Difference between revisions of "Ducati 851 Prototype"
Revision as of 00:49, 15 June 2019
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Ducati 851 Prototype
1987 saw the introduction of a new four-valve, water-cooled L-twin engine in Ducati's new 851. While the air/oil cooled two-valve motor was and continues to be a motor with impressive tuning potential and durability, it had hit its performance limit in racing, and something new was needed to compete against the four-cylinder bikes from Japan. The liquid-cooled twin was based generally on the air/oil cooled motors: the clutch covers are even interchangeable. But the new engine could rev higher and breathe better, and this meant that Ducati could once again compete on the world stage. Displacing, strangely enough, 851cc's and producing nearly 100hp in roadgoing trim, the bike challenged the high-winding fury of the fours with a thundering midrange, while the narrow engine allowed for slipperier aerodynamics.Some bikes look great, no matter what paint scheme, like Ducati's 916: in nearly any color or race-rep scheme, it always looks terrific. Some are best as roadbikes, like the Triumph Daytona 675: the missing headlights on track bodywork give the bike a sort of blank look to replace the smirking catlike face of the stock machine. Other bikes look much cooler in track bodywork: I really dislike the design of recent GSX-R's in roadbike trim, but somehow that bulging fairing center that replaces the headlight on an aftermarket fairing gives the bike an aggressive, shark-like aspect. With slab-sided bodywork and rectangular headlight, I always feel like the 851 just looks dated as a road bike. As a race bike though, it looks brutal and purposeful and this example is much, much more than just some battered privateer 851 racer...