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Posts by tag: Final Edition

Ducati June 7, 2018 posted by

Eight Mile: Nearly New 2004 Ducati 998S Final Edition for Sale

By the time Ducati's 916 was retired, they'd wrung just about everything out of the bike there was to wring, and the sportbike world had moved on. From a stylistic perspective, the 998 was far too familiar after ten years and, while the design was still considered a classic, it was decidedly... classic. Of course Ducatisti felt the 999 that followed moved the style on a bit too far, but a significant mechanical overhaul was a good idea, and this 998S Final Edition represents the very end of the line for Tamburini's masterpiece of form and function.

The 998 looked pretty much like the original 916 with some updated graphics and wheels, was significantly evolved. Sure, some parts are interchangeable between the 916, 996, 998, and even the 748, but both the engine and frame changed significantly between the bike's introduction in 1994 and 2004, when the 998 was discontinued. The 998's frame was actually the same as the 996R, which allowed the 998 to use that bike's larger airbox and updated injectors for additional power: 123hp, up from the 996's 112. The new frame also allowed use of the 998cc Testastretta engine that was first used in the 996R, and bodywork was revised to wrap around the new frame and engine as well.

So while the 916 may be the original, the 998 is a much more thoroughly-developed package, with increased power and improved reliability from both the mechanical and electrical components. If you want to collect a Tamburini bike, you're probably looking at the original 916. If you're looking to ride your Ducati, the 998 is likely a better choice. Of course this 998S FE might be better left as a display bike: it has covered just 7.4 miles in total since it was built.

From the original eBay listing: 2004 Ducati 998S Final Edition for Sale

This is a new, never ridden 2004 Ducati 998S Final Edition.
It has the Testastretta engine, Ohlins shocks, Termignoni exhaust, and carbon fiber underbody.
It has never been licensed. I bought it thinking I would ride it later, and now I have lost interest in riding it. It has always been kept indoors and covered.
It had 7 miles on it when I purchased it from the dealer, and I have not added any more.

If you missed buying the most refined version of Tamburini's superbike new, this is just about the closest thing you're going to find now. It isn't one of the high-performance homologation models like the R or SPS, but that insane mileage makes it one of the rarest Ducatis around. Honestly, this is a collector and not a rider, and would probably need some work after basically sitting for the past 14 years if you wanted to actually use it, but if you want a museum piece, this is your bike. The seller is asking an eye-watering $25,000 for this one, which is stiff money for a 998. But how many are there in existence like it at this point?

-tad

Eight Mile: Nearly New 2004 Ducati 998S Final Edition for Sale
Ducati May 2, 2018 posted by

One Owner: 1993 Ducati Superlight for Sale

Prior to and even during the era of the 916, Ducati still needed to shift their relatively slow, old-tech 900SS. The 916 obviously grabbed headlines, handled like it was on the proverbial rails, and looked like sex. But it was also prohibitively expensive for the plebs to buy and especially to maintain, hideously uncomfortable for regular riding, and an all-around experts-only machine. The 900SS, on the other hand, was the everyman exotic, a real Ducati, but one that was based on slightly outdated technology. Today's Superlight helped stimulate a bit of fresh interest in the working-man's Italian sportbike by adding a bit of style, lightness, and shockingly yellow paint.

The fact that it's down a bit on straight-line performance doesn't mean it's a bad bike though, far from it. And "outdated technology" also means "simpler to maintain." Changing Ducati's toothed rubber cam-drive belts is a two-year or 12,000 mile service, whichever comes first. But the procedure is pretty straightforward and can be done by any competent mechanic. The valves on the two-valve engine aren't all that tricky either and the lack of liquid-cooling and the associated hoses and bracketry mean access isn't all that difficult. That is more work than a Japanese sportbike of the same period, but no one buys a now-classic sportbike thinking it won't need a bit of work, and at least here that work is pretty simple to do.

The Superlight was basically a 900SS with fully-adjustable suspension, a solo tail, open clutch, upswept exhausts pipes that increased cornering clearance, lightweight composite Marvic wheels with a distinctive polished rim, and the critically important numbered plaque on the triple clamp: just 861 were sold in 1993 so these are very rare, if not all that high-performance. Obviously, red is the traditional, and often preferred color for Ducatis, but it seems a shame that more aren't painted yellow like this example, since very, very few motorcycles look good in yellow. The handling of the 900SS was never in doubt, and the older Super Sport has much more comfortable ergonomics than the admittedly extreme 916. Just fit a more supportive Corbin saddle, throw on a backpack, and head out for a long day of riding, without concern that you'll need to down half a bottle of ibuprofen when you get back.

