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I guess if we are going to start at the beginning, I was a huge huge fan of the 916 the moment it was released. I know I'm not very unique in that respect. When the 916SPS, and the 996R and later 998R models were released, I was completely smitten. Of course, I didn't have a snowball's chance in heck of getting any of those because I was a poor bicycle racer back fresh out of college and grad school in those days.



A couple of years ago, I decided that I should get one of those special bikes and put a wanted ad here for an SPS, 996R, or 998R. As luck would have it, some surfaced and as more luck had it, I ended with one of each. Yes, that was great but the 996R that I ended up with was a zero mile bike that was and remains unridden.



I have long felt that the 996R is the most significant bike of the 916 generation. It's the bike that homologated the Testastretta motor and the smooth sided fairings, and is the very first Superbike to get the "R" moniker. I also think that Ducati went to 11 with that bike and the later 998R with the carbon bodywork and other special things. Anyways, I love the zero mile bike but I wanted one that I could ride.



Earlier this year, I caught wind (from a post here) that Mecum Auctions was selling a bunch of special Ducatis from an older doctor's collection at a sale in Houston. I got on a plane and went to check them out. I won't bore anyone with the sad details but some of the bike were complete junk but there were a handful of jewels in there, including a very nice, all original (other than a set of helibars) 996R.



I inspected it and realized that it was super nice and was obviously stored differently that the other bikes. It was not as dusty and it had all of the accompany items that no other bike in collection seemed to have. It was a European model with a euro VIN and the correct accompanying deep sump motor with the right number on it. It was showing 19k on the odometer, which was listed at 19k mile but since it's a euro it has a speedo and odometer in KMs. So it actually had less than 12k miles on it. It came with both keys, mechanical code, and the tool kit. It did have a couple of issues, like a cracked windscreen (looked like something pointy must have banged it right in the middle), said helibars (I need stock bars) and while everything worked and the fluids looked brand new, I knew it hadn't been ridden in years.



Fast forward to the bidding and I put in the winning bid and I bought it. I shipped it home, replaced the windshield and installed some Corse rear sets and sent it to Boulder Motorsports for them to do a complete service including new belts, valve adjustment, new tires, and replace anything that didn't look new. I expected they would find a few things and maybe it might need a lot more work but they said it's one of the nicest bikes they've ever seen and looked like it was well cared for and ridden very gently its whole life. They said if an 80 year old man brought them a bike that he said he loved and took care of and rode since new, this would be what it would look like. They replaced anything that looked the slightest bit worn and dyno'd it and it was within 0.4hp of the other 996R's they've dyno'd, which is really interesting.



So once that was done, I put a few hundred kms on it to shake it down. Wow, it's really special. It has the nicest throttle of any bike I have and is just so incredibly ridable. I also messed around with different mirrors on it, switching between the red and the black. I think I'm going to stick with the red.



Anyway, after I did all that I took it to my car detail people for them to do a proper clean and polish and ceramic coating. It came out so perfectly. I have already put about 500km on it and I look forward to a summer of great riding with it. It's turned out to be such a special bike and a really nice buy.



Here are some random pics.

 

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So after owning (and now riding) all three, which would you say is your favourite of the three if you had to choose just one. Hopefully one day I will be as fortunate as you are and not have to make that choice, but hey got to start somewhere, right?

Cheers
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
So after owning (and now riding) all three, which would you say is your favourite of the three if you had to choose just one. Hopefully one day I will be as fortunate as you are and not have to make that choice, but hey got to start somewhere, right?

Cheers
That's a good question. I kind of go back and forth about it. First, I guess I should say this: all three bikes are set up with identical gearing (15/38) and were dyno'd on the same Boulder Motorsports dyno, albeit on different days. The SPS is 136 rwhp, the 996R has 127 rwhp, and the 998R has 141 rwhp. They all feel somewhat similar in the handling department but the motors are each very different from each other.

The SPS is very muscley feeling. The motor was rebuilt by BMS a couple of years ago and they went pretty nuts with it. It's less refined feeling than the others and has all the character a race built Desmoquattro motor should exhibit and it's the one I use on the track the most. The 996R and 998R are very smooth by comparison and I would consider the 996R particularly to be very silky feeling. They all go fast and none of them leaves you wishing for more power. It's hard to pick just one because it really depends on how you use it.

But I guess if I had to pick one it would probably have to be the 996R but it could be the 998R too. Surprisingly, for bikes so similar they're so different. The 996R is not as powerful as the other two but there's something about it that's really kind of magical and it has to do with the torque and the throttle feel at the lower revs. It just does everything well and is so nice to get on and ride any time no matter where you are going. The 998R has like 75% of that nice off idle throttle feel but then like 120% of that once you're in the higher revs. However, it's just not as easy down low and that's where the 996R gets you to fall in love with it. But I love the SPS too and, as I said, I have done a lot of track stuff with it and that's where it seems most at home. It's really a 10; it's just that the 996R and 998R are like 11's.

EDIT: I should also add that the smooth sided carbon bodywork and belly pan of the 996R and 998R really do it for me. I think they make an already beautiful bike even more stunning.
 

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That's a good question. I kind of go back and forth about it. First, I guess I should say this: all three bikes are set up with identical gearing (15/38) and were dyno'd on the same Boulder Motorsports dyno, albeit on different days. The SPS is 136 rwhp, the 996R has 127 rwhp, and the 998R has 141 rwhp. They all feel somewhat similar in the handling department but the motors are each very different from each other.

