1998 Ducati 916 SPS
|Engine||916 cc (56 cu in), L-twin, fuel injected 4-valve-per-cylinder desmodromic, liquid-cooled|
|Top speed||257 km/h (159.7 mph)
or 260 km/h (161.6 mph)
|Power||85 kW (114 bhp) @ 9000 rpm |
|Transmission||6-speed, chain drive|
|Frame type||Tubular steel trellis frame|
|Suspension||Front: 43 mm (1.7 in) Showa
Rear: Showa rising-rate mono swingarm (US and Senna had Öhlins
|Brakes||Front: Dual 320 mm (13 in) disc
Rear: Single 220 mm (8.7 in) disc
|Wheelbase||1,410 mm (56 in)|
|Dimensions||L 2,050 mm (81 in)
W 685 mm (27.0 in)
|Seat height||790 mm (31 in)|
|Weight||194.5 kg (429 lb) (dry)
The Ducati 916 is a sport bike motorcycle made 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.
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.
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 chrome-moly trellis frame (which was shared with the Ducati 748 in 1995 and beyond). This was accomplished by increasing the crankshaft stroke from 64 mm to 66 mm. Using the same 94 mm bore size as the 888 resulted in a capacity of 916 cc - although by the time the 916 was introduced the final 851/888 Corse engines had also had their bore sizes increased to 96 mm resulting in 'race only' capacities of 926 cc and 955 cc 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.
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.
|1994||Carl Fogarty||11||Ducati 916||Ducati|
|1995||Carl Fogarty||13||Ducati 916||Ducati|
|1996||Troy Corser||7||Ducati 916||Ducati|
|1998||Carl Fogarty||3||Ducati 916||Ducati|
|1999||Carl Fogarty||11||Ducati 996||Ducati|
|2000||(Colin Edwards)||(7)||(Honda RC51)||Ducati|
|2001||Troy Bayliss||6||Ducati 996||Ducati|
- Brown, p. 147
- Falloon 2004, p. 210
- Only 4 1994-model year 916 Monopostos were produced in 1993. Production was in full in 1994, with 3,196 916s of all types produced, followed by 3,875 in 1995, only 2,896 in 1996, then 5,281 in 1997 and finally 2,755 in 1998, by which time production of the 996 had begun, for a total 916 run of 18,006. Falloon, 2004, p. 220–223
- Falloon 2004, pp. 207–221.
- Guggenheim, p. 379. "For almost 30 years, Fabio Taglioni's talent had set Ducati on its course. ... But the maestro chose largely to ignore the development potential inherent in four-valve cylinder heads, however. This was left to his successor, Massimo Bordi.
- Thompson, p. 80. "Back in Bologna, a young engineer named Massimo Bordi had donned the mantle of the retired Taglioni. He was at work on the engine that would power Ducati into whatever the future held for it. This was a new, eight-valve, liquid-cooled, fuel-injected engine -- the prototype of the 851 engine which became, after extensive development, the 916 engine. In the course of his engineering education, Bordi had submitted a thesis on just such an engine. This theoretical engine used the Ford-Cosworth DFV V-8 as its model."
- Walker, p. 202. "The really big news for 1994, however, was the arrival of the ground-breaking 916. This machine's engine size matched its code number and had been achieved by increasing the stroke of the 888 from 64 to 66 mm. ... This was the work of Massimo Tamburini, who has been described as one of the greatest motorcycle designers of the late 20th century -- and with good cause. ... To many enthusiasts around the world, the 916 was not simply the latest superbike, but the best there had ever been. It set new standards of performance, handling, and braking, but also style and charisma. ... The 916 changed the face of sports bikes in a way that only the original Suzuki GSX-R750 had managed a decade earlier."
- Brown, p. 148. "... Cagiva quit grand prix racing amid rumors of financial trouble. ... Those problems would cause the delayed arrival of the bike that was the undoubted star of 1994. Ducati's 916 combined style, speed, and poise to stunning effect. Designed by former Bimota co-founder Massimo Tamburini and his small team at the Cagiva Research Center in San Marino, the 916 was a uniquely beautiful motorbike, from its sharp nose to the exhaust tailpipes poking beneath the seat."
- Thompson, p. 85. "The 916, currently Ducati's sporting flagship, was an almost completely new motorcycle that reflected a significant rethink on the part of Massimo Tamburini, its designer. Tamburini made the bike much smaller than its predecessors, using a significantly revised 916 cc V-twin engine."
- De Cet, p. 90. "But who could forget 1994 when Ducati stunned the world with the amazing 916? It was another Ducati-inspired revolution in the high-performance sports motorcycle category. With the 916, technology and style, performance and symmetry reached maximum levels. ... From the worlds most prestigious bike magazines, the 916 received the title 'Motorcycle of the year' and many other well-deserved compliments."
- Guggenheim, p. 379. "Other features introduced on the 916 included a single-sided swing arm, patented adjustable steering, an exhaust system with twin mufflers exiting just underneath the seat, and one of the most distinctive styling jobs ever seen on two wheels."
- Guggenheim, pp. 379, 396.
- Brown, Roland (2004), History of the Motorcycle: From the first motorized bicycles to the powerful and sophisticated superbikes of today, Bath, UK: Parragon Publishing, pp. 147–148, ISBN 1-4054-3952-1
- "The Nineties THE TURNAROUND YEARS", Ducati Heritage, Ducati Motor Holding, 2009
- "916 SBK Tech Spec", Ducati Heritage, Ducati Motor Holding, 2009
- De Cet, Mirco (2001), The Complete Encyclopedia of Classic Motorcycles: informative text with over 750 color photographs (3rd ed.), Rebo, ISBN 978-90-366-1497-9
- Falloon, Ian (2004), "916, 996, 998, and 748", Standard Catalog of Ducati Motorcycles 1946–2005, Iola, WI: KP Books, pp. 207–221, ISBN 0-87349-714-7
- Falloon, Ian; Taglioni, Fabio (FRW) (2006), The Ducati Story: Racing and Production Models from 1945 to Present Day (4th ed.), Haynes, ISBN 978-1-84425-322-7
- Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, Field Museum of Natural History, Museo Guggenheim Bilbao (2001), The Art of the Motorcycle, Guggenheim Museum, pp. 379, 396, ISBN 978-0-8109-6912-4[dead link]
- Thompson, Jon F.; Bonnello, Joe (1998), Ducati, MotorBooks/MBI Publishing Company, p. 80, ISBN 0-7603-0389-4
- Walker, Mick (2006), Motorcycle: Evolution, Design, Passion, JHU Press, ISBN 978-0-8018-8530-3
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Ducati 916.|
- Ducati 916 SBK at Ducati.com Heritage.