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“For Off Road Use Only”: 1992 Ducati 888 Corsa for Sale

Update 7.18.17: We originally saw this 888 Corsa last September and the seller was reportedly looking for $75k. This bike is back on eBay and has a buy-it-now of $60k. Links are updated. -dc


This Ducati 888 Corsa isn’t some roadbike that was stripped of lights and accessories. It is one of a claimed 30 built in 1992 explicitly for racing and came ready for battle, naked except for the parts both inside and out needed to make it go fast and be competitive in World Superbike racing.


Powered by a liquid-cooled, four-valve development of Ducati’s air and oil-cooled Desmo L-twin engine, the 851 and later 888 marked Ducati’s return to relevance. The air-cooled bikes certainly handled well, but were significantly down on outright power and, as the Japanese Big Four continued the rapid development of their four-cylinder sportbikes, just couldn’t compete in terms of outright performance.


Hung in one of their tubular trellis-style frames, the new Desmoquattro featured fuel injection and generally made less peak horsepower than competing four-cylinders, but produced its torque-rich power across a wider range, allowing riders to get on the power sooner for better drive out of corners. That, in addition to the displacement advantage granted to them compared to the 750cc inline fours, gave the new four-valve Ducatis a significant advantage, and they were very successful in World Superbike with the 851, 888, and later with their 916.


From the original eBay listing: 1992 Ducati 888 Corsa for Sale

This bike is one of 30.
Only 30 were produced in 1992 for Ducati race teams.
Don’t know how many are left in the world.
The bike has Termignoni exhaust.
The front brakes are one carbon rotor and one conventional rotor.
Bike is titled as an off road track only but it is titled.
From 1989 to 1992 the frame was white and a red body.

Unfortunately, the listing doesn’t include any information about the bike’s history. As a race bike, there’s likely been an evolving roster of components, unless the bike’s been off the road for a long time, and I wonder what’s going on under the skin. Witness the mismatched front discs that use two different materials and the modern radial front brake and clutch master cylinders. The bike is obviously clean and in excellent shape, and bidders don’t seem put off by the spare listing: at almost $32,000 the reserve has not been met and there are still several days left on the auction.




  • Hot damn!! That is the stuff of dreams, boys.

  • My bikes holligan brother !!

  • Wow I like it !!!

    It would look awesome next to my 92 851 and 94 888!!

    But I didn’t win lotto so it ain’t gonna happen.

  • Looking closer… does this have earlier main body work??? the black on the bottom makes me think pre 92. Were they like this? Mine are all red.

    • The bike pictured definitely has the ’89-91 bodywork before the Terblanche restyle.

  • Is this an original, unused Corsa, or is it restored? Seller offers next to no real useful information, no history of the bike, no pictures of machine with bodywork removed. Usual poor seller presentation (even on such an expensive and special Ducati), but in this case I’d have one huge concern- the front brakes. Those appear to be an early carbon and iron rotor cocktail used back then. If so, I’d never use them based on remembering Ducati racer Jimmy Adamo’s death at Daytona in 1993 attributed to a carbon rotor shattering:

    “Many still suspect that the crash that killed Ducati rider Jimmy Adamo at Daytona in 1993 was caused by an exploded brake rotor (carbon-carbon rotors were legal in AMA Superbike then). There were suggestions after the incident that Adamo’s Ducati wore one carbon and one steel rotor on the front wheel as it lay in the crash truck.”

    • Nice bike. Unique.

    • I seriously doubt the type of person that is buying this machine would be riding it at the limit as to cause a carbon rotor to explode….

  • I wonder what the better investment is, this or the 851 SP3 in the classified section?

  • Worry the details not lads, an 888 Corsa is just that. Original or not, even poorly presented. This is why we tune in, this was on the poster on my wall back in the day. Gorgeous bike, best looking Ducati IMHO

  • Mismatched rotors?

    • Yes, read the post and learn that it’s what they did back in the early days of this technology.

  • Yes Wayne Gardner had one carbon front brake rotor on his NSR500 race bike. One Carbon and a steel rotor on the opposite side.

  • I like that two position caliper mount, looks like in the extended position to fit the carbon disc and it looks like the lower position to fit a conventional steel rotor! Very cool detail . . .

  • Original auction ended reserve not met at $53k. But as seen on the ducati851and888.com forum this morning: http://www.tricitycycle.com/default.asp?page=xInventoryDetail&id=2100385



  • Wasn’t this bike on here before, recently?

    • I’m not seeing it when I search 888.


    • Yeah. I just could have sworn I saw something like this, with the mismatched brakes and the lack of real documentation, not too long ago. Oh well. Cool bike, just not exactly up my alley.

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