Posts by Category: Ducati

Ducati March 23, 2017 posted by

Soft Baggage – 1998 Ducati 900 SS/CR

Every so often a future classic pops up, but with too many niggling questions to be worth pursuing.  A lightweight air-cooled desmodue, the 1998 Ducati 900 SS/CR is a pending collectible and great rider.  With not much of anywhere to hide mysteries, this CR appears free of damage and the long-past salvage title might make it possible.

1998 Ducati 900 SS/CR for sale on eBay

  

1998 was the last year of the carburetted and square headlight supersports.  The 85 hp 904 cc twin was mated to a 6-speed trans and nicely equipped with Showa inverted forks and monoshock, and generously sized Brembo brakes.  The Cafe Racer had the upper-only fairing with an un-cramped riding position and raised clip-ons.

  

Treated to the 944 cc pistons and accompanying engine work, this Texas Ducati has an unusual 41mm carburettor upgrade as well.  These changes should result in close to 100 hp, and has recent maintenance, as the owner relates in the eBay auction:

Clean, well maintained 1998 Ducati 900SS CR.  Owner since 2004.  Bike has roughly 1000 miles on Fast by Ferracci 944cc high compression overbore kit.  Carburetors have been upgraded to Keihin 41mm FCRs.  Vance and Hines carbon fiber exhaust completes the package.  This bike sounds mean and has the performance to back it up.  The bike has been recently serviced with all fluids changed, ignition system upgraded, racing plugs and wires installed, and a fresh set of Michelin Pilot Powers mounted.  Receipts available.  The bike does have a salvage title.  The previous owner bought the bike at a police auction and restored it cosmetically.  To my knowledge, this bike has never been down or sustained any major damage.  The bike has been in my care for the past 12 years.  This beautiful bike is ready for some lucky buyer to take her home...

  

Under attack by the Monster and with a re-design coming, only a few hundred Supersports were brought this way in 1998.  This CR has had the benefit of a long-term owner, and shows nicely for just over 11,000 miles.  An afternoon with our friend Nev-R-Dull and a sticker-ectomy would only complement the rugged good looks and performance.  After inspection, it would be worth checking with DMV about the implications of a salvage title in your state, but it might put an otherwise out-of-reach machine back in the ballpark...

-donn

Soft Baggage – 1998 Ducati 900 SS/CR
Ducati March 16, 2017 posted by

One Rider – 1990 Ducati 750 Sport

Acknowledging the short Canadian riding season, this pretty 750 Sport was photographed some fine un-wintry day.  But if a classic carburetted desmodue is up your alley, plan for spring's eventual arrival and check this auction for a low-mile Ducati which has only been ridden by its first owner.

1990 Ducati 750 Sport for sale on eBay

Ducati was in the swim if not cresting a wave in the late 1980's, and their product managers knew how to shave development costs.  The frame for the 750 Sport was a lightly modified F1 chassis, and the drivetrain came from the controversial Paso.  But the lightweight fairing showed off the trellis frame nicely and had eye-catching sunburst livery.  Power nudged the magical 100 hp / liter mark, and the sound was pure desmodue.  With weight under control, the 750 Sport reviewed as a competent handler, with an un-cramped riding position.

An Ontario native, this Sport was only ridden 6,000 or so miles by the original owner, has changed hands and the new owner hasn't returned it to riding status.  Save a tired turn signal, it appears excellent and original.  So the auction winner will been looking at new belts, rubber, fluids, and possible a seal or two.  From the eBay auction:

The bike is extremely original, meaning, original paint, no modifications, original muffler,  and was only driven by 1st owner.  The first owner ordered the bike from the only Ducati dealership in Toronto, Continental Motorcycles Inc and took delivery of bike in May of 1991.  I have the original bill of sale and the ownership is still in the original owner's name.  The bike runs and shifts nicely, but hasn't been started in a while.  With the sale comes the original bill of sale, the owner's Manual, workshop manual and four magazines featuring the bike (Cycle World, Cycle Canada, Cycle).  This is a rare bike in very nice condition.

Rideability issues with the original two-barrel Weber carburetor are well documented and many owners have tuned them out or changed to Mikunis or Dell'Orto carbs.  16" wheels are a bit of a period item, but tire options are actually better now than they were in the 1990's.  The factory black exhaust are rarely seen on a running 750 Sport, and speak to the bike's originality.  So long as the reserve is sensible, this desmodue should have a much longer happy life...

