Collectable motorcycles - especially those from the late 1970s through 1980s - are on the rise. Values have been notching up to the point where many of us can remember when "...you could buy one for (insert paltry sum here)..." This is true of practically any desirable bike in recent memory; for every bike there is a bubble developing. This certainly holds for memorable Ducati models - on the ropes in the late 70s & early 80s, Ducati fought back with a replica model dripping with nostalgia. Hopelessly outgunned by the technology of the Japanese, the 1982 Ducati Mike Hailwood Replica recalled a more successful time for the Bologna factory (specifically, the Isle of Man TT win in '78), and traded outright performance for repli-racer glorly. Today these are 5 figure collector models with a strong following.
Essentially an offshoot of the 900 Super Sport of the day, the air-cooled twin utilized a bevel drive to actuate the two-valve desmo heads. Claimed power was a reasonable 64 HP, which was decent in the day. Today this is a laughable sum achievable by entry level cycles, but there is nothing that can compete with the onslaught of time and tech. The pros of power delivery included usable torque throughout the rev range, and a very narrow profile. This was capitalized by the straight section trellis frame, enabling confident handling and impressive lean angles. Improved Marzocchi suspension and upgraded brakes elevated the original MHR from the standard SS. Additional chassi details included magnesium wheels and a model specific fuel tank feeding 40mm Dell'Ortos. Bespoke Conti mufflers completed the visual effect.
By 1982, the differences between the 900SS and the MHR shrunk down to all but bodywork and graphics. Magnesium wheels were replaced by more durable aluminum units. The model-specific gas tank survived, as did the larger carbs. But the real difference between the standard SS and the MHR was the bodywork; a large flowing fairing, tight talk section and new side panels all emblazoned with the star power of Mike Hailwood. Depending upon sources, an estimated 7,000 MHRs were built between 1979 and early 1986. Cagiva's takeover of Ducati in 1985 spelled the end of the bevel twin and the MHR model line.
From the seller:
Here is your chance to buy an extremely rare Ducati that simply does not come up for sale very often. I have owned this bike for over 25 years including back in Australia and brought it to the USA over 15 years ago. I never bothered to title it here as it was in my personal Ducati collection and I rode it very rarely, it had a noisy gearbox bearing on 5th gear so I gave it to a friend who was starting his own European bike repair shop and he was going to take his time and replace the bearing and freshen it up a bit...5 years later I had to take it back in the condition you see it here, I have all the parts safely stored in a plastic tote and it is complete, and the engine covers etc have all been polished. This motorcycle was invited to a special event of hailwoods held at daytona speedway where I got to meet nobby Clarke, Pauline and David hailwood and they all signed my tank, sadly those signatures have all faded but there is pics on the internet somewhere of the meeting and then signing my tank, I also got to ride this bike in the procession lap on the banked track where I got to open her up..I always swore I would never sell this bike and if I don’t get the money I’m asking I doubt I will.this is a matching numbers bike.. I have taken pics of the bike before I cleaned it...it has been in my air conditioned warehouse for the last 10years and will need a good going over, new Tyres etc...cleans up extremely well..
Ducati specs vary greatly within a given model year - partly due to the relaxed attitude of the Italian manufacturer during this time frame, and partly due to the initial destination of the bike in question. For example, US-based bikes came devoid of the Conti pipes due to noise regs (thank you, Mr. EPA). Thus is it not uncommon to find some variances in bikes built in the same year - making collecting a bit more of a challenge. What is stock and original can change from region to region.
This particular seller has committed every sin that RSBFS preaches against when it comes to the advert: Pictures are few and poor, and show a bike that could use a bit of cleaning. Instead of telling us that it "...cleans up extremely well..." it would be of great help to show us - by cleaning it up and *then* taking pictures. Nobody knows what the fiberglass looks like, the condition of the paintwork, etc. It also doesn't help to see that this is not a running bike - and may not be complete. I won't even ask why the rear cylinder is missing when the stated issue was a bearing in the tranny (maybe a bevel expert can help us out there). These are all very important items considering the starting bid opens at a cool $22k USD. Now a clean MHR is will definitely top $20k in today's collector market, but this one feels a bit closer to basket case than concours. I'm not sure the rarity of the model warrants a piecemeal example at this price, and thus far the internet agrees with me at zero bids. Check it out here and share your thoughts. Good luck!!