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Discussion Starter #1
I had 2 bikes in London that required way to much work to really enjoy fully, but it was enjoyable working on the bikes.

Now I'm back in LA and much more permanent, my s1000s is pretty reliable and honestly I don't want to mess with it. It's been my dream to own a 916/996/998 or perhaps a 748/748s. So I thought I might could live the dream and get some time working on an old beater :p

I'm a bit scared of the 748s because I don't want to deal with flaking rockers.

998 can be a bit out of the price range generally, but I do find 916 and 996 in the rough price range I'm lookin' at which is about 3 - 5K.

What would you all do? I'd like to get a 2nd bike that is in ridable, but rough shape and kinda do a rolling restoration on it as I get to enjoy it. You think 4K'ish is enough to get a good rider? Has anyone done this?

I also had a crazy thought, since I have a s1000s, to find a decent riding 900ss CR which feels like the spiritual predecessor so the SC1000s, and fix it up kinda like a superlight. Might be easier since both of my bikes would be mostly "the same" but I worry the riding experience might also be much to much "the same."

I'm relatively competent, but I don't have a shop. I did fuel pump work on my RSV F in London, so that's about my level of advanced engine work. I'm not in a housing position to leave a bike in a thousand pieces for 6 months. That's why it has to be a "rolling restoration" if anything is seriously wrong with the engine lets say, I'd have to pay someone to fix it.

Am I still talking? It's hard being back at work...............................
 

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Bon Vivant
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well you wont escape the rocker issue with any of those bikes any of the 916/996 and even some of the 998's could have the flaking rocker problem. I think you might have a tough time finding any of those bikes in ride-able condition in CA for $4K I'd probably try to allocate $5 to $6 K.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
There is a 996 from Heisenberg here on the forum right now for 4K, mechanically good but kinda rough in looks. That's what got me really thinking seriously about this.

Good info about the rockers, if it's gonna happen it's gonna happen and I should do more research about them and when/how it's more likely to happen.

I know with the SS there are frame cracking around the steering stem area, someone on here was forced into a restoration because of it. And I think there might be swingarm issues. That being said, the engine should be more or less bullet proof so if taken care of relatively well, should be a fun bike to own and work on as minimal computers and such.
 

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If you want to think outside the box a little, I have a 2003 Aprilia Tuono for sale. Good running and looking bike with 36,xxx miles, to the low end of your price range, $3,200. Almost new PR4 tires, pro serviced last October. >:)
 

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^^^ I rode an 03 Tuono. It was sublime. Completely different that a Ducati. Same great sound, same power but so smooth and a lot less vibration/fuss.
 

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Replacing the rockers is not an issue. You just put back in new ones for the ones you take out with the same shims and then make a measurement to resize the shims. If they wont go in initially, put a smaller one in. The challenge is being consistent, repeatable and on the correct end of the range, accounting for the valve sinking into the seat over time. Oh, and you can buy old new stock or re-chromed ones. Probably the EMS re-chromed ones are the way to go. Replacing a couple rockers really doesn't change the job. If the bike runs well and pulls from sub 3K RPM, I doubt there are any flakers.
 

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How do you like your power?

748= inline 4 600's in that there is little mid-range you need to spin the motor to get to the similar Hp you have with your 1000. Close ratio gearbox to help.
996= much more of a torque based motor like your 1000, long stroke motor similar to the 1000 but much more on top.
916= splits the difference between the two.

853= a 748 with 916 bore so it spins up as fast as a 748 but has the torque /hp of 916 ( my favorite).

All will flake rockers but some years are better than others. 97-98=worst years and then every 2 years after they got better. keep in mind it was a process failure and if you buy a well maintained machine (tunes done on time) then there may not be a problem . If you buy say a 748 that is a 1997-98 and the valves have not been adjusted you could be changing a number of rockers. There is no way to tell if a motor has bad rockers without pulling camshafts I have bought bikes that were just serviced at a dealer and due to the valves being in spec the cams were not pulled so I was the one who found the bad rockers.

Rockers are a PIA but NOT as bad as some would make them out to be , if you tune the bike at reasonable intervals and pull cams when you do you would not have bigger issues. If you do NOT look you will not find them and eventually you will damage a cam causing less lift. Just traeat it as a normal bike and tune it when it is time but add inspecting rockers as part of the procedure even if the valves do not need adjusting.

900 carby's can have more issues depending on the year.
frame cracks 93-97 can be easily repaired but will damage paint from welding.
swingarm cracks, early aluminum swingarms can crack at the pivot (steel cr swingarms have zero issues)
cylinder studs, chrome studs can and do break causing a engine removal and update to better studs
Ducati electronica rectifiers can and do fail (both 900 and 748/916)
crank plug falling out, can happen but usually not known until you pull the cylinders (less likely on a 4-valve but my 851 had it happen too)

With any of the bikes save money and trouble by buying a good one rather than the cheapest one, this does not mean more $$= a good one rather buy one with service history or at least one that has shown signs of being cared for. The most expensive bikes I see are the "deals" where everything is messed up and it all needs to be replaced or repaired.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
If you want to think outside the box a little, I have a 2003 Aprilia Tuono for sale. Good running and looking bike with 36,xxx miles, to the low end of your price range, $3,200. Almost new PR4 tires, pro serviced last October. >:)
Oh man, well I owned a 05' 999 when i lived in the USA last time. When I was in London I decided to try the dark side with a 05' RSVR Factory, was a stunning looking wild ass machine. Both times in the 1 year of ownership I rode it it seemed like it might be bad ass. But I'd never really know because it had non stop fuel pump issues. I got so good at taking off the tank and fucking with the pump. I got depressed and let it sit for months on end just fuck it ya know..I had another bike I could actually ride so I did.

