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Apr 7, 2014

​R.I.P. Famed Motorcycle Designer Massimo Tamburini (Updated)

Claudio Castiglioni (left) and Massimo Tamburini (right). Photo courtesy of MV Agusta.

Famed motorcycle designer Massimo Tamburini has died of lung cancer at the age of 70, according to reports out of Europe.

Tamburini was a co-founder of Bimota but was best known for his design work for Ducati and MV Agusta. Tamburini designed the Ducati 916 and Paso 750 and the MV Agusta F4 750 and the F4 Brutale, among many other motorcycles.

After leaving Bimota in 1983, Tamburini went to work for Claudio Castiglioni, who owned the Cagiva Group, to which Ducati was added in 1985. Tamburini styled the Cagiva 500cc Grand Prix racebike and its streetbike replica, the Mito 125. Next came the Ducati Paso 750 and then the Ducati 851/888 Superbikes. Then Tamburini and engineer Massimo Bordi collaborated on the Ducati 916, one of the most iconic motorcycles ever built.

When Ducati was sold off in 1996, Tamburini stayed with Castiglioni and was placed in charge of the Centro Ricerche Cagiva (CRC, now known as the Castiglioni Research Centre), in San Marino. There Tamburini designed his next great work, the 750cc four-cylinder MV Agusta F4.

Tamburini continued running the CRC until he retired in 2008, after MV Agusta was sold to Harley-Davidson.

Castiglioni died of lung cancer in 2011.

More, from a press release issued by MV Agusta:


Varese, 7 April 2014 – After a long period of illness, Massimo Tamburini, recognised as the world's greatest motorcycle designer, died yesterday at the age of 70.

For over 13 years Tamburini was head of the MV Agusta Design and Engineering Division at CRC (Centro Ricerche Castiglioni) in San Marino, for which he dedicated a significant part of his career, designing Cagiva, Ducati and MV Agusta motorcycles together with Claudio Castiglioni, all of which renowned as the most beautiful bikes in the world. Among these, motorcycle enthusiasts acknowledge first and foremost the outstanding MV Agusta F4 and Brutale models.

“Massimo Tamburini was one of the legends of the motorcycle industry. I want to remember his passion, enthusiasm and determination. He was a great designer, but above all he was truly passionate about motorcycles. He left our company a precious heritage and will always occupy a place of honour amongst motorcycle’s all time greats,” stated Giovanni Castiglioni, President of MV Agusta. “His name will go down in history for his ingenious intuition and perfectionism applied to every small detail.” 

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