Ah, the Ducati 851. Back to our regularly scheduled program. Aside from the green frame 750SS, the 851 is THE bike that put Ducati on the superbike racing map. Taking the base Pantah rubber band motor and dipping it into a vat of fuel injection, four-valve heads and liquid cooling, the 851 invented the modern distinction between Ducati Supersport and Superbike models. It also cleaned up at the racetrack, thanks to rules that allowed two cylinder race bikes to enjoy a capacity advantage over the predominant Japanese fours. Today, these models continue to make excellent street bikes, with decent, usable power across the rev range. They are also gaining in collector value, although the homologation models and specials (think SP models for racing) will usually lead the trend. Today’s example is a bread-and-butter Strada, the base model for the series. Displacing a true 851cc (unlike the next-generation 888 motor in the SP), the Strada is geometrically identical to the faster and more expensive models in the lineup, and includes a second seat and fold-down hand-holds for a passenger.
From the seller:
Own a piece of Ducati history with the Ducati 851 Strada!
1992 was the last year of the 851 before the 888 came along.
The Ducati 851 single-handedly made Ducati relevant in racing again. It features the famous trellis frame, twin-cam four-valve Desmo heads, fuel injection, and is water-cooled. Showa adjustable front suspension and Brembo brakes front and rear made this bike ride and brake like no other.
More from the seller:
This bike has been in hibernation for a few years, but it is now a runner and a rider.
The bike shows 11,528 miles on the odometer and is being sold as-is.
There are a handful of things we would recommend it will need to get it entirely up to snuff:
– Coolant flush
– Brake fluid flush
– Oil and filter change
– Timing belts
– New drive chain
– New tires
The odometer doesn’t work – it stopped working approximately 500-600 miles before storage
This particular example of the last generation of 851 looks to be complete, save for the pillion cover to make the 851 appear to be a faux solo seater. There is some patina across this one as well, indicating that it may not have been as loved as the specimen example currently parked up on a pedestal at the Barber museum. It also has a pretty unknown history, the seller claiming this is a runner and a rider – but then offers a lengthy list of major service items. To top it off, the 11,528 miles listed on the odo is known to be incorrect, given that the mileage counter gave up the ghost “before it was put into storage a few years ago.” Despite this, the bike still looks good, and is quite presentable for the age.
Apart from the service requirements and age-related ouches around the bodywork, the 851 remains a solid performer both on the road as well as in resale markets. The Strada specification tempers the growth some, but the rising tide of valuation lifts all boats. The seller is asking $14,500 for this one, which is definitely on the high side of what we have seen for the model. But the seller is also open to offers, so there may yet be an opportunity for interested buyers. The bike is located in Texas, and the pictures show California plates. Look closely at the pictures, do your homework, and be sure and jump over to the auction to check out all of the details. Good Luck!!