If there is a bike that needs no introduction, it must certainly be the Ducati 916. Raising the performance game to a level not seen by manufacturers before, Ducati created a powerhouse that punched like Mike Tyson, had the speed of Usain Bolt, and the looks of Kate Moss. As gorgeous as it was functional, the 916 knocked the world on its collective ear, and World SuperBike trophies followed in droves.
Engine wise, the 916 was an evolution of the 851/888 SP series of bikes. That means a liquid-cooled v-twin with 4-valve heads activated by desmodromic gymnastics for better high-RPM power – 114 horses at 9,000 revs, to be exact. Anything over 100 HP was considered pretty stout in the day, and the 916 had the kind of power that repli-racers could only dream about. It wasn’t just the power either, but the stunning torque of the v-twin that won fans with riders. All of this performance did not result in a fragile power plant; with significant testing and actual use in the 888 SP0 series, the 916 motor has shown itself to be well neigh bulletproof.
From the seller:
1997 Ducati 916 monoposto with 5224 original miles in unmolested condition that came out of a collection. All OEM takeoff parts are included in the sale which will be boxed up and included in the sale should the purchaser desire to return this to bone stock. Recent $2300 full recommission and 6,000 mile service by Ducati master tech which includes a detailed invoice, plus a dyno sheet. This is an appreciating classic which is difficult to find in this condition and one of the most important motorcycles of the 90’s. All original stickers in place. No cracks on bodywork tabs. Paint on wheels is intact. Vent screens on rear tail are intact. All electrics are 100% functional. Mechanically perfect. Clean transferrable New York State title.
More from the seller:
Currently fitted with period correct aftermarket Corbin seat, Ferracci carbon fiber slip-ons, Ducati Performance chip, braided steel lines, carbon hugger and front fender, (2) carbon tank guards (in boxes), and Helibar risers. The seat and bars make this extremely comfortable in comparison to the stock setup. This includes OEM front fender, clip-on’s, seat, mid-pipes, slip-on exhaust, brake lines, chainguard and body panel below the radiator. This bike wants for absolutely nothing and is ready to go. The only flaws are two scratches. One is on the rear tail section and one is on the tank which are visible in photos. It is not a museum piece, but it’s a very clean example with very low mileage. A bike is only original once, so I decided not to respray these pieces. I am selling it because I am shuffling my collection around focusing on 2 older air cooled Ducati’s. All service questions can be answered by the invoices from ECS which I have supplied photos of. My motorcycles are well-maintained and only serviced by the best in the business.
Values on the 916 are certainly on the rise, but they are also all over the place. Condition and mileage play a part here, just the same as with any collector bike. But more importantly is the actual model. In the case of the 916, it was introduced in 1994, and ran through 1998 before being replaced by the 996. The earliest of the 916s are the most coveted, with certain specific 1995 models assembled in Varese being the rarest and most valuable of the early set. As the years passed, factory capacity grew, and latter model year 916s grew more populous. Still, even these later models are growing in collector value. This particular example, showing just over 5,000 miles, looks to be in pretty good shape. There are some tasty aftermarket bolt-on pieces included (including that gorgeous carbon fender and FBF pipes), but for the purist the sale will also come with key OEM bits to revert the bike back to stock. All in all, there is a lot of very cool motorcycle here for $8,500 OBO. It’s not perfect, but with the parts and the services performed it should be in the running.
Sure, the Varese bikes will be nearly double the cost, but passing eyes would be unable to distinguish the difference between the two 916s. This 1997 model has all the same great looks and great performance with a price tag that is only half-sized; this Ducati 916 offers RSBFS readers some great bargain riding and collecting! Check it out here, and Good Luck!!