The RS series are limited production racebikes. They are factory tuned and the engines are not built by the "normal" Ducati employees but by the Corsa racedepartment at the factory.
RS-series bikes generally have VERY aggressive cams and are VERY service intensive. I´d not recommend one of those for the street, since valve adjustment drops to like every 1000 miles MAX.
But as a trackweapon they are pretty nice. Since the bike is purpose built for racing, It´s got all the lighter parts from the factory already, aswell as Öhlins suspension and a tuned engine, QC-sprocket carriers and so on..
The RS badge has been put on 748´s, 916´s, 996´s and 998´s
I´m not sure about newer and older models.. I think they where called SPS/R
I went out to pick up my track bike from it's offseason maintenance in Winchester, Virginia. I noticed a 998RS there that was on the shop's website. The guy said it just sold for $35K to someone who lived on the Isle of Man. I was like why did it sell for so cheap (he said when it came out it was $100K). The guy said because people know the money it takes for upkeep, you can't use em on the road, etc. For instance he told me for a top end rebuild it's like $10K. Forks like $5K. The bike takes 2 people to start. Needs some certain machine to even start it. The former owner rode it on 2 track days. The freakin thing weighs 360 pounds and has 180hp. Zooom posted this before.
I wouldn't want to own one unless I had some serious cash and could afford to let it sit in my living room. Which would be a waste.
The 998RS is the pinacle of Tamburini designed Ducati´s. It just didn´t get any better then that (discounting the 998 F-02 which you won´t ever get to see unless your at the factory).
The bike takes two people to start, because like most racebikes, it doesn´t have a starter. It uses the same start procedure as the WSBK, because it IS infact only a quarter step away from a WSBK. There is only two modifications you need to make to the bike before you´ve got a fighting chance.
1:st.. Get a transponder. they are mandatory in racing at that level
2:nd wire up all the stuff that they want you to.