• Recently recommissioned to running condition • One of the first 300 916’s built • Many rare parts fitted that don’t appear on later 916’s • Numbers matching frame and engine • Recently MOT’d • Kept inside for the past 20 years
Hitting the market in 1994 after a rapturous unveiling at the Milan show in 1993, the Ducati 916 Strada was destined to be an all-time classic motorcycle. With looks to die for and a powertrain to match it is a beautiful piece of Italian design.
After a fire went through Ducati’s home in Bologna, emanating originally in the paint factory it soon had taken out the majority of the production line. Production of the 916 was hurriedly moved over to their sister company Cagiva, in Varese.
Only the first few hundred bikes were built in this factory before production was shifted back to the factory in Bologna. These first few bikes built have many parts that do not appear on later bikes, like the Cagiva riveted and stamped exhausts, M125 elephant screen and riveted side panels.
As has been mentioned this bike started its life out at the Cagiva Research and Development Centre and was manufactured in the April of 1994. With the rush to fulfil orders many of the parts fitted to this bike come from small batches of locally sourced parts before Ducati’s big suppliers could start catching up with demand again.
The majority of the parts are date stamped which helps us to date this bike today, for example, the fairings, rims, clutch handle and other various parts are stamped 1994, but the clutch basket is stamped as 1992 which just goes to show the rush to get this bike to the awaiting customers.
This bikes on road story begins in Switzerland of all places, it didn’t stay there too long and was bought in the UK pretty soon after. It has since had a few owners but they have looked after this bike with a dossier of paperwork to prove this, including a big wad of older style MOT certificates.
After the bike had been on the road for about 10 years it had clocked up 31,544 trouble-free kilometres. It then moved down to the coast where it sat in the front room of a musician for 20 years as a statement/conversation piece. The current owner rescued it from the front room and has subsequently recommissioned it to roadworthy condition, whilst using original or period-correct parts.
It has since sailed through an MOT and is ready for the new owner to take it by the scruff of its neck and enjoy every element of this bike.
This bike comes with a huge pack of paperwork that includes pretty much every bit of history that you could ever need or want. There are a few of the older style MOT certificates and the most recent one dated 06/01/22 shows that the bike has only covered 100km since 2002.
Not only is there modern paperwork but there is also a lot of historic paperwork some of which date back to the 1990s. Along with the invoices, there is also the original Ducati literature that would’ve come with the bike when the first UK owner picked it up.
It would appear that this bike was supplied to the UK market by Three Cross Motorcycles, who were based down in Bournemouth. We know this because not only does the bike come with the original paperwork in a Three Cross binder but the original CRD key (another super rare feature) still wears an original Three Cross keyring. It’s these little details that just go to show how well looked after this bike has been over its lifetime.
A vital piece of paperwork that may be with us by the time of auction is a certificate of authenticity that is coming from Ducati in Bologna. The piece of paper will confirm that this is a true, numbers matching, early 916. A small piece to this bikes puzzle it just adds even more provenance to this special bike. The owner has an email from Ducati verifying this while they await the certificate.
With this special bike having sat in someone’s front room for the past 20 years the general condition of this bike is immaculate. With it not being subject to the UK roads over the past twin decades there is no corrosion present on the frame and the paint is in excellent condition for its age too, it also still wears its original, factory-applied decals on the fairings.
If we look at the more exterior features like the fairings, exhaust, wheels etc. we can see that these too are in immaculate condition with only one small mark at the bottom of the fuel tank.
With this being an early Cagiva bike there are a few special features that will not be found on later 916’s these include items like the exhaust is not only Cagiva stamped but also a few smaller features like small rivet details and the fact that the back of the exhaust is smooth and does not have rivets present like later examples. The fairings, date stamped 1994, are the earlier riveted style.
This bike also wears many of the special Cagiva elephant stamps, the fun game is to go through and see how many you can spot they are hidden everywhere including the special M125 front screen. The gold wheels also stamped 1994 with little elephants, are in great condition and stand out against the red paint. Many other little features are special to these early bikes and a Ducati fan will be able to find them with ease.
If we now focus on more of the cockpit area of this bike once again there are a few little special features that are only visible on early versions of the 916. One of the most visible of these special features is the slightly curved text on the small instrument cluster, this was only visible on the first 500 or so bikes.
The rest of the more interior sort of features like the seat, under-seat area, handlebars and dials are all in immaculate condition, this is more than likely due to its time sitting in the front room.
The appearance of this bike is as close as you can get today to how a 916 Strada would’ve left the Cagiva factory in 1994. It is a rare example of a rare bike, a truly amazing piece of timeless design to just stand and stare at. The new owner will be picking up an amazing looking bike that will reward them in buckets.
As you would expect from a bike that looks this good, the mechanical elements of this bike are pretty much perfect. For an early 90’s Italian motorcycle it defies the stereotypes, it starts straight up on the button and purrs beautifully. The current owner does keep her hooked up to a trickle charger just to keep the battery in the correct condition, especially important in the winter months.
Owing to the fact it had sat in a front room for two decades there were a few little parts that needed to be changed before it was roadworthy again. The current owner has fitted new timing belts, brake callipers, hoses, tyres, and other small parts to get her back into tip-top condition.
During this small recommissioning process, the current owner has sourced parts that are period correct to this bike keeping it to a high level of originality which is super important to a special bike like this.
It may be Italian folk law, but it is said that these earlier Cagiva built 916’s were breathed on slightly by the motorsport department as they were destined for dealers in Europe to use as demonstrators. If this is true this would explain why this particular 916 rides in such a strong manner today, it is more than capable of keeping up with any type of traffic.
This bike has just sailed through a modern MOT and is now ready for the new owner to jump on and ride off into the distance on a stunning example of a 916 Strada.
This is one bike that needs to be seen to be believed, it is in such beautiful condition that its pictures just don’t do it justice. With this particular bike being on display in someone’s front room for 20 years it shows that this bike is as much a capable superbike as it is a piece of automotive artwork. A true stunner it will turn heads wherever you go.
Not only is this bike special on paper, with its high originality, low frame and engine number, but when you get it out on the road you will be amazed by just how well it rides.
This will be a rewarding purchase that will never fail to put a smile on the face of the new owner. Whether you pick it up as a bike to use or a bike to look at, it will exceed all your expectations.
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