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Ducati 851: Get 'em while you can!

Published: 26 April 2017

Bikes for sale

The Ducati 851 is 30 years old this year, but even after all that time they're still sought after machines, which means the two currently up for sale at probably won't be around for long, so you'll have to act fast if you want one in your garage.

There's the standardd 851, named the 851 Strada, and then there are the WSB homologation specials - the SP2 and SP3. In 1992 the 851 got a capacity hike to 888cc and became available in Strada, SP4 and SPS variants. For the final year in 1993 Ducati introduced the 888 SP5.

1992 Ducati 851, £6,595

This 1992 example has covered 28,000 miles, so it's seen some use, but it still looks in great condition. In 1992 the 851 got a revised body with sharper tail, new curved radiator, plus a steel tank in place of the alloy one. Susppension was changed to Showa at both ends.


1991 Ducati 851 SP3, £11,495

The SP3 was Ducati's WSB homologation special, complete with an 888cc engine, Ohlins suspension, Brembo brakes, aluminium subframe and monoposto seat. The price of this one reflects this, but just look at it.

Our Senior Road Tester Michael Neeves has fond memories of an 851 SP3: "Back in 1991 my mate’s brother bought an 851 SP3 and it was the first time I’d really sat up and taken notice of a Ducati. It was a thing of beauty with its white frame, blood red paint, upswept pipes, Ohlins and lashings of carbon fibre. With its Termi pipes it sounded like a bomb going off when he started it and the rattle of the dry clutch just shouted ‘factory race bike’.

"Every time I saw it I would just sit and gawp at it for ages, but one day he let me have a go. I had a GSX-R750 at the time and the SP3 was lighter, faster and 100% more special. It’s a ride I’ll still never forget to this day. Any time I see one now, which isn’t that often, I think back to that time. Thank you Matthew Rook."

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