-donn

One Rider – 1990 Ducati 750 Sport
Ducati March 14, 2017 posted by

Odd Duck: 1982 Ducati Pantah 600TL for Sale

Pantah Week continues with this very rare, and very oddly-styled machine. When you say "Ducati" to pretty much anyone, it conjures up images of sleek, exotic, often uncomfortable machines designed to win at all costs on track and inflame the desires of motorcyclists all over the world. What you wouldn't normally imagine is something like this basically brand-new Ducati Pantah 600TL...

While the sport-touring oriented bodywork of the 600TL may not be to everyone's taste, there's nothing wrong with the components under the skin: it's motivated by the same 583cc, two-valve v-twin and five-speed gearbox as the 600SL sportbike. It uses the same as well, so handling should be excellent, although it is less stable at high speeds than its sportier brother and the top speed is lower. That funky black front fender looks like a replacement item, but period ads and photos suggest that this is in fact the original part.

 

Obviously there have been a few styling misfires from Ducati over the years: their Giorgetto Giugiaro-styled 860GT was certainly not well-liked when new, although time and a general love of all things bevel-drive have seen values of even that much-maligned machine steadily increasing in value. And sportier 600SLs languished in unloved obscurity until recently, when prices have begun to rise, along with bikes like yesterday's 750 F1. Will time be as kind to the the 600TL? It may be too soon to tell, but this particular bike has virtually no miles on it and is basically a museum-piece, so it might be a good place to start for weird Ducati speculators.

From the original eBay listing: 1982 Ducati Pantah 600TL for Sale

This is a brand new 1982 600TL.  It has 2.9 miles on it.  It comes with book, tools and parts manual.  I bought this bike from the stocking Ducati dealer in Ohio.  He told me that in 1982 30 600TL came to the US and that this is one of them.  The bike has never been driven, the battery has never had battery acid in it.  It has a Conti muffler, 36 Din Delorto carbs.  This bike has all custom papers and duty paid for Canada, but the US title is still on hand.  This bike is extremely rare, it may be the only new one in the world!

Normally rare, zero-mile bikes are a recipe for a static display. But in this case, all the parts you'd need to get it roadworthy should be readily available. You could probably even slot in a much larger, more powerful version of the venerable L-twin with a bit of work... The starting bid is set at $8,250 with no takers as yet although there is still plenty of time left on the auction. I've never seen one for sale before, and it's very rare here in the USA, but that doesn't necessarily mean that it'll ever really be worth all that much to collectors, except as an oddity.

-tad

Odd Duck: 1982 Ducati Pantah 600TL for Sale
Ducati March 13, 2017 posted by

Middle Child: 1986 Ducati 750 F1 for Sale

Until pretty recently, Ducati's 750 F1 was the redheaded stepchild of the Ducati family: it wasn't a bevel-drive and so wasn't really considered worthy of being considered a "classic" Ducati, didn't have the reliability [cough, cough] of the modern two-valve twin, or the performance credentials of the liquid-cooled four-valve superbikes. But values have been rising rapidly in recent years, and the F1 represents an important bridge between two eras of Ducati sportbikes.

The 750 F1 was built around their proven trellis frame and a 749cc version of the Pantah two-valve L-twin, tuned to produce 76hp and was wrapped in bodywork designed to resemble the successful TT1 racing machines. Wheels were the height of 80s fashion, with a tiny 16" hoop up front and 18" at the rear. This was the very last Ducati produced before Cagiva took over and it uses a pair of carburetors configured like the older bevel-drive bikes instead of the later machines that nestled both units in the engine's vee. Not the most efficient from a packaging standpoint, with those air cleaners jutting out bodywork.

From the original eBay listing: 1986 Ducati 750 F1 for Sale

Original surviving example with 3850 original miles. Runs very well indeed. Its tight and everything works. Toolkit and owners manual included. Will need tires if ridden aggressively. An uncompromising street legal Italian thoroughbred.

