Ducati Senna Motorbike. AUCTION FINISHED

 This a 1998 model with 6k miles

Ayrton Senna was a personal friend of the Castiglioni family (partially, no doubt, because he was a repeat high-profile Ducati customer), and had actually personally agreed to the first run of 200 bikes named in his honour before Senna was tragically killed at Imola in 1994 and never got to see the final production of the bike bearing his name.

Profits from the reps went to the Senna Foundation, to provide Brazilian kids with free sports facilities, as long as they went to school. The first run arrived in 1995 – silver with red wheels, with a Strada-spec engine (minus the posh Pankl rods) with an SP chassis (Öhlins shock, cast-iron, fully-floating Brembo discs and braided brake hoses).

To Ducati’s delight the series sold out in no time, and a second run was planned. Typical Italian production issues meant they didn’t appear until 1997. The Senna II was more or less identical to the first batch. Yet another edition was sold in 1998, and the bike here is one of those. The body colour switched to black, and a carbon mudguard and airbox were added to the already comprehensive spec sheet.

The cast-iron floating discs and Brembo Goldline calipers have even more feel than the stock 916’s stainless disc set-up Of course, you get all this with a standard 916 – the SP chassis just makes it a little nicer. But it's the exclusive club-within-club feel of Senna ownership – not to mention the association with the sainted driver – that lends it the nagging needfulness provoked by all special Ducatis.  

This Ducati 916 Senna is a very smart example of one of the most iconic superbikes, with exceptionally low mileage. It is powered by the 916cc L-twin Desmodromic engine producing 112bhp, coupled to a six-speed manual transmission. Having spent most of its life off the road in a private collection, the odometer shows just 6,100 miles from new.

The 916 is widely regarded as one of the most beautiful bikes ever made, but it was also immensely successful on the circuit. The model won 120 World Superbike championship races, eight constructors' titles and six riders' titles.

The 916 Senna combined the standard Strada specification engine with the Öhlins rear suspension and Brembo front brake discs from the 916 SP. Just 300 were made in the initial production run, which was followed by the ‘Senna II’ and ‘Senna III’ models comprising another 300 bikes in each.

In addition to the unique combination of black paintwork with bright red wheels, the Senna III also saw the inclusion of a carbon-fibre air box and mudguard. This particular example is number 251 out of the 300 Senna III bikes built.

The bodywork and paint presents in excellent condition throughout, with no panel damage or scuffs in the finish. The light lenses are free of cracks and chips, and the plastic trims and metal fasteners have held up very well over the last two decades. Its exhaust has been upgraded to a high-performance Termignoni racing system with carbon-fibre silencers, though the original items remain with the bike. The 17-inch three-spoke cast alloy wheels are in superb order.

This Ducati 916 Senna is a collector-quality example of a rare special edition. It is accompanied by all of the original books, and is presented in highly original condition. Undoubtedly one for the most passionate Ducati enthusiast given its remarkably low mileage, though it would be a shame not to enjoy it on the open road when the right occasion arises.

Truly an iconic bike bearing the name of an icon of motorsport, this would make a great addition to any serious Ducati collection.

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