'I'd bite your hand off for a Sport Classic'
11 July 2014 09:30
Which used Ducatis are hot – and which are not? MCN speaks to expert John Hackett from Ducati Coventry.
Ducati is the strongest it has ever been right now, claims John Hackett - otherwise known as the UK’s Mr Ducati! "There is a real buzz surrounding the brand and that is encouraging riders to try a Ducati when otherwise they may have stuck with a Japanese model.
"Personally, I believe that the perception of Ducati is more positive than ever, even better than in the mid-1990s when it was enjoying all its World Superbike success.
"GQ magazine recently listed the 899 Panigale as the most desirable male object and, like at the height of the 916’s popularity, owning a Ducati is now a fashion statement again."
What used Ducatis should I buy right now?
"At the moment the most common used Ducati models are 848 and 1098s as riders are looking to upgrade to the 899 or 1199 Panigale. The time of the year makes a big difference to Ducati sales and the start of summer is the perfect time to buy a sportsbike.
"Riders always want the higher specification model, so we are talking S or Evo Corse editions, but that isn’t to say standard bikes are hard to sell. Supply isn’t meeting demand, especially in dealerships as owners are selling their bikes themselves."
Where to buy a Ducati?
"Ducati aren’t a volume manufacturer in the same way as a Japanese manufacturer, which means Ducati owners don’t often trade their bikes in. With Japanese bikes a private sale price is often £500 less than a dealer will ask, but due to limited supply there is virtually no difference in the private Ducati market.
"I’m seeing more and more new bike buyers coming to me with cash in their pocket having sold their Ducati in the private market.
"I know dealers who will offer virtually the same price to sellers as they will list the bikes in their shops just to fill showroom floors with used stock. Ninety per cent of a dealer’s traffic to their website is used bike searches, so it shows how important used stock is to them. And there are still several advantages in buying from a Ducati dealer as opposed to a private sale."
What to watch out for
"Service history is everything on any Ducati model. Cam belts need changing every two years or after 12,000-15,000 miles depending on the model, regular oil changes, the big 15,000-mile desmo service and a stamped service book.
"Condition is also important, you can tell a lot about a bike by its general condition and it is rare to see a rubbish used Ducati.
"Mileages tend to be low, however the Multistrada is the exception to this rule, it is the first Ducati I’ve seen come in with big miles on the clock. Interestingly, it sells all year round, unlike the sports and naked bikes which are seasonal.
"Most Ducati dealers will try to only stock used bikes that are less than eight years old as they can offer an official Ducati 12-month unlimited mileage parts and labour warranty on them.
"Not every dealer will offer this as it costs money, but it can be had and is worth getting. Bikes over eight years or so, especially the air-cooled bikes, tend to pop up in non-specialist Ducati dealerships and this is when the service history can start to slip."
The finance effect
"A lot of Ducati models are traded in before the expensive 15,000-mile service, but finance also has an effect. Modern PCP deals run for two or three years and these are just starting to mature, which is why we are seeing 1198 and 848 Evo models arriving.
"PCP is currently going through the roof, last year we were up 150% on the year before, and it is only getting stronger which is helping feed the used market. I would say the impact will really be seen in the next 12-18 months, but it is certainly starting to affect used bikes now."
New models and nostalgia
"The introduction of the Monster 1200 saw a big influx of Monster 1100 Evo owners trading in, so I could see the same happening with 796 and 696 owners when the new water-cooled Monster 821 arrives.
"However, the new Scrambler could also make a difference, especially as riders are starting to buy into the whole retro scene. These days I’d bite anyone’s hand off for a Sport Classic. Five years ago you couldn’t give them away, but now they are going for virtually the same as they retailed for new in 2006.
"I remember having a showroom full of the damn things in the late 2000s and panicking about what I was going to do with them, I wish I had them now.
"The GT, Paul Smart and Sport are all very sought after and I can see this rubbing off on the air-cooled Monsters. At the moment we aren’t seeing riders actively searching out air-cooled Monsters, but I reckon this might well change with the introduction of the Scrambler.
"We saw it happen with the 999. It was such an unpopular bike a few years ago, but now they are selling well, especially the R model. Four years ago a 999R was £7000-8000, a few weeks ago I sold one for £14,000. I could see the Monster 1100 Evo holding its value in a few years, so this is certainly a future classic."
Still under the radar
"There are a few Ducati models that are still slipping under the radar and can be bought for very sensible money. The ST3, ST2 or ST4 have a hardcore following but fail to appeal to mainstream riders, which keeps the prices down.
"They are tremendous value and you get a lot of bike for your cash. Older air-cooled Multistrada models are worth looking out for too and the 1000SS can still be found at a very good price."
Jewel in the crown
"If there is one used Ducati I’d buy it would be the 998R. You seldom lose any money on an R, SP or SPS but the 998R is the one to have over all the other Ducati models. If you can find a nice 998R you are quids in."
2004 Ducati ST3, £1995
They say: 18,000 miles, recent full service. Not mint, but well maintained and usable.
John says: These are slipping under the radar right now, along with the ST2 and ST4, it's a lot of bike for the money.
2001 Ducati 996, £4850
They say: Two owners from new, 14,606 miles. Clean, with Marchesini wheels and an Ohlins shock.
John says: The 996 is the bargain of the 916-range. This is a bike that can be enjoyed without losing money.
2010 Ducati 999S, £6499
They say: Excellent condition Fila replica, loads of extras. Belts replaced.
John says: The price of 999Rs has gone up massively in the last couple of years, and top-spec S versions won't be too far behind.