Posts by tag: doug polen

Ducati August 17, 2019 posted by

Venti­quattro: 1993 Ducati 888

The follow-on evolution of the wildly successful 851, the Ducati 888 had a short, but equally productive life span. Championed by Doug Polen on the world’s SBK stage Ducati was victorious in both 1991 and 1992 campaigns. As a street bike, the 888 continued on through 1994. However by 1993 the SPO models in the lineup were already powered by the next revolution in Ducati firepower, the 916cc desmoquattro engine (as was the SBK racer). However the 888 was still a very stout street bike, and the overall update to the 851 made this an outstanding platform in its own right. Often overlooked as simply the bridge to the 916, the 888 is worth a serious look if you are a riding enthusiast.

1993 Ducati 888 for sale on eBay

Born from the punched out sports production (i.e. homologation) 851 model, the 888 featured the larger displacement engine that the nomenclature on the fairing might suggest. And the engine was not the only updates piece of the 888 puzzle. Notable designer Pierre Terblanche (yes, of the 999 infamy), reworked the styling of the 851 to lengthen the lines and produce an evolved shape. In many ways, this makes the 888 look physically bigger than the 851, yet it is equal or smaller in the most significant dimensions (wheelbase, overall length, height, etc). These longer lines are echoed in some of Terblanche’s other designs, including the Supermono. Overall, the 888 is a visually striking machine. Aurally, the fuel injected, liquid cooled, 4-valve per cylinder with desmodronic action L-twin remained a booming beast, offering low down torque and an intoxicating higher RPM rush. Formidable on the racetrack as well as the street, the 888 was the middle child that never seemed to get the accolades of the younger or older siblings. It is, on the whole, the rarest of the 851/888/916 trio.

From the seller:
This is a nice 888 with 14026 miles. It needs nothing and was just serviced. It starts and runs good with everything in good working order.

The 888 that Ducati imported into the US was an SP0 model. Note that this was during a tumultuous period in Ducati’s history, before they hit it big and really made strides in consistent manufacturing. Record keeping was marginal, and many models changed mid-year simply due to parts on hand. That being said, the 888 came to America to go racing – in AMA Superbike. Thus, all of the US imported (i.e. federalized) 888s are homologation machines. You can check the VIN number in positions 4-6: “1” for street bike (versus race only), “H” for homologation (versus super sport, super bike, monster, etc), and letters for variation on street bike (i.e. A,B,C), or numbers for the racers. A reported 200 units were imported in 1993, and about half that number in 1994. Of course by the end of 1994, nobody wanted a 888 anymore. The 916 had arrived. That makes the SP0 a rare example – and one to hold on to.

There is not much info about this particular bike, nor too many pictures. It has apparently just had a service (good), and seems to have been thoroughly enjoyed given the mileage (14026). The 851/888 models are far more comfortable than the 916 series that followed, and the engines have proven to be extremely durable provided that the usual belt/valve/oil change services have been completed regularly. Parts are still available, and performance is more than adequate for any para-legal street activities. Best of all, the bidding starts at a reasonable $7k. You get the sound and the status of Ducati ownership, along with the visceral presence of the bike and the rarity of the US homologation model. Win win win. Check it out here and Good Luck!!


Suzuki August 28, 2017 posted by

Classic Racer in a Box: Ex-Doug Polen Suzuki GSX-R750 for Sale

Looking for a fun weekend project to keep you busy for a while? Well look no further than this ex-Doug Polen Suzuki GSX-R750 racebike. It’s not exactly finished, but all of the really important parts appear to be there to get you started… Strangely enough, it seems like the AMA racebikes used many of the stock Suzuki components, even switching from the more exotic dry clutch to the standard wet unit, according to the seller. So that should help, right?

The introduction of the Suzuki GSX-R750 in 1985 was a seminal event in the history of motorcycling. It may not have been the first or only bike to use fully-enclosed, endurance-racer styling wrapped around a bulletproof, large-displacement inline four and monoshock aluminum frame, but it made that formula affordable and available to the masses, and led directly to the sportbikes we know and love. Later sportbikes would add liquid-cooling to the equation to help generate maximum power, but the Gixxer eschewed such frippery as too heavy for their pure speed machine: in spite of the visible cooling fins, it’s oil that does most of the work. The oil-cooled powerplant utilized their SACS or “Suzuki Advanced Cooling System” that used a double-chambered pump and oil jets directed at the underside of the pistons to keep temperatures under control. Other than oil cooling, it followed modern designs and used dual overhead cams and four valves per cylinder.

