4. Ducati 998 (2002-2004)

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Massimo Tamburini’s original 916 blew our pucks off in 1994, with styling that many think just isn’t ever going to go out of style. The 998 is the last Ducati to retain that look, but it’s packing the much-improved Testastretta engine that would go on to power the next-generation 999. More oversquare, more powerful, smoother-running and a delightful Duc-motor better in every way than the 916, they’re out there with less than 10,000 miles for $6k and less. If you get tired of riding it, park it by the fireplace and have a glass of vino. If you like yellow, 748s are even cheaper and revvier. You do need to bear in mind that a full service could cost a third of what you pay for the bike. Four-valve Desmo heads do not adjust themselves.

  • Funguy

    Please, could you please put the top-10 content-stretcher articles on a single page?

    Thank you.

    • Ser Samsquamsh

      Is helping you favorite motorbike site milk some revenue off telemetry driven marketing hacks, at zero cost to yourself, such an inconvenience?

      John Burns, with both ambidextrous prose AND impeccable taste in motosicles [sic], can not be cheap.

  • JMDonald

    Damn those guys at SuperBike. Objectifying women. WTFO. It took me twenty minutes to get to the next bike. I hope you’re happy.

    • We don’t really even like that particular bike 🙂

  • curly

    Good article, good choices.
    I think I counted 7or 8 bikes, not counting the H2. Owned 4 or 5 of them.
    H2
    998
    RC51
    Vfr- well, no, rc30?
    1998 R1/several early R6’s

    H2’s command big money from collectors (in Japan), but H1’s are better bikes, and cost a lot less- get a 74 model and spend a little on a John Aylor reed kit, a set of good shocks and a front brake upgrade- go smokin!

    I would substitute 996 for 998(budget bike that hauls). 999’s may not have that look, but they are better bikes, and a bargain, IMHO

    Delete Either the aprilia or rc51, add 929 or 954

    And I would comment that if you could find a mint early R1, you’d be making a rare find. 98’s are all gone, and I would not chop one up to make a “street fighter”

    Not
    a Suzuki on the list? 2005 gs xr anything, 30 year anniversary color
    scheme bikes are nice, getting cheap, and of course they haul ass

    Where’s the Kaws? – ever ride a 05-06 636? Or a 04-05 zx10? Insane

    Zx12s aren’t well thought of , but see above

  • fastfreddie

    Personally would list 996 over the 998 as they are very similar and 996 could be got for less money.Also dissagree with your assessment of the VFR 800.Found it bland,but that was comming from a 929 blade,so may have influenced me negatively…