• Iconic race replica
• Featured in Motor Cycle News in 1983
• Present ownership since 2006
A landmark model that kept Ducati afloat during the 1980s, the Hailwood Replica owes its existence to Mike's legendary Isle of Man TT comeback victory in the 1978 Production Race riding an ex-works NCR bike entered and prepared by Manchester-based Ducati dealer, Sports Motor Cycles. Out of top-flight bike racing for seven years and away from the Island for eleven, Mike took on and beat the might of the Honda works team to win the Formula 1 TT at record speed. Ducati lost little time in capitalising on this outstanding success, launching a road-going replica the following year.
Like the race-bike, the MHR was based on the production 900SS, but - inevitably - had much more in common with the latter than the former. Most obvious difference was the full fairing finished in red, green and white, complemented by a glassfibre tank and racing seat. In fact, on the very earliest examples the 'tank' hid a steel fuel reservoir, glassfibre being illegal in the UK for tanks. Mechanical changes were confined to lighter wheels, usually by Campagnolo, and improved Brembo brakes, while the MHR's performance was pretty much the same as that of the 900SS: around 135mph flat-out.
The MHR offered here, registered 'A243 GLN', is the machine tested by Motor Cycle News for the report published in their edition of 19th October 1983 (copy on file). Captioning one of the photographs MCN said: 'Whatever you think about Ducatis, you can't escape the fact (that) the Hailwood, resplendent in its bright red and green livery, is among the most handsome machines on the road.'
The Ducati was acquired by the current vendor in 2006 and has not been used since 2008. It features a Harris twin-headlamp bikini 'endurance' fairing (a contemporary after-market accessory); a 'bevel gazer' transparent cam cover; braided stainless steel brake hoses; an aircraft-style fuel filler cap; and a Keihan SS exhaust system. Described by the vendor as in generally good condition, the machine will nevertheless require re-commissioning and the customary safety checks before returning to the road. Offered with a V5C document.