Claimed Power: 73hp @ 7,000rpm
Top Speed: 140mph top speed
Engine: 749cc air-cooled OHC desmodromic 90-degree V-twin, 80mm x 74.4mm bore and stroke, 9.5:1 compression ratio
Weight (dry): 396lb (180kg)
Fuel capacity/MPG: 4.7gal (17.8ltr)
On June 3, 1978, Mike “The Bike” Hailwood made a fairy tale return to racing when he rode to victory at record speed in the Isle of Man Formula 1 TT aboard his Sports Motorcycles Ducati 900 V-twin. Conventional wisdom says his legendary comeback came 11 years after he last raced in the Island and seven since he last rode a bike in international competition. True on the first count, but the Moreparts Ducati 750SS on permanent display in the Motorcycling Australia Museum proves otherwise on the second.
In October 1977, the year before his TT exploits, Hailwood teamed up with Aussie mate Jim Scaysbrook to race a production Ducati 750SS in the Castrol Six Hour at tight and twisty Amaroo Park — Australia’s most prestigious race in those pre-GP days. In spite of a right foot permanently damaged after his 1974 Nürburgring crash in a McLaren that ended his promising 50-race Formula 1 career, Mike proved he’d lost none of his bike skills. The duo finished sixth overall and second in the 750cc class, one place behind BMW’s German works rider Helmut Dähne on his bigger-engined R90S boxer twin, and one ahead of Kiwi legend Graeme Crosby on a Kawasaki Z1. Indeed, Hailwood raced the Moreparts bike twice more, earning a top 10 finish with Scaysbrook in the Adelaide Three Hour held in March 1978, just three months before his TT victory. Must have been a useful warm-up! MC
Read about Jim Scaysbrook's experience racing with Mike "The Bike" Hailwood in Jim Scaysbrook: Desert Racing.
Order the July/August 2013 issue of Motorcycle Classics to read more about the Moreparts Ducati 750SS. Contact Customer Service at (800) 880-7567 or contact us by email.