Bidding is up above $10,000 with the Reserve Not Met and very little time left on the auction. These are the very last Ducatis before the modern era that was ushered in by Cagiva, and that gives them a special place in Ducati's history, and the uptick in values reflects that. This example looks very clean and is in excellent condition, with low miles and the seller even includes a short video of the bike roaring up the street!

-tad

Middle Child: 1986 Ducati 750 F1 for Sale
Ducati March 11, 2017 posted by

Rebuilt Racer: 1999 Ducati 748RS for Sale

The Ducati 916/748 was the poster child for performance motorcycles throughout its production, with the same sort of ubiquity the Lamborghini Countach enjoyed in its heyday. With so many of them made over such a long timeframe, it’s easy to forget how huge an impact the bike had when it was new: Tamburini's creation may have been uncomfortable, temperamental, and expensive, but Ducati sold streetbikes so they could go racing, not the other way around. Which makes today’s 748RS one of the purest Ducatis you can buy, aside from a used World Superbike machine.

The 748 was the baby-brother to the 916 and came in standard, S, R, and RS flavors. Naturally, the RS was the trickest of the bunch, a pure factory racebike with plenty of trick parts and a highly-strung engine with maintenance requirements to match. The 748cc v-twin was pitched against 600cc inline fours and the displacement bump allowed by World Supersport rules helped the Ducati compete, but heavily-revised internals were also required to keep them on relatively equal footing. Wild cams opened RS-specific valves to make the 124hp needed, while a 54mm Termignoni exhaust ferried exhaust gasses to the undertail “mufflers.”

As you’d expect, the bike features a close-ratio gearbox, high-end suspension, and extensive use of lightweight materials, including bodywork and a simplified wiring loom, as this was never intended to be used on the road and obviously didn’t need connections for lights and other legal requirements.

From the original eBay listing: 1999 Ducati 748RS for Sale

A motorcycle like this only comes up for sale once in a blue moon. This is a completely rebuilt 1999 Ducati 748RS (Corsa) factory race bike. This particular machine was used in the AMA Pro Thunder Championship which was won by Shawn Conrad. The machine as it sits, is effectively new. It has been rebuilt from the ground up and any part not 100% has been replaced. The engine was rebuilt by Chris Boy's team at Motocorse Ducati in Fort Lauderdale and has zero miles, zero time on it. Everything has been refurbished except the side panels which are original and "as raced". This is again, a factory race bike and ready for your living room or to take racing or for track days. There is no title as this is a factory race bike.  The Ducati factory can confirm it is as stated. I can assist with shipping but the costs are all to the buyers account.

Those of you without deep pockets, beware: this is no tarted-up roadbike converted to track duty, and parts can be very expensive, even if you're used to Ducati's regular belt changes and valve-adjustment: rumor has it, you'll be swapping out those valves [and rockers!] out every 750 km or so. The bike is listed with a $13,499 starting bid, no takers and several days left on the auction. That’s big money for a 748 but seems pretty reasonable for an RS, especially one with legitimate race history, a complete rebuild, and a bit of as-raced patina. From the seller’s description, this one’s basically ready to race or display!

-tad

Rebuilt Racer: 1999 Ducati 748RS for Sale
Ducati March 4, 2017 posted by

Rare Homologation Special: 1988 Ducati 851 Tricolore for Sale

If you're looking to get close to your racing heroes, style yourself a Very Serious Motorcyclist™, or just like the idea of riding something with genuine links to legitimate race bikes, homologation specials offer their owners a taste of the trick parts and lightweight performance available to professional racers, all in a streetable package. This 851 Tricolore wears its Italian heritage proudly, and takes things a bit beyond what you'd normally expect in terms of road-legal performance: its about as close to a road-legal race bike as you're likely to find.

The 916 gets most of the fame and is more instantly recognizable, but it's really the earlier 851, introduced in 1987, that paved the way for Ducati's World Superbike success and the company's return to racing glory. The older Pantah-derived air-cooled L-twin engines were certainly high-performance motors in their day, but had been long-since eclipsed by the inline fours from Japan, and Ducati needed something new if they wanted to compete on relatively equal footing with 750cc inline fours in the brand-new World Superbike Championship.

