Update 4.26.2014: Posted the first time almost a year ago, this SPS is back with an opening reserve not met bid of $10k. Mike noted that it wore a $17k buy-it-now the first time, so bid accordingly. Also note the comments below as there is discussion about how SPS bikes were sold originally. Links updated. -dc
When it comes to sport bikes, few are as iconic as the Ducati 916/996/998 series. Designed by Tamburini (who later went on to design the gorgeous MV Agusta F4 series) and sporting a 90 degree, liquid cooled, fuel injected, four valve per cylinder (with desmo actuation) twin, this series of bikes was for more than just show.
The SPS - or Sports Production Special- edition of the 996 was an evolution of the 916 SPS (the 916 SPS was already at 996cc capacity and offered 12+ HP over the standard engine). The powerplant remained largely unchanged from the previous generation bike, but with lighter weight components (such as the new Marchesini 5-spoke wheels) and more performance oriented suspension now completely sourced from Ohlins, the SPS was a higher-spec bike all around when compared to the standard 996.
From the seller:
I am the original owner of this Ducati, purchased in July, 2001 from Gold Coast Motorcycles. The dealer added all items to make it street legal including mirrors, signals, lights, side stand, etc. The total cost including tax was $25,245. The bike is in perfect condition and has been serviced by our mechanic regularly regardless of the limited usage. It runs perfectly and has stunning performance. With titanium conrods, larger frame tube diameter with thinner walls, wider frame/larger carbon airbox, P8 "big brain" ecu, higher compression heads, hotter in/out cams, lightened engine internals, full Termignoni with carbon cans, full and Ohlins/steering damper, the SPS was the top of the Ducati line in its day. This is a rare and beautiful specimen.
I'm not too sure about the seller's comments about the dealer-added items required to make it street legal. By all accounts, all SPS model 916s and 996s were street legal from the factory. These were definitely a play to get the 996 motor homologated for Superbike racing, but with some nearly 1,800 SPS units produced over 4 years, I do not recall any that came out as track only bikes. I'm also not sure what to make of the Montana plates on this bike located in NY, but there may be an easy and reasonable explanation there. As always, RSBFS recommends you do your homework.
This very clean, one owner example is available right now on the East Coast. With only 1,025 miles, there has not been a ton of use or abuse possible. The price tag attached to this machine is commensurate with the condition: the opening ask is $10,000 with reserve in place, and the BIN is a very high $17,000. Click on the link to jump over to the auction and check out all of the pictures and details. If you have been waiting for another shot at Tamburini's masterpiece, this just might be the perfect example. Good Luck!