Obviously, as a race-spec machine for the street, the GSX-R750 spent plenty of time competing in various classes both abroad and here in the US. This particular bike was used in AMA racing and was ridden by Doug Polen. Polen was a world-class rider who got his start in AMA racing but left to compete in the World Superbike Championship, where he won the title on the trot in 1991 and 1992. He continued to compete in both international and American roadracing with success, netted a win at the Suzuka 8 Hour endurance race, and even dabbled in MotoGP.

There’s additional information about the bike, its history, and the included photos over on eBay, so head over and take a look.

From the original eBay listing: Ex-Doug Polen Suzuki GSX-R750 AMA Superbike for Sale

I have researched the photo archives of Cycle World and Cycle magazines and obtained a number of unpublished photos from their records.  I’ve also bought photographs from freelance photographers that covered AMA racing in that year.  Special thanks to Larry Lawrence, of The Rider Files website.  I will provide these photos to the buyer with the proviso that they remain unpublished.

Each rider had two chassis.  The chassis and motors evolved constantly through the season and Doug probably got the good parts first, as he did better than Otter in the results, starting with the first race.  Their A bikes had all of the good parts at each race and the B bikes had more stock components.  You can clearly see in the photographs the progression of modifications during the season for all of the bikes and the lower spec of the B bikes.

The chassis is un-braced, with modified stock forks, Kosman Triple clamps, Kosman brake discs, AP calipers, a Fox shock and Marvic magnesium wheels.  The swingarm has been slotted, to allow for more variation in wheelbase.  Jim Lindemann worked with them on the shock valving, although he passed away a few years ago.  I have spoken to an ex-Fox engineer and he’d be happy to restore the shock but the records they had of those years were destroyed a few years ago.  Sandy Kosman now lives in Portland Oregon and the last time I talked to him, he was willing to get the discs reground on a Blanchard grinder, if desired.   One of the previous owners began the restoration years ago and the chassis, as pictured, is where he was when he sold the bike to the next owner.

The bodywork used was stock Suzuki plastic.  Early in the season it was raced in 1986 blue/white Suzuki colors; later in the season some of it was sporting the 1987 blue/white Suzuki stock colors.  A perforated metal filler panel was incorporated into the lower fairing V and the lower fairing panels had holes cut in them to allow for more ground clearance.

The motors were modified during the season and varied quite a bit.  They had Yoshimura (either kit Suzuki or Cosworth) pistons, different crank bearings, heads ported by Ron Scrima, Megacycle cams with Yosh retainers, a Tsubaki cam chain tensioner, and various carbs and exhausts.  At one point they obtained dry clutches and close ratio transmission gears but went back to running wet clutches and stock transmission ratios.  They may have run an ECU with a higher rev limit.  Ron Scrima passed away in 2011 but his company (Racing Engine Service) is still in business in Texas and the current owner was with Ron for about 25 years, so they might be my first choice for an engine refresh.  Another option would be Kelly Roberts, also in Texas.  I have never disassembled the motor, so I do not know what internal components are present.

I am interested in selling this project to someone that has the necessary resources and desire to restore it to an as-raced condition and to preserve it for the future.  It is a significant bike, as it was one of the highest placed privateer AMA superbike efforts of that era and was ridden by the rider that probably had more success in the USA racing the first generation Suzuki GSX-R than any other rider.  I would be willing to discuss this bike in more detail, via telephone, with any serious prospective buyers.  I am also willing to provide additional photos, a more complete listing of what components will come with the bike, and an approximate idea of what additional components will be needed to complete the restoration.

I have listed the mileage as 99999, as eBay requires that the mileage be listed for any vehicle sale.  The true mileage is unknown, as it was never recorded, which is not unusual for a race bike.

It also looks like the bike went through several iterations, giving you a bit of flexibility in terms of the color scheme you choose. If it were complete and in as-raced condition, this would probably be a very valuable motorcycle. As it stands, it’s a valuable… basket case. How valuable? Well the But It Now price for this bit of American roadracing history is $4,950. This is going to need a lot of love, time, and money to finish, but I think this GSX-R deserves to be restored to its former functional glory.


