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Ducati posted by

Bella Varese – 1995 Ducati 916


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

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Ducati’s 916 was on the verge of success when fire at their shops in Bologna forced a move to their parent company Cagiva’s facility in Varese.  The resulting year’s worth of production were given more than the usual hands-on attention and have acquired a certain cachet among Ducatisti.  This collector-owned 916 has 10,000 miles and a sprinkling of SPS-related updates.

1995 Ducati 916 for sale on eBay


It feels gratuitous to even review the specs for the familiar and iconic 916, but it was Ducati’s foray into the 100+ hp bracket with 114 hp.  66 ft.-lbs. torque helped put the racing version on the WSBK four times in five years.  It was somewhat lighter than the preceeding 888, with a compact riding position and tucked-in underseat exhaust.  Designer Massimo Tamburini sketched in an alloy perimeter frame before reverting to Ducati’s trademark chrome-moly trellis, and the lines of the frame echo throughout the bike.


Having evidently had its own brush with oblivion early on, this 916 was repaired flawlessly and updated to a carbon SPS tail and rear mudguard.  The owner has had the nose painted as a SPS model and added many nice carbon accents, as well as an Öhlins steering damper.  From the eBay auction:

– Most modifications in the form of quality bolt-on autoclave carbon. No cheap chinese ill fitting parts. This includes ram air tubes, airbox, chain guard, sprocket guard, lower “v” radiator cover and front fender. 
The paint is all factory except for the SPS number plate scheme on the front that replicates the look of a SPS bike to match the tail.
– The paint is in excellent condition with no dings or dents in the tank. There might be the minor shoe scuff or scratch but so minor it is impossible to really capture on camera. Any such imperfections would just be considered patina from 23 year old bike.
– This year bike came stock with an Ohlins rear shock. It has an Ohlins front steering damper and the stock damper is included.
– It has a the expensive BMC air filter system in the airbox. Basically they are mini K&N style filters that slide into their own receptacles at each ram air tube opening in the airbox. See pictures.
Much better than the stock air filter system and high tech.
– It has a Forza (Fast by Ferracci) exhaust system and chip and sounds fantastic. New clutch pack at 8000 miles. Vented clutch cover in period correct factory 1/2 cover configuration.
The tires are visually perfect but are at the age where you should consider replacing if you plan to ride this bike aggressively.
– The previous owner literally kept a hand written diary of all work done. I’ve never seen such diligence. It reads like a journal. You also get all the receipts and service records. There is zero unknowns with this bike. The bike was maintained religiously. Full service and belts where recently changed in October 2016 with 10039 miles on the clock. All work done by Desmoto sport in San Francisco.

Almost goes without saying that the 916 was Ducati’s landmark success, and the model’s successors became a dynasty on the track and street.  Most nicer 916’s are likely on display at this point, and though the 10,000 miles and rebuilt title could lead the new owner out on the road, it seems too nice for anything but an occasional ride to a show…



  • really nice looking tribute to 916SPS, with few little SPS bits, at about a third of the price. Lovely looking 916.

  • Yes, but a Rebuilt title due to a low-side that “damaged the lower left side fairing, exhausts and tail”? I’ve had much worse happen to some of my bikes (cagers are the enemy!) and they didn’t get awarded a Rebuilt (i.e salvage) title.

  • The bike was most likely declared a total loss due to the tail section being damaged or torn off. Most insurance companies like to write off bikes as soon as you have any sort of frame damage. Progressive would total a bike if it had a deep scratch on the frame – cannot apply filler to frame, hence impossible to bring it back to “pre-accident” condition.

    Seller claims that the insurance company had paid for replacing parts – not entirely correct. If the insurance company deems a vehicle a total loss, they will either a) pay off and keep the vehicle or b) allow the owner to “retain salvage” and pay balance of the settlement (total loss settlement minus current value of damaged vehicle). Since this is has a salvage title then it was most likely to be scenario B.

    Some states do not recognize a branded title and will issue clean title for the bike, perhaps the reason why bidding is so high. Title laundering is nothing new, where a branded titled vehicle is purchased in California, exported and titled in another state which does not recognize “salvage titles” and then re-exported into California or other states with a “clean” title. The bidding could be high due to shill bidding, who knows? Whatever the reason behind the current bidding is, its way too much scratch for a salvage titled bike.

    I also picked up on the fact the paint is factory, rather than original. Since most of the manufacturers sell painted fairings, the claim by the seller is not anything special. Ok, so the tail section fairing came painted from the factory as any other fairing on this bike would. Although the seller is being upfront, the way he is doing it is a bit misleading. Buyer beware…

    • Yeah, as I have come to learn, there are rules regarding total loss declarations by insurance companies, it’s not up to their subjective whim and fancy – generally, if the cost to repair the vehicle plus its salvage value exceeds the vehicle’s Actual Cash Value the vehicle can be declared a total loss (although variances exist under state insurance laws). In other words, the cost to repair exceeds what the vehicle is actually worth. So the lowside must have done more that just damage the “lower left side fairing, exhausts and tail” on a bike that sold for $18k when new.

    • Agree the insurance company would not have both issued the salvage title and also replaced the damaged parts – they do one or the other but not both. Its not unusual at all to have a bike totalled (and issued a salvage title) with minimal damage. Some insurance companies will total a bike when the estimated repairs hit 60% of the Actual Cash Value of the bike, because bikes bring very good money at the insurance auctions, so its easier for the insurance company to just total it, pay the owner, and get decent salvage money for the bike at auction. No muss no fuss compared to fixing a bike like this, then the owner comes back and says “You guys didn’t fix this scratch here…”. A scratch on the subframe, minor nick on a gas tank or a wheel or a fork leg, exhaust canisters – it adds up quickly. Nine times out of 10 all is fine but once in a while there is damage to the frame or forks that aren’t obvious to the naked eye. Same goes for bikes that are crashed and not issued a salvage title though.

      This bike is likely just fine, but the salvage title typically reduces value by 30-50% on a bike like this. Salvage title on a late model Gixxer 600 that some kid will thrash anyways – not such a big deal. But salvage history on a collector bike? Typically big impact as far as value.

  • Hi guys, I’m the owner. Was surprised to see my bike here on this great site. Anyway, while the details of the original owner’s insurance claim is unknown, I do have a photo of the bike before it was repaired and have offered to send the picture to those who ask. I don’t pretend to know how insurance companies or rebuilt titles work. However, the damage in the photo I have is minimal in the big scheme of things. I checked everything for frame damage and stress cracks. All compenent under the plastic were checked. Most impressively, this bike has a service history that literally reads as a journal. Not only does it have receipts from day one, the previous owner kept a hand written journal with dates and mileages descibing his ride that particular day with any symtoms the bike was having and the work done to address those issues. I’m a sucker, especially with Ducati, for service histry since these are not bikes one want to lapse on maintenance. Prior owner even had all recalls taken care of. At the end of the day, the rebuilt brand is but a note on the title. I’m sure if there was a 1974 SS with a rebuilt brand the bidding would be astronimical. At some point collectibility will override the history. God knows I have rebuilt a dozen vintage bevel drive Ducati that looked like boat anchors and in much worse shape than the low sided 916 and there was no brand on those titles when maybe there should have been! Who is looking at the title when enjoying the bike either on the road or on display. It’s a no reserve auction – it will sell for whatever the outcome without the aid of shill bidders. I do have to say I’ll miss the bike.

  • Sold for $9,350. Congratulations Marc!


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