1989 Ducati 851 888 Factory Prototype Superbike Roche Falappa development

1989 Ducati Superbike

Price: US $25,750.00
Item location: Allentown, Pennsylvania, United States
Make: Ducati
Model: Superbike
SubModel: Factory Prototype Development Racer
Year: 1989
Mileage: 1,234
VIN: 851S859185
Engine size: 888
Vehicle Title: Clear

Fresh from over 20 years of ownership by Mario Calonaci is this Ducati 851 works SBK 1990 prototype.

He was a works Ducati mechanic for Giancarlo Falappa. season 1990. 1991. 1992 (and later in SuperSport with Gia. Ca. Moto Ducati 748 with Casoli) but his experience is impressive! He was partner of Segoni and was the mechanic for all his bikes through all the Endurance competitions in the 70’s. then 2 years in Formula One. etc… Unbelievable… 

The bike is amazing even if conditions are a little scruffy (stored since 1991. untouched!) as from every detail you see it is a real prototype- hand built!

It has many AMAZING details…such as the casting of the engine cases is marked 1987!!! Please note that production of 851 started in 1988. these are proper early prototype cases (you see also from other details).  

Following is the certification that Mario has written for the bike that explains the interesting story of this machine.  

Translation of letter of authenticity is closely as follows: A copy of the actual letter in Italian is available on request


I. Mario Calonaci. born. . living in…. as ex-Ducati works mechanic for the WSBK season 1990/1991/1992 for the rider Giancarlo Falappa declare that the bike 851 Racing (pic attached) marked 850185 is the prototype/test bike to develop the 4 works bikes ridden by Roche (world champion) and Falappa in the WSBK season 1990.

This bike started its life as Ducati 851 Racing mod. 1989 (production 1988) and was sold (for 70milions lira!)and delivered to Omega Corse Team of Bologna (original Ducati delivery document available as documentation). with this team Mauro Ricci. Ducati tester for road and race bikes. had to compete privately in the 1989 World Superbike. Being the bike not competitive after the first races of 1989 season he moved to Kawasaki but as he was a “Ducati man” working in the race department as tester he brought the bike back to the factory with the agreement that it was used as platform to develop the works bikes for the next season (1990) and as refund he will have had the bike back with all the right parts to compete in the WSBK privately but in the season later (1991) to do not be a competitor against the works Team in 1990.

Unfortunately Mauro Ricci died in a road crash in the same year. just after he collected the bike from the factory on the end of 1990 so the bike was unused.

I –Mario Calonaci- was a close friend of Mauro Ricci so I bought this bike from the Ricci family in 1992 and kept it until today.

As told. the bike was built using the 1989 851 Racing frame to test the new set up connected to the new 888cc engine capacity and it is the ONLY ONE fitted with this unique experimental swingarm that on the end was not used for “commercial” reasons. they decided to use one similar to the road production bikes for costs reasons ad to keep more similar to bikes that private customers were using on the road.

The rest of the bike has of course Superbike specifications with top tuned engine (in 1990 at 0kms). first 888 specs. with billet parts etc. with an impressive power of 143hp for 138kgs weight. Really impressive if you think that the 851 Racing for private Teams were 100hp for 165kgs! Wiring is in silver works specs. fairing is carbon fibre works specs. Ohlins forks with dedicated internal mods. Verlicchi magnesium yokes. first top race specs billet Brembo calipers. etc.

The bike was just tested by Roche and Falappa who confirmed the performances.

The bike is unique and original. and I –Mario Calonaci- worked at its developing in that period in the Ducati race department.

Bike is in the exact same condition as left in 1990 as stated. It is not in current running condition and would be advisable to do a major inspection prior to attempting to run it. Bike is being sold as is and is a worthy piece of history in the developing of the hugely successful 888 era World Superbike and AMA racers.

Bike can be inspected by appointment in Allentown PA. Export quality crating included as well as delivery to Seaport warehouse in New York or Philadelphia. Delivery within reasonable distance of 18109 for cost of fuel only. All other shipping FOB Allentown. PA.

Note added Saturday 12/27/14- Of course true mileage is unknown-Seller reserves the right to end auction early

Also published at eBay.com