A landmark model that kept Ducati afloat during the 1980s, the Mike Hailwood Replica (MHR) 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.
Destined mainly for the UK market, the first 200 MHRs came with two separate seats: one solo, the other a dual seat, whereas later versions had a single 'convertible' solo/dual seat. The lack of any side covers is another distinctive feature of very early MHRs.
A 1982 (kickstart) model, this example has the more practical two-piece fairing introduced for 1981 and the larger side panels designed to hide the battery and has covered a mere 8300kms.