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Back in Black: 1997 Ducati 916 Senna lll


This post is in our archives. Links in this post have been updated to point to similar bikes available to bid on eBay.

The Ducati 916 continues to turn heads today – at a spry and sprightly 26 years of age. The design appears timeless, and has been emulated ever since it’s introduction, not the least by Ducati in follow-on models and then again later by MV Agusta. The sharp, aerodynamic fairing, the single-sided swing arm and the high exhaust create an aggressive look that is fully backed by the 55.9 cubic inch, 90 degree V-twin with desmoquattro valve activation producing in the neighborhood of 114 angry ponies at over 9,000 RPM. Four WSBK championships in a mere five years tells the performance story.

1997 Ducati 916 Senna lll for sale on eBay

But if the Ducati 916 is ice cream, the limited edition Senna offering is the whole fudge sundae. The recipe is a good one: Start with (arguably) the most iconic motorcycle ever created, but make sure you base it on the highest spec version of the model possible (SPS). Give it unique paint (plus, in this case, carbon fiber), give it star power (Ayrton Senna, one of the greatest F1 drivers of the modern era), make it exclusive (numbered editions limited to 300 units) and make it count (the net proceeds were donated to Ayrton’s charitable foundation for poor children in his native Brazil). Mix gently and you have one of the most collectible editions of one of the greatest bikes ever made.

From the seller:
Ducati Senna lll no. 224 out of only 300 made. Its never driven. it says 2 km on the clock Only for display. Everything is original on it.

First presented at the Bologna Motor Show in December 1994, the 916 Senna was a special edition to commemorate Formula 1 World Champion, Ayrton Senna, an avid Ducati enthusiast who endorsed its release shortly before his death in May 1994.[18] At the time, the project was facilitated by the fact that Claudio Castiglioni, Ducati’s owner, was a personal friend of Senna’s. In total, between 1995, 1998 and 2001, Ducati released three “Senna” editions and, in every instance, net proceeds were donated to the Instituto Ayrton Senna charity.

Today’s example is like many 916 Senna Editions – practically brand new. This particular bike shows only 2 KM on the odometer – which is barely delivery / push-around mileage. The black livery with red wheels pops in the light, and the crisp photos show a bike that has been unmolested – right down to the large number plate bracket on the tail that is so oft discarded. This bike appears to define the term “museum quality” and while it seems criminal not to ride it in anger (as Senna himself would have done), this example really does deserve an honored place to park indoors where hoards of Ducatisti can drool and dream. If you think you can provide that kind of home to this very special bike, all you need to do is pony up a minimum of $25,000 USD to get the auction going, or $33,000 USD to Buy It Now. You will also need to arrange transportation from Denmark, where the bike is currently located. Check it out here and then start spiffing up the man cave for the ultimate 916! Good Luck!!



  • “Only for display.Appears frenzied on the engine block and less incipient rust on the frame.” Was the ebay description written by some language translation app? Frenzied? Incipient? There’s corrosion in several places – the “number plate bracket that is so oft (oft?) discarded” is rusted. The front brake discs look used. At least the seller doesn’t claim the bike has 2 km on it, saying only “it says 2 km on the clock “. A rare machine, Mike, but hey…a few less cute analogies and a bit more attention to detail?

  • 1st bike in 5 days…

  • So many of the bikes showcased on this site leave me thinking, “That’s a helluva lot of bike for the money.” Not this one, unfortunately. Hey, I like the rare and special bikes as much as the next guy. But this poor thing looks like it’s spent the last 20 years in a slightly damp garage. It shows in the rust and corrosion on the chain and sprocket. Several other bits show corrosion as well and there’s some white powdery looking spots on the engine cases. I’m sure the hydraulic systems will need a complete overhaul given that hydraulic fluid absorbs moisture. The tyres are complete bricks by now and you’d probably need to go over every electrical connector to clean out any corrosion. Hopefully the tank was stored dry. Now, I know none of these problems are big enough to stop someone from picking up that “unicorn” bike they’ve always wanted. After all, I have a bit of a history of dragging home project bikes myself. But $33,000 USD and shipping from Denmark along with importation fees and legal hoops to jump through is an awful lot to ask for a project bike. At least for me. Having said all that, I hope this Duck finds a nice dry home where someone actually fixes it up and rides it just enough for it to stay in good condition. It is a very rare bird and deserves a good home.

  • Yeah, well, it’s just a Senna; nothing really to get excited about. A non-red paint job, a few nice bits but no frisson. Imagine another universe where Ducati had the brilliant idea of using the Senna model to homologate the 916 for racing in the AMA for 1995. In this imaginary world, the very limited and forgotten 955SPA engine lives in the Senna….did someone just say greenframe? Maybe not, but in this world only Borat would desire a Senna.

  • 2Kms? Really doubt that. Doesnt matter… this bikes a corroded mess. $33k + shipping? Sorry – Way too much for it. Im a Duc fan, but… wow. Next.

  • Thanks for the comments, guys. Of all the bikes I considered posting I didn’t think this one would be quite so polarizing. Yes, the price is in the stratosphere. Yes, there is corrosion. Mileage can always be suspect on a cable-driven, analog speedo. I thought that the stock aspect as well as the rarity would be interesting to readers. But your collective take does not appear unique given zero bids on the auction thus far….

    – Mike

  • Looking at the front rotor suggests this is a dishonest ad…

  • That bike is a lesson in improper storage. It looks like it was kept in a damp woodshed. The very obvious widespread corrosion raises serious questions about what can’t be seen. The irony here is that had it actually been ridden it would likely be in better condition.

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