Difference between revisions of "Ducati 851 Strada"

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Ducati 851 S3 Strada
Ducati 851 S3 Strada
Manufacturer Ducati
Also called 851 Strada
Production 1988
Engine Four stroke, 90°“L”twin cylinder, DOHC, desmodromic 4 valves per cylinder, belt driven
Compression ratio 10.2:1
Ignition type Inductive magnetically triggered
Sparkplug Champion A59G
Battery 12V 14Ah
Transmission 6 Speed
Frame type Tubular steel
Suspension Front: Marzocchi M1R upside-down fork with rebound compression damping adjustable
Rear: Marzocchi Supermono shock with preload and damping adjustable, rising rate swingarm
Brakes Front: 2 x 280 mm Disc, 4 piston calipers
Rear: Single 260 mm disc, 2 piston caliper
Front Tire 130/60 x 16
Rear Tire 160/60 x 16
Wheelbase 1460 mm / 57.5 in
Seat height 760 mm / 29.9 in
Weight 185 kg / 408 lbs
Fuel capacity 20 L / 5.3 US gal / 4.4 Imp gal
Manuals Service Manual
Tech Specs · Brochures · Reviews · Ads · Videos


The engine was a Liquid cooled cooled Four stroke, 90°“L”twin cylinder, DOHC, desmodromic 4 valves per cylinder, belt driven. The engine featured a 10.2:1 compression ratio.


Power was moderated via the Dry,multiplate.


It came with a 130/60 x 16 front tire and a 160/60 x 16 rear tire. Stopping was achieved via 2 x 280 mm Disc, 4 piston calipers in the front and a Single 260 mm disc, 2 piston caliper in the rear. The front suspension was a Marzocchi M1R upside-down fork with rebound compression damping adjustable while the rear was equipped with a Marzocchi Supermono shock with preload and damping adjustable, rising rate swingarm. The 851 Strada was fitted with a 20 L / 5.3 US gal / 4.4 Imp gal fuel tank. The bike weighed just 185 kg / 408 lbs. The wheelbase was 1460 mm / 57.5 in long.


Ducati 851 S3 Strada Ducati 851 S3 Strada Ducati 851 S3 Strada Ducati 851 S3 Strada


Ducati 851 Strada

The 1987 – 1988 Ducati 851 Strada used the signature steel tube trellis frame, adorned with Marvic wheels, Brembo brakes and Marzocchi suspension. That first release was criticised for its handling, so front wheel was changed from a 16 inch to a 17 inch wheel, and even better suspension components fitted.

The 851, with its powerful liquid-cooled eight-valve V-twin engine, heralded the start of the modern era for Ducati. Previous superbikes from Bologna had been powered by air-cooled V-twin engines. Many had used the marque's unique desmodromic system.   which closes the valves with cams instead of the conventional springs. But the 851 with its four-valve heads and fuel-injection, was a considerably more modern and powerful unit.

Chief engineer Massimo Bordi had been determined to create an eight-valve Desmo twin, something his famous predecessor Fabio Tagliorti had always resisted. Bordi's 851cc engine retained Ducati's traditional 90-degrec V-twin layout. Liquid cooling, Weber-Marelli injection and the improved breathing of the new cylinder heads gave plenty of mid-range torque and a maximum output of 100bhp. making this the most powerful Ducati roadster yet.

Smooth and refined engine

The eight-valve motor was an immediate success. Smooth and refined, it was particularly notable for its exhilarating top-end rush. But the chassis was a different story. Problems of supply meant the original 1988-model 851, which was finished in patriotic red, white and green, was fitted with 16-inch wheels, instead of the 17-inchers it should have worn. The result was unpredictable handling despite the steel ladder frame's rigidity. A year later the 851 was revamped with all-red paint and so many changes that it was almost a completely new bike. Although the frame had a minor modification at the steering head, the key chassis features were the new 17-inch wheels. The Marzocchi suspension was of the highest quality, especially the longer rear shock, which had a compression-damping adjuster knob in the seat hump allowing easy fine-tuning.  The engine was also improved. Higher compression ratio, reshaped camshafts, modified fuel-injection and new exhaust mufflers combined to increase peak output to I04bhp. and the peaks of both power and torque were moved down the rev range. That meant that the 851 now had generous reserves of torque from 3000rpm to l0 000rpm. The Ducati simply stretched its legs as the throttle was opened, and charged forward towards its top speed of almost I50mph (24lkm/h). The original 851 had been a disappointment but its successor was the opposite. Its engine was stronger still, its detailing slicker, and most of all its handling had been transformed from disappointing to outstanding. As well as being a great roadster, the revised 851 formed the basis of a hugely successful racebike that took riders Raymond Roche and Doug Polen to three consecutive World Superbike championships.  Not only that, but the 851 "s liquid-cooled eight-valve V-twin engine was repeatedly enlarged and refined over the following decade and more, powering the string of stunning road bikes and World Superbike racing machines that made Ducati one of motorcycling's biggest success stories. Few false starts can ever have been put right so promptly and to such brilliant effect. Roadgoing Racer: the 888SPS The fastest Ducati roadsters of all during the late 1980s and early '90s were the limited-edition Sport Production or SP models created mainly for Italian racing. By 1992 the SP series had reached the SP4, and in that year came the most exotic version of all: the 888SPS, or Sport Production Special, of which only 100 were built. The SPS featured an enlarged 888cc engine with big valves, racing camshafts, higher compression, revised fuel-injection and loud exhaust system. Peak output was 120bhp at the rear wheel, 25bhp up on standard. Kevlar and carbon-fibre fuel tank and bodywork, Öhlins suspension and other chassis modifications resulted in a roadgoing racebike with superb handling, a top speed of over 160mph (257km/h), and a fearsome price tag to match.

