Following Ben Bostrom’s very successful 2000 World SuperBike season, Ducati commissioned a boldly painted first-year 998S special edition in his honor. Building only 155 ( his race number ) units for the USA and another 155 for Europe ensured their rarity, and using the 916-derived design and the new Testastretta engine ensured legendary performance. Often a collector bike, a low or no-mile example occasionally sneaks out into the light – thrilling Ducatisti at the possibility and sometimes leaving them to ask why.
The ’02 998S was the final revision to the trellis-framed platform that gave us the 916 and 996, next year’s narrow-head engine adding 123 hp to the equation. Termignoni aluminum mufflers end the stainless 2-into-2 underseat exhaust. A good deal of carbon bodywork is used on the Bostrom, the side fairings, bellypan, front and rear fenders, airbox, chain and exhaust guards are all carbon. Neat that the flames masked onto the side fairings expose the unpainted carbon fiber. Of course there are Ducati norms like dry clutch ( with hydraulic control ) and outstanding brakes – the 320 mm dual front disks are 0.5 mm thinner than non-S bikes to cut unsprung weight. Suspension is top of the line, fully adjustable Ohlins front and rear, as well as an Ohlins steering damper.
Number 45 of 155, this Bostrom was packed away after 250 miles. An unearthed gem or a shameful waste, depending on your point of view. No damage or modifications except for a polished exhaust system, though the owner notes headlights are clouded. From the eBay auction:
Bike is in mint condition. Original owner and stored under a cover in a heated and cooled garage all its life. Bike has Termignoni exhaust that was put on professionally. This Ducati would be great for any Ducati enthusiast or any Ben Bostrom fan. The bike is so new it still has stickers on the mirrors. This bike deserves to be in a museum! This is a chance to own one of the best most collectable Ducatis ever made.
Bostrom was unable to continue his 2001 success in 2002 and returned to AMA SuperBike racing in 2003, making the Bostrom 998S a particularly rare special edition. Not universally acclaimed, the splashy graphics are appreciated by those who enjoyed seeing an American rider abroad. While I would rather the 998S returned to its deserved spot in a museum after 50,000 or so beautiful miles, the owner does have a point. Possibly added to your collection, or tuned up for the fall riding season, the 998S is a gem, the pinnacle of 916 development and super commemorative, for way less than it cost many years ago…