#R5K member Mark Silcox gets reunited with his beloved Ducati 998S after 11 years, following a serious racing accident

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For many, Ducati’s 916 family are regarded as the most beautiful sportsbikes ever made, and it’s the reason why 53-year-old Mark Silcox became the owner of a brand new 998S in 2002.

Purchased after leaving the RAF, the Welsh-born biker was bowled over by the bike’s iconic styling, booming Testastretta engine and cutting-edge tech.

Tackling trackdays, weekend rides and even European tours, it was a bike he had lusted after since Massimo Tamburini’s iconic original 916.

"It’s everything I wanted and everything I still want," Mark told MCN. "I still look at it and think: that’s gorgeous; not just a beautiful bike, but a work of art. It set the standard and I always dreamed of having one."

Mark uses a Kliktronic system on his Ducati 998S

After regularly covering 5000 miles a year, Mark’s love affair with the Ducati was cut short on Saturday March 7, 2009, when he was involved in a horrific start-line accident at Brands Hatch while competing on a Suzuki SV650 minitwin.

"One of the riders behind me hit me and knocked me off and then I was told that three ran over me while I was on the floor," he explained. He was then airlifted from the circuit to the Royal London Hospital.

Sustaining a multitude of injuries, including a month in a coma, a broken collarbone, ribs, two punctured lungs and a near-amputated left foot, Mark eventually left the ward on Friday, August 13, 2010.

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With his left foot now fused, Mark was unable to change gear so couldn’t make his biking return. That was until 2013 when wife Alison discovered a company called Kliktronic, who produce a device that shifts gear via a bar-mounted unit.

After installing the Kliktronic on Alison’s Ducati Monster 695, Mark was back on two wheels once again.

Four years later he decided it was time to change the system over to his beloved 998S, which hadn’t turned a wheel since 2009 and needed to be fully recommissioned first. Around a year later, it was ready to go.

"When I was recovering I was thinking 'I’ve got one of the most beautiful bikes in the world and I might never ride it again. It was heart breaking," he said.

Mark on track back in 2006

"My first ride on it after picking it up was over to Sportsbikeshop, in Boston, for their bike night, which was good. To me, it's beautiful and it just blends in. Anybody who's into their bikes will look at that and go 'yeah, that was the bike to have at one point.' Any biker with any sporting interest will know that bike. 

"Never give up. Remember the dreams you had and if you’re canny with your attitude and your money and your abilities, then you can still live it."

If you’re experiencing something similar to Mark, head over to www.kliktronic.co.uk and reignite your passion for bikes!

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Dan Sutherland

By Dan Sutherland

Senior Writer (motorcycling), sportsbike nut, currently riding a FireBlade