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Matt
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
1997 916 SPS #13. While unlucky in the US, the number thirteen is actually a lucky number in Italy. This is the first year of the SPS and the only year with the large Cagiva-era graphics on the side fairings (beginning in 1998 Ducati went to simplified graphics on the 916-era bikes). 404 examples were made globally for model year 1997. 50 were allocated to the US, but after researching this my understanding is that less than 30 were actually sold into the US originally. As a side note, one of the bikes originally sold in the US (not this bike) was purchased new by Timex's head of US operations who lived in Texas at the time - - his bike was used for the Bullivant Gallery's 'Ducati in a Crate' photo shoot.

I became aware of #13 via this thread: http://www.ducati.ms/forums/56-superbikes/474569-1997-916-sps-value.html

Billy, the originator of the above thread, teed up the topic of the bike being for sale as he thought he might be interested in it, but was unsure how to place a value on it. After a few e-mail exchanges Billy communicated that he was going to pass on the bike and he connected me to the seller who was the owner of KRW Cycles, a KTM dealer near Dayton, Ohio. The original owner was a surgeon from Indiana who passed away several years ago. The original owner and his brother were friends/customers of Kirk at KRW Cycles and Kirk ended up acquiring the bike back in 2013. The bike sat on display in Kirk's office and was never ridden. Then in early 2015, considering an expansion of his KTM business, Kirk began to think about parting with it. In my first conversation with Kirk we struck a deal on the bike site unseen, but with the caveat that I'd get a chance to inspect the bike. I made the trip down to Dayton, spent many hours going over the bike, and then finalized the purchase.

The bike had a number of bolt-on mods...typical period correct stuff...the normal carbon fiber bits such as air intakes, clutch cover, headlight bucket, and front fairing brackets. It had been upgraded to an Ohlins steering damper, some additional decals (which thankfully were not cleared over), and Dymag carbon fiber 3 spoke wheels. I became passionate about returning the bike to 100% stock, even sourcing a new-old-stock oem steering damper from the UK. I purchased a used set of oem wheels and my local painter tried and tried, but could not convincingly match the color, metallic, sheen/gloss, texture, etc of the original paint. And then just last month I found a set of first gen (with the 'Ducati Racing' logo cast into the rear wheel) gold 3 spokes with original paint that are in simply fantastic condition. And my bike came with an aftermarket seat, hand made by Karbacher in California per the receipt dated June 2, 1997 that was included in the documentation. Interestingly enough it is the same seat that is on the bike featured in the 'Ducati in a Crate' photo...if you look at that poster you can see that the front profile of the seat is much thicker than the stock seat. I've since returned my bike back to having the oem seat, but almost threw away the aftermarket seat which I am now hanging onto for sure. Just a bit over 1,500 miles on the bike at the moment. The bike still had the original voltage regulator (which was fairly cooked) and hadn't been upgraded to the revised style. I purchased a revised regulator new from Ducati and installed it thanks to the guidance of several members here, particularly Brad Black. I installed new coolant hoses, brake pads, air filters, and a lot of other miscellaneous wear items. After putting in new oil, coolant, and brake/clutch fluid I took it to Ducati Indianapolis this past week for new timing belts. The weather wasn't great that day so for the road test they ran up the engine on their dyno....see Ducati Indianapolis' Facebook page for a short vid of the dyno run. Approx 115 hp at the rear wheel, but we weren't aiming for any records and weren't doing any tuning...just exercising its lungs after a number of years sitting quiet.

The documentation included the original sales receipt and provides some interesting perspectives on pricing - - remember that this was almost 20 years ago. The bike was originally sold on June 3, 1997 by Bauer Ducati of Oklahoma City for $31,360 out the door which included the bike, freight, stand, and fees. And then in 1998 the original owner spent $4,545 + shipping, tires, and installation for carbon fiber Dymag 3 spoke wheels.

Thanks to Billy...if it wasn't for his post I likely would have never known about the bike. Thanks to Erv for his help regarding the VIN research and thanks to Kie at Red Label Moto for offering his thoughts early on in the buying process. And thanks to a lot of others from this forum and elsewhere that helped along the way.
 

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Good for you, picking that up. It's nice, wonderful for a collection, but your 955 is one of the end all bikes in the history of motorcycles. I regularly go over pictures of it.

Can I see a picture of the carbon wheels? If you are going to dump the I may want them.

And where did you find that OEM clutch cover? I have never seen one like that.
 

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Matt
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Discussion Starter #4
it's got the wrong mufflers.
What are the correct one's? My understanding is that the US market bikes came with full 50 mm Termi's with carbon cans???
 

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Matt
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668 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Good for you, picking that up. It's nice, wonderful for a collection, but your 955 is one of the end all bikes in the history of motorcycles. I regularly go over pictures of it.

Can I see a picture of the carbon wheels? If you are going to dump the I may want them.

And where did you find that OEM clutch cover? I have never seen one like that.
Thanks Namor. Below is a pic of the Dymag wheels...at the moment I plan to hang onto them, but will need to think about what to do with them long-term.

The OEM clutch cover came out of Europe...it's just the standard OEM cover, but in the darker grey color that the earlier bikes had (and with the Cagiva logo embossed into the aluminum on the inside of the cover). A good number of these covers were taken off and thrown away I do believe. This one looks like it was probably taken off of a new bike and set aside as there were no signs of use.
 

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The pipes are on the 97 SPS that is pictured in my Haynes manual. Also, no carbon air box is correct.

