Ducati 98

Ducati 98

The Ducati 98 was one of a number of OHV pushrod bikes built to capture the entry-level market. To a certain extent, that’s why the 98 became such a popular bike back in the day. It wasn’t a weakling by any stretch of the imagination, and it didn’t cost buyers a whole lot of money.

The 98 was powered by, predictably, a 98 cc OHV single cylinder engine that produces 5.5 horsepower at 7,500 rpm with a maximum top speed of 54 mph. Not too shabby for a bike of its stature.

As one of the earliest versions of the 98 model, the bike was more than capable of bringing joy to riders the only way Ducati knows how. The example that was auctioned off at the 2012 RM Auctions in Monaco comes in a pale gray and blue paint finish to go with plenty of chrome details.

The Ducati 98 was bought at a price of just €2,048 ($2,600 at the current rates), just below the estimated auction price of €3,000 - €4,000 ($3,800 - $5,200 at the current rates).

For as long as Ducati has been around, there are only a handful of its bikes that can stake claim to being as beautiful as the 1963 98 T. First introduced at the 1952 Milan show as the 98 model, the 98 T became the epitome of Ducati’s excellence in that era.

The bike came with a pressed spine frame, 17" wheels, and a 98 CC OHV single engine that produced 5.5 horsepower at 6,800 rpm. It had a top speed of 46.5 mph and was mated to a four-speed transmission.

Through a number of updates and modifications, the 98 evolved into the 98 T in 1957 where it lasted for six years until 1963, at which time a full evolution of the bike was done. This particular 98 T model - CN: DM 3614 - came as a restored model with excellent paint and chrome finishes, making for an interesting collection piece for any avid Ducati collector.

Expected bid price at the 2012 RM Auctions in Monaco ranged from €3,000 - €4,000, which is about $3,800 - $5,200 based on current exchange rates. Actual selling price was $758.

The Ducati 98 Moto Giro ran for a pretty long time in the 50’s and the early part of the 60’s, and was more than just a standard road-going bike. The model that was sitting at the RM Auctions in Monaco, in particular, appeared to have been a period race bike, with some evidence of race-preparation, including a straight-through pipe and a 98 cc OHV single cylinder engine that produced 6.8 horsepower with a top speed of 68 mph. It was mated to a four-speed transmission.

Some quarters even believe that this 98 Moto Giro was a participant at the Motogiro d’Italia, a race that we can safely say is one of the toughest in the sport of bike racing.

With all this history attached to it, it’s no surprise that the bike had an estimated bid price of €8,000 - €12,000, which is around $10,000 - $15,000 based on current exchange rates. What is surprising is that it only sold for $4,545.

The Ducati 98TL isn’t the most glamorous of all Ducati bikes, but it still belongs in the list of any Ducati collector worth his salt.

The 98 TL was effectively the touring version of Ducati’s once-famous 98 cc OHV pushrod series. It was a little cheaper than the Italian bike maker’s sporting OHC models, and with the cheaper price tag, the 98 TL was considered one of the most economical and lightweight Ducati bikes in history.

The model that was auctioned off at the 2012 RM Auctions in Monaco is finished in red and has been described as a "nice original," a phrase that should come as music to the ears of Ducati collectors. It’s still owed a nice restoration job, but that should come with the territory if you’re going to make a bid for it.

Speaking of bids, the 1954 98 TL - CN: DM 13105 - was expected to have a bid range of about €2,500 - €3,500, which is around $3,300 - $4,500 based on current exchange rates. Actual auction price was a disappointing €585, which is about $751 at the current rates.

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