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Sixteen Candles: 2008 Ducati Desmosedici D16RR

The introduction of the Desmosedici was a typical Ducati bombshell to the world. Over the top in a manner than only a MotoGP bike for the street can be, the D16RR was exotic and wild, beautiful and dangerous, and horribly, horribly expensive. This limited production (1,500 units total, world wide) model saw the introduction of the V-4, with the nickname Desmosedici (sixteen in Italian) and D16RR referring to this new arrangement. The bike was as MotoGP as possible for a Federalized streetbike, and retained some interesting features inherited directly from the racing lineage.

2008 Ducati Desmosedici D16RR for sale on eBay

Essentially two L-twin motors placed side-by-side and firing together in a twin pulse manner, the D16RR was really an homage to the GP racer. Power from the 990cc mill was knocking on the 200 HP door, with 197 and change reported. As expected, RPM limits were raised over that of the twins, with max power occurring near the 14k mark. But it is not just about raw power. The Desmosedici remains pretty faithful to the racer with frame geometry, and top level Ohlins suspension and radial mount Brembo braking components (sorry, no carbon-carbon brakes for the street). The comprehensive electronics package even includes a data logger to help you develop as a rider. What isn’t metal on this bike is all carbon fiber. What isn’t carbon fiber is either aluminum (frame, cases, swing arm), magnesium (heads and wheels) or titanium (connecting rods, intake and exhaust valves). The frame is minimal, and hangs the rear suspension off in a stressed-member format. The seat and underlying structure is also cantilevered off of the rear of the engine.

From the seller:
2008 Ducati Desmosedici D16RR, #457/1500, 8076 miles. Second owner motorcycle with all service records. Original bodywork has never been used on the bike, was packaged by original owner/dealer when new and replaced with Catalyst Composites street kit. This bike comes complete with the ‘Race Kit’ exhaust, ECU, cloth cover and rear stand.

Notable mentions:
– New original bodywork, never used
– Extra gas tank
– Street and ‘Race’ upper fairings
– Matching rear Marchesini Genesi M7RR 17″ rear wheel
– Extra 17″ rear wheel modified for proper width, from 999
– Original rear 16″ wheel
– Race Kit Exhaust, ECU and cloth cover
– Ducati Data Analyzer
– Braketech iron rotors (with spacers, not installed)
– Original rear display stand (never used)
– New Pirelli Rosso Corsa II tires
– 1 new, 2 used Bridgestone BT-01 rear tire for original wheel use, 1 used front BT-01 (all in good, usable condition)
– Catalyst bodywork was recently repainted to get rid of rock chips around the leading edge of the side panels and mask
– All service records available

*Bike is up to date on its services. Most recent service, 7500 mile service completed at 7353 miles, by Moto Italiano in Santa Cruz, California. Also completed at this time was K&N air filter, new clutch and basket, LOF, fluid exchanges, valve check and adjustment,

** There are a couple of small (very small) chips in the left side of the gas tank, noted in last picture.

The fly in the ointment with race replicas is that they are NOT simply the race bike with lights. Because racers don’t have the electrical loads required by lights, horn and signals, they can often get away with a minimalist electrical structure that offers just enough juice to power the ECU and fuel injection – or even run total loss with no charging system at all. That doesn’t work on the street, where bikes need electric start, headlights which are on all the time, a working tail light and turn signals. The bigger alternator and battery takes space. The race bikes run dry sump lubrication, but again, that is less useful on the street and requires valuable space that could be utilized for the upgraded cooling system, the upgrade charging system or the emissions controls. And while you cannot simply take a MotoGP bike and call it a street bike, Ducati went through a tremendous effort to produce something like a GP bike. And if you were lucky enough to be close enough to the front of the line to get one, it would only cost you $72k.

