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I recently saw a '96 SS/SP for sale and the tag on the top tripletree read "SP E95".

What does the "E" stand for?
 

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# tag

On the 1996 model year SS/SP, Ducati used a letter and a number on the top triple tree tag. Other years used just numbers, no letters. One could think that early motorcycles in the production run would have letters closer to the beginning of the alphabet, and numbers lower.

Fred H.
 

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Ok here is what the general population has chosen to accept about the SP number plates. When the SP and CR models were split in '94, the SP's were given a production number plate to denote the build sequence. The first SP out of the factory was billed SP 001, then SP 002, etc etc.

Well, in late 1995 when the build number passed SP 999, the factory workers figured instead of trying to fit an additional digit to denote bikes 1000 and above, they appended a letter. So, bike # 1000 came out as SP A00, then A01, etc. etc.

This continued through the production run, regardless of build year. As shown in my signature, my build # is SP C13, which by this logic would denote a build number of 1,213.

This being said, there's a pretty good chance these number plates have no distinguishing properties at all, and were just pulled out of a bucket one at a time and riveted to the nearest triple. Considering you mentioned that you saw a 1996 SP with an E notation, it kinda puts that whole explanation above null and void lol. :confused: I'd find it pretty interesting to see a small sample of build years, vin numbers, and number plate numbers to see if there's any distinguishable pattern.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
This being said, there's a pretty good chance these number plates have no distinguishing properties at all, and were just pulled out of a bucket one at a time and riveted to the nearest triple. Considering you mentioned that you saw a 1996 SP with an E notation, it kinda puts that whole explanation above null and void lol. :confused: I'd find it pretty interesting to see a small sample of build years, vin numbers, and number plate numbers to see if there's any distinguishable pattern.
I just bought a '96 SP (YIPPEE!) and the tag reads "SP-B28".
Go figure.
 

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Super old thread revival!

I got so curious, so I actually emailed Ducati to find out what the tag actually means. Mine is 1996, A15.
Here's what they wrote back:
"thank you for contacting us.
As per your request, we would inform you the plaque in object guarantees the exclusivity of the bike you currently own but, please consider that the number on your bike’s plate does not correspond to the real order of production. For this very reason, we also inform you that Ducati cannot make any duplicate, copy or send any images of such plaques and we are not in the position to find out the number in case the plaque has been lost."

Basically, it doesn't mean shite!
 

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Mine is C22.
 

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It’s disappointing that Ducati couldn’t be bothered to keep things straight and keep records. Surely it isn’t as disorganized on the other SP models ? Am I understanding that the Plaque number and engine or frame number are not the same and not recorded ?
 

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Oh come on now --you really expect Guido to keep accurate records PMSL
 

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I worked in the American automotive industry from the ‘60’s until ‘04 . The amount of documentation we had to do on everything was astronomical. I could have told you detailed information on anything clear back to raw materials very quickly. Hard to believe Ducati couldn’t be bothered to link SP numbers with frame or engine . I guess I can go buy a SP plaque for my CR. It’s already wearing the parts.
 

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lol I work mostly on BMW's and I can contact the BMW archives and get all info on a bike built in the 20's & 30's no problem vin #'s how it was outfitted and build date and date delivered to the dealer-& the dealer name --you would think other company's would keep good records but alias that is not the case --dealing with the Germans will spoil you -they keep records of everything
 

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I'm pretty sure this is the way it is with virtually all Ducati numbered editions. Bike rolls down the assembly line, Giuseppe reaches into a box with numbered plates, grabs one and affixes it to the upper triple. The number you get is luck of the draw not a result of the effort it would take to match serial numbers with plaque numbers.

To put this into context, this is much better than in Ducati's earlier days when a fly might land on your fiberglass (a la Cook Neilson's Old Blue https://www.ducati.ms/forums/14-vintage/58016-fly-fiberglass.html ) or Giuseppe might flick ashes into the still wet bodywork and that's the way your bike would be "special".
 

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I'm pretty sure this is the way it is with virtually all Ducati numbered editions. Bike rolls down the assembly line, Giuseppe reaches into a box with numbered plates, grabs one and affixes it to the upper triple. The number you get is luck of the draw not a result of the effort it would take to match serial numbers with plaque numbers.

To put this into context, this is much better than in Ducati's earlier days when a fly might land on your fiberglass (a la Cook Neilson's Old Blue https://www.ducati.ms/forums/14-vintage/58016-fly-fiberglass.html ) or Giuseppe might flick ashes into the still wet bodywork and that's the way your bike would be "special".
I can tell you that the 998R is not like that. I can tell you what VIN it is based on the number plaque.
 

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I have B25.....but it isn't original to my particular bike. Mine is a 1993, and the SP didn't arrive until 1994. B25 is from a 1996 SS/SP I'm fairly sure. I bought a complete front end for mine on eBay so........sean 0:)
 

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lol.. so I had to check. my monster is wearing a top tree from SP 246 :grin2:

To be honest I never paid attention to why they started with the whole letter/number code. Probably they thought a "B" is better than letting a owner know the rare bike is one of 1025 (Iwannaduc's example) or was it a case of all the "A" bikes were gone.>:)
 

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People ask more for a bike with a low plaque number, and apparently it means nothing. Your precious low number SP could be a counterfeit. No one would know, would they ? Apparently, not even Ducati.
 

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Like I wrote "virtually all". Out of all the numbered bikes you have the VIN and number plate only match on 1. Sad.....
I used to own two SPS's instead of just one. The other on was #727. The VIN was five spots before #774...
 

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My Siciliano Grandpa cracked two raw eggs into a large tumbler every morning, filled it with homemade grape wine, and chugged it for breakfast . 2 glasses of wine at lunch ? ��
 
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