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Trick Track Single: 1995 Ducati Supermono for Sale

Some bikes take time to find their audience, but the Ducati Supermono was always going to be a classic. Created to compete in the Sound of Singles race series that supported World Superbike in the mid 1990s, the Supermono was a bit of a throwback to Ducati's past: a pure racebike with exotic components, quality suspension, some very innovative technology and, as the name suggests, just one cylinder.

Single-cylinder engines are lightweight, torquey, and mechanically simple, which makes them ideal for offroad applications and economic commuters. But they aren't all that suited for modern sports motorcycles, since vibrations caused by one cylinder limit maximum revs and therefore horsepower, and can be more than a little unpleasant for the rider at sustained high rpm, unless numb hands and blurry vision are your thing.

Ducati had a solution and, as is typical of companies with limited resources, it made use of as much existing hardware as possible but with an interesting twist. The new engine used most of the liquid-cooled, four valve v-twin engine from the 888 and 916, but with the rear cylinder blanked off, which seems simple enough. But here's the twist: a dummy connecting rod was fitted to approximate the force of a second piston and connecting rod of the missing vertical cylinder.

Ducati ended up with a 549cc single that could rev to 11,000rpm happily and made 65hp with a dry weight of 267lbs, although a larger, 572cc version came along in 1995. Brakes were the same as the much heavier 916,  so stopping power could be considered adequate and the bike handled as well as you'd expect. The bike was liberally sprinkled with carbon fiber: the gauge cluster, fuel tank, rearset brackets, and the self-supporting rear subframe were all made from the material. Engine cases, triple clamps, and wheels were all lightweight magnesium.

From the original eBay listing: 1995 Ducati Supermono for Sale

Probably one of the most collectible sport bikes of this generation, enter the Ducati Supermono racer. This 1995 model is one of only 25 produced in 1995. Total production from 1993-1995 was 67, rare. The most unique attribute is the way Ducati did the motor, using an 888 Corsa motor and counterbalancing system consisting of a second attached to a lever pivoting on a pin fixed in the crankcase, hence the name "doppia bielletta" [double con rod].

This is a one-owner bike out of a 60+ bike private collection. Original bill of sale, docs, etc. The bike is in stellar condition.

Approximately 67 were made between 1993 and 1995 and, as you'd expect from the mission statement, most were raced, and quite successfully: it pretty much dominated any class where it was allowed to compete. Styling was by Pierre Terblanche and is pretty much perfect: lean and efficient and spartan. You can clearly see the influence this design had on the revised 900SS, but the style doesn't quite translate: on the Supermono it looks clean and technical and light, but on the Super Sport it looks fussy and contrived. So what price perfection? Well this one has an eye-watering $149,000 starting bid, which shockingly seems a pretty fair place to start, considering what other examples have sold for.

-tad

23 Comments

  • If it said anything other than “Ducati” on it, it would be a $25k bike max. Gotta love these for what they are and can do on a track, but $149k??? Cone on…

    • Well you’re right that it makes no sense from a performance-per-dollar standpoint: there are people replicating the engine out there and you could basically build your own for much less if you want the performance but don’t want to pay six-figures for it. But that’s not really why anyone buys a real-deal Supermono, and it’s obviously not how the collector bike market works. It’s like looking at a Bimota DB5 and saying, “Dude, $35k for that? A Gixxer will kill it!” You’re kind of missing the point, even though you’re not wrong. The Real Thing counts for those with the means to pay for it, and far be it from me to tell anyone how they should spend their money…

  • Back in the day I held out hope that ducati would choose you offer a more pedestrian street version at a muchmore reasonable price point.things get much more obtainable as production numbers swell. I certainly don’t need to own such a thing but this is SO different from anything else out there. That curb weight and power is crazy and the diminutive size of this in real life is reality distorting. I crave a ride at a track day on one. Aside from scaring yourself and running off the track completely I can’t imagine it is even possible to crash one. Every detail is normal engineering executed in unobtainium. One modern tires?! Man if you need more incredible, you better go find a Britten! What was it better to be than rich back in the day?, To be Nick Ienatch of course.

    These days performance strides come from electronics. Where be these mechanical masterworks today? Here’s your $150k, no questions asked. Except, where’s the nearest track and can I have 300 years to pay back the loan?

    • Yeah, I definitely feel like the way forward for sportbikes is with light weight. Modern electronics allow mere mortals to harness 200hp bikes without instantly killing themselves, but I think there’s only so far you can go with that. Like maybe the RC390 with the 690 motor in it, pared down to around 300lbs. I rode an NC30 over the weekend with Motoman who was on an F4R and I was definitely having more fun… Same thing with cars: power is easy, but cars have gotten so heavy, it dulls the experience. I have a blast in my unruly little Fiat Abarth and I’m not sure I’d be having all that much more fun with more power. Okay, well maybe a little more power…

  • No.

