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#467 of 534: 1990 Ducati 851 SP3 for Sale

1990 Ducati 851 SP3 L Front

The Ducati 851 debuted in 1987 and featured brand-new four-valve heads and liquid-cooling, revolutionary design features for the already venerable 90° L-twin. The Pantah engine, while very durable even under racing conditions, was limited in terms of outright power by its two-valve heads and air/oil cooling. Ducati wanted to compete in World Superbike racing, and this was the result.

1990 Ducati 851 SP3 R Side

The SP3 was similar in concept to Ducati’s “R” versions today and was intended to homologate the bikes for WSBK racing. The higher-compression SP bikes actually displaced 888cc’s and used a close-ratio gearbox along with Öhlins suspension components. Reports of power varied, but something north of 110hp at the crank would probably be accurate.

1990 Ducati 851 SP3 Dash

What’s interesting is that the SP3 was actually introduced in 1991, and this bike is listed as a 1990, which should have made it an SP2. It does feature the plaque on the top triple, along with the characteristic upswept pipes and black wheels appropriate to the model. The photo isn’t all that clear, so I thought maybe the “3” was really an “S,” but the SPS was a variant of the 888 and introduced much later, in 1992…

So assuming this is a genuine SP3 that is just titled incorrectly, you’re looking at a very rare motorcycle, with just 534 made.

1990 Ducati 851 SP3 L Side Fairing

From the original eBay listing: 1990 Ducati 851 SP3 for Sale

Out of the 500 that were made of this bike, this is stamped #467. The 851 Superbike won WSBK in 1990. This is a wonderful specimen with a unique aftermarket exhaust, which sounds absolutely amazing. This bike does run, and it runs very strong.

1990 Ducati 851 SP3 R Side Detail

There are just over 3,000 miles on the clock and, although some of the photos are less than clear, this looks like it’s in excellent condition. But even given the limited production, that $32,000 starting bid is pretty jaw-dropping. It’s been a while since I’ve seen one of these up for sale, but that price seems pretty ambitious. There is still a full week left on the auction, so I’m curious to see how much serious interest this bike generates.

-tad

1990 Ducati 851 SP3 L Side

6 Comments

  • Ambitiously priced is an understatement. That exhaust has no place on this bike and how dare they present with such fuzzy unprofessional photos. This is one of my most favorite bikes of all times and yet seeing this eBay ad disgusts me

  • A vivid imagination ill give them that anyways

  • I think people might want to be careful with this auction, it appears to be a relist bike we had here on RSBFS previously in which the bike was listed several years ago in Michigan. Only difference I am seeing is the price is higher and the mileage is 9 miles more than what is when it sold a few years ago.

    On the plus side, the previous posting had a lot more pics

    below is the link to the old RSBFS post/auction
    https://raresportbikesforsale.com/italian-collectible-1991-ducati-851-sp3-for-sale/

  • Is this from the same guy that is selling 888 swing arm end caps in carbon for $1,100 over on eBay?

    As they saying goes….you can always pass on this opportunity…or buy the other one for sale.

    There aren’t many of these in North America…but not sure I’d be writing a check for $20k+ for one of these. And I love me a 4v Duke.

  • looks like the same bike to me and for certain its a 91 and not 90, Why would ducati build a bike bike in 1990 with a badge saying they won the WSBK in 90? 1990 would have just about been over by the time the championship ended.

    Werent those Jimmy Adamos bikes or dads bikes? Ducati racer from MI, In the background is a TT1 another bike he had for sale and was posted here back in 2011. Did Erico Motorsports buy his collection?

  • tt1 was never for sale, only on display.

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