Mike Hailwood Replica: 1980 Ducati SI MHR

When it comes to replicas or special edition motorcycles, the Ducati S1 Mike Hailwood Replica, or MHR, is a new one to me. It’s certainly a striking bike, and based on the racing exploits and successes of Mr. Hailwood, it’s only fitting it look like a competition bike for the streets. There were a few different versions made, with the seller contending that this, an early edition, is the purest expression of a true sport bike, and quite fitting to have the Mike Hailwood treatment. Find it here on eBay with an asking price of $44,900.

The Series One replicas are desirable for a few reasons, but namely because they were built using the impressive Super Sport model as the basis of the recreation. This means all the hop-up parts, like the fairing, Conti mufflers, 40mm pumper carbs, and more. Propelling the bike was a 864cc air-cooled, 90-degree L-twin, which in this application, has had its gas drained and battery removed for display purposes.

While replicas of anything tend to be far from an enthusiast’s first choice, the MHR is an exception. Just 300 were made in 1980 atop the more desirable Super Sport platform. Considering it was both the earliest and the best example of the trim line, it’s of little surprise they are so desirable today. Since it was never officially sold in the U.S., a bike like this is sure to catch the eye of Ducati collectors.

The colors are great – the red frame, British racing green fairing and gold Campagnolo wheels are pretty much every significant competition color rolled into one chassis. The MHR hit the showrooms with a claimed 63 b.h.p. on tap, so this was a rare case of a special edition actually being desirable and high-performance-capable at the same time. As the saying goes, find another one. (Editor’s note: if you’re looking for a cheaper bike, check out this latest Barn Finds Exclusive posting for a large motorcycle collection.)


  1. Nevadahalfrack Nevadahalfrack Member

    PROS: Even now, almost 30 years later, an incredibly responsive machine with incredible engineering-the sum of a special few minds of the time.
    CONS: No rider assist tech for riders who THINK they can take this to 9-10/10’s and crash an irreplaceable machine.
    NEUTRAL: A worthy tribute to one of the most versatile racers in the world and as far out of reach as almost any of us are to Mike Hailwood’s talent with bikes or cars.
    A dilemma for any aficionado of fast machinery..

    Like 1
  2. geomechs geomechs

    I always thought Mike Hailwood was a Honda rider, but Ducati is a worthy machine as well. I remember the six-cylinder bike he rode back in the 60s. It seems to me it was only a 250. I was always fascinated that he would wear the toes out of his racing boots but never skin a toe on his foot.

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    • Nevadahalfrack Nevadahalfrack Member

      Great recall, geomechs, Hailwood won GP on the upstart Honda Corp. 6cyl 4 cam 250cc in 1966 and ‘67. I’ve never heard the part about him using the boot-toe as a feeler gauge for lean angle but then again that time was prior to leaning OFF the bike and instead leaning WITH the bike so it makes perfect sense!
      But 11 years after his retirement from racing (1978?) he was persuaded to race for Ducati in I think it was TT including a race at the Isle of Man in 1978. Somewhere in all this he raced the legendary Giacomo Agostini-What a race that must’ve been!

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      • geomechs geomechs

        That would’ve been quite the race to watch. Two major ‘heavyweights’ battling it out. I find it unsettling that Hailwood, after so many years risking life and limb, riding it out full bore at the track, meets his untimely end taking his kids to the fish’n’chips shop in London. A car or bus went through a stop light and crashed into him. I guess when your time’s up…

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  3. SMS

    Owned one of these. Easier to ride than a 750ss but not by much. Owned one of those too, man if I had only kept them. Nothing like it on a long fast sweeper.

    Maintance heavy bikes and worth it. Make or buy the tools and do the valve adjustments yourself.

    Most I’ve seen are in about the same condition. Reason is these are not fun or comfortable street bikes. Could be faster on a Darma (missing an “h” I think) on the street and much more comfortable.

    Would rather have a 750ss or Laverda SFC for this money. Don’t mean to be negative just having owned one is my opinion.

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    • Nevadahalfrack Nevadahalfrack Member

      I’m envious, SMS. Most of these were(are) our of my current fiscal reach but are icons to me nonetheless.
      Fitment is a key, too IMHO. My reach, inseam, torso length, prevalent muscle grouping and riding style may be much different than yours so we may have different points of appreciation for the same machine I believe.
      Regardless, you have owned them, I have not so you’ve much more time on them and I respect that!
      Enjoy every ride, SMS.

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      • SMS

        @ Navadahalfrack if you like these look into getting a Darmah. It has the stable slow handling of the earlier Ducatis, and all the mechanical sounds. With the wider bars you have more turning leverage for street riding and they are much more affordable.

        There are some videos of Mike the Bike riding. On this bike or the Darmah you can understand his style. They turn in slow and are rock solid once in the turn. Twist the throttle and let the torque pull you upright and out of the turn. So different from today’s bikes.

        Like 1
      • Nevadahalfrack Nevadahalfrack Member

        Thank you, SMS. It’s apparent that you love single-track machines too.
        Hope to cross tracks with you sometime-safe travels, my friend.

        Like 1
  4. Patrick S Newport Pagnell Staff

    Mike the Bike!

    Like 1
  5. WaltL

    My father-in-law bought a new 2nd Gen MHR 1000 in 1986 for about $8,600, I think. He had a ’72 750 GT (his first Duck) and an ’81 Darmah in the stable at the time. I rode with him many times on my ’82 Darmah and he let me ride the MHR a few times. It’s a long, tall bike and I’m 6-2, so I loved it in the mountains. After riding it for a year or so and being uncomfortable on it, he decided to sell it. He ended up trading it straight up for new, low mile ’87 Paso… Dohhhh! The guy with the Paso drove up from Miami and he couldn’t get that MHR loaded into his trailer quick enough… he new he was stealing it.
    Was a sad day to see that beautiful bike go.

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  6. Derek

    I have a 900 S2*. I recognise a lot of the parts as common!

    *needs a new clutch. Slips at high revs in 4th and 5th…

    Like 1
  7. RickMHR900ss

    A few errors in the description; the originals started in 79 not 80 and they are painted in Castrol colours. Mine is a late 80 series II, registered in 81 and is around number 1057 so many more bikes were made in 1980 than claimed. As stated earlier, it’s not town/city friendly; it needs open roads to breathe and to relieve the rider’s clutch hand. Maintenance is required but is also easy; shimming the Desmo valves is not a dark art as many claim it to be.

    Like 1

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