Invest in fast art
The Ducati 916 is just beautiful. Enough said
This thing is automotive engineering elevated to high art, which is why there’s one in the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.
Ducati took the already sensational 888cc V-twin, enlarged it a fraction, gave it a new engine management system and chassis, and clad it in bodywork that is just erotic (even if some of the styling cues, like the twin narrow headlights, were robbed from the Honda NR750). Just looking wonderful wasn’t the whole story: the 916, and its derivatives, won just about every race category they were entered in.
The Panigale notwithstanding, Ducati simply hasn’t been able to produce a successor with the same wow factor. It’s been like Jaguar trying to follow the E-type: how you do you top that?
The older models are being pulled up by the soaring values of all the various race replica and limited- edition specials. A few years ago, starting money for a 916 was about £2500. Right now, the cheapest are the base model 996s, and their values are being pulled by the halo effect from the special models and the realisation there will never be anything like this again – exactly the same effect that’s sending air-cooled Porsche 911s soaring.
You can spend £15k or more if you want, but for the best return buy a 996 or 998, now that the early 916s are being hunted down. A £1000 profit over 12 months is a 25% return on investment.
Even your granny will have heard of the glorious 916
…and it’s a design that’ll never look dated
Still the most alluring tank in biking…