Ducati May 3, 2012 posted by

Doug Polen was here: Autographed 1993 Ducati 888

For Sale: 1993 Ducati 888

Update 5.3.2012: Somehow this bike only got to $5600 the last time it was listed. Mike notes originally (5.2.2012) that the bidding was up to $8500 on a no reserve auction previously. Buy-it-now has been lowered to $9495 from $10495. Links updated. -dc

How much does “star power” add to the resale value of a bike? I’ve always wondered that, as this is not the first 888 posted on RSBFS that has been signed by Doug Polen (here is another one). Personally, the thought of someone getting near my beloved bike with a magic marker brings up arguments of justifiable homicide, but for others the draw of a famous signature brings added value and distinction.

This particular 888 looks to be in decent shape given the mileage – 16,000+, meaning that somebody actually rode the thing! As RSBFS readers might know from my previous posts, I’m not a big believer in buying a bike and storing it for future value. For me the value is in the ride, and this 888 has certainly returned some value to the owner.

There are a few mods listed in addition to the Doug Polen signature. Again, the jury is still split on what value these mods add. If this were a sub-1,000 mile bike, then I would say the mods would detract from the collectability of the bike, and thus the value. However given the mileage, the added displacement differentiates this bike from other higher-mileage examples, and may actually help the value. What do you RSBFS readers think?

From the seller:
1993 Ducati Superbike 888 desmoquattro
Doug Polen Autographed.
16904 miles
Engine upgrade (916cc) @ 16238 miles.
Crankcase / Cylinders / Pistons / Crankshaft
Complete light weight Clutch
Heavy duty Race cylinder STUDS / Valve Job
All gaskets & seals replaced.
New Michelin Pilots @ 16681 miles
All maintenance and upgrades done at Fast by Ferracci from 2005 to present.

The 888 was an evolution of the ground-breaking 851, and itself became the jump-off point for the iconic 916. There is plenty of performance here to keep up with more modern machinery, and it is hard to argue with the good looks bestowed upon this series of bikes.

This auction started out in the $5k range and is currently up to $8,500 with light bidding. There is no reserve in sight, so this one is going to a new home at market value at the end of this auction. For your chance to jump into the fray, click the link and jump over to the auction. Good luck!!


Ducati October 27, 2011 posted by

1993 Ducati 888 SPO For Sale in Wisconsin

When my wife peers over my shoulder while working on RSBFS and spots me lusting after one of these she usually states that it looks just like my bike, a 93 750SS. On the surface she’s attempting to be naive, but what she’s really trying to do is prevent me from adding another bike to our single car garage. While the 750SS shares the same headlight and turn signals, that’s where the similarities/shared parts end. My bike was the entry level Supersport model but the 888 SPO Superbike was the top offering in the U.S. for 1993.

Most of you are already aware of what makes the 888 a special mount but here are the cliff notes for those that don’t: Derived from the Pierre Terblanche styled 851, these bikes were a combination of 888 Strada and SP5 for the U.S. market to homologate for AMA racing. 4 valve heads, liquid cooling, Ohlins rear shock, solo seat, and more. Most of this technology would later find it’s way into the more stylish Massimo Tamburini designed 916.

1993 Ducati 888 SPO For Sale on eBay

Up for auction is my 1993 Ducati 888 Superbike SPO. The SPO was created to homologate the 888 for AMA Superbike competition. Here’s your opportunity to own a hand-built classic Ducati.

This motorcycle is very clean, well maintained, and cared for. Low miles. The condition of the bike is great. I have enjoyed riding it. Very minor paint chipping near edges (see pic) which seem to be common with these older bikes, but overall, the bike is in fantastic shape. Only problem I had was the overflow coolant tank leaking which was replaced.

– Full Sil Moto spaghetti exhaust system with Carbon Fiber cannisters.

– Eprom fuel chip mapped by Bruce Meyers @BCM Ducati.

– Carbon fiber tank guard.

– BONUS…I had Doug Polen sign the tail section and then had it clear coated.


The seller notes that this example is sorted with a “spaghetti” exhaust system and matching custom chip. The spaghetti exhausts, which are a complicated twisting mess of header pipes that flow beautifully, which are very rare now and very desirable. The last one I saw for sale was for a Supersport model and it was nearly $2k! Topping it off with a signed tail by Doug Polen makes this a real enthusiast’s treat.

