When a mythic Italian brand and one of the most famous racers of all time get together, it is usually for something special.
Mike Hailwood, known as “Mike the Bike” due to his astounding racing record of 14 wins in the epic Isle of Man TT, four consecutive 500cc World Championships, three 250cc World Championships and two 350cc World Championships. In his career, Hailwood won 76 races in 152 starts.
His last victory at the Isle of Man TT happened on a Ducati in 1978, after he had been retired for 11 years and no one thought he had a chance. He had been seriously injured racing Formula 1 cars years before, and he had not raced motorcycles in more than a decade. But Mike got on board the Ducati 900SS and won the race anyway.
Ducati celebrated Hailwood’s astounding feat by commissioning a series of Mike Hailwood Replica motorcycles.
The Pick of the Day is one of them, a 1980 Ducati 900 MHR, a first-generation example of the replicas that would span the 1980s in various forms. This bike has complete documentation from new, the seller says, and is an unrestored and completely original example of these storied special-edition motorcycles.
There is a lot to know about these bikes, and some are more valuable than others. The most valuable are those with the one-piece fairing. This example is one of the last of this breed, as well as being one of the first with a steel gas tank, which is much preferable to the earlier bikes with fiberglass tanks that can dissolve with modern fuels.
The seller, a St. Louis, Missouri, dealer advertised the Ducati on ClassicCars.com, gives an extensive description of this bike, noting that as a Series 1, it has all of the desirable Super Sport options, including the one-piece fairing, Conti silencers, 40mm Delorto pumper carbs with chip-pan filters and no side panels.
None of these Series 1 bikes were officially imported to the United States, and only a few are here now. The 1980 models were numbered #300 – #600, and this one is number #355.
Adding to this motorcycle’s provenance is that it was originally purchased directly from Mike Hailwood at his shop, Hailwood and Gould in Birmingham, England. It came to the U.S. 20 years ago and has been in a private museum ever since.
The asking price for this MHR is at the top of the market at $44,900, but when you consider this one’s provenance and originality, it is in line with current values. The Ducati Mike Hailwood Replicas are true blue-chip collector motorcycles, and they are quite likely to continue increasing in value.
To view this listing on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day.