The 1981 Ducati Hailwood Replica motorcycle was designed in honor of Mike Hailwood, who began his racing career at the tender age of 18. Initially riding for the MZ Gran Prix team, "Mike the Bike" would later make the move to Ducati. During his career, he would chalk up nine world championships and claim victory in over 70 Gran Prix events. It seemed only fitting that the replica built to commemorate his success would turn out to be Ducati's best-selling model in the early 1980s.
Cloaked in the familiar red, white, and green of the Italian flag, the replica looks every inch a race bike. The GP-style front fairing is a one-piece affair that was later divided into two sections to allow for simpler access to the hardware that lurks within.
The race-proven 860-cc V-twin, complete with desmodromic valvetrain, seems right at home in the traditional Ducati birdcage chassis. The flowing two-into-one exhaust exits on the left side of the bike, and does little to mask the raucous note put out by the engine.
The extremely short clip-on handlebars help fulfill the illusion of riding a true GP machine, but make parking a nightmare. Hidden beneath the fiberglass tail section is a spot reserved for a brave and durable riding partner since comfort is not a consideration on a race machine -- or a replica.
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