In the 1950s Massimo Tamburini owned a heating business in Rimini, a region of Italy that also happened to be a hub for manufacturing motorcycles. He spent his spare time fixing and improving the bikes of local riders. He ultimately became an internationally renowned motorcycle designer, and has worked for Italian manufacturers such as Aprilia, Cagiva, and Ducati. Tamburini also founded Bimota with partners Valerio Bianchi and Giuseppe Morri in 1973 (the company's name combines the first syllables of their last names).
Tamburini began working for Cagiva in the mid-1980s, after the company acquired Ducati. He is best known for designing the Ducati 916. Manufactured in Italy from 1993 to 1999, it is widely considered the most iconic sports motorcycle in the world.
Tamburini's designs — and the Ducati bikes in particular — are known for contrasting sharply with the typical design of Japanese sport bikes: unlike the inline four-cylinder engine used in Japanese designs, the Ducati's V-twin engine produces less outright power but provides more consistent torque distribution.