Update 8.25.2019: This bike has sold to an RSBFS reader! Congratulations to buyer and seller! -dc
Our luck that Ducati was compelled to prove that their WSBK race machines weren’t too special, and a few hundred were made as homologation specials and offered to the cogniscenti. This 1990 851 SP3 can be displayed immediately, and shows just over 2,500 miles.
New owners Cagiva opened their checkbook wide for development of a 4-valve desmo engine, nicely oversquare with 11:1 compression, it claimed 111 hp from 888cc’s. Weber injection sprayed down 50mm intakes, and the fairing hides an oil cooler and water radiator. The classic white trellis frame shows Öhlins front and rear, and black wheels are a departure, but go well with the carbon mudguards.
Owned by a collector, this rare bird has been on the dais from early on. A previous owner selected a more vintage-looking exhaust, but otherwise it appears as delivered. It has been selected by RSBFS contributors as early as 2011, and sold at a Bonham’s auction in 2014, looking museum ready whenever it’s seen. With only 500 made, demand from insiders with connections to the brand makes one wonder if this might be the only stateside example.
From the seller:
1990 Ducati 851 SP3
Up for sale from my collection is a rare 1991 Ducati 851/888 SP3 #467 of 534!
The 851 is an iconic bike not only for Ducati, but World Superbike! The 851 helped to start the modern history of Ducati in World Superbike!
The 851 SP3 appeared in 1991. In addition to an increased motor capacity to 888cc and close ratio gearbox, it featured higher compression pistons, a forced air intake, which contributed to a slight power increase, Desmo 4 valve cylinder heads, fuel injection and water cooled, which amounted to 111hp at 10,500 rpm. The 1991 SP3 also featured stronger crankcases and updated clutch.
The Brembo wheels were painted black and the brake and clutch master cylinders included remotely mounted fluid reservoirs. Front and rear suspension feature Ohlins race proven technology.
Upgrades are minimal, brake lines, aluminum sub frame (around front by instruments by Jimmy Adamo), spaghetti exhaust with RARE Verlicchi megaphones and updated cylinder head studs.
This SP3 has been ridden very little with just 3823km (2375 miles) on the odometer. This is a rare low mileage investment piece!
Overall cosmetic condition is excellent, with work performed by Advanced Motorsports before I purchased it.
If this bike looks familiar, it was featured with a number of rare Ducati’s and sold at the 2014 Bonhams Las Vegas auction for $25,300.
Values continue to climb!
The bike was previously part of the Silverman Museum Collection.
Although a video was taken after delivery of the SP3 after I purchased it, it has been sitting in my collection. If interested in riding the bike, I would recommend preventative service before riding.
Bike is complete with original owners manual and clear Colorado title!
If looking for a desirable, investment quality Ducati SP3, this is one to consider!
Lee offers two videos of number 467, a walk around and a one with the engine running:
The 851 was the beginning of Ducati’s long-running appreciation for the proving ground and advertising venue that the Superbike World Championship provides. Two series wins with 888 power followed the 851, and then the 916 entered the picture. This SP3 is testimony to that great era, and though it likely won’t get the chance, could provide proof on the tarmac.