Posts by Category: Ducati

Ducati March 29, 2017 posted by

Museum Piece: Low-Mileage, One-Owner 1991 Ducati 851 for Sale

For connoisseurs, the Ducati 851 is the Bolognese superbike to have: it's not as obvious or uncomfortable as a 916, and it was the first of the four-valve breed, the speartip of Ducati's new push to be relevant to the modern sportbike world. The air-cooled, two-valve Pantah may be a classic, charismatic engine, but it couldn't possibly hope to compete against liquid-cooled, sixteen-valve inline fours in the brand-new World Superbike series that was meant to showcase the very best production-based motorcycles in wheel-to-wheel competition. So Ducati added four-valve heads and liquid-cooling to their venerable L-Twin and quickly found success: a displacement advantage helped to offset the outright power gap compared to the four-cylinder bikes, and handling was excellent.

Styling is more "functionally elegant" than "dripping with sex," but that means humane ergonomics and less flash for Ducati fans more interested in performance than posing. And although the bike's 93hp isn't huge by today's standards, it has the famous Ducati torque that's gone missing from bikes like the 1199 as they've chased revs and horsepower to compete with the fours. The low-mount dual exhausts seem to sound much better than the 916's undertail system, for some reason, and they're also obviously much less likely to roast sensitive parts of your anatomy.

Early four-valve bikes like the 851 and 888 can get expensive to maintain if you don't do some of the work yourself: frequent regular belt changes and valve-adjustments don't require pricey parts, but are labor-intensive at standard shop rates. They can be fickle, but the slow evolution of these bikes' hard parts mean spares shouldn't be too difficult to track down. In general, the rule with Ducatis is: buy wisely or pay the price, as a "cheap" example can quickly become a very expensive proposition. Luckily, today's bike avoids that by being fastidiously maintained and enthusiast-owned.

From the original eBay listing: Low-Mileage, One-Owner 1991 Ducati 851 for Sale

I purchased this bike in June of 1991 and have been the only owner since the bike was new.  I purchased the bike from Dunbar Motorsports in Brockton, Massachusetts.  The bike is currently located in Atlanta, Georgia.

The bike is in near-pristine condition, and is a desirable bike for a collection, or as a concours bike, or just as a daily rider.

Here is literally every flaw I could find, no matter how minor.  All of these minor bumps and bruises are shown in the photographs:

  • There is a very small chip in the fiberglass on the removable pillion cover that covers the passenger’s seat (see photo #8)
  • There is a very small area on the right muffler where it is rough (see photo #9).  I lent the bike to my brother soon after I got it, and he managed to drop the bike while just sitting on it (!).  The only things damaged were the right side fairing and right side mirror, a small area on the muffler and, of course, my brother’s pride.  He replaced the fairing and mirror with factory new parts (this was quite some time ago when it was still possible to get factory new parts), but the damage to the muffler was so minor that I couldn’t ask him to replace it.  Note that this was the only time in its life that the bike was dropped.
  • There is a VERY minor stress crack in the fiberglass on the front fairing (see photo #10).
  • There are 3 small parallel cracks in the paint on the frame near the right foot peg (see photo #11).
  • The rubber cover for the brake light switch is dry and starting to crack (see photo #12).

As I said, all very minor.  Other than these minor flaws, the bike is in pristine condition, and is exactly as it rolled off the showroom floor in 1991 -- down to the original Michelin Hi-Sport tires which are still in good shape (though I might recommend changing them out if you plan to take many tight corners, as they are 26 years old!).  There have been no aftermarket modifications whatsoever.

The bike was completely serviced last fall by Ducshop in Marietta, Georgia (http://ducshop.com), including belts, fluids, battery, etc.  The bike has a clear Georgia title, is registered and insured, and ridden periodically to keep its legs stretched.  The bike runs perfectly, and is a real thrill to ride.

The bike comes with all of its paperwork, including the service records, original Owner’s Identification Card, original Purchase and Warranty Registration, original Bill of Sale from the dealer (the bike cost $12,350 in 1991), and the original Owner’s Manual.  The bike also comes with a race stand that the dealer originally included with the sale of the bike (the bike has never been raced or has even been on a track).

The bike is the Strada (street) model of the 851 Superbike.  Like all Superbikes, it has the 8-valve (4 per cylinder), fuel injected “desmodromic” engine (the valves are both opened and closed by a cam to eliminate any possibility of valve float at high RPM).

The 851 Superbike model was first launched in 1987.  With its powerful liquid-cooled, fuel injected, 8-valve V-twin desmo engine, its signature steel tube trellis frame, Brembo brakes and Marzocchi suspension, it heralded the start of the modern era for Ducati.  Built for the fledgling World SuperBike series, Ducati quickly won three World SuperBike crowns in a row 1990-1992, with Frenchman Raymond Roche aboard the 1990 851, and Doug Polen riding an 851 bored out to 888cc.

The unfortunate thing about a bike like this is that part of the value is derived from the low miles and originality, a shame since these are great riders' bikes. In addition, that functional styling means a riding position that won't outright murder your spine, so the low mileage is doubly tragic. In such sharp condition, I have no doubt this one will find a very happy buyer: bidding is already up to $8,950 with several days left on the auction.

-tad

Museum Piece: Low-Mileage, One-Owner 1991 Ducati 851 for Sale
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