 1995 and beyond).

This was accomplished by increasing the crankshaft stroke from 64mm to 66mm. Using the same 94mm bore size as the 888 resulted in a capacity of 916cc – although by the time the 916 was introduced the final 851/888 Corse engines had also had their bore sizes increased to 96mm resulting in ‘race only’ capacities of 926cc and 955cc respectively. This combined with a striking new bodywork that featured aggressive lines.

It was later replaced by the 996 and 998 with similar design but revised engines and even more power.

Ducati 916 Senna

Design of the Ducati 916 was a balance between function and form:

The single-sided swingarm was beautiful, but designed to make wheel changes faster during races

The underseat exhausts improve aerodynamic performance, and resultantly gave very clean lines. This feature was initially introduced on the Honda NR, and although Ducati was not the first, it has remained one of the trademark features of 916 line.

Massimo Tamburini went on to design the MV Agusta F4, the bike which is seen as his replacement for the 916 range, and it shares many similarities with the 916 especially in the tail section. Both of these Tamburini designs were featured in the Guggenheim Museum’s 1998 The Art of the Motorcycle exhibit.


Ducati won 4 Superbike World Championships with the 916, in 1994–1996, and in 1998, with riders Carl Fogarty and Troy Corser. Fogarty won again in 1999, with 996 replacing the 916, and again in 2001 with Troy Bayliss on the 996. Ducati won the Manufacturer’s Championship in all those years plus 2000.

Ducati 916 Senna
Ducati 916 Senna
Ducati 916 Senna

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