In 2019 a quarter of a century will have elapsed since the Ducati 916 arrived on the global stage, forever changing the Superbike world. Born from Massimo Tamburini’s sketches, this bike has revolutionized the world of motorcycle design and has made fans fall in love all over the planet. Incredibly innovative in its style, elegance, lightweight and compactness, by many it’s believed to be the sexiest and most iconic bike ever built.
The Ducati 916 wasn’t just a beautiful bike and an enormous sales success. It also won World Superbike championships: the 916 SBK was a force to be reckoned with even as it made its debut in 1994, and the following years saw it win 120 races, 8 constructors’ titles and 6 riders’ titles, four of them with Carl Fogarty. The Englishman has won 55 races with Ducati, of which 43 riding a Ducati 916 SBK and 996 SBK. “King Carl” and the 916 remain the most successful “couple” in Ducati SBK history.
Ducati has decided to celebrate this anniversary by building a special 916-dedicated version of the Panigale V4. Hence the genesis of the Panigale V4 25° Anniversario 916: a unique limited-edition bike of only 500 pieces, designed to let all true Ducatisti re-live the spirit of the 916.
The “25° Anniversario 916” is built on the mechanics of the Panigale V4 S. This has been upgraded with racing content from the Panigale V4 R such as the Front Frame, designed to Ducati Corse specifications. The look of the bike combines a special livery with forged magnesium wheels, a titanium type-approved Akrapovič exhaust and a long list of Ducati Performance components.
For its world-first preview, Ducati chose round nine of the Superbike World Championship, taking place last weekend at Laguna Seca (California, USA). Here, Francesco Milicia (VP Global Sales & After Sales Director Ducati Motor Holding), Jason Chinnock (CEO Ducati North America) and Carl Fogarty unveiled the Panigale V4 25° Anniversario 916.
The presentation of the bike was also an occasion of remembrance, honouring Californian Carlin Dunne, the Spider Grips Ducati team rider who recently died at Pikes Peak. Jason Chinnock announced Ducati’s decision to remove the number 5 from selling, the same number that Dunne used to race with. The bike will be auctioned, with proceeds going to a fund-raising effort aimed at providing Carlin’s mother with support.
“In all of modern motorcycling history, no bike has been as era-defining as the 916, both in terms of design and performance. I’m incredibly proud to present this exclusive version of our Panigale V4, itself a celebration of the 25th anniversary of the
“I’m thrilled to be here at this event,” stated Carl Fogarty after riding the Panigale V4 25° Anniversario 916 onto the stage at Pebble Beach. “The Ducati 916 gave me some fantastic, unforgettable moments. It played a starring role in my career and in the history of the World Superbike Championship. On the wider motorcycling scene, it set a whole new standard of style and performance. I’m proud to have played a pivotal role in that success story, and equally proud to be here today and celebrate this important anniversary by officially unveiling this breath-taking bike.”
Photos: Ducati Media House