Ducati produced 1500 copies of the Desmosedici RR for use on the street: essentially GP6 MotoGP bikes with lights and horns. One rumor has it that the company lost money on every one. Another says the streetbikes helped fund the race effort. Either way, the entire run sold out in a few hours at $72,500 a pop, complete with a three-year warranty and free service, along with a rear stand, battery charger, cover and an official Ducati Corse squeegee for applying the included race-replica decals.
It was the first four-cylinder Ducati sold to the public; the first Ducati driving its cams without bevel shafts, belts or chains; the first Ducati with a carbon-fiber subframe. The D16RR stood on the foreskin of technology in 2008 and remains adjacent to the bleeding edge. Brembo billet radial-mount brakes and radial master cylinders with flip-up levers, an Öhlins remote gas-reservoir fork (with 48 adjustment settings) and Marchesini forged-magnesium wheels are just the beginning.
Turn the key and a “D16RR RACING” marquee marches across the electronic dash. Fuel delivery is flawless. Poking the starter button cranks the motor a few turns until it fires. Turn off the cold-start knob when the engine temperature displays a number.
The bike is delivered with two exhaust systems, each with its own ECU. The “race-only” combination lets the engine lope with a threateningly powerful, NASCAR-like idle. Redline is 14,200 rpm. Exhaling through the catalyzed street exhaust, the bike manages 180 horsepower.
Picking up one of these exotics after the factory warranty has expired saves a considerable sum. That makes an RPM One aftermarket warranty the most practical accessory: $1100 for five years from www.extendedpowersportswarranty.com. There will not be much long-distance traveling. Premium fuel leaves the 4-gallon tank at 23-26 mpg. The low-fuel warning light illuminates after 65-80 miles, with 1 gallon remaining.
Output at 6000 rpm is a manageable 75 horsepower. Seconds later, lights above the dash say shift now! Your brain may or may not adapt to such acceleration, but it will tell you to pass that slowpoke up ahead in two dashes of the centerline. Try not to listen.
The maximum-strength Ducati allowed by law.
It takes 23 flat-rate hours to adjust 32 shims on 16 valves every 7500 miles.
Dents in the $10,000, 16-inch rear wheel, cops.
More of everything this side of a barrel of ’Busas.
2008 | $32,000-$60,500 (Depending on condition and whether you’re buying or selling.)
Ducati NCR “New Blue”
2007 | $75,000
Only 50 exist, making this celebration of Cook Neilson and Phil Schilling’s ’77 Daytona Superbike win on Old Blue eminently collectable but essentially unobtainable.
NCR Mike Hailwood TT
2009 | $130,000
This 295-lb. homage to Mike the Bike’s 1978 Isle of Man TT win is held together with more titanium than Evel Knievel. Only 12 were made, the same as Mike’s race number.
Boulder Motorsports F042
2011 | $55,000
Paying this much for an air-cooled Ducati twin only sounds stupid if: a) you’ve never ridden one; or b) there’s no way you could ever drop that much for a track toy.