THE FALL & RISE OF DUCATI 916 SENNA 3 (SN 197)
Mark being a lifelong Ducati fan and having owned an impressive back catalogue of 600ss, 750ss, 900ss, 748ss, 916 and 999; had always aspired to own a Senna 916. However, three children and a mortgage forced him to sell his 999 and buy a conservatory instead!
Fate finally brought Mark and his Senna 3 (SN 197) together in August 2015 (MCN photos were taken prior to her being sold). He paid a meagre £10,500 for her, as by this point she was beginning to look a little tired and unkempt. Mark wanted to give her back her lustre and modify her by utilising more carbon components. This was to reflect the carbon airbox and front mudguard, which was already standard on the Senna 3. Mark was given a recommendation for a local bike mechanic, who had produced some beautiful results in the past. However, this decision would cost Mark dearly and over the next twelve months his beloved 916 was all but destroyed by a charlatan masquerading as a restoration specialist.
From beginning to end, the process left a bitter taste in Marks mouth. Not only did the mechanic take thousands of pounds off Mark, (money allegedly all destined to source and supply parts and components) but excuse followed excuse as to why she was not complete. Mark was understandably frustrated, but had invested so much time and money in the 916, that he felt bound by the mechanics promises.
After months of excuses, the unthinkable happened. The mechanics garage was raided by Police in the Summer of 2016 and they removed a large selection of stolen motorbikes. They scooped them up and deposited them unceremoniously on the concrete floor of an impound. Amongst the carnage, Ducati 916 Senna (SN 197).
Once Mark had been notified of his beloved 916’s fate, he was then able to recover her shattered body to his home. She was in pieces. A husk, a simple shell, with boxes of bits which wouldn’t have looked out of place in an auto jumble bargain bin. The technician had striped her of her glory, sold many of her unique components never to be replaced and what Mark bought back from the impound, was a mangled skeleton of a bike.
Marks trust was destroyed and therefore when a chance encounter with Daniel Morris of mono motorcycles presented itself, he was understandably cautious. However, Mark could see that Daniel was a man of integrity and having seen some of his previous work; he knew he was the right man to undertake the 916 restoration.
Daniel was entrusted with the task of restoring the 916 and collected the Ducati jigsaw in October 2016. Daniel said “When I went to collect her and opened up the garage door, I found a broken classic lying amongst her scattered component parts. It was a truly heart-breaking moment”.
Daniel started the task of painstakingly bringing the 916 back together. He worked through box after box of random parts, looms, components and body work; finding everything from Ducati to KTM all mixed together. Daniel said “One of the biggest challenges was, that we simply didn’t know what we had. We knew we had the bones of the 916, but the rest was a mystery. One thing I did know right from the start was that we were no longer building a standard motorbike. With Marchesini lightweight 5 spoke wheels, Ohlins fork internals and a host of carbon components; this 916 was being dragged kicking and screaming into 2017”.
Mark entrusted the paintwork to Steve Barber of Swallow Fabrications, Windsor and over the next few months Daniel worked diligently and patiently, matching parts to found schematics, fixing carbon where carbon would never have originally been and slowly but surely like a phoenix, the 916 was brought back to life.
In February 2017 when she fired up for the first time in over a year, the growl and the roar which emanated from her 916cc engine and twin Termignoni exhausts, made the air pulsate around her. Daniel said “When I fired her up for the first time, she smoked a little due to misuse. However, once she cleared her throat, she sang like a Diva!”
The finished product is a testament to Ducati’s precision engineering: the passion of the Castiglioni family and their love and respect for the legendary Ayrton Senna, to Mark Linley for never giving up on her and Daniel Morris of mono motorcycles restorative knowledge and compassion for this iconic motorbike. This Ducati 916 Senna 3 Serial number 197, has been on a treacherous adventure. However, now she’s back, she’s loud and she’s begging to get back to the tarmac and rip it up.
Modification spec list.
- Marchesini 5 spoke lightweight wheels.
- Ohlins fork internals.
- Renthal race clip ons.
- Black diamond brake discs.
- Brembo RCS19 brake and clutch master cylinders.
- Hel brake lines.
- Oberon clutch slave.
- AS3 silicon coolant hoses.
- GB Moto rear sets.
- Cordona quick shift system.
- Pipercross air filters.
- Carbon air tubes, headlight bracket, single sided swing arm protector, chain guard, front sprocket cover, exhaust protector, vented clutch cover, battery box, Ohlins shock protector.
- Datatool alarm.