Ducati Sport Classics (2005 – 2010): Future Investment

Author: Bike Social Investment Specialist Posted: 20 Mar 2015

Bang on current trend: Ducati's Sport 1000S

2005 – 2010 Ducati Sport Classics

With all the hype currently surrounding the Scrambler, now is a great time to reflect back on the bikes that perfectly demonstrate the importance of timing in the motorcycle industry. If Ducati had unveiled their SportClassic range of bikes last year the whole world would be going SportClassic bananas, as it was they chose to release them in 2005…

Initially debuted on the limited edition 2002 Mike Hailwood replica MH900e, of which only 2000 were made, Ducati chose the Tokyo Motorshow of 2003 to unveil a whole new range of prototype machines under the ‘SportClassic’ banner. While the reaction of people at the shows was positive enough to encourage Ducati to push the production button, sadly they very quickly realised that people liking and people actually buying something are two very different prospects.

Designed by Pierre Terblanche, who was already under fire for the 999, the first of the SportClassic range were the limited edition 2005 Paul Smart replica and standard Sport. Styled on Smart’s 1972 Imola winning 750, it came with an air-cooled 992cc motor, silver half-fairing and cool sea green frame as well as Ohlins suspension and a price tag of £9495 that reflected its limited run of 2000 units. The Sport, which was launched alongside and cost £7495, took its styling from cafe racers and the 1973 750 Sport and although it shared a chassis (with lower spec suspension) and engine with the Smart, it had a single front headlight and yellow paintwork. Two great looking bikes that certainly pulled on the heartstrings, all should have been well for the SportClassic range, however it wasn’t to be.

Limited edition Paul Smart replica from 2005

In 2005 the motorcycle world was a very different place to what it is today. Fuelled by the technology war in the supersport and superbike classes, riders were demanding ever-increasing power and performance figures. While nowadays the litre bike class is going through a similar revival, it is offset by the emergence of the retro class with bikes such as the Scrambler and Bonneville appealing to both young and older riders who are after something different that can be ridden on a restricted licence.

Irritatingly for Ducati, in 2005 this subculture didn’t exist.

Despite looking cool, the SportClassics weren’t attracting younger riders and instead an older generation of Ducati fan was left to take them on test rides. These riders didn’t appreciate the Sport or Smart’s low clip-ons bars so aging wrists and creaky knees complained bitterly. Ducati responded by re-positioning the bars on the Sport, but the warning signs were there for all to see. Would the next SportClassic be the range’s saviour?

A year after the Sport was unveiled, Ducati released the GT1000. Taking inspiration from the 1971 750GT, this SportClassic introduced a more relaxed riding position with flat bars, twin chrome pipes and a spacious rider/pillion seat. This was the bike the older SportClassic fan was waiting for, however by this time Ducati had teased them for too long and they had run out of patience. Even the introduction of the Sport 1000S, which was essentially a cheaper Smart bike, wasn’t enough to save the SportClassic range and in 2010 production was stopped. Which is when, ironically, the market started to develop…

Ducati's GT1000, inspired by the 1971 750GT

To be brutally honest, when talking a future investment and buying to make money that boat has well and truly sailed for the SportClassic range. If you were after one in 2009 you could have had your pick for under £4000, nowadays you will be lucky to find one for anything less than £6000 and if you want a Paul Smart rep then brace yourself for a shock. However what a dealer wants and what they get are two very different things and the arrival of the Scrambler will be causing a degree of concern within showrooms.

The SportClassic range owes its inflated price tag, not to mention its initial failure, to fashion and if you live by the sword you also die by it. Fashion conscious buyers won’t be bothered by the SportClassic’s extra 200cc over the Scrambler and may even be put off by its styling. The GT1000 is quite subdued and while the Sport 1000S is bang on current cafe racer trends, the standard Sport is a little wide of the mark. The problem for anyone trying to sell a SportClassic is that Ducati are now offering a cool looking brand new retro bike with an affordable finance package and easy customisation. If you weren’t really ‘into’ bikes in a geeky way, would you pick a ten-year-old used Ducati over that? And Ducati has also announced they are expanding the Scrambler range even further, it doesn’t take a genius to work out a cafe racer must be in the pipeline.

Ahead of its time: Sport1000S

At the moment used dealers are chancing their arm, hoping that fashion will blind buyers and encourage them to pay over the odds for a SportClassic. But this situation won’t last. If you have a SportClassic and are considering parting with it then cash in now and be happy your investment has paid off. However if you are in the market for a used one the best advice is to hang on as it looks like the SportClassic bubble has burst thanks to Ducati getting their timing bang on this time around with the Scrambler.



 Air-cooled, 4v, desmo V-twin


 92bhp @ 8,000rpm


 67.3lb.ft @ 6,000rpm



 Original price

 From £6995 - £9495


Ask the experts:

www.madeinitalymotorcycles.com - Made in Italy specialise in rare Italian motorcycles and if anyone can locate a SportClassic, or even an original 1970s Ducati, they can.

http://www.ducati.ms - An active Ducati forum with a section dedicated to the SportClassic range. Bikes occasionally pop up for sale here.

Do you own one? Did you own one and regret selling? Tell us your story.