For all the classic Ducatis that were scheduled to be auctioned off at the 2012 RM Auctions in Monaco, it’s nice to know that there were also modern examples waiting to be had. One of them was the 2002 Ducati 998R, a bike that was developed from the 2001 996R and comes in pretty limited availability.
Only 700 models of the 998R were built, and this particular model, CN: ZDMH200AA2B021283, was one of the bikes that was homologated to race specifications, allowing it to compete in the World Superbike Championship in 2001.
The 998R is powered by a 999 cc DOHC liquid-cooled Desmo V-twin engine that has been mated to a six-speed transmission. It carries a different crankcase from the standard 998 and came with a deep oil sump. It also had a more radical cam and an even more oversquare configuration with 104x58.8 mm bore and stroke.
The particular model auctioned in Monaco was number 635 of the 700 limited edition models. It only had 144 miles on its meter, and is considered being ’as-new’ condition. Bid price for this 2002 998R was expected to fetch about €6,000 - €8,000, which is around $7,700 - $10,400 based on current exchange rates. Actual selling price was a whopping $21,212. Someone wanted this bike bad!
Ducati designer Fabio Taglioni once had an on-again, off-again relationship with Ducati. In the late 1970s, Taglioni found himself back in favor and produced another ground-breaking design, the belt-drive camshaft 500-cc V-twin Desmo Pantah, whose racing sibling, the TT2, would hand Ducati four Formula 2 world championships between 1981-84.
The success of Taglioni’s design was significantly smaller and quieter than the outgoing bevel-drive twins, as well as cheaper to build. When the engine was boosted to 600 cc in 1981’s 600SL, the model gained a better fairing and a hydraulic clutch.
The 2012 RM Auctions in Monaco featured a Ducati 350 SL Pantah Desmo, a rare 350cc iteration of the model range that was being offered in good original condition and came with a two-into-one exhaust. The red and yellow paint is particularly distinctive, as is its 350 cc SOHC Desmo V-twin engine that was mated to a five-speed transmission.
The bike came with an estimated bid price of $3,000-$4,000, but it was sold for $4,545.
Some classic and historical bikes are really worth all the pretty pennies you can afford. This 1976 Ducati 860 Corsa is one of them.
Created in 1973 after Ducati elected to contest endurance races, which had no engine size restrictions, the 860 Corsa became one of the most competitive race bikes the Italian bike maker has ever built. To ensure that the bike carried as much wallop as it could have, Ducati bored the 750-cc engine to accept racing pistons from the 450 single. This resulted in an 864 cc SOHC Desmo V-twin engine that was mated to a five-speed transmission with an output of up to 90 horsepower at 8,200 rpm. With these racing modifications, in tow, the 860 Corsa was able to notch double victories at Barcelona’s 24-hour race at Montjuich Park.
The model that was auctioned off at the 2012 RM Auctions in Monaco is a very clean example of a 1976 square-case 900 SS racer, with right hand gearshift, NCR-style fairing and the handsome original Imola fiberglass tank. It has Campagnolo alloy wheels, Marzocchi forks with the desirable center axle, adjustable rear Marzocchi shocks, a 2-into-1 competition exhaust and Dell’Orto 40-mm carburetors. It carries no race number, but the restoration work appears to have been recent and is in tip-top shape.
The expected auction price for the 860 Corsa was about €18,000 - €20,000, which is around $23,300 - $25,800 based on current exchange rates. Actual selling price was $6,061.
Before the 750 Super Sport V-twin and Paul Smart and Bruno Spaggiari’s amazing 1-2 at Imola in 1972, no Ducati bike could go as fast as the 450-cc Desmo Corsa.
The 450 Desmo Coras first appeared at Rimini in 1968, where it amazingly pulled 50 horsepower at 9,000 rpm. The 450 had twin plug ignition, larger valves, a 42-mm Dell’Orto carburetor, and a 10-to-1 compression ratio, reinforced swing arm and Fontana twin leading shoe front brake.
The rich racing history of the 450 Desmo Corsa is a true testament to its reputation as one of the fastest era bikes in the Italian bike maker’s history.
The bike that’s being offered is a well-prepared and unrestored Italian series racer that was once ridden by Nencioni. It’s been finished in red and white and features Borrani alloy rims, Dell’Orto SS1 carburettor, Marzocchi forks with a Fontana front brake, Veglia tachometer, and Menani handlebars.
This particular machine was also displayed at the Ducati factory museum and prominently featured in the official Ducati museum book. It comes with an attestation from NCR confirming it was race-prepared by Ducati with special racing components.
The bike was sold at the RM Auctions in Monaco for a price of €29,250, which is around $36,400 based on current exchange rates.
When Ducati began using carbon fiber on their bikes, they predictably used it on a limited edition, single-seat Ducati 900 Super Sport. Built from 1992 to 1996 as the Ducati 900 Superlight, the bike used the aforementioned carbon fiber material on a number of its components, particularly the mudguards and the clutch cover.
Initially, the Italian bike maker wanted to build 500 models of the bike, but bumped that up to 900 pieces after incessant public demand. After the 900 Superlight enjoyed success in the market, Ducati built the Superlight II in 1993, replacing the composite wheels with Brembo units and adding a floating rear disc brakes setup. They also fitted in a powerful 904 cc V-twin SOHC Desmo engine that produced 73 horsepower and was mated to a six-speed transmission.
The Superlight II that was auctioned off at the 2012 RM Auctions in Monaco was model no. 34 of the 1993 series. It came in original condition, had good paint, and is considered one of the rare super bikes that would find a nice home in a motorcycle collector’s garage.
The bike sold for €4,095 ($5,260), below the estimated auction price of €4,500 - €6,000 ($5,800 - $7,700).
