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Old 07-Oct-2006, 11:53 AM
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888 questions ...

I'm not going to be able to afford another bike until maybe next year, and the priority goes to racing but I've always liked the 888 ... so, a few questions ... you guys love these things so hopefully you won't mind having a chat about them

Price range? I'd prefer an SP of some description (yes I'm a snob, but after owning the 998R I like the special ones )

What are the pro's and cons of the SP range compared to your standard 888? Service intervals, ease of maintenance, anything particular to each model ...

Availability of track parts and normal crash damage type parts etc? If I get one, it will be (ab)used on track days etc so there's always the possibility of it going down the road ..

Anything else I need to know?

Thanks in advance for your time


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Old 07-Oct-2006, 12:14 PM
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DSC Member Jools Jools is offline
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I got a strada on purpose, because I know I'm not the best when it comes to keeping bikes in pristine nick and by my reckoning an SP deserves a better owner than I'm likely to be.

The SP's are like any SP or R version...higher state of tune and therefore just that little bit mor pernicketty about service intervals. I change the oil and filters every 3K on my strada, if it was an SP I might think about getting it looked at by Nelly every 3K - praps not a service as such but a once over.

SP's had Ohlins forks as well up until the SP5 which used high spec Showas, arguably because of fork seal problems on the Ohlins.

As far as spares are concerned the good old Ducati philosophy of evolving everything rather than radical redesign means that mechanical spares are no problem - heaps of stuff from other later models will fit. Even if the engine goes pop, an ST4 or Monster S4, or even a 996 unit from an ST4S is almost a straight bolt in. Brakes are basically goldline Brembos but need upgrading with a better master cylinder because they're prone to fade with heavy use (and I have the underpants to prove it).

Where you will have problems is sourcing body panels, best take the originals straight off and store them somewhere safe. You can get trackday stuff from Ricambi Weiss or QB Carbon. QB are more expensive than Ricambi but do carbon fairings (bit OTT) or a self colured GRP set. The GRP set is what I'm going to fit ASAP because they don't show up stone chips.

The riding experience is what most people love about them. They're very short stroke motors so they love to be revved (for a twin that is), anywhere above 7K and if you've got an open airbox the induction snarl is orgasmic. They produce just on 100 bhp or a few more on an SP 110-115 perhaps so they're not the fastes thing on the planet by todays standard but more than enough to scare yourself.

The handling is what I love about them, they don't respond well to genteel riding, you have to take them by the scruff of the neck and show them who is in charge. The harder you ride them the better it gets

I reckon if a modern Jap bike was a Lotus Elise the 888 would be a snarling, spitting TVR (but more reliable)

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Old 07-Oct-2006, 12:52 PM
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DSC Member Jools Jools is offline
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Oh yeah...prices.

Perhaps 3.5 for a bargain strada, more like 4-5K for a nice tidy one. Add between 2-3K for an SP (most I've seen have been upwards of 7K).

Oh yes, and it seems that all 888's are becoming very cool and sought after at the moment, maybe this fashion will pass but at the moment prices are on the up.

Go on...you know you want one...heres mine before the GP billets, proper screen, carbon mudguard and high level carbon zorsts went on

Sorry about the fat bloke spoiling the pic
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Old 07-Oct-2006, 01:38 PM
loony888 loony888 is offline
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i too own a strada, bought mine over an sp mainly cos i knew i wanted to mod it and didn't want to ruin a genuine sp. the cams are a bit of a waste on the sp, they make peak hp after redline ferchrissakes!! the twin injectors are there for homologation only and (allegedly) aren't needed on the road. bear in mind though, if we rode what we needed and not what was cool we would all be riding ER5's. Jools is spot on, bodywork and bars are the only real headache, most other stuff can be used from another model. i've had 7 dukes and my 888 is definitely my fave, the riding position and the aggressive style required to get the best of it, the way the motor makes power, the looks and the way most people don't even know what it is, they're all reasons i love it. there's a quote from a road test that says "ride it once and you may not buy one, ride it twice and you'll never sell it." a bit of an aquired taste, but well worth it.
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Old 07-Oct-2006, 01:42 PM
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Better riding position than a 998. Not going to have as much grunt as your 998R, but there is something special about them.

