Ducati 916SP…. Genuine or not…… Part 1

How about a genuine Ducati 916 SP

In the early ’90’s Sir Massimo Tamburini designed the Ducati 916 which was introduced to the public at the Milan Motor Show in late 1993. The Ducati 916 became a icon and is probably the most famous Ducati model since Ducati’s founding in 1926.

The 916 wasn’t only very successful in the World Superbike championship (WSBK), but over the years the bike also won several awards for it’s design. Most recently (September 2015) the Ducati 916 won the title “Greatest Bike 1955-2015” by Motor Cycle News, Great-Britain’s number one bike magazine.

As we mainly trade in the more exclusive models, in this post, we’d like to zoom in on recognizing a genuine Ducati 916 S.P., officially named Sport Production and also known as 916 SP1, 916 SP2 & 916 SP3.


Ducati 916 S.P.Ducati 916 SP, credits to MCN

In our opinion this model, after the 916 SPA (Sport Production America or also called Ducati 955) , is the most exclusive model from the Ducati 916 era. Some production numbers:

Model Year of manufacturing Production number
Ducati 916SP (SP1) 1994 310
Ducati 916SP (SP2) 1995 401
Ducati 916SP (SP3) 1996 497

After almost 25 years there aren’t many left, so time to create clarity in all the misunderstandings about how, and with what parts, these bikes were equipped.

A Ducati 916SP on the internet

Despite all Ian Falloon’s great books and several other goodreads from other Ducatisti, a quick “Google” about recognizing a genuine Ducati 916 SP gives many misunderstandings.

“The frame-number should look like this “XXXX”…”, while the other disagrees and types “no, it should look like “YYYY..”” etc. etc.

Please be advised: based on just the engine- and frame-number, the only “person” who is able to verify whether a 916SP is genuine or not is Ducati S.p.A or it’s related dealerships. BUT……

In case Ducati verifies matching numbers, does this mean it’s fully genuine? Unfortunately not, as the real SP specs are particularly motorial, so inside the engine. For this reason a full and complete(d) (service-) history accompanying the bike is really important. These documents can approve the bike + all replaced parts are genuine SP, so with this in hand you’re pretty close.

A long story short: If you want 100% proof the bike you have or are planning to buy is fully genuine there are a couple of things to do.

A good approach can be, for example:

  • Have a look at the bike in person and make pictures;
  • Ask the seller for additional pictures or the full collection if the bike has been restored.
  • Have a good look at the documents which are with the bike and check them (completeness, chronological, all service-bills, dealer serviced etc.)
  • With the pictures in hand, have a cup of espresso at your local Ducati dealer / importer and ask them to verify the numbers;
  • Verify the engine and (probably the biggest challenge) all parts in are genuine!


All done and fine….? CONGRATULATIONS, you just discovered or at least verified a true collectors item.

Oh… and… when thinking of buying your own GENUINE early Ducati 916SP….Good luck in the negotiations!!

A more convenient way to recognize a 916SP is posted in Ducati 916 SP. Genuine or not…… Part 2

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