  • I’ll second that Tad comment. Felt like the MV F4 312 was on a mission to kill me, weird too because I’ve owned a couple panigale’s and the MV just felt so much more aggressive. As far as the Supermono, I’m a huge fan but unless you already have all the other ones on your A list, i’d rather 4-6 other amazing bikes at the 25-35K range but that’s just me. Not only that but if you spent that same 150 on the right ones, you’d be much better off in the long run…just can’t imagine these will continue to climb in value as 150K is a pretty high number already. Would be a bad a$$ addition though if I were on another level financially! One day perhaps 🙂

    • Maybe one of the Bimota Supermonos will come up for sale at some point…

  • Tad, my original post wasn’t to poo poo the Supermono at all, what I’m trying to say is that Ducati values in particular seem out of line with the rest of the collector bike market. Look at models that are similar in availability and performance across the spectrum and if it says “Ducati” on the tank, it’s going to be a significant bump in cost. Ducati have done a great job selling/marketing the whole “Ducati lifestyle”, and good for them, but it just puts me off from buying their stuff because I don’t feel like I’m getting what I pay for, if it’s a bike I’m actually going to ride.

    • I think I understand what you mean, I’m just not sure it’s their hype machine at work in this particular case. I mean, the Supermono is a mostly unknown racebike from the early to mid-1990s. Values aren’t sky-high because of speculators, Desmodromic Kool-Aid drinkers, or the dreaded “hipster” boogeymen. They’re high because these were very successful racebikes, used very exotic components, and are pretty much unobtainable. What I mean is: I don’t think the guys paying $150k for a Supermono are caught up in some sort of manufactured Ducati fever. I mean, a Honda RC30 recently sold for over $90k and they made nearly 5,000 of those! And as far as collector Ducati values being out of line in general… I don’t really agree with that either. Sure, some of their new models are artificially inflated. [A $45,000 Panigale R “Final Edition”? Seriously Ducati?] But the market seems to adjust quickly to the hype, and bikes like the hyper-exotic Superleggera are regularly available for about half their original asking price these days. I guess I’m just not clear which bikes you’re thinking of in particular when you talk about “The Ducati Bump” in value compared to similarly available and performing motorcycles. The original bevel-drive 900SS? 80s stuff like the F1? The air-cooled Superlight? Honestly, I’d argue that, a few particularly rare models aside, older Ducatis are shockingly accessible: anything post-bevel-drive has been very affordable for some time. Now where’d I put that Kool-Aid… [All joking aside, thanks for your articulate comment, even if we disagree.]

  • Shmexy, and affordable to boot!

  • If by affordable you mean completely overpriced, I agree.

  • I’ll go out on a limb here, but no other single on the planet would be able to do what this bike did at Riverside Intl, Raceway. I was there, and holy @#$& It shamed middleweight bikes in every corner, and every straight, every lap… Perfect!

  • Riverside International Raceway Closed: July 2, 1989. You’re right no other Single could do that.

  • Ive never beenmoved by the practice of upgrading the suspension, add cf replacements and slapping a limited edition number plate to the top clamp. This was something truely special.

    How about a reboot and this time making a super mono by lopping off a cylinder from a super leggera (a true exotic)? I’m sure Nick is still available to go ride it and post a report for the rest of us.

  • Man, if Pierre had styled the 999 similar to this, it would have made many people very happy.

  • Pierre did restyle the 900ss after this, and look how well that turned out.

    • You beat me to it Motoservizio! Although I don’t hate the later 900SS, it was just as controversial as the 999 when it was new… And anyway, I’m not completely convinced that a Supermono-styled 999 would have “made many people happy” as Pietro says. I think it’s fascinating, not so much for how it looks, but for what it does.

  • Touche, I meant Sears Pt. Intl….

  • i recall a supermono ducati lapping at a pace that would have qualified in fifth place on the superbike grid… being able to rev to 11,000rpm has its rewards…

  • Tad, appreciate the opportunity for “civil discourse” on my “Ducati bump” notion. I could well be wrong but I’d like your and the group’s feel on it.

