Desirable ex-race bikes on eBay

Where that gorgeous 1199RS will be in 10 years...

SEEING the Ducati 1199RS that's set to be hitting race tracks this year led to the inevitable pools of drool and gasps at the price tag. But what will become of these things once their race career is over?

A quick search of eBay reveals two very different stories of uber-desirable machines now long past their glory days.

First up comes this – an ex-GSE Racing Ducati 996RS. At £22k, it's not cheap, but equally it's only a stone's throw from the price of a new, road-going 1199S. But read the description and its heritage is a little more confusing; “assembled from parts supplied to the GSE HM Plant team” - it's clear this bike can't easily be given a direct link to a particular rider.

It's not unusual in racing, of course, and the bike's not pretending to be anything else: race bikes are stripped down regularly, and teams won't keep particular machines' components together. No doubt bits of this bike were ridden by Toseland and Hodgson, but identifying the history of those components could be a near-impossible task.

At the other end of the scale comes this. Yep, that's a Yamaha OW-01 ex-racer being offered “spares or repair” - no hint of history other than the fact it was originally road registered with a James Whitham appearing on the V5 as its first owner. Is there some interesting - and potentially valuable - history hiding in its no doubt eventful past? And would you dare part with £6.5k to find out?