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I have an unnumbered (i.e. not one of the 500) 2002 996r. How many extra were made and does anyone know the story behind it ?? Thank you
 

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350 numbered and 150 non. I think, from my poor memory..
That's correct.

350 were numbered street bikes and 150 were sold as "race bikes," without lights and mirrors and such. If you have an unnumbered 996R street bike, the lights and mirrors and street parts were added after it left the factory.

I have one of the unnumbered 996Rs and recently sold my second 996R, zero mile one that was exactly as it left the factory so I am pretty familiar with how the race bikes left the factory.
 
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I have an "unnumbered" 996R, the only one sold in Norway but I believe that the number has likely been stolen / kept as a memento by a previous owner......
 

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For the 996 R Testastretta, Falloon's Standard Catalog of Ducati Motorcycle 1946-2005 shows 310 bikes sold direct over the internet and an additional 388 sold through dealers. Both numbers are worldwide for a combined world total of 698.
 

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For the 996 R Testastretta, Falloon's Standard Catalog of Ducati Motorcycle 1946-2005 shows 310 bikes sold direct over the internet and an additional 388 sold through dealers. Both numbers are worldwide for a combined world total of 698.
That is incorrect.

60158F2A-7E9A-4701-B7FD-F279071C6BAE.jpeg
 

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What year publication and what book is that from? My 2005 book has almost the same language but removes the 500 bike reference. I'm guessing because it is not accurate or at least questionable. If you look at the pages 220-223 of the catalog, it provides specific production numbers by country sold, internet, color, exact year, etc. Total 996 R Testastretta production equals the numbers I put above.
In the end, it's Ducati, so even the factory probably doesn't know the answer. That being said, I'm inclined to believe the more detailed numbers provided by production charts as opposed to the nice round marketing numbers.
 

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What year publication and what book is that from? My 2005 book has almost the same language but removes the 500 bike reference. I'm guessing because it is not accurate or at least questionable. If you look at the pages 220-223 of the catalog, it provides specific production numbers by country sold, internet, color, exact year, etc. Total 996 R Testastretta production equals the numbers I put above.
In the end, it's Ducati, so even the factory probably doesn't know the answer. That being said, I'm inclined to believe the more detailed numbers provided by production charts as opposed to the nice round marketing numbers.
Note I include 6 1999 996 R bikes in my number. It is unclear if those are testastrettas or not. Without those, its 692, not 698.
Here is what Falloon has in the production chart. Please excuse the messy cut and paste as it is across several pages and near the binding.
995113
 

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What year publication and what book is that from? My 2005 book has almost the same language but removes the 500 bike reference. I'm guessing because it is not accurate or at least questionable. If you look at the pages 220-223 of the catalog, it provides specific production numbers by country sold, internet, color, exact year, etc. Total 996 R Testastretta production equals the numbers I put above.
In the end, it's Ducati, so even the factory probably doesn't know the answer. That being said, I'm inclined to believe the more detailed numbers provided by production charts as opposed to the nice round marketing numbers.
I'll say it again: all of that is not correct.

The factory does know and I've actually done a fair amount of research with them on this as I own and have owned a few of these. There were 500. 350 numbered and plated (out of order) and 150 that were sold as "race bikes." I have tracked down a good number of these and the one that I have and use frequently might be the last one made per my research.

Here is the book I showed that excerpt from: Ducati 916: Updated & enlarged edition, Falloon, Ian, eBook - Amazon.com

I have the last update which I think is from 2018.
 
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It's a noticeable discrepancy. I suppose Fallon could have really just messed up. Actually, he must have, because he is putting entirely different information in two different books. They can't both be right. Here's my source, for the record:
Standard Catalog Of Ducati Motorcycles 1946-2005: Falloon, Ian: 0046081007149: Amazon.com: Books

Your faith in the knowledge and record keeping of the Ducati factory in the late 90s/early 00s is interesting. You are obviously a very well informed and long tenured Duc owner. As such, I find it surprising that you haven't heard enough stories about Ducati during the Cagiva-TPG eras to shake that faith.

You say you've tracked down "a good number of these", I'm curious how many that is, 200, 300+? I would be interested in seeing a registry of engine serial numbers. My guess is the range is greater than 500 and more than 150 race engines (and possibly frames without a serial #) left the factory. Maybe that is the source of Falloon's error.

Regardless of whether there were exactly 500 bikes made or closer to 700, you have a very nice machine that fits nicely into what looks like a great collection.
 

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I have a reasonable collection of Ducati reference books and generally speaking, the production numbers in all of them are questionable.
@potomacduc, you are probably justified in questioning Ducati's ability to keep decent records but from my experience they're pretty good, they used to substitute parts to get bikes completed etc. during the Cagiva era but their records by all accounts seem to be pretty complete and for the most part accurate. Considering they're the ones that produced them, whether they actually are or not is mute, their word is gospel, because who would possibly know if they don't?