If I’m to be honest, it was really the background bikes in the photos that originally caught my attention in this advert. The 916 is classic, and I love the RC45. But the NR750? That is even more over the top. And that just might be the problem with the D16RR. While a phenomenal achievement by a relatively small manufacturer – and certainly very, very exclusive – it somehow lacks the “OMG Wow” impact that such a high dollar amount warrants. These are truly amazing motorcycles in many, many ways, yet they seem to fail to ignite the interest and the curiosity of our readers. Meanwhile, this beautiful 8,000 mile machine (let that sink in – somebody actually rode this beauty a respectable number of miles!) comes with all of the “race only” parts and spares and has a complete service history. The BIN is set for $64k, but the opening ask on the auction portion is a mere $56k with reserve in place. Check it out here. I’d love to hear your thoughts in our Comments section about the Desmosedici, and if you drool over these the same way we look at smokers or other homologation machines. Good Luck!!



  • Was formerly #2 on my list but now that there’s an NR in my garage it’s moved up. Despite Ducati finally coming out with the V4, D16RR still special. The high price is somewhat confounding considering the numbers made versus other lower production bikes at similar prices (like NR until recently).

  • Picture needs a Kawasaki ZX7RR to complete the 90’s Homologation Specials

  • If one were actually going to ride the bike though, the D16RR start to looks like a more reasonable choice.

    The 916 is a sweet riding bike, but is of an older generation.
    Reports of the day claimed the RC45 was very far from the race version it homologated.
    Similarly, the R7 only makes sense in the scope of a race kit and a 750cc class.
    Of course we know no one is going to ride an NR750 regularly. Arguably they were intended to be sent directly to museums from new!

    And Ducati is increasingly pushing its super bike lineup ever closer to the price of a Desmosedici. Remember when the first Panigale came out and people were shocked at the > $20k price tag? Only a couple of years down the road we’re at $40k, so all of the sudden a MotoGP replica at $60k does not sound insane to actually spin wheels on.

    Anyway, as I disagree in principle with machinery collecting dust on display, I hope that someone who can afford to (not me), rides it!

  • This is a kind of thing for people who have everything else, and in that context, it makes so much sense. I mean, think of a dream garage, and it’s there, along with things like RC30, GSX-R RK, OW-01, NR, 916SP, RC-V, and all of awesome 250cc 2stokes, and on and on. That’s why Jay Leno has one.

    8000 miles though, that deserves respect! By the way, I knew of people when I lived in Japan, one of them rode RC30 daily, that was his only mode of transport other than public transport (I met him last year when I visited there, he’s married with kids, own a car, and he’s on his third RC30), and another man whose only motorcycle was NR750. He rode that on regular basis, too, so there are lovely nutters out there.

  • Agreed, kit like this needs and deserves to be run on a regular basis, not displayed in some loft living room.

  • from a collector standpoint these have already started to appreciate. I don’t think they will get up to the original asking price in the near future but the days of lightly used models going for the mid 40’s are probably over.

  • Ducati had the neck to make these when Honda Yamaha et al could only ever offer quite sanitised watery copies of their Grand Prix bikes-compare an RD500 with a proper TZ500 and you will see my point.

    How much do Maclaren ask for their road cars? By their standards the Desmosedici is a bargain and you can actually go for a gallop on the beast.
    When I see what people ask for Z1 900 Kawasakis and early Honda 750 fours then the Ducati also looks a much better deal.

    It has proper pedigree and makes a amazing noise – these joys will be taken from us soon in the clean electric world that will be shoved down our throats so we should enjoy it while we still can-the hour is getting late.

  • Aren’t the wheels 16.5”? Where do you get street legal rubber? I know that size is an option if you are able to run slicks.

  • Y mistake. I thought front and rear tires were <16”. This looks good to go as a rider in that case.

  • Sorry i meant i thought front and rear tires were < 17”. Obviously amichael is reading RSBFS when he should be asleep instead. Time to dream of a d16rr trackday. Or mabe that R7 up there. That one is my favority looking bike of all time.

  • Perhaps they don’t ignite the readership because the sound can’t be conveyed through the internet. The D16RR just sounds amazing in person. The airbox in front and exhaust behind immerses the rider in MotoGP wanna-be glory.

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