Ducati’s 916 was on the verge of success when fire at their shops in Bologna forced a move to their parent company Cagiva’s facility in Varese. The resulting year’s worth of production were given more than the usual hands-on attention and have acquired a certain cachet among Ducatisti. This collector-owned 916 has 10,000 miles and a sprinkling of SPS-related updates.
It feels gratuitous to even review the specs for the familiar and iconic 916, but it was Ducati’s foray into the 100+ hp bracket with 114 hp. 66 ft.-lbs. torque helped put the racing version on the WSBK four times in five years. It was somewhat lighter than the preceeding 888, with a compact riding position and tucked-in underseat exhaust. Designer Massimo Tamburini sketched in an alloy perimeter frame before reverting to Ducati’s trademark chrome-moly trellis, and the lines of the frame echo throughout the bike.
Having evidently had its own brush with oblivion early on, this 916 was repaired flawlessly and updated to a carbon SPS tail and rear mudguard. The owner has had the nose painted as a SPS model and added many nice carbon accents, as well as an Öhlins steering damper. From the eBay auction:
– Most modifications in the form of quality bolt-on autoclave carbon. No cheap chinese ill fitting parts. This includes ram air tubes, airbox, chain guard, sprocket guard, lower “v” radiator cover and front fender.The paint is all factory except for the SPS number plate scheme on the front that replicates the look of a SPS bike to match the tail.– The paint is in excellent condition with no dings or dents in the tank. There might be the minor shoe scuff or scratch but so minor it is impossible to really capture on camera. Any such imperfections would just be considered patina from 23 year old bike.– This year bike came stock with an Ohlins rear shock. It has an Ohlins front steering damper and the stock damper is included.– It has a the expensive BMC air filter system in the airbox. Basically they are mini K&N style filters that slide into their own receptacles at each ram air tube opening in the airbox. See pictures.Much better than the stock air filter system and high tech.– It has a Forza (Fast by Ferracci) exhaust system and chip and sounds fantastic. New clutch pack at 8000 miles. Vented clutch cover in period correct factory 1/2 cover configuration.The tires are visually perfect but are at the age where you should consider replacing if you plan to ride this bike aggressively.– The previous owner literally kept a hand written diary of all work done. I’ve never seen such diligence. It reads like a journal. You also get all the receipts and service records. There is zero unknowns with this bike. The bike was maintained religiously. Full service and belts where recently changed in October 2016 with 10039 miles on the clock. All work done by Desmoto sport in San Francisco.
Almost goes without saying that the 916 was Ducati’s landmark success, and the model’s successors became a dynasty on the track and street. Most nicer 916’s are likely on display at this point, and though the 10,000 miles and rebuilt title could lead the new owner out on the road, it seems too nice for anything but an occasional ride to a show…