Mike Haliwood is a pretty important figure in Ducati’s history as its name is strongly related to the Italian manufacturer.
When Mike Hailwood returned from New Zealand to ride the privateer Sports Motorcycles 900 SS in the Isle of Man TT F1 race in 1978, some say it was Ducati’s greatest victory ever. At 38, Hailwood had not raced at the Isle of Man for 11 years, but he beat Phil Read’s lap record by nine mph on his way to victory.
Ducati offered him a factory bike the next year, but it was unequal to the task: Hailwood finished 5th and did not ride it anywhere else. However the TT legend was alive and well, and Ducati marketed a Mike Hailwood Replica in 1979 in red, white and green. The MHR had Darmah Nippon Denso instruments and switch gear, Conti exhausts, Brembo brakes front and rear and 40-mm carburettors. The first MHRs had kick starts and one-piece fairings, and Motor Cycle Weekly tested one at 129 mph.