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Less Equaling More – 2001 Ducati 996R #114/500

Ducati’s Superbike homologation special in 2001 was the 996R, and received the first narrow head testastretta engine, thinner 320mm front brake disks, and bodywork with almost no vents.  One place it didn’t scrimp was MSRP, and along with its factory-new appearance, this example sports an ask which is virtually the same as in 2001.

2001 Ducati 996R for sale on eBay

The R shared much with the preceding SPS, but the powerplant was comprehensively revised, more oversquare with larger but lighter pistons to displace 998cc.  Valve angle was reduced to 25 degrees, allowing bigger valves and more compact desmodromic actuators.  54mm oval intake tracts had one shower injector for each cylinder, under Marelli electronic control.  As configured in the 996R, 135hp was the result, with max torque of 77 ft.-lbs. at just 8,000 rpm.

Chassis, suspension and brakes sound similar to the SPS, but are closer to the race machine with fully adjustable Ohlins, special Brembo brakes with lighter rotors, and forged Marchesini wheels.  Body work is all carbon but relies on motion to get the airflow to work, the sleek fairings completely uninterested in sitting at idle.  Carbon Termignoni mufflers imparted a distinctive boom to the exhaust.

Not much information about the chain of ownership, but with only 225 miles, it’s been more a series of guardians.  On office display, it looks new in every way, with the mirrors and signals looking like possible updates.  From the eBay auction:

This particular Ducati 996R is a one-owner, USA delivered, 225 original mile example.

Build Number 114 of 500.

Sale includes all owner’s handbooks, both keys, OEM compliant mufflers & ECU, Ducati Performance Carbon Fiber Parts, Termignoni Exhaust and Computer, Evoluzione Slipper Clutch and Titanium Guard, and all original parts.

The FIM’s directive to was make the homologation machines available to customers, but the factory’s interpretation did not really include the general public.  Special connections, select privateer race teams, and a dealer’s best customer could place an order, but a walk-up inquiry might find them to be sold out.  When new £17,000 – over $50,000 – accounting for inflation this -R should be about 75 large.  But even at a smashing discount the new owner will be an unusual motorcyclist.  Very fitting for a most rare Ducati, which will likely never get to 226 miles.



  • This body style is of course iconic and one of, if not the sexiest sportbikes ever made (and I’m not a ‘Ducatisti’). But there were so many versions of it that look so similar, from a lowly 748 to these later R models. Do you guys think it hurts the value when you park a ‘plain Jane’ 916 or whatever next to the R model and only the real Ducati fans can tell them apart? it just seems the high numbers of the standard bikes might water down the appeal of these high end versions. I’d likely be just as happy on a standard 916 as I would this R model, for riding on the street. And as a collector, a standard 916 looks basically as cool to me as this R model. In fact I might actually prefer the standard bike as a collector, because that’s the one I actually rode alongside on Sunday morning rides back in the day.

  • For $50k asking price the seller couldn’t be bothered to pull the bike away from the wall for proper left side photos???

  • I’ve been on the hunt for one of these for a while. Spoke to the dealer about it when it first was listed. NOT a US delivered bike. Rather a European delivery. Wasn’t clear on the history but have contacts at Ducati getting the scoop. I personally am no where near the asking price, but i guess it never hurts to anchor high. The only issue with that is the audience for this bike is small and enthusiasts only, most of whom are highly educated. Cool bike though!

  • @Billy – I take your point. Clearly a clean stock 916 is still gonna look the part. Typically though a collector will only be interested in the “Varese Built” standard models because they have an interesting back story.
    Some of the special models have significantly upgraded components, but I suspect that very few will ever be ridden hard enough where you could actually tell the difference. I certainly never ride my ’98 SPS anywhere over 6/10ths.
    @Jasonu – I was thinking the same thing. Almost insulting to ask that amount of money (at least $25k over priced IMO) and not take better photos. 360deg and fairings off should be an absolute minimum for that $$.

  • I’m in agreement with Billy. If your going to take it out and actually use it as intended, a plain jane 916 would work perfectly fine.
    The 916 was one of the most jaw dropping pretty bikes when they were introduced. The design stayed around a bit too long and through too many variations. I’ve gotten bored looking at them at this point.

  • Having my 998R at COTA MotoGP I can say most folks don’t know how special the R bikes are 🙂 There were a few folks who recognized it and had some good chats but most people like my other bike, a yellow 748, better, haha.

    As far as this bike goes $50k is mental, that’s an insane price. I’d be amazed if they get anything close to that.

  • I can’t believe I didn’t realize this before, but I’m actually surprised Ducati weren’t the first to the party with radially mounted brakes on their R bike.

  • Yes, the listing could be better photographed and described. Yes, it appears this is a euro model (supposedly ALL officially imported versions were from the unnumbered 150 of the 500), which really makes no difference because the spec was the same and even the US versions weren’t DOT approved/officially road legal anyway. And yes, I think $50k is high…but not by as much as you think. Pristine SPSs are now about $20k. Six or seven years ago a “normal” 996R was bringing $23k Not long ago another 996R was listed on eBay for $26k BIN and sold almost instantly. I have a friend looking for one and he didn’t even have a chance to see my message to him before it was gone. Another auction ended early with the bidding already above $29k. With only 225 miles I expect this could break $40,000.

  • Interesting debate. A 996r recently sold at the mecum auction in Vegas for $13k. It had 20k km on the clock or roughly 12k miles. The eBay auction I think you’re referring to was for a 998r but it did sell quickly for around $25 or $26 if I recall. I could see this going for $30k for the right buyer but those buyers are few and far between. Paying $17k more for this than a 12k mile example MIGHT be justifiable but to hit $40k that’s a huge premium for a bike that will need a ton of work to get up to snuff – assuming the next owner rides it. I’m with Oliver. This bike is overpriced by 2x. 50k is pure insanity. But that’s just one person’s opinion!

  • Yeah, that auction bike was a Thursday sale and terribly presented (listed as a regular 996!). Only one guy actually knew what is was. He flew in on very short notice, knowing how poor the auction house did. There were at least 2 SPSs that weren’t correctly identified either.

    Anyway, you can’t just say “A guy put a flyer on the bulletin board of his local supermarket and only got $10,000 for his Bugatti, so that’s what they are worth.” ANY clean 996R is $25k and rising.

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