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Understated: 1990 Ducati 851 SP2

The Ducati 851 as a general model launched the Italian manufacturer into WSBK super stardom. Instantly competitive on the racetrack, the 851 began a run of championship titles and spawned a new line of track-worthy superbikes for Bologna (a trend that continues in both WSBK and MotoGP to this day). The 851 started it all by ushering in a new era of liquid cooling, 4-valve desmo heads and fuel injection, all wrapped in the instantly recognizable trellis frame. But today’s bike, a rare SP2 model, started yet another Ducati trend by upping the ante from the standard Strada base model and introducing a larger capacity engine under the covers: the mighty 888. Sure, the bodywork says 851, but this was no ordinary 851.

1990 Ducati 851 SP2 for sale on eBay

While the triple 8 bowed in showrooms alongside the base 851 in 1992, the top spec 851 already proved the value of the motor in 1990. And by stuffing the bigger motor in the 851-branded bike, the SP model allowed for homologation – and therefore became a valid entry in WSBK competition (won in 1990 by Raymond Roche). The SP2 was more than just an 851 with a bigger (better) motor. The transmission more closely resembled the close-ratio unit found on the 851 Superbike Kit update, suspension was upgraded to higher quality Ohlins units front and rear, front brakes were upgraded to cast iron floating rotors, and the single seat tail section was suspended by an aluminum subframe. All told, the dual injector 888 roared and snarled its way to a stout 115 HP.

From the seller:
You are bidding on a 1990 Ducati 851 SP2 it is estimated that Ducati only produced 400-425 units of the SP2 model, this is example is #390. Throughout the run of the 851 and 888 Ducati released five special production runs designed for homologation purposes; The second model (SP2) was introduced in 1990 and came equipped with the legendary 888 engine, fuel injection, and Ohlins suspension. The SP2 was also equipped with many other special model features, below this description I have listed all of the special features the SP2 models were equipped with. This particular 851 SP2 model is in all original condition with the exception of the Termignoni exhaust pipes, and has an exceptionally low 6526 kilometers (4059miles) on the odometer. But please feel free to read more about the specifics of this bike and look at the pictures for verification.

More from the seller:
All of the body panels are in excellent condition, there no cracks or any paint nicks anywhere. The white frame does have some very faint cracking from age but no major chips. Overall the motorcycle is a 9.5 out of 10 cosmetically. Mechanically the bike runs and rides perfect, there are no oil leaks anywhere and all of the engine paint is in good condition. All of the electrical components work as they should; lights, blinkers, horn, speedo, tach, temp gauge, all work properly. The bike just had a full service tune up so mechanically everything was inspected and replaced if necessary with original Ducati parts.

When new – and if you could find one – you would expect to pay just on the other side of 20 large bills (MSRP) for an SP2. Today the market remains strong for these remarkable rarities; especially one as clean and low mileage as today’s find. Prospective bidders should note the lack of a 17 digit VIN, indicating this is an imported bike; the Veglia speedo is marked for KMH only. For states with a 25-year rule, registration is likely possible – but buyers are cautioned to do research for your own locale. And registration is important, as who wouldn’t want to fire up this bad boy and do the needful? Check out all of the details here, as bidding has been aggressive and the reserve still in place at $18k. Good Luck!!

MI

6 Comments

  • Mamma mia; cosi bella!

  • I wouldn’t kick this thing out of my garage.

  • Anyone know what the bracket with 2 small holes welded to the right side frame rail below the front of the fuel tank is for?

  • A helmet lock is mounted there on standard 851s

  • Umm yeah This is a good one.

  • Reserve wasn’t met at $26,100:
    https://iconicmotorbikeauctions.com/auction/1990-ducati-851-sp2/

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