Sportbike Designer Massimo Tamburini - End Of An ERA

Massimo Tamburini,the world's most celebrated sportbike designer, retires

Massimo Tamburini, the designer of the iconic Ducati 916 and MV Agusta F4-widely regarded as the most beautiful sportbikes of the modern era-has retired. This news comes not long after last summer's surprise acquisition by American manufacturer Harley-Davidson of MV Agusta, and quashes any hopes that a Tamburini-designed F4 replacement, fast-tracked with Milwaukee money, is on the horizon.

Tamburini had been with MV's parent company Cagiva since 1985, and had headed the company's engineering and design center, Centro Ricerche Cagiva (CRC), for the past 13 years. Prior to his tenure at Cagiva, Tamburini was one of the three founding partners of Bimota (thus the "ta" at the end), and also spent time in R&D; for Roberto Gallina's Grand Prix team.

"I have dedicated a significant part of my career in motorcycle design to Cagiva and MV Agusta and am immensely proud of the beautiful and thrilling motorcycles we have created," said Tamburini, announcing his decision. "I am confident the highly talented designers and engineers in San Marino will continue the tradition of excellence that is the hallmark of MV Agusta. I look forward to seeing more great things yet to come from the company."

Tamburini says he intends to pursue interests outside the motorcycle design field. No official announcement has yet been made about who will fill his position, but the most obvious pick is Adrian Morton. A protege who worked under Tamburini before leaving CRC for Benelli (where he designed the Tornado and TnT models), Morton was hired back three years ago.