Ducati 916 SP prices are rising fast

Ducati 916 SP prices are rising fast, as we predicted in this article back in 2019 and they will continue to do so. I am also referring to the 996 SPS series, the 996R and the 998R, in this article. There are know reasons for these price rises, which are many, I recently wrote this article about the demand from export markets, being one driver. The ridiculous cost of dealing with age related problems I covered in this article recently. The 916/996/998 SP and Biposto series are all machines to which I refer in this article.

Ducati 916 SP3 above
They only built 497 Ducati 916 SP3 which makes them very rare indeed.

Rare motorcycles

This series of machines rare motorcycles when new, as Ducati wasn’t manufacturing much more than 20,000 new machines across their entire range a year during this era. They only ever built less than 5,000 of the 916 SP and 996 SPS series together over eight years. Many were raced, crashed, stolen, customised, broken for spares and many endured very hard lives on the road. Finding an investment grade example is highly challenging today, twenty five years after they were first introduced. Ten years after being a new motorcycle, their values had plummeted to around three thousand pounds and people bought them to thrash and ride on track days with little or no respect for the expensive servicing regime. I was exporting 916 and 996 SPs to Holland in 2008 and dying about £2-3,000 for tidy ones. They were not just collectible at that time, they were old used sports motorcycles which have never enjoyed an easy life.

Ducati 916 SP frame stripped back
Failing frame paint needs attention now or the rest of the paint will completely fail. This can only be seen with the body work off.

Age related problems

Age related problems plague these motorcycles now, irrespective of Ducati service history or what owners tell you. The finish was not the best and they were owners were not always the most sympathetic. These motorcycles require a lot of work now, no matter how pretty they appear with their shiny red body work on. Parts are becoming harder to find and more expensive, so it’s much better to find a machine that’s spot on as it will cost far more to put one right. Many parts have date stamps and bodywork very rarely matches.

Ducati 916 SP frame masked and painted
Even while still masked the blown in frame looks as new and the work prevents further paint deterioration.

Investment Grade Ducati 916 SP

If you are putting your pension into one of these, then you need to know for sure that it’s an investment grade 916 SP and they are really tough to find. If you just want a track day tool, then there are plenty around that fit the bill. Get the work done now while it’s still affordable, as the price s of the motorcycles are increasing rapidly, especially with nearly 30% import duty and VAT when they used to cost nothing to import. UK examples are often in a far worse state due to our climate and our irreverent attitude to motorcycles. The best examples were always on mainland EU, so the pool of available motorcycles is now very small for us. Investment grade examples are now in very strong hands and owners want the maximum they can achieve for investment grade examples.

Ducati 916 SP Front head before paint
Front cylinder heads suffer from paint degradation. This motorcycle had only 4,000 miles from new and lived permanently in a heated garage in the UK.

What to look out for

What to look out for when buying a 916 SP. Always remove all of the body work before you buy and you will see failing paint, which needs attention. You may also see badly repaired paint work from vehicle detailers which will fail and cause more problems than it solves. Remove all body panels and check all fairing panels for date stamps that correspond to the year of manufacture of the motorcycle. Also look out for nasty replica body work and left hand fairings have often been repaired badly, as these machines are notorious for falling off their side stands. Check the colour of all the body panels on the bike is clear daylight, so you can see if one panel has been resprayed. Check the decals, to see they all match, as the originals are unique and no longer available. While the body work is off, check the engine paint, it will be failing, the paint on the front cylinder head usually fails and the carbon parts will all need restoring now due to age. Check for legs for corrosion on the gold anodising as this cannot be repaired. Clutches can be a problem and gearboxes have been known to seize of machines that have been abused. Service history does not mean that the work was carried out, where ever it came from and this is a global problem, not just limited to the UK. Coolant must be changed every year and Ducati coolant must be used or you will block the micro filters in the radiator. These are just a few pointers to look out for.

Front cylinder painted 1
The front cylinder head now looks as it did when it was new.

How to buy an investment grade Ducati 916 SP

How to buy a Ducati 916 is very straight forward, you just call The Motorcycle Broker. You buy the motorcycle on a fixed price contract and we do all of the work included in the purchase price. That way you know, when you get your workshop file and due diligence file, that your Ducati 916 SP is investment grade. If we have to find the correct year of body panel, then that is our problem, but everything will be spot on for you. We ensure your motor is set up like a new machine, as these motorcycles are very reliable once set up correctly. These are very difficult motorcycles to find now in investment grade condition and we only work with examples that are. If you want an investment grade Ducati 916 SP, call The Motorcycle Broker on 01803 865166 or 07971 497615 or Email [email protected]

Paul Jayson

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