If eyeball-squashing acceleration is the only metric by which you judge a motorcycle, you're going to hate this bike. If you think a 170hp bike just isn't fast enough, this isn't your machine. But there's a reason that the two-valve, air-and-oil-cooled Pantah in its various iterations gets mentioned on every "best motorcycle engine ever" list: that sucker has character. I'm biased here: I think it's the best-sounding motorcycle engine of all time, especially with a bit of extra boom liberated by some carbon-fiber cans. But it also just has a great, punchy midrange that just kind of slings you forward after each shift. The 70-75 horses a good 900 makes at the rear wheel may not sound like much on paper, but it's plenty to whip you along a canyon road and legions of Ducati fans aren't just buying these because of some perceived mystique. I mean, of course some of them are just buying a name, the idea,  but the same is probably true of the majority of motorcyclists in one way or another.

This collector bike is more of a rider, though: it's a little scruffy, some of the panels have fatigue cracks around their mounting points, and it generally needs some attention to the details. But if the mechanical bits are all in good working order, you can do a bit of a rolling-restoration on it while enjoying the sound and feel of your vintage-ish Ducati. Starting bid is about half what a cleaner, lower-mileage Superlight might sell for, so if you're handy with the wrenches, this might be a great way to pick up an appreciating classic for cheap.

From the original eBay listing: 1993 Ducati Superlight for Sale

I’m the original and only owner. The Superlight was bought new in Austin, Texas and has a clear title. The yellow color was only available in the US. I’m a mechanical engineer and performed all routine maintenance myself. The bike has never been crashed. It is all original except the muffler brackets broke and were replaced and the rear wheel fatigued and was replaced with an appropriate Ducati Monster rear wheel. The bike is in fantastic condition with only some spider cracks in the body work in the usual places as shown in the pics. New Michelin tires, seat and windshield are in great shape, 26,041 miles. Comes with pictured rear stand. Runs, rides great.. You won’t be disappointed. 

Miles aren't as low as some other examples we've seen, but aren't anything to worry about: well-maintained Pantah engines can triple this mileage with ease. Just change the belts and adjust the valves, top off with oil occasionally between changes if the level gets low, and enjoy. The weak spots are well-known and relatively simple to sort out, parts to maintain them are widely available, and most everything on the Superlight is shared with the more common SS-SP and SS-CR versions. Aside from those Marvic wheels of course. It's a shame the rear wheel isn't the correct item, but with no takers so far at the $4995 opening bid, I expect this will be on the cheap side for a Superlight. Grab this one, pocket the savings, and prowl eBay for a matching rear.

-tad

One Owner: 1993 Ducati Superlight for Sale
Ducati March 9, 2018 posted by

Not The End? 1998 Ducati 900SS FE #258

Touted as the end of the SuperSport era, the 900SS Final Edition of the venerable Ducati platform was both a beginning as well as an end. The last released model as designed by Massimo Tamburini, the FE was a numbered and exclusive marketing machine that represented the pinnacle of the air-cooled lineup. The next page of the new chapter of Ducati was written by a new character - the oft derided designer Pierre Terblanche - taking Ducati into new and interesting directions. The real sunset here is not the SuperSport lineup, but rather Tamburini's influence on the design... and ultimately Tamburini's effect on the platform. Today's example is #258 of the purported final 300 bikes targeting North America.

1998 Ducati 900SS FE #258 for sale on eBay

The second generation of the SuperSport platform rolled into the showrooms way back in 1988. With an updated Pantah-based motor, air cooled desmodue twin was a rough gem - it contained all of the basic DNA that you would want in a sport bike, with few of the amenities or polish found in Japanese contemporaries. The SS had style with a trellis frame, basic but good suspension, and a bit of Italian flair that made it unique. Ten years on the platform had aged relatively well, although performance would never be on par with 600s from the East. Carburetors fell by the wayside as fuel injection made an appearance (likely more for EPA reasons than for power or perceived performance). And while 10 years is a lifetime for a model, the bones of the SuperSport were so good that to this day these remain well-sorted motorcycles. Not the fastest, but characteristically Ducati.

