Additional photos of this 1988 Ducati 851 Strada are available here for your perusal.
Ducati released the 851 to the world in 1987 at the Milan Motor Show, and it was the introduction of four valve Desmo heads – or as the Italians called it, the desmoquattro motor. Thanks to the new heads, liquid cooling, and Weber fuel injection, the new engine was good for 105 horsepower. It made Ducati competitive on circuits again (they’d end up winning the 1990 World Superbike Championship with this model).
Per a story by Ian Falloon in Motorcycle Trader magazine, the 851 was offered in two variants the first year (1988), a Superbike Kit of 200 examples for WSBK homologation purposes, and a Strada street variant of which just 304 were built. This is one of the latter, and it’s adorned in the beautiful red/white/green Tricolore livery representing the national colors of Italy.
Built in 1988, this 851 was imported into Japan in 1991. The seller acquired it a year ago via a Japanese broker (our good buddy Graham Crump at GJC Trading in Kyoto) and believes it was previously on display in the showroom at Murayama Motors in Tokyo, Japan.
He is a motorcycle collector with criteria that requires his bikes to be 100% original and have less than 10,000 kilometers. He states that this 851 has never been repainted or dropped and is entirely original.
A month ago, he had a service performed which included an “annual review to the standards of the manufacturer”: oil/filter change (Motul 5100 10W40), air filter, NGK spark plugs, brake fluid flush, a tightness check on all frame and engine bolts, and a test ride. The seller also replaced the timing belts and rollers, noting that they were not in bad shape but seeing as they had the engine open up for inspection “it was wrong not to take the opportunity to change this kind of wear item.” A copy of the ~$940 invoice is available here in French.
The seller is letting this go as he has since acquired another 851 Strada Tricolore with less kilometers on the odometer, and he ‘does not need a second one.’ Have any questions or 851 stories? Let us know in the comments below!