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Ducati 998S Bostrom

Year of specifications 2002
Engine 998 cc, DOHC V-twin
Transmission 6-speed, chain
Top speed 180 mph
0-60 MPH -
Horsepower 136 hp @ 10,000 rpm
Weight 187 kg, 412 lbs
Seat height 790 mm, 31.1 inches


The Ducati 998S Bostrom was a racing replica of the 2002 superbike ridden by Ben Bostrom. Only 155 models were built, and the design of the graphics splashed all over the fairings was taken from the design of Bostrom's helmet.

Every example of the 998S Bostrom was signed by the rider, and in addition to the facy paintwork, the bike also featured Ohlins forks, rear shock and steering damper and race-style Brembo front brakes. It was also lighter too thanks to extensive use of carbon fiber.

Review by: Guy W.
2002 Bostrom No 55 of 155, deep sump European version.

I have owned the bike since new and it was a love hate relationship for a while. Now it is fantastic, a very rewarding ride, and the power delivery never fails to impress. The whole problem with Ducati's is build quality. I have had four problems with the Bostrom:

1) The right hand clip on snapped off as I took it off the side stand since the the bolts holding it on had been installed incorrectly, placing stress in the wrong places. Could have killed me.
2) No O-ring on the inlet tract on the rear cylinder, meaning water dropping down into the tract in wet weather.
3) Electrical failure (lights) which was fixed under warranty
4) At 3500 Mile service the rear cylinder cam bearing surface was found to be heavily pitted, new cylinder head needed (under warranty), but it could have snapped the cam belt, seized the motor, and caused injury to me or other road users (it was slowly seizing up).

All of which are avoidable with proper QC at the factory.

So be careful if buying one of these bikes, once sorted they are great.



Review by: Anonymous.
I've had a 998 Bostrom and a 999 Fila. There is no problem with build quality in Ducatis - I've owned and own lots of them. Perhaps the other reviewer got a bad bike or is making some of these issues up. The bike I had ran flawlessly. Strong motor, great chassis, and was a blast on the track. I had the suspension sprung for my weight and the front end re-valved with some newer components, and the thing was incredibly well mannered in turns, even on rough pavement.

During the several years I owned the bike, I went through standard wear parts - brake pads, a clutch pack, and the belts were changed twice as they were due based on mileage. The thing was rock solid.

Only change I'd make would be the addition of a nice slipper clutch, now that I've discovered how good they feel.


Review by: Simon
I have owned two of these replicas, and my current Bostrom has 5,000km, revised gearing, slipper clutch, reversed quick shifter (that never worked well like on the 999R), eventually I removed it. Additionally fitting Mavric carbon wheels and some suspension updates provides a very responsive turn-in. Previously I had a 998R normal version which broke a piston after 5,000km. The engine was replaced by Ducati under warranty but I never had confidence in the bike after that.

Having had 7 Ducati motorcycles in my time, I found the quality and overall package great. If you compare to the cheap but flashy finish found on most Japanese bikes you will appreciate more. The 999R Fila was probably my least favourite, but very reliable and with few modifications was a very competitive bike.

MV Augusta produce a higher quality finish of motorcycle, but with japanese brakes and screaming 4 cylinder engine, I did not enjoy the experience that one will find with a Ducati.

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