From the seller:
have a 1998 Ducati 900SS FE #258 for sale. Bike has 4180 miles on it. Had been in storage for last 11 years. New cam belts, valves checked, oil changed, new air filter, carbs completely rebuilt, new fuel filter, strainer and tank hoses, new Michelin power pilot tires, forks rebuilt with new oil and seals. New brake fluid and clutch slave cylinder rebuilt with new piston assembly. Inside of gas tank is rust free. No cracks in frame or aluminum swing arm. Bike starts and runs good up high but has a hesitation between 2000 and 4000 rpm that I can't figure out. A couple of hours with a Ducati mechanic and it should be good to go. Nearest one to me is 5 hours away so it's not an option otherwise it would be done. Bike did fall over in the garage on left side and has a small ding in front of tank, scuff on lower fairing and small crack in lower fairing where support bar holds it. Also has a section on bottom back of left fairing where battery leaked from the hose and removed the paint, which has been poorly touched up. I believe the fairings were repainted at some point as they appear to be a lighter shade of silver than the headlight surround.

Outside of unique silver paint and a limited edition number riveted to the headstock, there is not too much more to a FE than a one year earlier 900 SuperSport. Still, the Boys from Bologna executed well; the majority of limited edition models pull in higher dollars than standard models at auction. We have seen a few FE models past through these pages, and they always raise some interest. This particular example is not exactly a museum piece, but it looks to be an honest specimen with relatively few miles. It would appear that the owner has done a lot of work on this one, which could be a bonus if all checks out. This buyer is looking for $6,000 in a Buy It Now auction format, which could end up being fair money depending on the ultimate condition of the bike. Check it out here and relive the glory of Tamburini's classic design. Good Luck!!

MI

Not The End? 1998 Ducati 900SS FE #258
Ducati December 19, 2017 posted by

Almost New: 1998 Ducati 900SS FE with 867 Miles for Sale

Hmmmmm, the text from the listing for this Ducati 900SS FE looks strangely familiar... One of the surprising things about having been writing these posts for the past few years is how often my words show up in sellers' listings. I probably shouldn't be encouraging folks to use my writing for free but, to be completely honest, I'm still more flattered than offended at this point. The main problem is that it means I have to come up with some other theme for my post...

Up until Ducati's most recent iteration, things were always pretty dicey for them financially and, on more than one occasion, they were reduced to trading on nostalgia to make ends meet. By 1978, Ducati's bevel-drive twin was massively outdated, but a lucky win at the Isle of Man TT by Mike "The Bike" Hailwood meant they could flog some fully-faired and gloriously red and green Hailwood-replicas  and keep the lights on. It's a very cool machine in retrospect, but on the eve of the GSX-R750's introduction, it looks like a dinosaur. A very cool dinosaur, but a dinosaur nonetheless. Similarly, by the late 1990s, Ducati's air and oil-cooled Super Sport bikes still had plenty of charm and charisma, but offered little to appeal to modern sportbike fans.

Even when new, the 900SS offered minimal handing advantages compared to a Japanese sportbike that would leave it for dead in a straight line. But Ducati obviously couldn't sell enough of their expensive, exotic liquid-cooled models to make ends meet, and the design soldiered on for riders who wanted to pretend they preferred the "mechanical honesty of a classic, air-cooled engine" [it does sound better than the liquid-cooled version] or those who were more honest about the fact that they were terrified of the four-valve Ducatis' expensive service requirements, but still wanted a genuine Italian motorcycle.

It's a bit disingenuous to try and capitalize on nostalgia for a bike that would obviously continue in a newer, better form. But right before the 1999 release of heavily-revised, fuel-injected version styled by Pierre Terblanche Super Sport, Ducati released the "Final Edition" of the earlier, chunky, rubber-cambelt v-twin sportbike to cash in on the looming demise of the well-loved but obsolete model before it was replaced. Although when you consider the critical reaction to the updated model, it makes a bit more sense. The FE featured a solo tail to save weight and allow the fitment of upswept exhausts for better cornering clearance. Adjustable suspension front and rear was decent, and the standard two-valve engine in standard tune was good for the standard 80hp. Ergonomics are very humane for anyone weaned on late model sportbikes, and the seemingly limited power is plenty to have fun with on canyon roads.

