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Which would be the better purchase as a long term ride/race/investment?
 

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Matt
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At a high level the SPS....for 1997 there were only 404 of them made and it was the only year of the SPS to have the Cagiva style graphics (which some prefer, but others don't), after which it went to the simplified graphics.

But...in terms of the economics of an investment, it depends on what your basis is. An underpriced 748R might be a better investment than an overpriced SPS. It also depends on what your objectives are for ride/race....if you track an SPS extensively, for example, collectors will tend to shy away from it. So I'd think you would have to assess the specific situation and the specific bike(s) that you have an opportunity to buy (history, mileage, condition, originality, price, etc).
 

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Decision

Long Term Riding would be the 748 has the 3 Phase Charging system and you care less about collectability, if you are not going to put a lot of miles on it get the SPS
Race would also be the 748 because you will crash and you care less about collectability
Investment SPS wins hands down, 748 are unloved
 

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Mayor of Simpleton
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748s are fine for what they are, but unloved for a reason. Even a 748R can't compare to an SPS. Don't overpay, but the market for the flagship bikes is undervalued right now--good time to get one.
 
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Obviously, I am biased, but there is reasoning behind the bias that Matt and rjjablo touched upon. "Unloved" or not, the '02 R has the benefit of an additional 5 years of development, and in that regard, at least in my opinion, is the more reliable of the two. Mine has been absolutely bulletproof and 100% trouble free. I also have always preferred smaller displacement, more "energetic" mills, and the '02 R represented the last of the Desmoquattro powered Superbikes... the "romance" of that appealed to me. I agree with everyone else here however in that if I was going to pick one, based solely on desirability/collectability/aura, it would be the '97 SPS.

As far as price is concerned, I would imagine the '02 R is going to be less expensive, however I would not count on finding a "cheap" one. Not sure how many were imported to Australia, but there are literally only a handful left in the US, and this one went at the Bonhams auction in Vegas last year for $12K US.

Bonhams : 17 miles from new, one of only 15 imported into the USA,2002 Ducati 748 R Frame no. ZDM3H74R72B011435 Engine no. 8834013565Plaque no. 0427
 

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Matt
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It's subjective for sure, but I wouldn't say that the 748 is unloved (ok maybe it is, but I like them)....particularly with the R....I have a 748R on my want list. I love the yellow/white scheme and this seems to fit best with the 748R. And like Prophet mentioned, there aren't a whole lot of the 748R's around either.
 

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If money is no object, the sps. Reliabily overall 748R. Seen a few Rs for sale none for less than 10k though. One keeps popping up on eBay and doesn't sell reserve is over 10k and thats about where the bidding stops. Bbase 748's are shit, they are throw away bikes, usually ragged out and only good for parts.
 

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I love my SPS 5000 track Kay's not one issue ever don't even use a battery tender xxxx and the fuking noise is amazing
 

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Mayor of Simpleton
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"Unloved" or not, the '02 R has the benefit of an additional 5 years of development, and in that regard, at least in my opinion, is the more reliable of the two.
Respect you and your lovely bike, Jay, but what was "developed" in that 5 years? Shower injectors and ventless side fairings? And there is zero added reliability inherent to the 748R.

748R is a cool bike, nice trackday machine, and good for diversity if you have the others, but there are no circumstances or usage that I would choose one over an SPS except if there was no possible way to afford the better bike. Or allergic to red.
 
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Investment wise...I'd say the SPS but the correct answer is really neither. I wouldn't take a bike I purchased as an investment to the track.

Not too mention that the collector market for these bikes is pretty much non-existent. The 748R may get less love, but it is way rarer and has some trick bits the 97SPS does not.

Either way, both are great bikes and not without their quirks...err charm lol.
 

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Respect you and your lovely bike, Jay, but what was "developed" in that 5 years? Shower injectors and ventless side fairings? And there is zero added reliability inherent to the 748R.
I was specifically thinking of 2 Phase vs 3 Phase Adam... that and all the little revisions and changes to component design, assembly techniques, etc. etc. that every manufacturer goes through in the lifetime of a product design. I would be willing to bet that there are dozens (if not more) of design changes with regard to component and system reliability that were incorporated into these bikes between 1997 and 2002.

Or allergic to red.
Not sure I'm "allergic" per se, as I think the Day-Glo Orange/Red of the Superlegerra is awesome, although I suspect that may have more to do with the fact that I love that overall paint scheme, as I did with the D16 (the one with the white banner on the fairing) before it. Regardless, I do prefer yellow, but I find that is the case with almost every Italian conveyance... ;)


 

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748

Long term:
Ride - both ride great. The 748 will probably be a bit easier around town
Race - The 748 can be plenty of fun with sufficient power
Investment - SPS FOR SURE. the 748R is not an investment with positive gains

Note: DO NOT Race a SPS as it is an investment machine with high desirability and racing/crashing/high mileage riding will degrade it's value.

I have both a 916 that is almost a SPS and a 748 (non-R) and I love both but if I were tracking, I would NEVER EVER track the 916. It's just too pretty!!

The 748 is a great machine to flog the tracks/streets/etc and with some fine touches, you can get plenty of HP to enjoy.
 

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I was specifically thinking of 2 Phase vs 3 Phase Adam... that and all the little revisions and changes to component design, assembly techniques, etc. etc. that every manufacturer goes through in the lifetime of a product design. I would be willing to bet that there are dozens (if not more) of design changes with regard to component and system reliability that were incorporated into these bikes between 1997 and 2002.

I will concede that specific to the '97 year SPS, they did upgrade to the 3 phase. However, the problem with the regulators has much more to do with the substandard wiring to the stator than with the 2/3 phase nature.



Investment wise...I'd say the SPS but the correct answer is really neither. I wouldn't take a bike I purchased as an investment to the track.

The 748R may get less love, but it is way rarer and has some trick bits the 97SPS does not.
I've taken both my SPSs and my 996R to the track. They are not investments. They are things I can enjoy and happen to not lose money on.

Again, what "trick bits" are people referring to? Shower injectors? When I asked tuning authorities whether I should look into them for the Adamo build, they told me not to bother--it would be a waste of money.
 
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I will concede that specific to the '97 year SPS, they did upgrade to the 3 phase. However, the problem with the regulators has much more to do with the substandard wiring to the stator than with the 2/3 phase nature...
Completely agree with that...
 

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...Investment - SPS FOR SURE. the 748R is not an investment with positive gains...
I agree with almost everything you said here John... almost. ;) While it will never be as desirable as the SPS, the late model R's are holding their value quite well, as is evidenced by the '02 that was sold at the Bonham's auction in Las Vegas last year (see link in previous post).
 

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Respect you and your lovely bike, Jay, but what was "developed" in that 5 years? Shower injectors and ventless side fairings? And there is zero added reliability inherent to the 748R.

748R is a cool bike, nice trackday machine, and good for diversity if you have the others, but there are no circumstances or usage that I would choose one over an SPS except if there was no possible way to afford the better bike. Or allergic to red.
....3 phase charging system, revised oil pump, Kyalami frame, resolved flaking rockers (maybe!?) steel crank oil gallery plug, 4 pad Brembo calipers, Ohlins forks, Ohlins steering damper, Marchesini wheels.....

Though ultimately, I agree with you and the SPS is still the one (but I'm biased because I own one!)
 
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