1988 Ducati Tricolore Kit (Racing) New. 207 produced For Sale
Note, THIS DUCATI DESERVES TO BE IN A MUSEUM
Offers like this do not come around often, this is an extremely rare Jewel for the most discerning Ducati collection.
A very special Ducati and one of the first homologation special Ducati Superbikes for WSBK. The first race winner of a World Superbike Race. Ducati built these 851 Tricolore to go racing for the inaugural season of the World Superbike Championship in 1988.
This is not only an extremely rare example (currently the only one available for sale in the world), but a new unused preserved Official Competiiton for Client Race Bike. A factory supplied superbike that is quite possibly the only new remaining example with spares kit on original tires the world today. It is very rare indeed to find an historic motorcycle in this original configuration, exactly as it left the factory, complete with original tyres & 83 piece special parts and tools kit in its original Cagiva packaging.
1988 At the beginning of the WSBK championship, FIM homologation rules dictated that, depending on the size of the manufacturer (mainly Japanese at this time) to qualify, had to build a minimum of 2000 production examples that could also be used on the street. These Homologation specials were extraordinarily expensive, they cost over double that of a regular sport bike and it was difficult for the manufacturers to move enough examples for them to become cost effective. At this time, for smaller manufactureres like Ducati these numbers were reduced to 500 units.
Being a small producer, Ducati had an advantage and always known as a bit of a rule bender. This is actually very interesting as it is where it all starts, and here's why....
Ducati built the Tricolore edition in two batches. The first 207 units were built to order by private race teams, they were built with high value components and racing camshafts, clutch etc, these examples were called the KIT Superbike and completely sold out pre release. Soon after, they built 310 Strada versions in a much lower spec, that were in full street specification. Ducati got away with it, and much to Honda's demise, the rest is history, what followed was a truly golden age for the marque.
The 207 Kit Superbike units were extremely rare examples, It was impossible to get your hands on one of these Kit Versions in 1988.
It basically turned Ducati into the success story of today and without this model and prized example, its possible Ducati would have ended up like other Italian Racing Exotics Laverda. It is a true corner stone of the Ducati story.
The Tricolore 851 Kit is the founding homologation special and first official Limited Edition Superbike to come from the factory, then under Cagiva Ownership. The initial batch supplied on a competition for client basis, are incredibly rare today, those not crashed or modified over time remaining being locked away in the most privileged private collections.
1988, Ducati were in desperate need of a modern day superbike to replace the ageing air cooled TT and F1 race bikes. The Japanese manufacturers had changed the game, mainly with the introduction of the Honda RC30. It was a pure racer and Ducati were completely outclassed and outperformed with the then 750 twin.
So a collaboration between Ducati and Cosworth Engineering in the UK was undertaken to design a new Water Cooled Twin Cylinder Engine for the new 851. Cosworth designed the Desmodromic heads for the all new Ducati liquid cooled engine and paired with a Weber Marelli open loop electronic fuel injection system (originally designed for the Ferrari F40).
The project was a great success and the 851 was a true revelation, it was a highly desirable motorcycle and the Racing Tricolore became instantly collectible. This was a true Ducati Superbike for the modern era, with that distinguished sound of thunder like a banging old tractor that hardly seemed to accelerate, It was a game changer, incredible to hear the sound of the desmo beast against the screaming V4. You always knew where the Ducati was on track, those poor souls on the V4s must have wondered what on earth was going on behind them. This was the new Ducati and this incredible machine was tipped for great success.
The 851 was also the very first ever motorcycle to have Superbike actually written on it and had instant success on the race track winning not only the very first WSBK race at Donington, but also the 1988 and 1989 Battle of the Twins Championships. Soon after this power plant carried Raymond Roche, Doug Pollen, Carl Forgarty and Troy Corser to eight World Superbike Championships. It continued its developement through the 851SP, 888SP and 916 and 996SPS range until it was replaced with the fabulous Testastretta engine introduced in the 996r in 2001.
The 851 prototype was actually introduced in 1987 and was immediately successful in racing. The prototype dressed in the Italian flag colours, Green, Red and White, now known as the (three coloured), Tricolore livery.
