It’s ridiculous, but I’m in the market for a classic motorcycle again. More and more do I find myself looking at the Ducati 916.
It’s like Groundhog Day this motorcycling business. A bit of an addiction. It goes like this… You get a new bike home (well, new in as much as new to you), decide that you love it, and ‘will keep this one forever, darling’.
And, you really believe it.
You did the research, found the exact thing at the right price, and brought it home. All cock-a-hoop and giggley. Put it proudly in the shed, rang all your mates to come around and reaffirm your brilliant decision-making and negotiating skills and went for a long ride. All dandy.
Yes, you sleep well after a clever purchase. For a while.
The honeymoon wears off with a classic bike. You get to know every inch of it, what it can do and what it can’t, and your mates no longer give it a second glance as you ride up. Oh no! It has, very subtley, while you were getting a drink at the bar, become ‘transport’.
And the itches start. I don’t know about you, but when I fire up the computer in the morning, I can’t wait to get into it. First I look that my contributions to INFO MOTO have made it past Spencer’s brutal subediting razor, and then devour the news page. An IM road test here, a Spannerman column there.
When the itches get worse, the bike classifieds get a big run.
There’s always something I want, but when I’m at this stage, I want everything. Except a BMW R 1200 C. I don’t want one of those.
A Munch Mammoth? Of course. Yes, I need a Munch. A Honda CR500? Yes, I’d be king of the trail on one of those. Dead quickly, but it would represent an eventful reign.
This time I’ve decided to be calm. So, I asked for advice from Spannerman. What should I buy?
That was a mistake.
What I would like is a 1994 Ducati 916. The first of the breed, the groundbreaker, and just the most beautiful thing I have ever seen.
I scurried over to Spannerman’s unruly desk. I knew he was in there somewhere, because I could smell red wine.
‘916’, I said.
‘You are an idiot’, he said back.
‘Uncomfortable, unreliable, expensive to service and overrated. You’ll hate it’. Jeez, this is not going well.
This is a bloke I really respect. Knowledgeable, trustworthy, experienced. He deserves my attention.
So, if anyone knows of a decent 1994 Ducati 916, can you give me a yell?
Snag’s career in motoring journalism spans 29 years with stints at major bike mags Australian Road Rider, Motorcycle Trader and AMCN along with contributions to just about every other outlet worth a hill of beans. He was editor of Unique Cars magazine and hosts his legendary podcast ‘Snag Says’ when he gets off his date.