The Ducati 916 was an instant classic when it was released in 1994 – as Mick Walker put it, “the 916 changed the face of sports bikes in a way that only the original Suzuki GSX-R750 had managed a decade earlier.” Even the “base” Strada model, if you could call it such as thing, was spectacular, but Ducati also released 340 examples of a SP (Sport Production) variant in the first year that were extra special.
Much of the components were shared, but the SP got extra carbon fiber, the white number plate design on the tail, Ohlins rear shock, full floating brake rotors, and some impressive work to the motor: reinforced main bearings, ported heads based on the 916 race bike, high flow oil pump, Pankl titanium connecting rods, higher compression pistons, larger valves, more aggressive camshafts, and more. All this was paired with a -1 front sprocket and different exhaust – the stock bike had 114 horsepower, while the SP put out 126. For more on what differentiated the SP from the Strada, check out this fantastic article on OddBike! The author (Jason Cormier) notes that “approximately one out of ten 916s produced between 94-96 was a SP. Finding one today in clean condition is miraculous.”
Here’s SP chassis number 523, which became a race bike early in its life. It is claimed to have just one official owner – Dario Greco, a former tech for Carl Fogarty. It won some races in 1994 in its original SP spec under the Team Gallina banner, then got upgraded to the Superbike class for 1995 to race in the CIV Italian Speed Championship, then got further upgraded with a 996RS kit in 1996. The seller bought it in 2017, tore it down to the frame, and restored it. Find this Ducati for sale in Padova, Italy for approximately $45,000 here on Desmo Market,
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