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Nearly New: 1998 Ducati 916 With Just 245 Miles for Sale

1998-ducati-916-r-front

Much ink has been spilled waxing poetic about Massimo Tamburini’s masterpiece, the Ducati 916. The bike was such a common sight throughout the 90s as the two-wheeled incarnation of lust, it’s become a bit… familiar, and it’s easy to forget just how shockingly sexy this bike was when it was introduced: the incredibly slim waist, the single-sided swingarm, the undertail exhausts, and those huge side-panels, bare of graphics except for simple Ducati logos.

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Under the curvy new skin, the mechanicals were an evolution of Ducati’s 888: a liquid-cooled, four-valve 90° v-twin displacing 916cc and producing 114hp, backed by a six-speed gearbox and a traditional, rattly dry clutch. That powerplant was housed in a stiff, lightweight steel trellis frame that helped define Ducati superbikes until the nearly frameless Panigale came along.

1998-ducati-916-r-rear

The 916 was impractical, uncomfortable, and expensive both to buy and to maintain. But it was also impossibly desirable and undeniably fast. If you’re looking for one now, prices have become very reasonable, at least in terms of the initial purchase: they’re still expensive to maintain and require regular attention. And that combination of “uncomfortable” and “expensive to buy and maintain” means that there are plenty running around in excellent condition and with very low miles. But ones with just a couple hundred miles on the odometer like this one are few and far between.

1998-ducati-916-clocks

From the original eBay listing: 1998 Ducati 916 for Sale

Yes this beautiful Superbike has 245 miles on it.  It would have had less but I had to drive it to see Frankie Chili the Superbike star to sign the tank.  I bought from a guy who owned a huge plumbing company who bought it at Sotheby’s charity auction in 2002 brand new in Vegas after being signed by Ben Bostrom. Several other amazing guys signed tank but unfortunately while sitting in my office got cleaned by a cleaning person and ruined the signatures.   Bike is in my storage next to Jet Tunning, one of the Premier Motorcycle tuners in all of CA.  Bike has not been started since 2006.  Battery disconnected and fuel drained.  Bike is 100% original, never dropped or scratched. Clean Title as expected.  I bought this bike as art.  It was enjoyed by 1000s of folks who loved the fact that this was the body style that put Ducati back on the map in the 1990s.  Office building sold and now in warehouse covered.  Needs a good home where someone can hang it over a bar, or put in a collection, or maybe just rode hard for the first time in its life.  Thanks for looking.

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The $7,500 asking price is high for a bog-standard 916, or it would be, if it wasn’t virtually brand-new. As it is, that seems like a decent price for such a pristine machine, although I’d be tempted to just clean the badly-smudged signatures off the tank for a dead-stock look. It’s a shame, since they’d be a very cool addition for a display bike if they were in good condition… And honestly, “display” is probably what will happen to this bike: there are plenty of nice, well-maintained bikes around if you’re looking for one to ride, and this bike would probably need a comprehensive service if you wanted to actually ride it.

You’d also probably want to remove those “916” decals from the side panels: earlier 916s with the older graphics had the displacement displayed but, when Ducati switched to their new corporate logo, it was dropped until the introduction of the updated 996. Not a good aesthetic choice, but very easy to fix.

-tad

1998-ducati-916-tank

3 Comments

  • Looks like quite a bit of pitting and corrosion is lurking underneath those body panels.

  • Interesting to see the spankin’-new Michelin Hi-Sports on this bike. In comparison to what came before rather than what came later, these were the best feeling & best hooking (& shortest living) tires I ever remember being on “back in the day.” Just totally intuitive & confidence-inspiring. The 59X was crap. The 89X was a brilliant street tire, as were the very first Pilot Sports.

    When Michelin changed to their new carcass design & dual-compound tread, my bikes felt like they were going in 3 directions at once, or rather, that I had pressures at 10psi front, 60psi rear, or vice-versa. When I first ran the DOT’s at Road Atlanta, I thought I just had a bad set of tires – they were absolutely hair-raising, track or street. Swapped to Pirelli for my Ducatis & never looked back, mostly because they felt like the old Michelins. Other folks loved just them, however. Not everything works on all set-ups.

    That said, my BMW S1000RR came with Pilot Power 3’s & I have no complaints with those tires on that chassis, but that’s a whole different kettle of kippers.

    As for the 916, a Ducati that’s been sitting is likely to have more issues that one that’s been ridden regularly. But still, these bikes are super-sweet – I don’t think the buyer will regret the purchase. Will be interesting to see how TPG bikes value-out over time compared to the Cagiva bikes. Cheers.

  • I agree Joe, many of the fasteners are showing corrosion blooms consistent with being in a close environment with a high humidity. Steel bits under the bodywork may have some surface rust. Definately inline with being put away and the milage no doubt true, but not ideal storage. But for the right price…most of those issues are easily solved.
    Still a nice survivor in any case.

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