Ducati kept the proven foundation of their v-twin, but added liquid cooling and brand new four-valve heads to create their "Desmoquattro" that pumped out 93hp along with plenty of fat midrange torque and gave the newly introduced 851 the performance to compete, factoring in a bit of a displacement bump that allowed the twins approximate parity with the smaller, revvier inline fours. Wrapped around that heavily updated engine was Ducati's distinctive trellis frame and chunky bodywork, along with ergonomics that were considered extreme at the time, but seem positively luxurious compared to the masochistic 916 that came later... For a while there, the 851 and the 888 that followed were less desirable than the gorgeous 916. But as they say, "familiarity breeds contempt" and with so many of Tamburini's masterpiece running around, it's hard not to be a bit blasé about them now. But the 916 would never have existed without the success of the 851 and that functional bodywork has a style all its own.

From the original eBay listing: 1988 Ducati 851 Tricolore for Sale

One of 207 homologation "kit bikes"!
Frame Number: ZDM3HB6T6JB850034
Engine Number: HB6J850032

It was the Ducati 851 that first served notice that high-performance sportbikes and World Superbike racing would no longer be Japanese-only affairs. Where before Ducatis made do with simple air-cooled motors, the 851 had liquid-cooling, four-valve desmodromic cylinder heads and electronic fuel-injection. In 1990 Raymond Roche rode a factory 851 to the World Superbike championship, the first of 13 titles to date for Ducati.

World Superbike racers were required to be based on production streetbikes. One way to get the highest-specification base model possible was to build homologation specials – expensive, limited-edition versions that needed relatively minor modification to be track-ready. Ducati took this so-called "kit bike" approach with the 851 Superbike. Just 207 of these nominally street-legal machines were hand-built, enough to satisfy World Superbike rules, with an estimated 20 examples coming to the U.S.

 Differences from showroom stock include a braced swingarm, close-ratio gearbox, ventilated dry clutch and lightweight magnesium Marvic wheels. No speedometer, just a tachometer and temperature gauge. The motor was upgraded with race-grind camshafts, a hot-rodded electronic control unit, ram-air duct and free-breathing reverse-cone mufflers. It was good for about 120 horsepower.

One of the other differences is a round ring on the seat, which is explained by an amusing folk tale: the claim is that some Ducati employee placed a hot espresso maker on the mold before production, causing a slight deformation in the seat.

The Tri-Colore 851 kit bike on offer has been made fully street-legal, and is titled and registered. Globe-type turn signals mounted in the handlebar ends satisfy the DMV. The original owner was a local Southern California collector of some very interesting and important bikes, particularly Italian, low production machines. He mounted a bicycle speedometer with magnet on the front hub to further satisfy the DMV and clocked 2600 miles. The second owner kept the bike in his private museum of very exclusive Italian machinery and removed the speedo for display.

Mechanically, the bike is in excellent condition. The engine starts easily, idles smoothly and runs well. The bike shifts easily though all gears with a nice clutch action. Brakes, suspension and all electrical systems work perfectly. The new owner should be mindful of tire-pressure as the scuff-free magnesium wheels are notoriously porous. And it sounds fantastic!

Cosmetically, the bike is exquisite, showing light patina conducive with age and mileage. This is truly a Superbike for the street, with impeccable ownership history and is accompanied by a substantial document file, keys, and a clean, clear California title. A great opportunity to own a truly rare and exotic Italian icon.

So what does this piece of Ducati history cost? Well the asking price is $31,900 which is obviously very steep for an 851, but a bit of a bargain compared to the last one of these that was up for sale. This appears to be a different bike, considering that one had never had gas in it or been started, whereas this one has had a bit of use and a couple of concessions to road use added. The small bar-end mirrors are a modern addition, but aren't obtrusive and suit the bike's minimal-road-equipment style compared to the big, chunky, fairing-mounted original road-equipment parts or a more 80s set of "Napoleon" bar-end mirrors. The seller claims that just 207 of these homologation 851s were built in 1988 to meet World Superbike requirements and it looks to be in excellent shape, with just enough wear to suggest that it's in original, well-preserved condition. This is, as the seller says, literally a superbike for the street, with just enough road equipment to keep things legal-ish but not distract from your World Superbike fantasies. Hopefully, anyone that buys this will continue to put a few weekend miles on it from time-to-time!

-tad

Rare Homologation Special: 1988 Ducati 851 Tricolore for Sale