It’s hard to imagine that Ducati has been building bikes for as long as they have. But for all those years in production, you’re bound to get a number of models that have become classics in their own right.
Take the 1973 Ducati 450 Desmo Scrambler for example.
With the anticipation of Ducati’s desmodromic valve gear back in the late 60’s, coupled with the success and popularity of the Ducati Scrambler, it figured that the two would somehow be tied-up together to create a completely new bike. That’s when the Ducati 450 Desmo Scrambler was born.
With the technology being fitted into the bike, the 450 Desmo Scrambler became a must-have purchase for Ducati enthusiasts back in the day, in large part because of the bike’s impressive performance credentials, highlighted by a 16.6-second time through the quarter-mile. On top of its performance characteristics, the 450 Desmo Scrambler was also fitted with an individual speedometer and Veglia tachometer rather than the headlight-mounted unit sometimes seen on 250-cc and 350-cc models.
The model that was auctioned off at the 2012 RM Auctions in Monaco carries the chassis number DM450S/466142. It’s an unrestored model in good condition with a two-tone, black-and-yellow finish with a 436 cc Desmo single engine mated to a five-speed transmission.
Bidding price for the bike was expected to hit €8,000-€10,000, which is around $10,400 - $13,000 based on current exchange rates. Actual selling price was $12,121.
The Ducati 900 S2 was built on the joint platform of the 900 Darmah SS and the 600SL Pantah, with the latter supplying the body work of the bike.
The reason for doing so centered on Ducati’s decision to rationalize its production lines at that time. To their credit, though, they still managed to make a bike that not only looked good, but performed up to the standards of its predecessors.
The Ducati 900 S2 is powered by an 864 cc SOHC Desmo V-twin engine that’s mated to a five-speed transmission. It was also offered with either electric or kick-start options, as well as being fitted with 40-mm Dell’Orto carburetors.
Aesthetically speaking, the 900 S2 was also the picture of attraction - the bike was given a bevy of color options, including bronze with yellow, orange and red stripes, or red and black.
The Ducati 900 S2 that was present at the 2012 RM Auctions is an original model, one that was once displayed in a museum. Expected bidding price for the bikes go for around €5,000 - €7,000, which is about $6,400 - $9,000 based on current exchange rates. Actual selling price was $5,303.
Back in 1980, the Ducati TT Corsa Pantah made headlines after it competed at the 1980 Italian National Junior Championship with four factory bikes built by no less than Franco Farne. The TT Corsa Pantah ended up winning five of seven races after being driven by Vanes Francini, Paolo Menchini and Guido Del Piano.
The bike’s red and yellow bodywork is only one of many stand-out qualities about the bike. For the TT Corsa Pantah, Farne used the 500SL frame and added a Marzoccchi racing suspension. Even the engine, a 583 cc SOHC Desmo V-tine single engine was capable of producing 70 horsepower at 9,800 rpm and mated to a five-speed transmission.
For this particular example, the seller has been on record saying that the bike was ridden by no less than Vanes Francini in the 1980 Italian Junior Series. It’s been tagged as in excellent condition, with red and yellow factory paintwork and unmarked fairing, Paioli front forks, oil cooler, Brembo brakes and adjustable rear shocks by Marzocchi are also part of the bike’s overall package.
Combine its history and current state, it’s no wonder why this TT Corsa Pantah was expected to fetch around €14,000 - €16,000, which is around $18,000 - $20,700 based on current exchange rates. Its actual purchase price at the auction was €11,700, or about $15,026 at the current rates. Ouch.
Some would say that the Ducati 350 Sport Desmo, together with the 500 Sport Desmo, was a bike that vindicated Ducati , especially after its predecessors failed to capture the market’s imagination the way Ducati wanted them to.
Following in the reins of the disappointing GTL models, the 350 Sport Desmo featured a plethora of upgrades, including the addition of Borrani rims, Marzocchi forks, and Brembo brakes. On top of that, the bike also came with a 350 cc SOHC Desmo parallel-twin engine that was mated to a five-speed transmission.
The bike was successful enough that Ducati even launched the 500 Sport Desmo and the racing 500 Super Sport in 1977, marking a return to form that only Ducati could have pulled of.
The 350 Sport Desmo that was shown at the 2012 RM Auctions in Monaco fetched €3,218 ($4,100), a price that was right on par with its pre-auction range €3,000 - €4,000 ($3,800 - $5,200).
As the brainchild of designer Pierre Terblanche, the Ducati MHE900 was born to commemorate Mike Hailwood’s remarkable comeback win at the Isle of Man TT in 1978. Essentially, the MHE900 is Ducati’s first attempt at E-Commerce, building 1,000 models of the bike and putting it up for sale on the Internet. As expected, the MHE900 was an immediate success, prompting Ducati to build another 1,000 numbered units.
In terms of design, the MHE900 comes with a retro styling that harkens back to the design of the 70’s. From the complicated tank and fairing to the dingle-sided steel swing-arm, the MHE900 is truly a bike that stands on its own two wheels. More than just its classic looks, the bike is also powered by an impressive powertrain in the form of a 904-cc, two-valve, air-cooled Desmo Super Sport engine.
The bike auctioned off at the RM Auctions in Monaco - Model No.3 of 2,000 - was about as new condition as any of the other models in existence. It’s been on a number of motor shows as a display bike and was even exhibited at the Ducati factory. Rest assured, this MHE900 is a bike that Ducati collectors would trip over their bids just to own.
Expected pricing for this bike was about €10,000 - €12,000, which is around $13,000 - $15,500 based on current exchange rates. Actual auction price was €12,870, or about $16,528 at the current rates.
More photos of the Ducati MHE900 Model No. 3 of 2,000 after the jump.