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I have a chance to get a nice looking 1997 916 with 9000 miles on it. While the bike looks good, I have yet to test ride it. What should I look for as far as potential problems? Bike has good service history. Also, what do you like about the bike in general. I know this is not a brand new 1198 or CBR, which is part of my attraction. And finally, what would you pay for it. Thanks for your input.
 

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When was the last service? MUST have paperwork for it. Call the shop that performed the work--your main concern is flaking rocker arms. Service is only scheduled for 6000 mile intervals, but if the bike had the 6000 mile valve adjustment done in 2001, you should consider that since belts are supposed to be replaced every 12,000 miles or two years. I would bet those belts on it are older than that. You might be able to do that yourself, but if you have to pay a dealer for a full service (belts and valve adjust) then figure on spending $1000.

Check ordinary stuff like the chain and sprockets, general cleanliness and care, and of course any signs of damage which might be hidden. Scuffed bottom corner of a fork leg is a give-away.

Other than that, test the battery and clean all electrical connections beneath the right side fairing and battery box. Any corrosion can cause the weak voltage regulator to fail. New (aftermarket) ones aren't ridiculous ($130) but the finnicky factory ones will leave you stranded.

If it needed a service, there is no way I would spend over $5,000 in this market. If it was serviced this spring and looks immaculate, I could see paying a little less than $6k.
 

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Great stuff and thanks! Owner is being a little dodgy about last maintenance on the bike. I will check with the dealer Monday and ask if they have anything on it.
 

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When was the last service? MUST have paperwork for it. Call the shop that performed the work--your main concern is flaking rocker arms. Service is only scheduled for 6000 mile intervals, but if the bike had the 6000 mile valve adjustment done in 2001, you should consider that since belts are supposed to be replaced every 12,000 miles or two years. I would bet those belts on it are older than that. ....
Any corrosion can cause the weak voltage regulator to fail. New (aftermarket) ones aren't ridiculous ($130) but the finnicky factory ones will leave you stranded.
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If it needed a service, there is no way I would spend over $5,000 in this market. If it was serviced this spring and looks immaculate, I could see paying a little less than $6k.
Alot of good takes here, but rockers are not the worst scenario. A loose flywheel nut or oil galley plug coming out can be quite alot worse, potentially leading to a new crank and possibly cases. If you buy an SP and need cases you will be in for a long and expensive journey. I do know this for a certainty.

Get the upgraded Ducati rectifier. It does cost more, over $300 I think, but worth it. Keep the bike on a battery tender all the time. The connectors and stuff melt not because the alternator doesn't put out enough power, but the wiring is too weak to take the higher currents put out when the battery is low.

Be patient, and buy any 916 or variant from a knowledgeable enthusiast. Even doing all of the right things isn't a guarantee you won't have some expensive surprises. Unless you REALLY want one, you're better off getting something newer.
 

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if that one doesn't work out you might be better off buying one from the classieds here, they come up fairly often.

here's a nice one

http://www.ducati.ms/forums/showthread.php?t=68802


good luck in your quest, if you get a good one you'll love it, they're wonderful bikes to own.


.
 

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+1 on all the above.

Nothing else looks or rides like one.

With maintenance up to date and the usual upgrades, I budgeted $5,500 - 6,500 earlier this year.

Good luck.
 

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I have a chance to get a nice looking 1997 916 with 9000 miles on it. While the bike looks good, I have yet to test ride it. What should I look for as far as potential problems? Bike has good service history. Also, what do you like about the bike in general. I know this is not a brand new 1198 or CBR, which is part of my attraction. And finally, what would you pay for it. Thanks for your input.
There is alot of good stuff for the 916 as a whole for 1997, the charging system is still considered a weakness and you're right in the middle of the flaking rocker times.

Regardless of what the owner says unless you can verify the servicing independently, budget oil, an oil filter, a change of coolant, change the brake and clutch fluids and of course the timing belts too into your purchase. Also inspect the rockers and check the valve clearances.

Also give consideration into the age (not wear condition of the tyres) if they are more than 2 - 3 years old I'd recommend changing them too (old tyres get hard and slippery).

The 916 Strada does not like to be revved hard (there is no point) so normally the engine cases are not a problem. The 916 SP on the other hand loves to rev and damages engine cases. There are some models do have issues with the oil plug backing out on the crankshaft (will show up as metal shavings in the mesh filter) which is catastrophic if allowed to continue. Likewise the flywheels are known to come loose - just needs to be checked during servicing, again can be expensive if the flywheel gets too loose.

That said, the bikes are tougher than most people give them credit for and many of the endemic problems will have been sorted by now, parts availibility is still pretty good too.

Most 916 bikes have been upgraded , so check what was actually done - most common is an exhaust (and hopefully new eprom too), many also have upgrades with carbon bits and bobs, occasionally the wheels will have been replaced, in each case these modifications are not selling features and should not be considered extras - actually be prepared to pay extra for an unmolested bike.

The typical 916 is now in excess of 10-years old and needs to be ridden as a second or third means of transport. These bikes were poor commuters when new and time has not improved them, likewise Ducatis do not make good drag races or stunt bikes.

A 916 need be ridden quickly through the twisty stuff even today will still offer a good turn of speed and make the rider smile involuntarily. Just don't expect it to rival the newer stuff and don't expect it to be fun if this isn't your planned useage.

Andrew...
 
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