Source of review: Fast Bikes by Roland Brown

Ducati 851 vs Ducati 1199 Panigale

Remember the Ducati 851? It came out in 1987 and blitzed the world of sportsbikes like few other machines have ever managed to. Desmoquattro V-Twin, liquid-cooling, fuel-injection, four-valve cylinder heads, 95bhp and a top speed of about 240km/h made the bike a bit special 25 years ago and that’s the way it remains today.

The 851 and its various avatars (851 SP, 888 and 888 SP) were produced from 1987 to 1993 and the bike won three World Superbikes championships – with Raymond Roche in 1990 and with Doug Polen in 1991 and 1992. By 1993, the Ducati 888 had twin fuel injectors per cylinder, power was up to 125bhp and the bike had the best bits that companies like Termignoni, Brembo and Ohlins were making back then.

The Ducati 851 was pretty much the top dog of its time, the baddest boy on the block. And that makes you wonder how the bike would stack up against the modern day Ducati 1199 Panigale, a bike that has, in one fell swoop, made every other superbike on the planet look old and slow and outdated. For their August 2012 issue, Motorcycle Sport & Leisure magazine have ridden the 851 and 1199 back to back, and here are some brief excerpts from what they have to say about the two machines:

"After riding both of them, it was the 851 that left the strongest impression. Where the 1199 feels overwhelmingly fast and verging on out of control pretty much the whole time on the road, the 851 is a manageable challenge. The older engine feels much more mechanical, like it has cannonballs in the cylinders instead of the oversized tennis balls of the 1199. The heavy throttle, heavy clutch and teeny-weeny steering lock combine to make eight-point turns on a busy road very interesting indeed."

"On the 851, there’s not a lot of room between the bum pad on the pillion cowl and the back of the fuel tank, so instead of hanging off, you tuck in and take wide, fast, classics arcs through corners. The 851 seems to need half the lean angle to go faster through the corners than a modern bike and it rides on well controlled suspension. Its handling is sharp, predictable and reassuring. Only the brakes gave its age away. If you think bike engines have advanced in the last 25 years, it’s nothing compared to braking performance."

So there you have it – the 851 can still, it seems, hold its own. Nobody is trying to imply that it would be comparable to the 1199 in terms of outright performance. It’s just that even with the passage of time – a quarter of a century, no less – the 851 hasn’t gotten fat and slow. And we’re sure Messrs Roche & Polen will be happy about that

Source: Motorcycle Sport & Leisure

Make Model Ducati 851 Strada
Year 1988
Engine Type Four stroke, 90°“L”twin cylinder, DOHC, desmodromic 4 valves per cylinder, belt driven
Displacement 851 cc / 51.9 cu in
Bore X Stroke 92 x 64 mm
Compression 10.2:1
Cooling System Liquid cooled
Induction Weber I.A.W. CPU P7 electronic fuel injection. 2 x 50mm throttle bodies
Spark Plug Champion A59G
Ignition Inductive magnetically triggered
Battery 12V 14Ah
Starting Electric
Max Power 75 kW / 102hp @ 9000rpm
Max Torque 71.2 Nm / 7.26 kgf-m / 52.5 ft-lb @ 7250 rpm
Clutch Dry,multiplate
Transmission 6 Speed
Primary Drive Ratio 2:1 (31/62)
Gear Ratios 1st 2.466 / 2nd 1.765 / 3rd 1.350 / 4th 1.091 / 5th 0.958 / 6th 0.857:1
Final Drive Ratio 2.6:1 (15/39)
Final Drive Chain
Frame Tubular steel
Front Suspension Marzocchi M1R upside-down fork with rebound compression damping adjustable
Rear Suspension Marzocchi Supermono shock with preload and damping adjustable, rising rate swingarm
Front Brakes 2 x 280 mm Disc, 4 piston calipers
Rear Brakes Single 260 mm disc, 2 piston caliper
Front Tire 130/60 x 16
Rear Tire 160/60 x 16
Dimensions Length: 2050 mm / 80.7 in Width: 700 mm / 27.6 in Height: 1130 mm / 44.5 in
Wheelbase 1460 mm / 57.5 in
Seat Height 760 mm / 29.9 in
Dry Weight 185 kg / 408 lbs
Fuel Capacity 20 L / 5.3 US gal / 4.4 Imp gal
Colours Silver frame, red, white and green
Road Test Moto.Revue 1989 Moto Sprint Group Test 1988 Moto Sprint Group Test 1989 Moto Sprint Group Test 1990 Motociclismo 1989