From the original eBay listing: 1998 Ducati 900SS FE for Sale

Time Capsule! Mint Condition, Torque For Days, Beautiful Ducati! Only 867 miles... yes you read that right. #288 of only 300 made

The 90s iteration of Ducati's famous SuperSport wasn't exactly a fast bike, even by standards of the day. And by the time the Ducati 900SS "Final Edition" rolled around, it likely appealed mostly to die-hard Ducati fans and collectors. Which is a shame because, although the 900SS didn't offer cutting-edge performance, it did offer plenty of charisma, great handling, and accessible real-world performance.

The chase for abstract performance numbers has always obsessed the world of motorcycles and cars. But the truth is that peak horsepower numbers are often pointless. Since these machines are only fully exploited by .01% of riders, and what works in ad copy isn't always all that useful on the road, it's not always the most powerful bikes that make the most rewarding bikes to ride, especially on the road. Look at the endless praise heaped on the K5 GSX-R1000 by modern reviewers and see how this year's Brutale 800 actually produces less horsepower than the previous version to make it a better roadbike, and it becomes easier to see why this Ducati might win your heart, even if it won't win any bench-racing sessions...

Powered by Ducati's long-lived two-valve Pantah engine, the FE featured a solo-seat tail that allowed upswept pipes for increased cornering clearance and some carbon-fiber parts ostensibly because of their light weight, although the savings on a front fender are probably negligible... With a claimed 80hp on tap and a big fat midrange these are very rewarding to ride stock and a huge range of aftermarket support means you can modify the bike to suit if that's more your thing.

This thing appears to be bone-stock, with under 1,000 miles on the clock, and bidding is up just north of $6,000 with very little time on the auction. It might have been laughable just a few years ago to consider the FE particularly collectible or desirable, but these have definitely increased in value in recent years, and this very low-mileage example should get the attention of collectors. It's sad that such a usable sportbike has been basically accumulating dust, but I'm glad examples like this exist for folks more interested in displaying their bikes than riding them.

-tad

Almost New: 1998 Ducati 900SS FE with 867 Miles for Sale
Ducati November 2, 2017 posted by

2004 Ducati 998S FE With Just 1,164 Miles !

Update 11.2.2017: Back on eBay, this FE previously reached $10,600 reserve not met in July of this year. Now it wears a buy-it-now of $22k. Links updated. -dc

Ducati's own commemorative of 10 years manufacturing the 916-derived superbike, the special order 998 Final Edition had a plaque on the triple-clamp and the new testastretta under the fairings.  This monoposto shows just over 1K miles and is pictured in front of the proverbial barn.

2004 Ducati 998S Final Edition for sale on eBay

Sporting the classic trellis frame and World Champion Superbike graphics on the tailcone, the FE has the powertrain and premium components to back it up.   The nicely oversquare testastretta knocks on silly power's door with 136hp at 10,200 rpm.  The standard Ducati rev counter doesn't show a redline, but many owners label 11,000 rpm with a "$$$" or "Bang!" as repair costs escalate exponentially.  As an -S, the FE should have the deep sump crankcase, though some claim differences between U.S. and Euro S/FE's.  Fully adjustable Öhlins are found front and rear, and Brembo four-piston front brakes and Marchesini alloys complete the picture.

Tucked away somewhere for most of its life, this 998 is a little dusty but unmarked, and appears factory original.  Most owners might have changed at least a couple of the brushed aluminum details to carbon if the bike was handy in their garage or foyer.  Most of the comments in the eBay auction are specifications and advertising, but there's also this -

1 of 112 Ducati 998 Final Edition Monoposto California's made. This bike was only available by special order, it was not available as a regular production model. Quite rare to say the least. I'd imagine this could be, the cleanest, lowest mile one in existence; as I have never seen a lower mileage 2004 998 FE pop up.

Check the pictures, flawless. Radiator is one of the a very reliable bellwether of use or lack there of: it looks almost brand new.  Colorado Title with original owner's name.

