Post Sale Update: This 916 SPS sold for $12,700 after 47 bids on eBay.
A limited edition of one of the most beautiful motorcycles ever made, the Ducati 916 SPS (Sport Production Special) was more than a pretty face. Thanks to upgrades to the drivetrain and chassis, this was the ultimate 916. 1,058 examples were built in 1998, and this is number 396.
Released to homologate the new 996cc engine for Superbike competition, the 916SPS introduced reinforced crankcases, new barrels and heads, and a 11.5:1 compression ratio. The transmission became a close-ratio unit, and plenty of other extras (such as Showa forks and an Ohlins shock) added up to a bike that was expensive (an MSRP of $24,000 back when it was new), though well-worth it, according to reviewers. The Termi pipes sounded like nothing else people had heard at the time, and some reviewers were terrified of the power delivery.
The best part of the whole story? The SPS was only road legal in Europe. Ducati didn’t conform to EPA regulations, so they sold it as a ‘track-only’ bike and made buyers sign a waiver saying that you wouldn’t register it for road use. As you might imagine, pretty much everyone ignored the waiver, as the bike came with a VIN, lights, a title, and everything needed to register the bike. Want to learn more? Check out this excellent two-part article from Odd Bike about the special editions (particularly the SPS) of the world-changing 916.
This specific Ducati 916SPS (VIN: ZDM3SB5V5WB000665) is number 396 and it has 10,392 miles on the odometer. The seller is a long time Bike-urious reader who is the second owner of this bike. This bike has been registered, titled, and licensed for the street. The seller notes that the tank was replaced due to rust, the clutch slave cylinder, and the “hand grips may not be original.” The only other flaw seems to be some scratches on the lower right fairing when it once fell off of a stand – there’s a picture in the listing that you can inspect.
Find this SPS for sale in Tryon, North Carolina with bidding up to $8,601 and the reserve not yet met