The SPS is very muscley feeling. The motor was rebuilt by BMS a couple of years ago and they went pretty nuts with it. It's less refined feeling than the others and it's the one I use on the track the most. The 996R and 998R are very smooth by comparison and I would consider the 996R particularly to be very silky feeling. They all go fast and none of them leaves you wishing for more power. It's hard to pick just one because it really depends on how you use it.

But I guess if I had to pick one it would probably have to be the 996R but it could be the 998R too. Surprisingly, for bikes so similar they're so different. The 996R is not as powerful as the other two but there's something about it that's really kind of magical and it has to do with the torque and the throttle feel at the lower revs. It just does everything well and is so nice to get on and ride any time no matter where you are going. The 998R has like 75% of that nice off idle throttle feel but then like 120% of that once you're in the higher revs. However, it's just not as easy down low and that's where the 996R gets you to fall in love with it. But I love the SPS too and, as I said, I have done a lot of track stuff with it and that's where it seems most at home. It's really a 10; it's just that the 996R and 998R are like 11's.
How does the 996R compare to the responsiveness of the 998R? I've never been on a 996R but man, my 998R absolutely loves to rev. It's amazingly quick to rev up, I'm assuming from the shorter stroke and slightly upgraded internals. I don't have a ton of other bikes to compare it to (especially nothing modern like 2010+) but it is by far the best rev'ing bike I've had. Makes my old 03 GSX-R 1000 feel like a dump truck. I will say for cruising and above 30 the 998R is super nice but down low, I hate it for going slow (which it's not meant to do, but I just love the feel of it otherwise so I've gotta commute on something!)
 

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Discussion Starter #10
How does the 996R compare to the responsiveness of the 998R? I've never been on a 996R but man, my 998R absolutely loves to rev. It's amazingly quick to rev up, I'm assuming from the shorter stroke and slightly upgraded internals. I don't have a ton of other bikes to compare it to (especially nothing modern like 2010+) but it is by far the best rev'ing bike I've had. Makes my old 03 GSX-R 1000 feel like a dump truck. I will say for cruising and above 30 the 998R is super nice but down low, I hate it for going slow (which it's not meant to do, but I just love the feel of it otherwise so I've gotta commute on something!)
So know where around 6500rpm and up how snappy the 998R is? Well that's the feel of the 996R at 2500rpm to 6k or so. At high revs it trails off and is not as responsive as the 998R but low down it's a bit more engaging and revvy feeling than the 998R.
 

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So know where around 6500rpm and up how snappy the 998R is? Well that's the feel of the 996R at 2500rpm to 6k or so. At high revs it trails off and is not as responsive as the 998R but low down it's a bit more engaging and revvy feeling than the 998R.
Damn, now I want a 996R more now.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Here are some more pics














Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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C'mon Sherpa, I know you just splurged on another bike, but I think you can afford some carbon air tubes. She's begging for them ( at least that's what she's whispering to me from those lovely pics..)
 

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Discussion Starter #15
C'mon Sherpa, I know you just splurged on another bike, but I think you can afford some carbon air tubes. She's begging for them ( at least that's what she's whispering to me from those lovely pics..)
Funny. I have a set on the 998R from speed carbon that uses the stock air filters. I might get a set for this one but I'm not sure. I think the plastic balances it out a bit. I'll decide in the next few months.
 

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...I think the plastic balances it out a bit.
These are R's... Racing Homologation specials. Plastic does not belong on them... anywhere. ;)

I managed to find a pair of DP single/double ply CF runners years ago from someone who was parting out his crashed 916 track bike. They were a mess and required several weeks of attention to get them back to their former glory, but the results were well worth the work.








By the way, if those pics are of the R that you ride, then I am jealous AF... that thing is spotless.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
These are R's... Racing Homologation specials. Plastic does not belong on them... anywhere. ;)

I managed to find a pair of DP single/double ply CF runners years ago from someone who was parting out his crashed 916 track bike. They were a mess and required several weeks of attention to get them back to their former glory, but the results were well worth the work.








By the way, if those pics are of the R that you ride, then I am jealous AF... that thing is spotless.

Okay okay. I'll order the carbon air runners.

Yes, that's the 996R that I ride. It's up to 20,500 km or thereabouts after this weekend. Thank you. For the record, I am fairly OCD with my stuff (comes from having been poor for way too long) and every car and motorbike that I have looks more or less like that. :)
 

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Owning means maintenance and care just as much as enjoyment in my books, and I can tell you do that quite well :laugh:

But +1, that thing is only gonna look better w/ the carbon boxes.

Nice 748R there as well, Prophet

Cheers
 

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Owning means maintenance and care just as much as enjoyment in my books, and I can tell you do that quite well :laugh:

But +1, that thing is only gonna look better w/ the carbon boxes.

Nice 748R there as well, Prophet

Cheers
Thank you sir... I appreciate it. But there is a world of difference between it and @Sherpa23F 's R. That thing could easily pass for a zero miles bike.

I dunno... maybe I don't clean mine enough? ;)
 

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I have to agree with your statement Prophet, that plastic doesn't belong on bikes like these, especially in a spot as prominent as the air tubes.
I'm glad you've come around Sherpa! She was two carbon air tubes from perfection...
Now about that license plate bracket...:wink2:
 
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