1978 Ducati MHR 1100SS
When I first saw this bike on eBay I was wondering about the paint scheme as it’s the first time I had seen a MHR painted in anything else then Mike’s race replica colors. Then I saw the 1100SS and thought this one goes up to 11. If you already have, or have owned a MHR 900, this 1978 Ducati is going to be something different for you.
We have posted MHR before here on CSBFS, and they are so popular with all sports bike riders our sister sight RSBFS have highlighted them as well. This one is not only painted differently, but has an extra 100cc per cylinder and a connection to Harris of England. They are a company that in 1995 were the official Suzuki World Superbike team and they were the ones to market and distribute the GSX-R750 race kits to end users around the world.
From the seller
This is a very unique and desirable motorcycle. It started life as a 900SS Desmo, and was fitted with a Harris of England Mike Hailwood road race fairing and one-piece tank and seat assembly. This set was taken from the original molds from which came “Mike the Bike’s” own factory 1977 Isle of Man TT winning racer. It is one of three know to exist in America.
From the factory the MHR came with the 900cc engine, but this wasn’t good enough for the owner of this bike. Doing a quick search doesn’t show that 1100cc was something offered direct from the factory, so this is likely where Harris steps in. The seller doesn’t state anything about the frame, and I wonder because Harris seems to have made their name building proven race frames for any engine.
More from the seller
The motor was enlarged to 1100cc, with electronic ignition, 40mm Dell’Orto pumper carbs, strengthened and polished crank, Venolia pistons and rods by Woods Motors, heads ported and gas-flowed by DynoCycle of Santa Barbara, modified clutch to handle the additional power, and a Harris of England 2-into-1 exhaust system. The forks have stiffer springs and in the rear Marzocchi remote reservoir gas shocks were fitted. Front brakes use extra large reservoir and stainless lines. Correct featherweight Borrani alloy rims.
The seller points out all the scratches and dings that this bike has gathered over the years. I personally like to see these on bikes because is shows that the bikes are used, and a used bike is a reliable bike. How would you like to be the rider that takes out a motorcycle that has sat on display in someone’s home for years, and get stopped at the side of the road because something went wrong. Buying a bike with scraps and scars tells me that when I hit the road, I will have lots and lots of fun, but also make it home again. BB