For Sale: 1979 Ducati 905cc NCR Racing Motorcycle
One of a small batch of machines built by NCR for TT Formula One and FIM Coup d’Endurance racing, this 1979 Ducati 905cc NCR Racing Motorcycle is a mint-condition marvel. It will go up for sale at Bonhams’ Spring Stafford Sale on the 26th of April.
NCR in Italy worked on the philosophy that everything could be improved by adding lightness or power, or by fine-tuning the details. In the late ’70s they supplied a batch of motorycles to Sports Motorcycles for Mike Hailwood, who was set to make a comeback ride in the 1978 Isle of Man TT having been out of professional bike racing for seven years and away from the Isle of Man for more than a decade.
The bikes had Daspa frames and 864cc desmodromic engines that put 90bhp through the rear wheel thanks to worked cylinder heads, larger valves, higher compression pistons, Lucas RITA ignition, stronger dry clutch, tougher gearbox and Malossi-modified 41mm Dell’Orto carbies. They could hit 149 miles per hour.
Mike Hailwood put that speed to use, creating a legend for the bikes by smashing the Honda works team and winning the Formula One TT with a new speed record. In practice he lapped at 111 miles per hour, and in the Formula One race he set a lap record of 110.62 miles per hour.
At the Post-TT race at Mallory Park a week later Hailwood beat Honda again, and would continue to pick up wins in the Endurance Championship.
This particular NCR Ducati is one of five manufactured for 1979. It’s had just two owners through its lifetime and has only been used in parades and hill climbs.
Its engine was opened for the first time recently to allow a Ducati expert to determine its originality and condition and that report is included with the bike.
While it may not have a binder full of race results to its name, this bike benefits from its condition and originality. It’s a beautiful thing indeed!
It will head to auction at Bonhams’ Spring Stafford Sale on the 26th of April. For more information hit this link to Bonhams’ website.
Images via Bonhams