UPDATE: Please note that the Panigale R was originally incorrectly listed as a 1299R. While the Panigale and Panigale S utilize a 1299 motor, the R featured a 1199 motor due to homologation rules. Our apologies for the inconvenience.
Additional photos of this collection of Ducati R bikes are available here for your perusal.
“R” you into Ducatis? If so, we’ve got the perfect way to start your collection – lovely examples of the 749R, 999R, 1098R, and 1299R. In chronological order, this lot includes the following four machines from the same seller:
1. 2005 Ducati 749R – 4,842 miles. VIN: ZDM1UB3T25B009275
All of Ducati’s “R” bikes are special, but as Bike Social noted, “the 749R is a significant cut above most other R or SP Bologna bikes. Why? In true Ducati fashion, because the World Supersport rules were so tight when it came to how much you could actually alter the original road bike when it came to building a racer, they simply unleashed a full-on road bike!”
They go on to say that “the 749R is an absolutely glorious bike to ride and arguably a better one to just stand and stare at. The level of engineering and technology that Ducati invested into this product is simply jaw dropping and it remains probably the most advanced homologation special ever to leave Bologna. It’s a moving work of art and while prices are high, they are only ever going to get higher. It’s an amazing bike in every single way.”
We presume you get the point, and it’s understandable why journalists fawned over this bike when you learn about the lengthy list of upgrades that the R got over the S: Ohlins suspension and steering damper, Brembo radially-mounted front brake, larger fuel tank, forged Marchesini wheels, magnesium head cover, unique box-section swingarm that allows for rear stand spools, and a carbon fiber belt cover. And that was just the stuff you could see! Hidden inside the cases were a slipper clutch, titanium connecting rods and valves, and a shorter stroke paired with increased bore. This led to an increase in horsepower, claimed to be 121 hp at the crank. All these goodies came at a $8,000 premium over the S model, but it would have cost you plenty more if you were trying to do the upgrades yourself!
The incredible factory specification was the result of Ducati’s desire to homologate the 749R for WSS competition. Rules required that the Italian firm produce at least 1,000 bikes, though Ducati has never officially provided a final production number. We’ve seen estimates of 1,200 bikes built between 2004-2006, 150 of which were sold in the United States.
This example is #51 in the production run, and it’s currently with its fourth owner. We believe it was originally sold by Fast by Ferracci into the state of Pennsylvania, and then it moved its way around to multiple states (including Illinois) before ending in New York.
The third owner had it for approximately 2 years, during which time he replaced the lower fairings, fuel tank sound deadening, and several fasteners. The current (fourth owner) notes that it has a carbon fiber rear fender as well as a Termignoni exhaust.
2. 2006 Ducati 999R – 2,304 miles. VIN: ZDM1UB5W26B016218
The trend continues, as the 999R was also a homologation machine (this time so Ducati could compete in AMA Superbike). It was also blessed with a laundry list of upgrades, including titanium connecting rods and valves, revised head design with shorter bore/longer stroke, stronger crankshaft, and improved fuel-injection. This all added up to 150 horsepower, making the 999R the most powerful production bike that Ducati had ever made at the time. Complementing the tremendous motor was carbon fiber bodywork, forged Marchesini wheels, Ohlins suspension/steering damper, and radial Brembo brakes. It’s simply staggering – Simon Bradley of Motorbike Today concluded his review by saying, “I hate superlatives. Once something is the best, the fastest, whatever, you run out of things to describe the next, better one as. Which gives me a problem here. Because the Ducati 999R is, by far, the best bike I have ever ridden. The most desirable, most exciting roadbike on the planet. Today, anyway.”
Or you can enjoy Dan Neil’s take on the 999R in this review on the Los Angeles Times: “Made of steel, titanium, carbon fiber and sadism, the 999R is as close as you are going to get to a grand prix motorcycle, and unless you are a fantastic rider with years of experience, you don’t want to get that close. This bike will beat you down like you said something bad about its mother.”
Jokes aside, Dan summarizes the 999R by saying that “pound for ornery pound, this has got to be the most dynamically perfect motorcycle in the world.” That would be why the original MSRP was $30,000.
The seller is the second owner, and he notes that it has always been serviced in New Hampshire by a top level Ducati tech. This machine also has a Termignoni exhaust.
3. 2008 Ducati 1098R – 1,775 miles. VIN: ZDM1XBHW38B016136
Also built for homologation purposes, the 1098R was Ducati’s entry into World Superbike. It brought back something from the past (side by side headlights, à la the 916) and introduced something new – the first implementation of electronic traction control on a production street bike.
Bike Social calls it a Future Classic, saying “in many ways it is the last of the ‘proper’ Ducati homologation specials. That is to say it bears absolutely no resemblance to the road bike it is meant to be based on! Capacity, engine, chassis, just about every component on the 1098R when compared to the 1098 road bike was altered as Ducati needed to get back into winning ways.”
They weren’t kidding – despite the “1098” name and the 1,099cc motor in the regular 1098 model, the 1098R engine displaces 1,198cc thanks to increases in both bore and stroke. Again, we see titanium used for the connecting rods and the (larger) valves, a slipper clutch, strengthened rocker arms, magnesium cam covers, lighter pistons…you get the idea. Just like some “R” specials before it, the 1098 gets Ohlins suspension/steering damper, carbon fiber bodywork, and upgraded Brembo brakes. You also get Marchesini wheels, a magnesium front subframe, and the novel eight-stage traction control. The price for “the most powerful twin-cylinder motorcycle ever built”? $40,000.
This example is #263 of the 450 that were sold in the US. We actually sold it to the current seller and can vouch for it being in excellent condition. It was serviced in November of 2018 with new belts and a throttle sync as well as the smaller common items like oil and filters. The tires are original. Of the quartet, this is the only bike with a noticeable flaw – the black anodized aluminum finish on the swingarm and triple tree exhibits some oxidation, a problem that we have occasionally seen on other 1098Rs (including a 0-mile example).
4. 2017 Ducati Panigale R – 418 miles. VIN: ZDM14BVW0HB006712
Last but not least, we’ve got a Panigale R. Due to WSBK regulations, displacement had to be limited to 1,198cc. Despite the ~100cc reduction compared to the Panigale and Panigale S motors, Ducati was able to keep the horsepower output the same thanks to titanium valves and connecting rods (does that sound familiar yet?), two-ring pistons, and a tungsten-balanced crank. Again, we’ve got Ohlins suspension, forged marchesini wheels, lengthened wheelbase, and a titanium/carbon fiber Akrapovic exhaust with a Race ECU.
This example was acquired new by the seller and it has a fresh full service from an authorized New York Ducati dealership. It’s got Pirelli Supercorsas with just 6 miles on them, some Rizoma baubles, a full Akrapovic exhaust, and aftermarket rear sets to improve the riding position. All stock parts are included.
This is a collection of machines that, when released, were widely praised as the best things you could buy on two wheels. Now you can get four of them at once.