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All Sales Final: 1998 Ducati 900 Final Edition #104

Ducati has a long history of creating some very memorable motorcycles, many of which have been considered rolling artwork. They also have perfected the art of the limited edition, with exclusive models wearing limited and unique number plaques on the headstocks. The purpose of the special, super-exclusive badging is to drive demand via the perception of scarcity – thereby harnessing the law of supply and demand to turn a bigger profit. And in many, many cases the motorcycles wearing the “LE” badge are indeed special bikes (SP, SPS, LTD, Superlight, MH900e all come to mind). And what can be as special as the last model of the vaunted Tamburini-era 900 Supersport?

1998 Ducati 900 Final Edition #104 for sale on eBay

To be sure the 1998 model year was not the last Supersport – for these are still being built today. But the ’98 model was the final year for this particular design, which dates back to the 1980s and the introduction of the Pantah motor. With a big square headlight and both a half-faired as well as fully faired bodywork style available, the Supersport allowed customers who could not afford a 851/88/916 Superbike model a more wallet-friendly way to get into Ducati. And it worked. The air-cooled, two valve, desmo Ducati Supersports became a hot seller, overhauled only by the success of the Monster line. But the big deal here was not the past, but the future. For in 1998 the “new” Supersport design was launched – penned by Pierre Terblanche. Responsible for the polarizing design of the 999, Terblanche’s take on the classic 900 Supersport fell flat. That cliff dive of design continuity is what *really* makes the ’98 900 Final Edition special.

From the seller:
Final Edition – 1998 Ducati Supersport 900FE

To mark the end of its badass Supersport line, Ducati released a one-year run of 800 bikes around the world. They called it the Final Edition, painted it silver, and threw on a couple of goodies like 41mm FCR carbs and Ohlins rear shock. 300 of the 800 examples made it over the US – here’s number 104.

Ducati started with the Superlight variant of the SS, and then in addition to the silver paint, added a whole bunch of carbon: mudguard, chain guard, rear fender, countershaft drive cover, and dashboard cover. In addition, they raised the pipes for more cornering clearance, gave it new cast iron floating rotors, and some new parts (voltage regulator and alternator) were added, too.

Extremely rare Ducati, 14,895 miles in pristine condition. I am the second owner and it has been meticulously maintained.

From an ownership perspective, there is little not to love about the Supersport. Relatively simple, light, torquey and rock solid, the Ducati of this era gave up a little bit of creature comfort and polish to the Japanese competition, but offered the visceral sound and experience for which Ducati is known. Maintenance intervals are reasonable, and the 2v motors are much easier to work on than the desmoquattro Superbikes. All in all, these are reliable machines with a relatively low cost of ownership considering it is an Italian exotic.

From a collector perspective, the 900SS-SP (Sport Production) and 900SS-SL (Superlight) are the top dogs of the Supersport world. The Final Edition is essentially a specially-badged SP variant, which should certainly place it appropriately as unique. These are not necessarily valuable motorcycles as a whole (a basic 900 SS CR model remains a real bargain today), but values are certainly on the rise. Superlights are way up, and SP versions of the 900SS are climbing. This 900SS-FE has been slow on the auction side, and has a Buy It Now price of $9,000. That B.I.N. number is fair money for a clean and well-kept FE, so interested buyers should check out all of the details here. It’s hard to go wrong with a Ducati Supersport, be it bevel or Pantah, Tamburini or Terblanche. What’s your favorite Supersport model? Be sure and let us know in the comments. Stay safe, and good luck!!

MI

8 Comments

  • It’s worth noting that the seller’s description is incorrect. These bikes did not come with FCR carbs, nor did they come with an Ohlins shock. In looking at the photos, it appears that this bike as the OEM Showa shock. The seller’s comment about the “raised pipes for increased cornering clearance”, is a bit suspect as well. The FE’s had the same header and silencers as their recent predecessors. That said, this bike has a nice set of FBF aftermarket slip-ons. All-in-all, it seems a nice-ish example of the FE.

  • Thanks for the fact checking, MCH. Job well done. I’ll give you 2 out of 3. 🙂

    You are correct that the rear shock is a Showa, and that induction was via the more common Mikunis. However the pipes were indeed factory high-rise models, as utilized on the Superlight. The FBF slip-ons are indeed a nice touch on this bike.

    I suspect the inaccurate description was lifted from another website (selling off #297).

    -Mike

  • Favorite variant: ‘96 900SS-SP – Red.

  • Who stuck the Vitaloni car mirrors on it? Stuff like that plus the obvious misses like the rear shock and carbs make me wonder what other stuff is missing/ bodged up.
    Other than that I think it’s a sweet bike.

  • I’m not an expert on older Ducati, but those mirrors appear stock. My YB10 runs a pair simpler to these what appear to be Vitaloni Baby Tornadoes, albeit mine are body color. Other Ducati 900 seem to sport this exact style mirrors too.

  • The mirrors were one of many niggles on these bikes back in the day- at speed they will fold in giving you a fine view of your elbow.
    You can always fault a Ducati 900SS- but the noise, the torque and the handling will make you forget all these minor issues.
    If its comfort you want, look away now.

  • I think he’s a few years early for a 9000 buy it now.If it was stock with low mileage maybe.

  • Looks quite nice indeed, but hard to disagree with Tim’s opinion on the current valuation.

Comment rules: Add something useful and constructive, and don't be a jerk. Comments that don't add value will be deleted. Comments will automatically close after 30 days. Thank you. -dc

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