Iconic Designer Massimo Tamburini Leaves Behind a Legacy of Power and Style
Whether you think they’re works of art on wheels or bikes beaten with an ugly stick, you probably have an opinion on the Ducati 916 and MV Agusta F4. Even the most dedicated of V-Twin enthusiasts/sportbike haters have encountered these Italian stallions out in the wild, and speculated about their parentage. This controversy is thanks to one man, genius designer Massimo Tamburini who passed away this April.
Tamburini was chief of engineering and design for MV Agusta until his retirement in 2008. He and two partners formed Bimota in the 1970s as an industrial air-conditioner manufacturer, but Tamburini, a lifelong motorcycle enthusiast, soon began adapting the Japanese bikes of the time with lighter frames, which became the standard for Bimota.
In 1985, he joined Claudio Castiglioni at Cagiva. Castiglioni purchased the fledgling Ducati marque that year, and Tamburini became head of research, development and design. Tamburini’s sense of design and function was to have a profound effect on Ducati, particularly on the 916 Superbike which featured a V-twin engine designed by Massimo Bordi. The bike looked, and moved, like nothing else that had proceeded it, and initially, came only in red.
When the Texas Pacific Group purchased Ducati, Tamburini remained with Cagiva and when the company acquired MV Agusta, he turned his attention to designing the F4, which was a futuristic vision, and the Brutale, a return to the naked bike complete with a modern flare.
Tamburini’s work was characterized by lightness, functionality, style, and grace. He wanted his bikes to go fast, to be memorable, and to inspire. Below are some of his most iconic designs. Let us know what you think of them: firstname.lastname@example.org.