Thanks for the picture of the wheels. They are ugly but I may want them if you part with them. They are not easy to find.
 

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Matt
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Discussion Starter #8
I thouhgt all SPS's had a carbon airbox? Guess not. Great find!
Beginning in 1998 the SPS models had a carbon airbox...but prior to that the 1997 SPS had the painted version. Here's a couple other examples of 1997 SPS bikes....the one from the Bullivant poster and another one that was a zero mile bike for sale in the UK a few years back:
 

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Matt
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Discussion Starter #9
The pipes are on the 97 SPS that is pictured in my Haynes manual. Also, no carbon air box is correct.

Thanks for the picture of the wheels. They are ugly but I may want them if you part with them. They are not easy to find.
A face that only a mother could love, as they say. I've gone back and forth - - sometimes thinking to get rid of them and sometimes thinking to hold onto them. They are relatively rare (based on my non-scientific observations) and a unique part of the 916 history, so at the moment I think they'd look ok without tires and mounted on the wall - - perhaps.
 

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Matt
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Discussion Starter #11
i thought the 97 would have had the small heat shield, but i'm probably wrong. it's 19 years since i saw an original.
Relieved to see this post! I was fairly confident that the exhaust was indeed original, but you clearly have more experience than I do...so I was trying to figure out what I might be missing :)
 

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The documentation included the original sales receipt and provides some interesting perspectives on pricing - - remember that this was almost 20 years ago. The bike was originally sold on June 3, 1997 by Bauer Ducati of Oklahoma City for $31,360 out the door which included the bike, freight, stand, and fees. And then in 1998 the original owner spent $4,545 + shipping, tires, and installation for carbon fiber Dymag 3 spoke wheels.
If you think that's bad... Here in Canada in 1997 a standard 916 was 23,900$. I think they were 16 or 17 in the US?
 

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Matt
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Discussion Starter #13
If you think that's bad... Here in Canada in 1997 a standard 916 was 23,900$. I think they were 16 or 17 in the US?
Yes, in the US they were around $16k+ in 1995 if I remember correctly...which was (and is) a big chunk of change way back 20 years ago. I put $100 down on one of the first 1995 916's that was due to be delivered to the dealer in Detroit, but when it came in I was headed off to grad school and couldn't afford my next meal, let alone a bike like that. I passed on the bike and perhaps that experience is why I am so in love with the 916 all these years later. I wonder if any of the 1997 SPS bikes were originally sold in Canada, and what those must have garnered price-wise. I guess it's all a matter of perspective - - I lived in Malaysia 2010-2014 and import duties on bikes were 200%+. I remember the launch of the Superleggera in Kuala Lumpur and based on the exchange rate back then the bike retailed for approx USD150k. An 1199R was in the neighborhood of USD70k. Coming back to North America it felt as though we are fairly fortunate in terms of car and motorcycle prices.

By the way...love your writings. I've read your write-up on the 916 SP/SPS hundreds of times - - it's the best compilation/recap that I've ran into. Thanks for putting it out there for us :)
 

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What a fantastic machine. You have a collection which is unreal......lucky man!!

Re: the steering dampener. I know there are two models for the OEM fixed one, the dark gold and the light gold one. The dark gold ones were on the early 94 and 95 (build date) bikes. They then went to a lighter gold one around late 95/early 96ish. Your one looks like a dark gold one, bit hard to tell in a photo?

I had to get one for my 94 916...that's when I learnt the difference.
 

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Matt
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Discussion Starter #15
What a fantastic machine. You have a collection which is unreal......lucky man!!

Re: the steering dampener. I know there are two models for the OEM fixed one, the dark gold and the light gold one. The dark gold ones were on the early 94 and 95 (build date) bikes. They then went to a lighter gold one around late 95/early 96ish. Your one looks like a dark gold one, bit hard to tell in a photo?

I had to get one for my 94 916...that's when I learnt the difference.
Wow..I went through the same learning process. There once was a day where I would have instantly thrown an oem damper to the trash bin and now I've hunted globally for one. The pics don't do it justice, but it is the lighter colored gold damper. I initially purchased one in the US and afterwards realized there were two shades of gold for these and I had the wrong one. So after searching I stumbled into several new old stock light gold dampers in the UK - - bought a few of them :)
 

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Yeap you are onto it....:smile2:

Now I have to go and drool at your pics again!!
 

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Another lovely example Matt!

I have #365 and have been trying to restore mine to a similar state although mine is definitely in patchier condition. The frame could do with a strip and respray but I'm not going to do it because I know they'll never be able to match the original!
 

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Beginning in 1998 the SPS models had a carbon airbox...but prior to that the 1997 SPS had the painted version. Here's a couple other examples of 1997 SPS bikes....the one from the Bullivant poster and another one that was a zero mile bike for sale in the UK a few years back:
I've had that Bullivant poster hanging on the entrance wall to my house for 20 odd years. Got it framed & had to bring it home on a small truck. It was to big for a ute
 

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Very nice for sure! I have a 1998 916 SPS #99. Not all original anymore of course (DP CF bodywork, FG43's, a BMC built motor (124 rwhp) etc.) :grin2:
 

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Matt
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Discussion Starter #20
Yeap you are onto it....:smile2:

Now I have to go and drool at your pics again!!
Thanks for sharing that though...chances are I would have missed that. It's interesting that in the US I very rarely see the light color dampers listed for sale. Almost all of them that pop up are dark colored.
 
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