Double Aught Duc: ’00 Ducati 996 SPS

Ducati 996 SPS

For Sale via Moto Borgotaro: 1-Mile Ducati 996 Sport Production Special!  

The Ducati 916 and its successors — the 996 and 998 — remain some of the most iconic superbikes ever made. They were the work of the “Michelangelo of motorbike design,” Massimo Tamburini, who would later design the MV Agusta F4. The 916/996/998 family featured liquid-cooled, fuel-injected 4-valve desmo 90° V-twins in trellis frames with single-sided swingarms, underseat exhausts, and USD forks.

Ducati 996 SPS

These 4-valve Ducatis didn’t have the outright horsepower of the Japanese superbikes, but their wider torque curves and sharp handling made them competitive on the street and track.

“The 916 won ‘Superbike of the Year’ from many of the major motorcycle magazines, and the racing version would win four Superbike World Championships thanks to riders Carl Fogarty and Troy Corser.” –Silodrome

Ducati 996 SPS

The 996 replaced the original 916 in 1999, offering a larger 996cc engine with 112 hp on tap. There’s always been more to Italian bikes than the performance specs, and the allure of 996 was as visceral as anything else on two wheels.

“I love how dense, taut and compact it feels, how at home it is mid-corner, or how its rhythms and sonorous tones get inside your brain. Riding it feels excitingly illicit, like having an affair, without actually being unfaithful. Every ride feels like falling in love again.” -Richard Newland, MCN

Ducati 996 SPS

The 996 SPS (Sport Production Special) was the ultimate expression of the model, basically a road-going version of the bike competing in the World Superbike Championship. There were lighter alloy wheels, various carbon fiber and titanium parts, Öhlins forks (from 2000 onwards), an adjustable steering head for fast geometry changes, and an uprated engine with 124 horsepower.

“Engine work included titanium connecting rods, upgraded cams, and a lightened crankshaft. The SPS also got a bigger generator and Termignoni pipes. All this was good for an additional 12 horsepower, and the modified chassis made the whole package that much sweeter.” –Iconic Motorbikes

Ducati 996 SPS

Was the 996 SPS street-legal? That depends…

“Technically, you weren’t supposed to enjoy said package on the street — the SPS was only road legal in Europe. Ducati didn’t conform to EPA regulations, so they sold it as a ‘track-only’ bike and made buyers sign a waiver saying that you wouldn’t register it for road use. As you might imagine, pretty much everyone ignored the waiver, as the bike came with a VIN, lights, a title, and everything needed to register the bike.” –Iconic Motorbikes


This 2000 996 SPS comes our way from Peter Boggia of NYC / Milan’s Moto Borgotaro — a veteran mechanic and broker of high-end motorbikes from all over the world. This might just be the lowest mileage SPS in the world with just one mile on the clock!

Ducati 996 SPS

It was sold new by Pro Italia of Glendale, California, who reacquired the bike in 2023 from the family of its original owner. The top triple clamp bears a serialized plaque listing the bike as Ducati 996 SPS #1653, and the bike has never been fueled or ridden.

Ducati 996 SPS

It’s currently up for auction at Bring a Trailer, which begs the obvious question: If you bought this 996 SPS, would ride it or keep it as a museum piece?

Ian Falloon Authentication

Ducati 996 SPS

Famed motorcycle author, historian, and authenicator Ian Falloon has given his assessment of this particular bike as follows.

This VIN describes the motorcycle as:
ZDM Italy Ducati Motorcycle
3 Off Road Racing version
H Homologation Model
9 Race Model Variation
9 996 SPS or 996 R
S US only
8,6 Check Digits
1 Model Year 2001
B Bologna Italy manufacture
003736 Production number 996

Ducati 996 SPS

As a highly successful concept to promote the entire range, the 996 SPS was upgraded for the 1999 Model Year to further elevate it above the regular 996. The general engine specifications remained unchanged from the 1998 916 SPS, retaining the forged titanium con-rods.

While retaining the Öhlins rear shock absorber and steering damper, the 996 SPS received five-spoke Marchesini wheels. The 996 SPS still came with a small silver plaque on the top triple clamp.

Ducati 996 SPS

A second edition of the 996 SPS was also produced later in 1999. Known as the 996 SPS 2, these were identical but for different cylinder heads, manufactured in a different alloy for homologation requirements.

Ducati 996 SPS

There was the inevitable upgrading of the specification of the 996 SPS for the 2000 Model Year. The engine was unchanged but for a modified flywheel to accommodate a new bushing on the starter clutch gear and a new oil pressure switch with revised calibration. The Weber electronic injection system was still the now olderP8, and the 2000 series 996 SPS would be the final Ducati to feature this venerable, but effective, system. Further engine upgrades would wait until the new short-stroke 998 for 2001 so it was the chassis that received more attention.

Unlike Ducatis of the past where the first model in the series was often the best and most desirable, with Ducatis of the TPG era this was no longer the case. Not only was the 2000 Model Year 996 SPS the finest example yet of its genre, it arguably offered the best sporting performance available. Although the new non-retracting sidestand, PS 12mm clutch master cylinder, new wiring, and “Ducati Corse” tachometer were also shared with the 996, new for 2000 were 43mm Öhlins front forks, a lighter aluminium rear subframe, and maintenance-free battery with new mount.

Ducati 996 SPS

This “sealed-for-life” battery saved 1.1kg in weight. The frame and wheels were also “gun metal grey” this year and the total weight 3kg less than before, at 187kg dry.

Ducati 996 SPS

The Öhlins forks also came with gold-coloured TiN coated fork legs but featured some developments from the World Superbike racing program. The 85mm steering lugs were from the Ducati Corse 996, and along with new, stiffer, triple clamps, the axle mounting height was reduced from 110 to 80mm. This had also featured on the Ducati Corse 996 and allowed for an increase in the extension of the stanchions to provide more precise front end control.

Ducati 996 SPS

The rear subframe was now constructed of aluminium tubing, using the same cross section as the Ducati Corse 996, and saving 0.5kg. The result of these developments maintained the position of the 996 SPS as the world’s premier sports bike. It may not have been the fastest superbike, but the suspension improvements elevated the 996 SPS beyond that of even the newer generation Japanese and Italian machines. It was a true case of racing improving the breed.

For 2001 the new Testastretta 996 R replaced the 996 SPS Desmoquattro but as was usual with US market versions there was a delay in implementing updated models. The 996 SPS was the final Desmoquattro and ostensibly a 2000 Model Year version with the US versions built at the end of 1999. However, the 996 SPS and 996 R failed to pass US street legal regulations and were eventually sold as 2001 Model Year examples without lighting, turn signals and other street equipment. 893 2000 Model Year 996 SPSs were built altogether, with 80 in US specification.

Ducati 996 SPS

This is undoubtedly one of those.

Overall assessment:
The VIN and documentation confirm this is a genuine US-specification 2001 Ducati 996 SPS. It is also unquestionably brand new and never used so is quite possibly a unique example.

Bring a Trailer: 1-Mile 2000 Ducati 996SPS


Extended Gallery

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