The motorcycle world lost a great designer over the weekend. Massimo Tamburini, the mind behind the shape of the Ducati 916 Superbike, MV Agusta F4 and a host of other beautiful bikes died of cancer at age 70.

Tamburini founded Italian high-performance motorcycle builder Bimota in the '70s with two partners. The last two letters of the company's name actually come from Tamburini. He then moved on to Cagiva in the '80s when the company also owned Ducati and penned designs for both companies.

While there, Tamburini was responsible for creating the 916. It refined what Ducati had done before into a beautiful package, and the combination of a semi-exposed frame, single-sided rear swing arm and under tail exhaust defined the company's design aesthetic for years. He later took motorcycle design even farther with the gorgeous MV Agusta F4 (see above), with its four individual exhaust pipes poking out from under the seat. He retired from motorcycle design in 2008.

His designs transcended well past Italian sportbike fans. According to Asphalt and Rubber, Tamburini's work was among that featured at The Art of the Motorcycle exhibit at the Guggenheim Museum. The man was clearly a maestro when it came to shaping bikes, and he will be missed. Our condolences go out to his friends and family.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 6 Comments
      360_AD
      • 8 Months Ago
      A great loss to the design community. Father of the great Ducati 916 and so many more. A very sad day.
      MikeInNC
      • 8 Months Ago
      One of the true greats in design. Rest in peace Massimo. Thank you for the beautiful art that millions will admire for generations to come.
      EJ
      • 8 Months Ago
      I have an MV Agusta F4 and it is the pinnacle of motorcycle design. The CC version is arguably the best looking motorcycle in history (arguably to the Desmosidici which was $55K at launch)- starts at $120K.
      imtoomuch1
      • 8 Months Ago
      Damn. We lost the best motorcycle designer, in terms of aesthetics, in history. RIP Mr. Tamburini. You are a legend.