I eventually sold it not running....again the fuel pump no longer turning on, before I moved back to the usa. I think I sold it for $2300 GBP

The only Ape I'll ever consider buying is an rs250. That thing made me so angry so often..hahah..damn you RSV FACTORY!
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Nice response Ducvet!!! I am starting to feel a 996 is where it's at, and great points about paying more up front. I really want solid mechanical in the engine...the rest can be fixed or repaired quite easily. I'm also not dreaming of learning the entire electrical system so I hope those are ok......

I always thought a fully "motogadgeted" 900ss would be cool as well. My old GS750 had carbs obviously and I was scared to dig into'm, but once I did it was easy and really fun. And that was 4 carbs....2 tooooo many!
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
If I were spending your money, I'd go with the 996
I think I will take your advice. I'd like to find one local'ish here around Los Angeles, I'd like to do it as cheap as I can. meaning...plane flights to pick up bikes will add in way to much cost. HA!

4900 996....hmmmm
https://losangeles.craigslist.org/sgv/mcy/d/2001-ducati-996-price-drop/6444302950.html

And then there is the one on here for 4K that is probably a little rougher in looks, but maybe even better mechanically but I think shipping it to LA from Boston or whatever, may break the bank.

It's an investment right? I never buy vehicles with the idea that I will make money on them, but I try to buy things that might hold or go up a bit, and get good ones as cheap as I can so I loose the less money long term.
 

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Relatively high miles for a Ducati. Assuming he has the proper maintenance history, it could be a good buy. It looks to be in great shape. Personally, I'd beat him up a bit on the price. If you put that bike into the 30,000 mile range, it will basically be worthless. Get it for $4000 :)
 

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Wiring on pre-2003 bikes were very reliable, The odd ecu might be a issue once in a a while 5% chance of that with a 16m. Really the 996 did not have much in the way of issues other than the rocker arms and on pre-2001 bikes flywheel nut torque. After that it is more a case of what the prior owners did or did not do to the bike.

On mileage if you care about resale lower IS better ( local guy has a 30 mile 996) but if you do NOT care a well maintained bike there are some benefits to more miles . Like the last guy paying to replace rocker arms. I had a customer with a 996 that last I knew he was around 80,000 miles and I have seen recently a 916 on this forum with over 100,000 so the design will do it just expect the odd part along the way.

I also look at salvage bikes in that a Ducati of that vintage will total easily in a tip over, this allows you to buy a easily repaired bike for short money and repair it yourself. I have dealt with these bikes as race bikes for years and I know it is not easy to destroy one (people have tried). Salvage bikes will always have lower resale and total at a lower dollar amount but can be a great way to get into a bike for short money just be sure to be picky.
 

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I have a 2001 996. I had to replace 1 rocket at the valve clearance check, and I expect to replace a couple more at the next valve check in a few thousand miles. It’s not difficult, but it is a little time consuming. I used EMS Duc for the one that I replaced and will do the same for the next round. I also bought his shim kit so I don’t have to wait on shims since I don’t have a dealer around me. It’s a fun bike. The other thing I would say to watch out for are the plastic coolant expansion tanks. They have a history of splitting with age. I bought a Motowheels aluminum unit, and now I don’t have to worry about it. I would consider that a part of your restoration though. It’s a pretty easy swap. Oh yeah, i went ahead and swapped the rectifier for a MOSFET unit. If you get a 996, you won’t regret it!
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I don't really care about milage..more about condition. My SC1000s I got with 27k. I don't want to do salvage just for difficulty reselling.

Not that I'm a bike flipper but I'm keen to buy something..own and enjoy, then pass on and get another rolling resto.

Would everyone here pay more for a higher millage 01...or a lower mile from earlier? Where is the best 996 value. A high mile well maintained 01 I'd think?
 

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Wait a year, save up a little more and get a 998, I sense that is what you really want.

It is a toy, you have time to be picky or wait for the right one.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Wait a year, save up a little more and get a 998, I sense that is what you really want.

It is a toy, you have time to be picky or wait for the right one.
yeah for sure, that's why were on here window shopping together. I've seen the occasional 998 for a strange price, there was one in Houston or San Antonio a while back.

I've been scared away from the 996 for some reason in the past. I always carry around an assumption that you want as early a 916 as you can get. And if you can't get that you want a 998.

That being said...there are thousands of 996/748 owners who have no problems and are very happy.
 
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