    Examples that, to me, are out of line compared to similar availability/impact/significance:
    – pre-twin stuff like jelly-molds and even the more pedestrian singles that were basically the same as several other contemporary Italian singles
    – any Sport Classic
    – SuperMono (agree its a cool bike, but how does $150k seem even remotely reasonable?)
    – any fairly late model “signature” bike (Senna/Bostrom/etc – graphics/suspension tweaks but otherwise nothing special)
    – round cases especially 750 Sport or even green frames
    – most of the 80s stuff (F1s for sure and all square case to a lesser extent)
    – 900SS Superlight (these weren’t race bikes at this point so does it really matter that its a few pounds lighter?)

    Again, don’t get me wrong, all of the above are great bikes (well, not the 80s junk…), I’m not a “Ducati hater” (there’s a Multistrada in my barn right now and I loved the 999 but my license didn’t). Almost none of these (green frame and square 900SS excluded) can be said to have the characteristics you listed:
    – very successful racebikes (green frame and square 900SS excluded)
    – used exotic components
    – basically unobtainable

    The comparison to the almost 0-mile $90k RC30 isn’t legit – zero mile bikes almost always are out of line and the RC30 is THE iconic/collectible Jap superbike. Find a zero mile green frame SuperSport and the $90k RC will look dirt cheap. A gently used RC30 can be had for $30k. I’ve looked at a lot of bikes for several years, and to me, when I compare the above and some other Ducatis to similar period bikes from other MFGs (and heck let’s even restrict it to other Italian marques – Guzzi/Laverda/MV/Benelli), the Ducatis just seem out of line to me. Not saying its EVERY Ducati (I found that out when I tried to sell a loathsome but minty GTL[ugh!] and a really nice 999), but all-in-all, as we look at values across the range, Ducati seems significantly higher.

    Maybe its more of a reflection of the ignorance of the casual euro bike collector (especially here in America) regarding any euro brand other than Ducati, BMW and Triumph than it is a reflection on Ducati in-particular – I guess its 2 sides of the same coin. I never underestimate the impact that the casual fat-cash bike-ignorant “collector” has on values – guys who look down their noses at an RC30 because its a lowly Honda but blow their wad over a 750 F1 that was junk even when new but hey, it says “Montjuich” on it. They don’t know WTF that means, but it sounds cool and is red and a Ducati, so its obviously better than any Honda.

    • Hm. You make some good points there, and you’re obviously drawing your conclusions from a pretty wide range of bikes. I think we were looking at this from two different directions. I was actually referring more to the standard models like the Monster, 916, and 90s SuperSport which can be found for relative peanuts. Sure, the “paint-and-tape” editions are often overpriced, but keep in mind that some of them actually are very rare, for whatever that’s worth: the Bostrom Replica is just a 996S with some very patriotic graphics, but they only made 155 of them. As far as the Supermono goes, you’re correct that the RC30 isn’t a fair comparison. But that’s kind of my point: $150k is a ton of money for a 90s bike, but what else is there from the era that compares? I just picked the RC30 because it’s the most iconic non-Ducati I could think of. What are NR750s going for these days, anyway?

      The 80s stuff could be the best example of what I think you’re trying to say. My old Ducati Buyer’s Guide seemed to think they were mostly trash, especially the original F1 and the early Pantah-engined 750 SuperSport. These days, it seems like they’re mostly valuable because they’re the last link to the old Ducati before the Cagiva buyout and are being carried upward by the general shift in values driven by the bevel-drive bikes.

      I’ve got opinions on your other examples [Because of course I do. Some I actually agree. See: SportClassics.] but I figured I’d save that and see if anyone else chimes in.

      I also think our difference of opinion is being driven by differing interactions with the biking community. The motorcycle collectors and enthusiasts I’ve met are generally very knowledgeable and have diverse tastes. The kind of people you describe in your Montjuich example definitely exist [Source: many painful conversations.] but in my experience, they’re casual bike enthusiasts, not collectors. Those people you mention may be buying into the Ducati hype, but I’m not sure what impact they have on the collector market, especially as it relates to older or rarer bikes. I’m definitely not discounting your experience, it just hasn’t been mine so far: it wouldn’t be the first time Southern California proved to be an exception to cultural norms…

  • Tad,
    I expect we’re buried too far down in the site now to get any input but I appreciate the discussion. Don’t discount the affect of a couple of ignorant buyers in the small marketplace of collectible sorta late model motos – all it took we’re 2 pumped up guys to bid that RC30 to $90k and look how that suddenly changed our outlook on homoligation bike values.

  • A new modem Supermono lighter engine featuring electric phased Bishop rotary valve banned from F1 with Turbulent Jet Ignition and the dual counter rotating crankshaft arrangement using the MotoInno TS3 triangulated steering and suspension system

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