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Delayed Gratification – 2000 Ducati MH900e #552

Almost twenty years on, every one of the 2,000 MH900e’s has a story to tell.  This one evidently took a long delay before being ridden just 1,200 miles, and with only a couple of mods, looks excellent.

2000 Ducati MH900e #552 for sale on eBay

Pierre Terblanche designed the showy desmodue in the late 1990’s, the air-cooled 75hp piped through a six-speed transmission.  Almost every bit of the trellis frame and bodywork are sculptural, even the single-sided swingarm being a work of fabrication art.  Crowd response to the show bike was such that a short production run was arranged, glossing over issues like non-adjustable forks and almost-waterproof instrumentation.  Still it reviewed well for a special model, the fuel-injected drivetrain providing a nice torque curve and the long wheelbase lending stability to the situation.

As most MH900e’s have been, this one appears babied, with a bar-end mirror replacing the frail wing mirrors.  Finishes are in top shape, and often-replaced items like the chrome clutch cover and tube mufflers are still stock.  Comments from the eBay auction:

  • I bought this MH 900e Hailwood new in 2002, and did not have a chance to commission and ride it for several years.   It is now ridden sparingly and kept indoors.
  • I am the original owner. The bike currently has a little over 1,100 miles on the clock (mileage may change as I do still take it out occasionally)  and is in almost perfect condition.  There are no scrapes, dings, dents, cracks, only the slightest and usual evidence of wear commensurate with the low mileage.  The clear plexi fairing has two tiny shallow scratches from road grit or similar.
  • Mods:  I removed the original mirrors and handgrips  ( all are included in the sale), and the license plate carrier has been tailored to take the American size license plate versus the larger European one.   All regular maintenance was done by the regional Ducati dealer.
  • The machine, number 552 of 2000, comes with a clear title, the original handbook, and other literature, the original keys, and a factory commemorative plaque.  It is fast, light, perfectly balanced, and looks wild, even after 20 years.

The 2000 examples sold out within hours of the start of the web-only introduction, but production couldn’t be arranged until mid-2001 for a 2002 model.  Most reside indoors, and not even in the garage – hallway and dining room displays abound.  Namesake Mike Hailwood’s family took issue with Ducati’s appropriation of the name, and arrived at a settlement some years later.  Now finding their way to another generation of collectors, an MH900e never fails to transmit the excitement of two wheels.

-donn

 

3 Comments

  • For a long time I didnt understand the appeal of these bikes except as a collectors item/”manufacturered rarity”. Also the MH900e and paul smarts are supposed to have turning radi the size of a small moon (or space station if you prefer), the engine is kind of low power and the gas tank is tiny always made me think this bike wasnt appealing as a real motorcycle.

    But the last pic in this post really blew me a way..damn that’s a sexy rear end right there with the two chrome pipes. Personally I would park this somewhere where thats what I saw every time and just enjoy the view

    Mi

  • They must’ve misplaced the angle grinder that day… “Nah it’ll be fine. We’ll just leave the pipes 10 inches too long and tell them it looks cool.” Geez you couldn’t park that thing rear tire against the kerb – you’d block the bloody sidewalk!

  • They really were low production collectors bikes w/o intention of being ridden. The Paul Smart had a very poor rake/trail combination that made riding it not much fun for such an expensive motorcycle. Not a fun riding position and referenced turning radius plus not a lot of power. Having said that, the MH really looks nice IMO.

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