There are a few chips noted and seen on the nose, but with under 6k miles this example should look fantastic as described. Being off season I’ll be curious to see where this auction ends — mostly because it would look great sitting where the 750SS now takes up space in the garage and I’d like to know what kind of savings are required to make it possible!


Ducati September 1, 2011 posted by

Stunning in Yellow: 1994 Ducati 888 LTD

For Sale: 1994 Ducati Superbike 888 LTD

With the release of the 888, Ducati once again raised the stakes in the Superbike market. Based around the last iteration of the 851 Superbike (which had already been punched out to 888cc), the 888 refined the concept and upped the ante. With more horsepower than the 851, upswept exhaust chambers for greater cornering clearance and upgraded components throughout, the 888 was raced successfully by the likes of Doug Polen.

Sharing the square headlight and vertical nose vents as the 851, the 888 did not appear outwardly changed. Under the skin, however, the upgraded motor added the go, and updated Brembos front and rear helped the bike stop. For those of you into homologation superbikes, be sure and check out this great comparison between the Ducati 888 and a the Yamaha OW01. And for more information, be sure and check out the 851 and 888 forum.

From the seller:
Here is one beautiful 888! The pictures tell no lies! Many are aware of this iconic motorcycle, what it represents for Ducati and race fans alike. Definitely a bike to lust for, as they are getting more difficult to find in such good condition.

This 888 has been custom painted to Ducati yellow, along with some nice upgrades as follows:
Carrozzeria Aluminum wheels
Michelin Pilot Power tires (have about 500 miles)
Carbon Fiber exhaust
Steel braided brake/clutch lines
Silicon hoses (Blue)
Up-graded front discs
Carbon Fiber tank protector
Carbon Fiber fenders front and rear. (stock on 94′ LTD. oops, front not pictured but will convey with bike)

Many more, as well as complete service done at 3000miles. Installed new belts, valves adjusted, all fluids flushed, along with new chain/sprockets, race brake pads.

I am 2nd owner of this bike, bought it back in 97′ with barely 1000 miles on it. Bike was always stored indoors, either in my custom built display or my garage. It has always been well maintained and cared for, having oil/filter changed more than necessary to keep it extra clean and smooth. Ridden only for pleasure at a nice “spirited pace”, and ridden at the track 3 times as well, it’s a seriously fun bike to ride. Although it gets very little use, I hate to sell it. I had listed it last year with only 3500 miles with a reserve of $12,000, It got up to 10k if I remember correctly. I am listing it with a NO reserve, and a lower BIN, so bid/buy as you like. There are other 888’s to be found, but this one stands out, and has very low miles, is in outstanding condition, and will not disappoint anyone.

I have most, if not all of the original parts. (Exhaust pipes, wheels, hoses, foot pegs, etc) These can be obtained by winning bidder at additional costs, along with a complete set of sharkskinz race bodywork if desired.

While normal livery is the traditional Ducati red, this particular bike has been repainted in stunning yellow – reminiscent of a 900 Superlight or first generation 748. The paintwork plays off well against the carbon cans (which must sound awesome), and the whole package really looks great. The seller has made a lot of additions to the bike, the result which modernizes the aging 851/888 look.

This auction is going on right now and the current bid is only $7,100. There are less than 4,000 miles on this beauty, and there is no reserve in sight. This is more than fair money for a 888, and the upgraded equipment represents a real bargain at this juncture. For your chance to view all of the pictures and details, click the link and jump over to the auction. Good Luck!


Ducati May 12, 2010 posted by

1992 Ducati 851 Superbike with low miles on ebay!

1992 Ducati 851 Superbike with only 657 miles!

Location: Cincinnati, OH
Current Bid: $6,107.99 at time of listing

Ahh yes, 1992 what a year that was… While I was listening to Sir-Mix-A-Lot’s “Baby Got Back” and Kris Kross’s “Jump” this guy had an eye to the future and was busy collecting Ducati’s; to re-sale to middle-aged guys trying to recapture 1992 all over again.