Last edited by jgriff : 07-Oct-2006 at 01:51 PM.
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Old 07-Oct-2006, 01:43 PM
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Ains. Ains. is offline
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Yep TP, agree with all that Jools has put above.
Prices roughly:

Early 851 1.8k upward
Late 851 (has the 888 bodywork with 851 stickers) 3.5k
888 strada 4-5k
888SP2-3 5-6k
888SP4 7-9k
888SP5 7-8k
888SP4S Cherching

They are going up in price.
Strada is the better road/all round bike. SP is nowt below 4krpm, a bang at 6k, bigger bang at 8k, and stupid by 10k.
I wouldn't get an SP unless you're going to look after it as the only ones a round now tend to be mint condition and fetching loadsa dosh. For instance a US modded SP4 went for about $26k, but it was spesh mind. The top end ones are going for basically what the buyer will pay to get one.
With a little effort a Strada can be made as quick as an SP. Without the layout of an SP so is a better bet. GazB's 851/916 is proof. The usual stuff, filter, zorst, chip.
Gofasterbitz are common enough, but as Jools said take the original bodywork off and stick GRP on for track work. Track day damage as long as the bike doesn't flip are panels, zorst casing, indicators, bar ends and scuffed leavers. Yup I threw the SP4S up the track at Cadwell in 2003 - I cried.
The fairing to frame supports are cack and need to be beefed up and fit a bigger brake master cylinder. That'll solve most of the brake problems.

Oh, and a few years ago Mark Forsyth in finishing off an article about the 888 said, the 888 is the biking equivalent of the Ferrari 250GTO, and that dear reader is why you want one.


Last edited by Ains. : 07-Oct-2006 at 01:49 PM.
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Old 07-Oct-2006, 01:52 PM
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beancounter beancounter is offline
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What Jools said....

If you fancy a little go on an SP3 or SP4 before winter sets in, have a pootle up to Milton Keynes (why else would you want to) and try mine (especially now the 4 is fixed).

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Old 07-Oct-2006, 02:10 PM
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Oh by the way...as much as I love my 888's I much prefer my 996SPS in every respect - looks, performance, handling, the lot. They're wonderful bikes and much under-rated (imo) - have you considered an SPS Tony? Similar price to 888 SP's and perhaps a bit more suitable for track use?

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Old 07-Oct-2006, 02:41 PM
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weeveetwin weeveetwin is offline
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Up until an hour ago (!) I owned both an 888 Strada and an SP4.

Back-to-back riding shows up their differences quite starkly. The SP is spitting and growling the whole time it's moving (animalistic almost) - whereas the Strada feels quite tame by comparison and more composed. Maybe it's to do with the Strada's single injectors and more civilised chip/cam timing, but even with loud cans fitted it can't quite recreate the manic snarl of the SP. (I hate to say it, but after dismounting from the SP and swapping onto the Strada, I'd quickly become bored with its monotone blat, blat blat).

Gearing on the Strada is more sensible for the street. Bottom gear is lower, and top gear is higher than the SP equivalent. In fact, the SP's sixth gear equates exactly with the Strada's fifth. This makes the SP feel more hurried at higher cruising speeds - and the Strada much more relaxed. The SP gearbox would be preferable for the track though.

Despite the SP having fully-floating front brakes, I found those on the Strada to be as good if not better. (This may be more to do with the particular type of pads I had fitted than anything else). The rear brake on my own particular SP works quite well - but the Strada's rear is (traditionally) poor.

Handling? When I first bought my SP4, I found the handling to be way better than my Strada. The bike was far more chuckable, and it was much faster steering. (I've since learned that much of the 'inertia' in this particular Strada's steering is down to the rubbish tyres it's wearing). However, the quoted 30lb difference in weight between these bikes is on the conservative side in my estimation. Difference feels greater. SP seems loads lighter.

All-in-all, on a warm sunny day I'd take the SP out of the garage far more often than I would the Strada. I just love the rawness it oozes. Moreover, having had more bikes than I care to count over the years, I've never ridden anything that turns heads like an SP4. You just can't sneak about on one of these!


Last edited by weeveetwin : 07-Oct-2006 at 08:17 PM.
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Old 07-Oct-2006, 03:32 PM
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I think Baines have an SP4 in now (or soonish)

Rgds, Rob
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