Ducati Strada 916 to 996 rebuild

Ducati STRADA 916 to 996 – 1994 model

The release of the Ducati 916 in early 1994 was a benchmark for the motorcycle industry – it was the release of a machine which transformed and inspired the design and build of many motorcycles from then on, and which set the bar when comparing motorcycles that preceded it.

MCRR immediately ordered a 916 of his own in March 1994 at Phil Beaumont Motorcycles (in Breakfast Creek, Brisbane) after reading about the release. He obtained the first 916 delivered in Queensland, from the very first 916 shipment to Australia in August 1994 (by this time there was already an 18 month waiting list for the new 916 motorcycle).

MCRR’s newly purchased 916 was one of the first of the limited edition Strada Single Seat 916 with the build number 1160. The first of the Strada bikes had Pankal con rods, a twin pick up ignition and a fuel injection system with a P8 CPU, both of which were continued to be used only on the SP 916 range released late 1994. While the first Strada version of the 916 has become extremely collectable in the standard format, MCRR’s custom built bike has been developed with up to date parts since 2002.

In 1997, after the motorcycle was involved in an accident, MCRR rebuilt the bike with a Scorpion spaghetti exhaust system, (formerly known as Akropovic), Marchensini magnesium wheels, Brembo full floating discs, and fitted with hand cut racing slicks which MCRR still continues to use to this day.

By 1998 MCRR’s 916 had done approximately 85, 000K’s and decided to rebuild the bike again. He sourced 996 SPS crank cases, pistons, cylinders and Pankal titanium rods and rebuilt the motor into a 996. The cylinder heads were modified to suit the larger stud pattern of the 996 barrels, and MCRR ported and flowed the heads and replaced the valves with 30 ml exhaust and 36 ml intake valves up from the 29/33.

To suit the lighter rods & pistons, the crank was balanced and lightened to create the exact same weight. The original Strada cams were used in combination with larger valves to have a fatter mid range than the SPS996 motor. At this time, MCRR’s bike was dyno’d with 126 horse power at the rear wheels (at 8500 revs it was equal in the horse power of the Australian Ducati dealer team motorcycles of the year before).

By 2003, MCRR had now clocked up a further 70, 000Ks & was wanting to rebuild again. He purchased a smashed 996 SPS and did another motor swap and bike rebuild. The frame was painted the same silver colour of the current models and a 50MM Termignoni Exhaust replaced the Scorpion System (which MCRR still has in storage).

MCRR stripped down the new motor and made the following modifications; the heads were ported & flowed by Robbie Abbott Engineering, flywheel lightened, cylinders decked with a 1mm squish (race spec 0.9, road 1.2) throttle bodies bored from STD 49 to 52, and a custom chip made by Duane Mitchell who was the Fuel injection guru at the time. MCRR had a 12, 800 rev cutout as this was still an under stressed motor. MCRR’s 916 puts out 136BHP at present and the chassis has now done 175, 000K’s, with motor number three.

Project categories: Sport, Superbike

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