All flash-backs aside, this could be the best 851 I’ve ever seen. Only 657 miles in 18 years and if that doesn’t impress you check out the spares package that is being sold with it. This one is part of a larger collection and since I’m so close to it, I volunteer to test ride it for anyone interested 🙂 So hit me up if I need to grab my helmet.

My favorite part? The Cagiva style lettering.. I know, I know it’s petty, but it’s one of my favorite things about older Ducati’s. Yeah sure, they have gobs of torque and they make that sweet thumping sound, but you can still get that with any ole Ducati new or used.

Have a look and get a towel ready to wipe the drool off of the keyboard.

Ducati 851 for sale

In the sellers own words:

This 851 was bought new and has been part of a collection of bikes. It has been a show piece that has been regularly serviced and ridden occasionally. With only 650 miles on it I haven’t even finished breaking it in. The rpm’s have been kept under 4k for the first 400 miles, then 6k until recently where I have brought it up to 8k. It runs perfect. The Bike came with two chips for the EFI. It has the race chip in it.

If you’re a collector or just want a perfect example of this classic Ducati, I don’t think you will find a better one anywhere but perhaps the Ducati Museum and I bet this one would still be better. It has been stored indoors in a climate controlled environment its whole life. The original tires are still on it with no appearance of dry rot. They still have all of their rubber mold lines, even towards the center of the tire. Oil has been changed several times along with the brake fluid and coolant. Oil for this bike is Agip 20-50 4T full synth. It has Fren Tubo Kevlar brake and clutch lines installed, but the rest of the bike is stock. I have about $5000 in extra parts that were to be installed on the bike but never made it. They are included in this auction. They are all NEW.

Termigoni CF Exhaust 1000
Extra set of exhaust mount. 75. set up for rear foot pegs and w/out when SPO Tail is installed.
Oil cooler. 350
Steering dampener with billet mount. 500
Billet clutch cover. 150
Carbon fiber front and rear fenders. 400
Rear factory SPO cowl, seat, rear pad, aluminum frame and install kit. 2000 (Very Rare to come by these days)
Billet rearset 550
2nd set of lower handlebars. 200 You may be able to flip them to raise them as well.
smoked wind screen. 50 Not in pictures.
Tank pad. 25
Shop service manual (2 inches thick) 200

My reserve takes in to account that most all of this stuff will sell on the bay for 75% of new. This package is for the buyer who wants to build it his way in whole or part, and sell off the rest. If I get a bunch of people who just want the bike I’ll re-list it.

I have included a pic of what the bike would closely resemble with some of the parts from a bike I found on the net. It is not my bike. (last pic) I also have a source for any decal set up that you can imagine.

Buyer will be responsible for all transit costs for bike and parts. I will pack up all parts and work with the shipping company of your choice. Of course bike can be picked up in person or seen ahead of time. Bike ships after all funds clear. Payment terms. 300 deposit within 48 hrs via paypal. The rest in cash of certified check.

I have sold a number of bikes on ebay and have had great feed back. You will not be disappointed. This bike is everything I say it is.

Lastly, as I say about all my bikes, they are scratch free and look like new. Most have never seen a day of rain and get waxed regularly. No expense has been spared to maintain them to the highest standards.

That spares list reads like it’s from Doug Polen’s 1992 WSB championship bike parts bin. I have to agree with the seller in that this may very well be the best 851 available to the buying pulic or maybe even anyone.

Anyone care to take a stab at what it’s going to cost to park this in your collection? $15,000? $20,000?

You can to place your bid.



Sport Bikes For Sale May 10, 2010 posted by At The Portland AHRMA Classic!

This past May 1st and 2nd, some of the authors for RSBFS attended the American Historic Racing Motorcycle Association national meet at Portland International Raceway.  This was the first time AHRMA held a national event in our part of the country and from the looks of things it was a resounding success!  Being at PIR, the focus of the event was on road racing, but MX had a very strong presence along with scooter races, stunt riders, vendor booths and a small swap meet.


The pro-pit’s were awash with things to drool over and fantasize about;  Everything from angry two-strokes to Harley’s were present and racing!  A large number of racers made it out to thrash their vintage machinery with the CB160 race group making up the largest group with twenty plus riders.  Their Le Mans style start and large group made for, easily, the most entertaining group of the weekend.  Two-stroke fours, triples, twins and singles were  present and abundant with the usual dominating presence of the four-strokes.  Doug Polen (WSB, AMA, & Endurance World Champion) was also present and instructing students through his 1ON1 riding school.


