I guess if we are going to start at the beginning, I was a huge huge fan of the 916 the moment it was released. I know I'm not very unique in that respect. When the 916SPS, and the 996R and later 998R models were released, I was completely smitten. Of course, I didn't have a snowball's chance in heck of getting any of those because I was a poor bicycle racer back fresh out of college and grad school in those days.
A couple of years ago, I decided that I should get one of those special bikes and put a wanted ad here for an SPS, 996R, or 998R. As luck would have it, some surfaced and as more luck had it, I ended with one of each. Yes, that was great but the 996R that I ended up with was a zero mile bike that was and remains unridden.
I have long felt that the 996R is the most significant bike of the 916 generation. It's the bike that homologated the Testastretta motor and the smooth sided fairings, and is the very first Superbike to get the "R" moniker. I also think that Ducati went to 11 with that bike and the later 998R with the carbon bodywork and other special things. Anyways, I love the zero mile bike but I wanted one that I could ride.
Earlier this year, I caught wind (from a post here) that Mecum Auctions was selling a bunch of special Ducatis from an older doctor's collection at a sale in Houston. I got on a plane and went to check them out. I won't bore anyone with the sad details but some of the bike were complete junk but there were a handful of jewels in there, including a very nice, all original (other than a set of helibars) 996R.
I inspected it and realized that it was super nice and was obviously stored differently that the other bikes. It was not as dusty and it had all of the accompany items that no other bike in collection seemed to have. It was a European model with a euro VIN and the correct accompanying deep sump motor with the right number on it. It was showing 19k on the odometer, which was listed at 19k mile but since it's a euro it has a speedo and odometer in KMs. So it actually had less than 12k miles on it. It came with both keys, mechanical code, and the tool kit. It did have a couple of issues, like a cracked windscreen (looked like something pointy must have banged it right in the middle), said helibars (I need stock bars) and while everything worked and the fluids looked brand new, I knew it hadn't been ridden in years.
Fast forward to the bidding and I put in the winning bid and I bought it. I shipped it home, replaced the windshield and installed some Corse rear sets and sent it to Boulder Motorsports for them to do a complete service including new belts, valve adjustment, new tires, and replace anything that didn't look new. I expected they would find a few things and maybe it might need a lot more work but they said it's one of the nicest bikes they've ever seen and looked like it was well cared for and ridden very gently its whole life. They said if an 80 year old man brought them a bike that he said he loved and took care of and rode since new, this would be what it would look like. They replaced anything that looked the slightest bit worn and dyno'd it and it was within 0.4hp of the other 996R's they've dyno'd, which is really interesting.
So once that was done, I put a few hundred kms on it to shake it down. Wow, it's really special. It has the nicest throttle of any bike I have and is just so incredibly ridable. I also messed around with different mirrors on it, switching between the red and the black. I think I'm going to stick with the red.
Anyway, after I did all that I took it to my car detail people for them to do a proper clean and polish and ceramic coating. It came out so perfectly. I have already put about 500km on it and I look forward to a summer of great riding with it. It's turned out to be such a special bike and a really nice buy.
Here are some random pics.