What do you look for in a good restoration video? If the answer is a minimal amount of extraneous chatter, and as much actual workshop ASMR as possible, then let us introduce you to RRC Restorations’ latest project. The patient is a Ducati 916, which does have the advantage of not starting out in terrible shape. Still, as with all things (and people), time has definitely had its way with it, and this 916 needs some work.
While RRC Restorations is dedicating an entire YouTube series to its work on restoring this bike, this particular video focuses on the engine. Now, anyone expecting a complete basket case that needs to be completely disassembled will, unfortunately, be a bit disappointed. As RRC explains, thanks to the copious amounts of documentation, it’s very easy to see that this engine has been extremely well cared-for and maintained. It needs some TLC, but not an extreme or taxing amount.
That said, if you enjoy watching cleaning and restoration of cases and hardware, you’ll enjoy what you see here. First, RRC builds some brackets to properly seat the engine securely on the engine stand. After the engine is firmly in place, then comes a very serious exterior engine cleaning, to avoid getting the inside full of grit and grime when they start taking it apart. Cleaning is absolutely the watchword if you want to think about tackling this kind of project on any bike.
You get plenty of well-lit and shot footage showing exactly what’s done to give this 916 engine the care it deserves. There are small bits of narration interspersed throughout where it’s helpful, but overall, you’re mostly left to enjoy the organic workshop noises. In fact, it’s so quiet you can even here the tiny little beeping sound when RRC uses an electronic torque wrench to snug various engine bolts up to the spec shown in the 916 workshop manual.
The work, as with the video, is clean, precise, economical, and understatedly competent. There’s a bit involving belt tensioning that’s particularly satisfying and actually made me clap, but I won’t ruin it for you. Plug in your headphones and enjoy, then get inspired for your own project.