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Ducati 851 Customer Build at ItalianIron Classics, LLC

Posted by Scot Wilson on

At ItalianIron we have restored primarily, Bevel Drive Ducati 750 Sports and 900 Super Sports, however, we do like building projects such as more modern Ducati 851's. One could argue that due to its age that an 851 is really a vintage motorcycle. 

Regardless, we have built or restored 4 Ducati 851's. My favorite is the Tri-Colore. Since I find that I cannot leave things alone, I did change a few things like the paint scheme by extending the Bimota metalic green through the front fender/mudguard and the switch the engine. It is exciting for me to see photos of my last 851/996 Tri-Colore on so many different sites. Ducati does design beautiful and purposeful motorcycles which also provides a wonderful "canvas" to use to make art. 

Additionally, my philosophy is to bring the most current upgrades for greater performance and safety. In the case of the featured 851 Tri-Colore, we used a modern (at the time) 996 S power plant for the improved power delivery of the "long stroke" 996 engine. Fortunately, I had an adjustable Corse rear suspension where I could adjust the suspension to work with the stock 996 engine with the different swingarm mounting point. This was before the factory build the Monster S4R that is effectively the evolution of the 851/888 frame with the Superbike engines. 

There were some very nice carbon bits such as an engine case breather box that really emboldens that deep growl of the Ducati Superbike Twins whether on track or on the street  This is especially realized when heard through the 2:1 F1 Exhaust system. Carbon airbox against the Corse silver frame contributes to that purposeful race look with better breathing and distinctly Ducati. I really enjoyed riding this Big Duke on club rides up the mountains that surround Tucson. 

I was contemplating building my last 851 but with a 1098 engine. With a little bit of work, the engine cases could be made to work with a 851 swingarm. However, we are talking about older technology and that combined with the death of a talented Dutch racer who had just completed "shoe-horning" a 1098 into an 851 frame, it proved to be too much torque and power to be controlled effectively and as such am starting this last 851 with a S4R engine so that it assembles easily and there is a good balance of power to weight and to the technology of the era of the 888/851. 

Stay tuned as I will start to post photos of the customer 851 in a Mugello Tri-Colore color scheme. I hope that you enjoy some additional photos of this bike. 


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