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Great Unwashed – 1999 Ducati 996S

Probably the root of more Ducati obsessions than any other bike, the squinting headlights of Massimo Tamburrini’s 1994-2002 masterpiece say ‘Faster’.  This 1999 single seat 996S shows beautifully with just over 3,000 miles.

1999 Ducati 996S #098 for sale on eBay

The increase from 916cc led Ducati to specify a new Weber fuel injection system, and it required dual fuel injectors to achieve its 123 hp.  But the new system could be a bit rich around town, and some owners took to re-programming to disarm the second injector.  Elsewhere, a few things from the base 996 that had been plastic were now carbon, dampers were upgraded to adjustable Showa forks and Öhlins monoshock, and wheels were of course alloy but lighter Marchesini forgings.  The -S was always a monoposto, and not sure if I’ve ever seen anything but red.

This San Diego owner doesn’t tell the ownership history, but it’s clear this 996S has been protected from the garage elves and updated in very good taste.  Comments from the eBay auction:

This 21 year-old is in amazing condition with only 3,017 miles on the clock!  The original date coded Michelins are still on the bike as a testament to it’s condition.  One is dated the 10th week of 98 the other the 52nd.  The bike has never been washed with water, if you look closely in the pictures, all of the original factory grease torque marks are in place!  All of them.  It has always been stored in a climate controlled garage and it is absolutely free from corrosion.  It has been kept upright it’s entire life completely free from ANY blemishes.  At 1,959 miles, the timing belts and a full service was performed at Ducati of Newport Beach.  Currently registered and insured in my name with a clear California title.
This 996S is sporting a few period correct upgrades.  It sounds evil thanks to it’s obligatory open clutch cover, classic Termignoni exhaust and Ultimap chip.  Steel braided lines throughout including brakes, clutch and oil cooler.  Lastly there were a few extra carbon bits added including chain guard, sprocket cover, chin spoiler and license plate holder.  The tank guard on there is magnetic so there is no sticker residue.  I have the original ugly red reflectors that go on the front fender as well. 

While you could just take a spin on those old tires, how would you ever explain it should one come apart ?  Might be good to date the belt service as well, before requesting take-off power.  In a issue of just 200 machines, a 996S is very collectible, but having ridden a nicely updated base 996, the next owner will not want to relegate their new purchase to display without at least one great afternoon.



  • I know that the design was inspired by Honda NR750, but sometimes I’m just really surprised how similar they are, and how different they are. My go-to mechanic often has one in his shop, and every time I see it in person, my heart skips a beat. It’s so pretty.

  • “The bike has never been washed with water” THIS is a selling point now? Water devalues motorcycles? This soon replace “Never ridden in the rain” another selling point I never understood. If you dry your bike after it gets wet there are no issues.

  • Hard to deny just how sexy it is.

  • I’ve never washed a bike with water myself. I never wanted to deal with water in all the nooks and crannies etc. I used Plexus for a lot of things, WD40 and sometimes Honda Cleaner. Personally I think its a selling point. I also do not ride my bikes in the rain, as they get filthy everyplace, you can’t ever really get it clean again without disassembling it, like my race bike gets disassembled for various reasons. That’s just me tho, I know others like to ride daily and don’t care about the same things I do. Just my two cents

  • Agree with Damon on this one. Some bikes are not for rain. I don’t see a point of riding my F4 or the Dieci in the rain. What fun is it when the traction is “around the ankles”? However I wouldn’t think twice of riding a BMW RT or any other touring/adv/cruiser in the rain. Really depends on the type of bike. IMO 996 is the model to buy. With 916 going up and 998 being up there as well, the 996 is often overlooked for no reason at all. Lots of great selling points here. I’m watching where this one ends up….

  • I just don;t see how you can predict the weather 100% It would be impossible to ride a bike often and not get caught in some kind of rain storm.

    I use a product called Waterless Car Wash because it is super easy and works well, but if I am out or if it the bike is exceptionally dirty I’ll break out the hose. Never had any issues, I WD-40 the chain to get the water out before lubing it and dry all other surfaces. But to each his own.

    No denying this is a great looking bike. Shame it was hardly used.

  • Didn’t anyone notice the missing paint on the garage floor?!

  • I never chose to ride my Ducati in the rain, somedays it just happened.

  • Im actually amazed at how many still hose down collector type cars and bikes. Nothing will get me away from a sale ad quicker than the guy who thinks his vehicle looks better freshly soaked by a hose and not dried off. This is extremely important in the classic car world where water pools and rusts out spots everywhere. On bikes it corrodes fasteners and even treated metals. Caught in the rain is a different story but wiping down immediately helps and can take many hours to clean up as all the road dirt gets stuck everywhere. Never wet is for sure a selling point on a bike like this.

  • eBay shows SOLD for $9k! Congratulations to buyer and seller! -dc

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