For motorcycle enthusiasts, the Ducati Desmosedici RR is the epitome of a dream machine. This MotoGP-derived street bike, with its exhausts exiting out of the pillion area, is not just a motorcycle but a piece of racing history. It’s one of those rare gems that excites the soul of any motorcycle aficionado.

Priced at $75,000 when new and produced in hyper-limited numbers, the Desmosedici RR was a bike that many coveted but few could own. Now, a rare opportunity has arisen for one lucky individual to own this marvel, as Bonhams is offering a 2009 model for auction.

What Makes the Ducati Desmosedici RR Special?

The Ducati Desmosedici RR is a street-legal version of Ducati’s MotoGP race bike. It was designed to bring the thrill of MotoGP racing to the public roads, and it achieved this with remarkable success. Here are some standout features that make the Desmosedici RR a true masterpiece:


MotoGP Heritage

The Desmosedici RR is directly derived from Ducati’s MotoGP race bikes, incorporating advanced technology and design elements from the world of professional motorcycle racing. This connection gives the Desmosedici RR an authenticity that few other street bikes can match.

High-Performance Engine

At the heart of the Desmosedici RR is a 989cc V4 engine that produces around 200 horsepower. This engine, combined with its lightweight design, gives the bike blistering speed and acceleration, comparable to a full-fledged MotoGP machine.

Unique Design

One of the most striking features of the Desmosedici RR is its exhaust system, which exits through the pillion area. This design not only looks incredible but also helps with weight distribution and aerodynamics. The bike’s overall aesthetic is a perfect blend of function and form, making it a standout on both the track and the street.

Limited Production

With only 1,500 units produced, the Desmosedici RR is an incredibly rare bike. Each unit is individually numbered, adding to its exclusivity. The bike being auctioned by Bonhams is number 1,338 out of 1,500, making it a highly sought-after collector’s item.

The Current Opportunity: Bonhams Auction

For those who missed the chance to buy the Desmosedici RR when it was new, Bonhams is offering a rare opportunity to own this legendary machine. The 2009 model up for auction has only 2,806 miles on its odometer, indicating that it has been sparingly used. Here are some details about the auction:

Auction Highlights

  • Model Year: 2009
  • Mileage: 2,806 miles
  • Condition: The bike has undergone a full service recently and is in good working condition.
  • Special Notes: Minor chips and paint loss in some areas, with locks and keys replaced due to loss of the originals.

Provenance and Maintenance

The bike’s second owner, who unfortunately passed away in 2020, did not ride it extensively. The Ducati was last ridden in 2018 but has since been serviced to ensure it remains in top condition. The auction includes the original authentication certificate/plate, owner’s manuals, warranty/service book, and a host of accessories.

Current Bid and Auction Details

As of now, the current bid for the Desmosedici RR is £38,000 (approximately $40,000). With nine days left in the auction, this figure is expected to rise significantly as more enthusiasts place their bids.

The Desmosedici RR vs. Modern Ducati Bikes

While the Desmosedici RR is a marvel of its time, how does it compare to Ducati’s latest offerings, such as the Panigale V4 SP2?

Performance Comparison

The Panigale V4 SP2 is one of Ducati’s latest superbikes, featuring cutting-edge technology and performance enhancements. It boasts a 1,103cc V4 engine producing 214 horsepower, surpassing the Desmosedici RR’s power output. With advanced electronics and improved aerodynamics, the V4 SP2 offers a more refined and accessible performance compared to the raw and unbridled nature of the Desmosedici RR.

Technological Advancements

Modern Ducati bikes come equipped with state-of-the-art electronic aids such as traction control, wheelie control, and advanced ABS systems. These features make bikes like the Panigale V4 SP2 safer and easier to ride at high speeds, enhancing the overall riding experience.

Riding Experience

While the Desmosedici RR offers an authentic MotoGP experience, it can be a handful for less experienced riders. The Panigale V4 SP2, on the other hand, provides a more user-friendly experience without compromising on performance. It’s a bike that can be enjoyed by both seasoned riders and those new to the world of superbikes.

The Enduring Appeal of the Desmosedici RR

Despite the advancements in motorcycle technology, the Ducati Desmosedici RR continues to hold a special place in the hearts of motorcycle enthusiasts. Its connection to MotoGP, combined with its rarity and unique design, makes it a highly desirable collector’s item. For those who value the history and heritage of motorcycle racing, the Desmosedici RR is a priceless gem.

Collectibility and Investment

Owning a Desmosedici RR is not just about the riding experience; it’s also a significant investment. Limited-production motorcycles like the Desmosedici RR tend to appreciate in value over time, making them a wise choice for collectors. The current auction at Bonhams presents a rare opportunity to acquire this iconic bike, and it’s likely to attract serious bidders from around the world.

Emotional Connection

For many enthusiasts, the Desmosedici RR represents the pinnacle of Ducati’s engineering and racing prowess. Riding this bike is not just about speed and performance; it’s about experiencing a piece of MotoGP history. The emotional connection to the Desmosedici RR is something that modern bikes, no matter how advanced, cannot replicate.

Conclusion: A Dream Machine Within Reach

The Ducati Desmosedici RR is more than just a motorcycle; it’s a symbol of Ducati’s commitment to excellence and innovation. Its MotoGP roots, combined with its stunning design and performance, make it a dream machine for any motorcycle enthusiast. While modern bikes like the Panigale V4 SP2 offer superior performance and technology, the Desmosedici RR’s unique charm and historical significance set it apart.

For those who have always dreamed of owning a Desmosedici RR, the current auction at Bonhams offers a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. With its rich history, limited production, and impeccable pedigree, the Desmosedici RR is a bike that will continue to captivate and inspire for generations to come. Whether as a collector’s item or a riding companion, the Ducati Desmosedici RR remains a testament to the enduring allure of MotoGP racing brought to the streets.


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