A look back at the 2001 Ducati MH900e


the Ducati The MH900e not only sported a beautiful exterior, but it also had a powerful engine and fantastic performance. However, the unique aspect of the bike was its rather odd but attractive bare design. The MH900e debuted as a concept bike in 1998 and turned heads. Ducati produced this bike to honor and commemorate Mike Hailwood’s incredible feat at the Isle of Man TT in 1978. This race was Hailwood’s return from retirement, and he won the race riding a Ducati 900 SS. Given the enormous popularity it gained after the victory, Ducati released the Mike Hailwood replica as a regular production two-wheeler, which marked the debut of the ‘MH’ badge.

Nearly twenty years later, Ducati chief designer Pierre Terblanche conceptualized yet another design that paid homage to the legendary Mike Hailwood and his motorcycle replicas while showcasing the company‘s latest idea at the Intermot Motorcycle. Expo 1998 in Munich. Terblanche proposed the initial MH900e design, which was presented at the exhibition. The “e” was added to the name to denote the evolution of the bicycle for its latest incarnation.

The first reveal of the MH900e was a huge success and Ducati received flood requests for its production, which Ducati honored with a special production version.

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The spectacular launch of the MH900e

A gray Ducati MH900e

Via Google / Bikes Republic

Ducati never made the MH900e as a regular production bike. Initially, the company had only announced 1,000 units up for grabs, but Ducati adopted an innovative way of offering it to buyers. The MH900e has never been sold in any showroom. Instead, Ducati sold it straight from their website through online bookings and advance payments.

Less than half a day after its online release, the 1,000 bikes were sold out with an overwhelming demand for more. Considering the possibility of more sales, Ducati decided to create another 1,000 units of the MH900e. This second batch of 1000 MH900e was known as the iteration of the 2001 Ducati MH900e. The popularity of this bike was such that 1000 freshly released units were also sold in less than a week.

Amazing design by Ducati

The 2001 Ducati MH900e

Via Google / Ducati Gallery

The design of the MH900e was bold, courageous and by no means conventional. With retro cues merged from the original MHR900 bike and a few handy design fixes, the bike was better than ever. The result was an eerie bare design that carried the single large headlight, fairing, tank graphics, and a single seat from the original bike. New improvisations were the half-fairing integrated into the fuel tank and a shortened tail highlighting the high-placed chrome exhaust mufflers.

The chrome plating of the exhausts was not part of Ducati’s plan. Instead, they followed the lead of an MH900e buyer, who suggested the idea. Ducati embraced it for good and demonstrated the company’s excellent ability to use market research techniques. Exhaust-mounted turn signals and reversing cameras sent feedback to a dash-mounted display displayed in the bike’s design. However, these did not appear in the actual iteration due to their impracticality and were replaced with conventional mirrors and indicators.

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The technicality of the frame

The 2001 Ducati MH900e

Via Google / Return of Café Racers

The bike was built around Ducati’s conventional trellis frame attached with a 43mm inverted fork at the front and a single Paioli shock absorber with a tubular steel swingarm at the rear. Two Marchesini five-spoke alloy wheels replaced the ultralight six-spoke wheels. Braking was powered by two 320mm semi-floating discs with 4-piston calipers up front and a single 220mm disc with Nissin single-piston caliper at the rear. The bike had a wheelbase of 56 inches and a total weight of 410 lbs.

The MH900e had a “show the engine” attitude and the entire engine and its components were visible from both sides. It was designed in such a way that the underlying trellis frame was barely visible, creating the illusion of a suspended engine. At the top of the engine was a 2.24 gallon fuel tank, and in front of it in the dashboard area was an analog tachometer accompanied by a digital speedometer and clock.

An efficient and powerful engine

The 2001 Ducati MH900e

Via Google / sinar

In addition to the design elements, the MH900e was fitted with the same engine as the contemporary 900SS. The bike was powered by a 904cc Desmodromic four-stroke V-Twin engine that produced 75 HP and 56 lb-ft of torque. The engine was air cooled and the cylinders were set at 90 degrees with two SOHC valves per cylinder.

Underneath the engine was a huge oil pan, and its design was taken from the original MHR bike. Engine power was controlled by a 6-speed transmission that fed the rear wheel via a chain drive.

The MH900e was a bold step from Ducati that turned out to be a huge success. Only 2,000 units were produced, making the MH900e a rare find today. The rest of these 2,000 units are all in personal collections and rarely appear at auctions, with a considerable price tag. Some websites on the Internet have listed the bike for sale, with a price ranging from $ 20,000 to $ 26,000.

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