Falloons books vary, sometimes wildly edition to edition no doubt because of proof reading errors and/or updated information, it makes sense, like @Sherpa23F has to refer to the latest edition as the most accurate, in the absence of anything else i would.
 

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Your faith in the knowledge and record keeping of the Ducati factory in the late 90s/early 00s is interesting. You are obviously a very well informed and long tenured Duc owner. As such, I find it surprising that you haven't heard enough stories about Ducati during the Cagiva-TPG eras to shake that faith.

You say you've tracked down "a good number of these", I'm curious how many that is, 200, 300+? I would be interested in seeing a registry of engine serial numbers. My guess is the range is greater than 500 and more than 150 race engines (and possibly frames without a serial #) left the factory. Maybe that is the source of Falloon's error.
My faith in my findings and what I've gathered through numerous sources aren't as "interesting" as your clinging to the 500 bike number's being wrong because Ian Falloon made a mistake in an old, general Ducati book that he has since corrected on several occasions, including in his 916 specific book. He's made a good number of mistakes in all the books and I know that he tries to correct them as time goes on with continual updates.

Several things:

1) Ducati knows what 996Rs they made and what all the VINs are. There are several people who have access to the database that contains that info. I have seen a lot of it and I have yet to find a 996R that is unaccounted for in the 500 bikes. If there were extra bikes not accounted for in the VIN list then per your numbers, I would have come across them. You're saying that there are 39.6% more bikes than were made. I would think that with odds like that, I would have found one by now (we all would have).

2) My interest in getting the data that I've been able to get was initially to see how many were actually sold here in the US compared to what was allocated for the US. Also, as I ended up with both US and Euro bikes, I was curious as to how the race bike split was spread and how late they went before the 998R production started. It's just for my own curiosity since the 998Rs are numbered perfectly in order with VINs while the 996R is not. That said, all of the production numbers are correct.

3) No 996R left the factory without a VIN #. I have race frames without VIN #'s but they're spare RS frames from Pierobon, which is not uncommon.
 

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This is a fascinating read, because since the 996R was first released this is the first time I have ever seen a suggestion the official run exceeded 500 machines. I will note that from the beginning Ducati always said 350 numbered bikes and 150 unnumbered bikes - mine is numbered. I also understood the USA bikes were sold without lights and road gear as "off road use only" and subsequently some owners retrofitted the road gear and got theirs road approved.

It is plausible when making the Falloon list someone confused the 996R and 998R as there were more of the latter produced or the value was simply a typo, personally I find it difficult to believe no-one ever noticed so many extra machines before as the popular press is usually quite switched-on. As and example, even further back in the mid 1990's Ducati denied the existence of the 916SPA (aka 955SP) yet they generated many column-inches of type and I even have a test report in a magazine of the era. Today the factory officially lists the 916SPA as 52 bikes, so it's hard to believe in 20 years no one has identified extra machines and the factory has never owned up to producing more.

I can believe a few additional 996R bikes were made: such as unnumbered racers and possibly a few unnumbered prototypes and press machines. For example I'm aware of an 1199SL and have seen several 1299SL bikes plated with the number "- - -", these were used for test purposes (so punters like me could try them on the track). In the case of the 1199SL it was in the wild, however the fate of the 1299SL fleet is something I don't know.

So as to the 996R, I'm watching this space with interest, sometimes things come out of the dark...

Andrew...
 

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My post must not have been clear as it appears to have been misunderstood. In no way was I trying to insist on any number or discount anyone's long hours of research. There may have well have been exactly 500 bikes. I just pointed out a source that said differently. I also said that source could be wrong. The only thing I was insisting was that Ducati's record keeping in years past was not great. That started to change in the late 90s, so maybe it was all ironed out by 2001.

The other most obvious explanations for the discrepancy are a simple typo or that there is some double counting going on. The initial batch of internet bikes without a country attribution is 191. That's pretty close to the discrepancy. Perhaps these were counted as internet sales and then counted again under the country to which they were actually shipped.

While the number of 996Rs is an interesting topic, it's not personal to me. This topic is understandably more important and personal to others than it is to me. I appreciate the information that has been shared with regards to all 996Rs receiving VINs. I was always unclear about this for homologation bikes that were sold to be raced. I assumed the minimum # for homologation had to get a VIN to submit to the FIM or whoever certified them, but always assumed additional race bikes produced after the homologation did not get a VIN. The haphazard nature of 996R sequencing versus 998R is also interesting and perhaps speaks to changes happening within Ducati at the time. Thanks for sharing.
 
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