Since earth-shattering 999's were being prepared for shipment at the same time, one can imagine the misty eyes as the last few special-order 998's were wheeled out.  The tank decal recalls 8 championships and 115 race wins, a record deserving of a large number 1 in a wreath.  Rarity assured, as a final year edition of a beloved model, and barely used.  With 2-1/2 days to go, bidding is active but reserve is tbd.

-donn

2004 Ducati 998S FE With Just 1,164 Miles !
Ducati March 30, 2017 posted by

Silver Bullet: 1998 Ducati 900SS FE for Sale

This is it. The end of the line. The last hurrah. The final countdown. The Ducati 900SS FE or "Final Edition." Well, not really: 1999 saw the introduction of a brand new-ish, fuel-injected, Pierre Terblanche-styled SuperSport that carried over most of this bike's strengths. But this is the very last of the old-school, carbureted SuperSports that carried Ducati through the Cagiva era and into the present: following a bit of a gap left after the Terblanche machine, Ducati is back with the introduction of a very Panigalesque SuperSport for for folks who want Ducati style and handling without the terrifying top-end power and chiropractor bills.

With slab-sided styling reminiscent of Ducati's earlier 851/888, the SS FE evoked an era of less frantic performance: Ducati couldn't hope to compete with the Japanese Big Four's never-ending cycle of restyles and cryptic performance acronyms, so they didn't bother. This is the sportbike distilled, with power accessible to mere mortals and superior handling. Built around Ducati's famous trellis frame and powered by their two-valve, air-cooled L-twin engine, the Final Edition was basically a 900SS/SP with silver paint and a solo tail, along with some carbon-fiber and other lightweight bits. While most modern sportbikes discourage actual passengers by limiting accommodations to a tiny cushion and a set of pegs designed more as tie-down mounts, older sportbikes that might otherwise make decent bikes for ferrying significant others simply got rid of the seat entirely to convey Maximum Sportiness. The solo tail and deleted passenger pegs on the Final Edition also allowed the use of a high-mount exhaust that provided additional cornering clearance for spirited riding or track days.

Straight-line performance was never this bike's strong suit: with a claimed 84hp pushing the bike's 424lb wet weight, an SS would get positively murdered by any Japanese inline four of the period. But the Ducati had charisma to spare, handling, comfort, and that glorious v-twin sound that only gets better with a set of carbon-fiber exhausts. Or, if you're on a budget, you can simply drill out the rivets on the standard exhaust, remove the stock guts, and presto: booming Ducati noise for the cost of a few screws! Luckily, this particular example comes with a quality set of carbon mufflers included so, unless you're a Termignoni snob, there's not much to add.

From the original eBay listing: 1998 Ducati 900SS FE for Sale

Ducati 900 Supersport Final Edition, this bike has covered 12366 miles, fresh service at AMS Ducati Dallas which included oil change Motul 300V, fuel filter, hydraulics flushed, etc. Bike is in excellent cond with a small crack under the Michellin Man decal on the right hand lower fairing. Bridgestone tires have 1000 miles on them, upgraded clutch slave cylinder from Yoyodyne, Ducati Performance carbon mufflers, carbon tank protector. The 900 FE is limited edition and this bike is #193 of 300 bikes imported to USA in 1998. The carbon fibre fenders and clutch cover are all standard 900 FE parts. This was the last Supersport to have Mikuni carbs which have been re-jetted and matched to a K&N air filter. Bike makes 76 rear wheel horsepower on the AMS dyno. Selling bike to reduce collection. Spare key and owner's manual and toolkit included. Crating service available.

This bike's dyno'd 76hp is pretty much bang-on for a carbureted two-valve Ducati at the rear wheel and, unless you want to splurge on a set of 944cc pistons and some Keihin flat-slide carburetors, you're better off just enjoying the package, rather than chasing horsepower numbers that will still get creamed by anything remotely modern. The photos in the listing aren't the greatest, considering that the bike's silver color hides imperfections and dirt pretty well, although it's pretty obvious that some of the carbon is a bit faded, but that's nearly unavoidable at this point. The FE is a bit of a top-shelf parts-bin-special, but that's not necessarily a bad thing and these are very rare motorcycles, if collectibility is your bag. I personally prefer the half-faired model in scar-your-retinas yellow, but this FE is undoubtedly the classy choice.

-tad

Silver Bullet: 1998 Ducati 900SS FE for Sale