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Ducati posted by

Truth in Advertising: 1993 Ducati 888 SPO for Sale


This post is in our archives. Links in this post have been updated to point to similar bikes available to bid on eBay.

It’s common for manufacturers to fudge things a bit when identifying their cars and motorcycles. Often, the name specifically referred to at least the approximate size of the engine, but liberties are often taken, especially when the displacement changes, but the name stays the same. The Mustang 5.0? Actually 302ci works out to 4948cc, which you should probably round down to 4.9 liters… But it’s pretty close at least, and sounds much cooler. Can you imagine Vanilla Ice crusin’ in his four-point-nine? Bike manufacturers are even worse about rounding things off to sound good. The Norton Commando 850 was packing 828cc, and the Ducati Pantah 600 had 583cc. Fortunately, Ducati redeemed themselves with the oddly-specific 888 SPO…

Until the introduction of the the also-accurately-named 851, Ducati made do with air/oil-cooled engines, and relied on their light weight and agility to compete against more poerful machines. Unfortunately, the handling of Japanese superbikes continued to improve by leaps and bounds, and the Italians knew the only way to stay competitive in production racing would be to evolve. Ducati’s 851 superbike was powered by an extensive redesign of their 90° v-twin that added liquid cooling and four valves per cylinder, with all eight actuated by the company’s famed Desmodromic system. The system basically eliminated valve float, although high mean piston speeds were a much bigger issue for a 10,000rpm v-twin. A more important advantage probably came from the ability to use more aggressive cam profiles to both open and close the valves.

The 888 that followed naturally used a slightly larger, more developed version of that engine. A six-speed gearbox backed by an exotic dry clutch gave racing credibility, along with that characteristic Ducati rattle that is often louder than the exhaust at idle, especially on a stock bike. Two versions of the bike were available in most markets: the 888 Strada and the higher-performance 888 SP5. The SP5 wasn’t road-legal here in the USA, so we got a bike that really slotted in between the two Euro versions called the SPO or “Sport Production Omologato” that was intended to homologate the bike for AMA racing. Unlike the Strada, the SPO had a solo-seat tail, upswept exhaust for more cornering clearance, and an Öhlins shock. A heavier steel subframe was used in place of the SP5’s aluminum unit, and the engine was basically in the same state of tune as the Strada, with around 100hp and a meaty torque band.

From the original eBay listing: 1993 Ducati 888 SPO for Sale

1993 Ducati 888 SPO with 4824 original miles and in excellent condition.  

Purchased new in the Seattle area and stayed a local bike all its life. Documented history throughout its 4824 miles, beginning from original purchase agreement in 1993 (pictured). Last full service (includes belts adjustment) done at 4600 miles in 2015. All major parts are original, including radiator (pictured) which shows matching usage/wear to the bike’s mileage. Pipes were upgraded to Ferraccis back when the bike was new, and coolant hoses were replaced during the last service in 2015. Also recently replaced the fairing fasteners to period correct OEM fasteners as the gold plating on the originals were faded due to age.

Title is free and clear, and comes with 2 original keys and owners manual. Stand is not included.

This bike has very low miles and includes the desirable, period-correct Fast by Ferracci exhaust is a nice option that should add a period-correct exhaust note. The seller is asking a very steep $16,500 for this one, but it’s very original, well-kept, and you’ll likely not find another in this kind of condition if you’re looking to grab an SPO for your collection.



  • All of the AMA 955 bikes has 916 on the decals on the the side

    • Yeah, Ducati is all over the place on this one in general: the 999 displaced 998cc, while the 999R actually had the advertised 999cc. The 1299 had 1285cc while the 1299R had 1198cc… But for a short, glorious period, their bikes provided exactly what it said on the tin!

  • 16,500 is considerably steep indeed.
    I doubt they’re at that yet, but the low mileage and condition helps. Still, you could build a 996 S4R powered 851 for less than that. Which I’m doing right now since my 92 888 got stolen in Oakland a few months back.
    The 888 is a nice bike, but not near $16,500’s worth.

    • Agree completely. Commenters sometimes get very upset about high asking prices but, in cases like this, I just feel like the seller is a little bit ahead of themselves. And honestly, it is sometimes worth it to pay more to get the very best if you’re a collector, or chasing your dream bike. Me? I’m much more of an S4R-powered 851 kind of guy…

  • “And honestly, it is sometimes worth it to pay more to get the very best if you’re a collector, or chasing your dream bike.”
    Agree Tad, with such low mileage this 888 is more of a ‘best collector bike’ than a ‘ride the piss out of it’ bike. And this example is cherry indeed.
    Mine was a ’93 also, not a 92 as I said in my last comment. The 92 was the 851 with a white frame, but the 851 motor was mehhh. So Scott at Italian Iron Classics in Tuscon just happened to get a bead on an 851 and has done three 851/996 swaps already so by the time I’m done, it will still cost less than a stock 888, so the decision for me was a no brainer, since I’m a rider and not a collector. I have 5 Ducs, all road sluts, not garage queens. And all pre 92.

  • Annnnd I eat my words, Sold for $16,500.
    So I guess they ARE there now. I, only after looking at the ebay ad, realized it was a 1 owner bike with all the paperwork from dealer to buyer. So upon reflection it was a good buy for that.
    It’s hard enough to find a 888, but basically, what with only 4k+ miles on it, a new one like this, good buy I say.

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