The MX track featured pre-’80 bikes, a license plate and lights group, minibikes, a 40+ group, and large displacement thumpers.  The groups were large and dirty with no one seeming to hold back.  The scooter races consisted of somewhat normal looking scooters that sounded like highly strung road-racers and went nearly as quick.  Then vendors booths were nice and featured some quality items but, the swap meet I found severely lacking in attendance however, that can probably be attributed to this being the first time AHRMA has held an event like this so the knowledge base was too small to generate a large swap meet.


The crowds were decently sized which was very surprising based on the, usual, lack of turn-out for motor sports in the Pacific Northwest.  Competitors and fans were also from all reaches of Canada and the U.S. with visitors from both countries East Coast.  Canada had a very strong presence because of it’s close proximity and this fact probably contributed to the strong two stroke numbers.

The weather was adequate but, not the best.  It never rained, while I was there, but it threatened to and you could see it struck some fear into the competitors as the rims shod in wet’s were out on display and not hidden away.  The temperature was cool throughout the day but it was nice not having a large fluctuation from morning to afternoon as it consistently held in the mid 60’s throughout the weekend.

We did get to catch up with a fellow RSBFS reader and old friend, Brian who brought out his classic 1953 BMW R51/3 from Seattle. Here’s a couple of pictures and a bit about his bike:




It’s a 1953 R51/3 the high points are the Hoske tank that people asked about, but it also has Hoske muffler, the carbs are 30mm Dellorto SS1, standard carbs for this bike are 22 or 24mm. the rear seat is called a swinging pillion, an accessory they offered for their sports models R68 and R69S.

1952 bikes started with a pre-war half width hub, mine has the full width hub. When I took the heads off there were oversized pistons as well so I sometimes say its a 550cc bike the headlight bucket is by Rauch, mine has two holes and the 3 hole one is the one that went for $10k ebay listing. (!)

Great catching up Brian!

The parking lot was of course another great spot to check out enthusiast rides, like this NC30 and GSX-R, which seem especially fitting on our site:



More along the lines of what you expect to see at a vintage event, this excellent Vincent was also on hand:



The bathrooms didn’t smell too great and the beer was expensive but, the racing was good and there was plenty to enjoy on, and off, the track.  If you ever see the AHRMA banner at your local track, make sure and have a visit–and always remember to support local motor sport!  A big thank you goes out to AHRMA, all the sponsors, organizers, and especially the volunteers for a great weekend and a great show!

AG & dc


Ducati November 15, 2009 posted by

Ducati 851 with ex-Doug Polen corsa frame

We’re on a roll here with rare Ducatis showing up on ebay. After that MH900E Mail Hailwood replica that I posted earlier, I came across this :

Here’s a (small) partial listing of the details:

For auction I have a Ducati 851 track bike. Ridden by an old guy on track days for the last 15 years and built and maintained buy one of the best Ducati shops on the planet this is a rare find for the lucky new owner. Built on a ex Doug Polen frame and serviced by BCM Ducati this 851 has received constant professional up keep and is fresh and ready to ride/race. These photos were just taken moments before this listing was created. This is a hand built bike with a factory racing frame, there is a salvage title for the motor from the donor bike but not for the Corsa racing frame. The motor is from a 92 street bike the frame is thought to be a 91. The 905cc big bore kit puts out 105 hp on the dyno with a mild cam to make it a very ride able bike. A very light package tipping the scales at approximately 381 pounds with half a tank of fuel. As you will find with a lot of different Ducatis the rear engine frame mounts have been welded years ago. The main frame along with the front and rear sub frames are straight but there is a small ding in the front upper frame tube from the left upper triple clamp as is common on the 851 and others. Some say this distinguishes it as frame used by #23; the signature was obtained on the Carbon Kevlar tank years later and clear coated over. The lower fairing was modified to incorporate the often mandatory liquid catch pan. To give you an idea on the investment it takes to build a bike as trick as this there is about $5000.00 in just the front end alone. Add it all up and I think you’ll agree the asking price is just a fraction of the value represented.

The 851 is already a desirable classic, and this one with a corsa frame ridden by Doug Polen makes it that much more rare and collectible. 

I would jump on this one if I have the money and the garage space!