One of the most strikingly-styled bikes of the modern era, the Ducati MH900e looked backwards and forwards at the same time, celebrating their racing history and interpreting classic design cues in a very modern way. Looking at it, it's almost hard to tell exactly when it was first sketched by noted and occasionally infamous stylist Pierre Terblanche: the overall colors and shapes clearly recall the NCR racebikes of the 1980s and the chrome bezeled, white-faced gauge and the "Mike Hailwood" reference in the name are very 1970s, while the undertail exhausts, 17" wheels, and swooping curves are much more 2000. But the bigger question is whether or not this is more an art object, or a functional motorcycle.
Obviously, looking at the heart of the MH900e, you could be forgiven for thinking it's an actual motorcycle: that elegant tubular trellis frame surrounds one of the great street powerplants of the modern era: Ducati's air-cooled, two-valve v-twin. It's no powerhouse, with just 75hp at the rear wheel, but makes plenty of torque and sounds terrific, more emotive than Ducati's four-valve, liquid-cooled engines. The suspension is top-shelf and the overall package is lightweight so the bike has excellent handling, should you ever decide to venture out on a racetrack or backroad on one.
But the riding position is brutal, and clearly dictated by style as opposed to function. It does handle well, but plenty of great-handling roadbikes have reasonably humane ergonomics. Perhaps it's just as well then that the bike has an almost impossibly tiny gas tank that holds just 2.2 gallons. Oh you thought that huge thing behind the fairing held fuel? Surprise! It's an airbox! A larger tank is available from California Cycleworks but, unless you've got one of those, the stock unit wasn't good for much, even considering the twin's relatively good fuel economy. Maybe take a page out of the Harley guys that run peanut tanks on their bikes and sling a bit of gas in a thermos over your shoulder in case you run out before reaching the next gas stop.
From the original eBay listing: 2001 Ducati MH900e for Sale
I purchased 0037/2000 five years ago and it has been on display in my office in Los Angeles for that entire time. My understanding is that the original owner lives in Colorado. The second owner lives in Florida and I believe he owned the bike for only a year or two and is the one that put the mileage on the bike. I am the third owner and bought the bike in 2012 with 1204 miles on the odometer. To the best of my knowledge this bike is complete, original and unmodified. Sale includes all manuals plus a workshop manual with binder, the boxed plaque, T-Shirt, and two keys with key code.
The following items are included but are not attached to the bike: mirrors, kick-stand, and steering damper all of which are in excellent condition (see photos).
The bike is now 16 years old; rubber and some plastic parts are beginning to deteriorate (as they do on all vehicles). Several small plastic wire clips are missing. As a display bike I did not get any service work done and was reluctant to start it for fear of the timing belt breaking or other such issues. The cylinders have been oiled with a spray and the engine rotates freely. If you are planning on riding 0037 it is going to need comprehensive service and new tires.
The final four photos show the flaws. A leak at the petcock allowed gas to seep down the cylinder and on to the engine cases. The gas stained the paint and in trying to remove the stain I removed some paint (see photo). I have read on several forums that there are products that will remove these stains. Small dark spots show on the bottom castings. Since taking the shots I have able to remove or lighten most of them. The foam piece on the rear shock rod is broken. And finally the rear tire has been cut in places. I have no idea when or how this happened. This may have gone unnoticed when I took delivery of the bike. The stand is also badly scratched from raising and lowering the bike over the years and owners.
The batteries were removed and will need to be replaced. Clear California Title.
It's a shame all that the available performance is wasted in this case, since the bike hasn't turned a wheel in years, but not really a surprise, since many of these limited-production machines were snapped up by collectors and are only occasionally ridden. If you do plan to ride your investment, this will obviously need some work, but the hard parts of the MH900e should be simple to restore, since that same engine found its way into plenty of Monsters and SuperSports and parts to maintain, repair, or upgrade them are readily available. Or maybe even track down one of those larger fuel tanks, fit a later 1100cc DualSpark engine to create a faster, more usable machine, and put the original engine on display in your office!