2000 Ducati 996SPS
Registration no. W54 XKJ
Frame no. ZDMH100AAXB-002943
Engine no. ZDM996W4-010688
Although Ducatis water-cooled 8-valve v-twin had been around in its original 851 and 888 incarnations for six years and had already won four World Superbike Championships, it was the arrival of the iconic 916 for 1994 that really captured the publics imagination. Styled by Massimo Tamburini, the 916 and its subsequent evolutions established Ducati as one of the worlds foremost brand names. Universally recognised as icons of automotive art, Ducati motorcycles have been exhibited in some of the worlds foremost museums, including the Guggenheim in New York and the Museum of Modern Art in San Francisco.
The original 916 Strada was superseded by the Biposto (two-seat) version and the higher-specification SP. The latters engine remained at 916cc but added twin fuel injectors and bigger valves to the package for increased power and torque. The SP reverted to a single seat unit (with white number boards) while gaining superior Öhlins rear suspension. Next came the ultra-exclusive 916SPS (Sport Production Special) derivative of which only 400 examples were made. Despite the name, the 916SPS enjoyed the advantages of an over-bored engine displacing 996cc and delivering a mighty 132bhp at the rear wheel. The cost new was an equally staggering £18,400.
For 1999 the 996 replaced the 916 and one again there was a higher-specification SPS version topping the range, albeit with a slightly reduced maximum power output of 123bhp, 10 horsepower more than the base 996. 996SPS chassis upgrades included an Öhlins rear shock and lightweight five-spoke Marchesini wheels. Showa forks were fitted to the 1999 model but for 2000 the 996SPS received fully adjustable Öhlins forks incorporating titanium nitride coated stanchions. The 996SPSs top speed was around 175mph and this exclusive model cost £18,650 in 1999, making it one of the worlds most expensive production motorcycles.
This gorgeous 996SPS had covered circa 6,000 miles when it was purchased from its first owner, Gary Wilson, by the current vendor. At around this time the engine was rebuilt by renowned marque specialists, John Hackett Performance, who said that it had the strongest engine of any example they had encountered. Hardly used since the rebuild, and then only for summer days, the Ducati has been SORNd for the past four years and is described as in generally very good condition. The machine is offered with sundry invoices and Swansea V5.
Of all the members of the 916/996/998 family, the SPS and Fogarty Replica are considered the most collectible, and this low-mileage example must surely represent a blue chip investment for the future. A slipper clutch, quick shifter, rear-set footrests and a carbon heat shield are the only notified deviations from factory specification.
- There are no invoices and no V5 with this lot.