It took Marco Luccinelli to its debut victory in the American Daytona Battle of the Twins, confirming to Ducati that the Big Twin was extremely competetive. Immediately the Bologna outfit applied to enter the WSBK championship for its inaugural season in which at this point Ducati were producing less than 3800 motorcycles per year under Cagiva ownership.
The company were desperate to get Ducati back into competition to compete against the Japanese manufactures 750 V4s. Using a V Twin motor was ambitious but in true Ducati style, built an ultra exotic and expensive limited edition racer that would require minor modifications for competition use. Taking full advantage of the homologation rules, the small Borgo Panigale manufacturer built an out of the box production race bike using the then highest quality components. 207 Tricolore Kit Bike examples were built, and 310 Strada meeting the governing bodies criteria of then, building a minimum of 500 examples to enable it to compete in WSBK as we know today.
Those first 207 hand built homologation specials distributed through the racing industry, were produced with, Michelin Radial Slick Tires, Conti Black Chrome Race Exhausts, Brembo Brakes, Marzocchi Forks, A braced Swingarm and lightweight Magnesium Marvic Wheels. These high spec units also benefited in performance by having a ventilated clutch, close ratio gearbox and race ready camshafts. The new engine was modified by the factory and in full race trim was capable of producing 132 bhp, however out of the crate with a factory claimed power output of 120bhp with a slightly detuned motor most probably due to reliability issues.
Already overwhelmed with orders from race teams, Ducati built the first batch of 207 Tricolore with only the front headlight and rear tail light.
The speedometer indicators and mirrors were excluded, however strangely there was also a side stand fitted. This batch also came with Michelin Track Tyres, a Paddock Stand, a substantial spares kit along with some special tools.
In true Ducati stile, the remaining units (to make 500) were built to a lower specification for street use and 310 examples were soon after produced called the Tricolore Strada. Many of these versions have been modified to look like a Tricolore Racing and have popped up in Auctions over the past few years, however care must be taken in identifying this as values are significantly lower.
The 851 Racing was a very capable race bike. So good in fact that it also won the very first ever World Superbike Race with Marco Lucchinelli at Donington Park.
Production started In June 1988, 207 Tricolore Racing Kit Bikes were produced with a list price of 26,500,000.00 Italian Lira (14,500.00 euro). Fifty four examples were sent straight to the US to enable it to compete in privateer race teams in the AMA and BOTT championships. Race teams in Europe, Japan and Australia purchased the remainder, however a handful of these examples were purchased by private collectors from race team owners and this includes our example n.155 which has remained with its single owner to date.
155 this example,
Produced 29 June 1988, the 851 was delivered to its single owner and apart from a quick lap of the owners car park on its maiden delivery, n155 has been dry stored and kept in a home in an enviable part of the world completely preserved for 31 years.
It comes complete with the coffee pot circle on the seat. An authentic flaw that appeared a few years after production on the first batch of the Kit Version. Rumored cause, of a factory worker putting a hot coffee pot on the roll of leather hide before the seat was actually made (this is important for true originality verification).
I cannot place enough testament to this Ducati owner and keeper who's dedication and care has shown it, the care includes regular recommissioning every few years and starting of the engine. This takes time, expense and is extremely unusual and unimaginable from this period to the world we live today.
N 155, is without doubt worthy of the most discerning collection, a real jewel and with prices constantly appreciating of these early Homologation Specials (RC30, RC45) this is without doubt one of the best value Ducati investments available on the market today. It is the complete package and a true relic in the Ducati story. It shows a few very minor aged related blemishes and is completely original other than the usual replacement belts, battery and chain. It is quite possibly the only remaining unused 851 Tricolore Kit Bike on its original out of the crate Michelin Radial Tires and full Kit Performance Parts included by the factory on the planet today.
For more information, a short video, please call or email. UK and Italian facilities available through the most discerning motor collection specialists. Available for viewing and free door to door transport.
Discretion assured, Any interesting PX considered and of course offers invited...
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