It was 1978 and Tourist Trophy legend Mike Hailwood was in his 11th year hiatus from motorcycle racing. It was the start of the year when he was visiting Sport Motorcycles, a dealership in Manchester, UK where Steve Wayne gave him the keys to a new Ducati 900SS to take for a spin. It wasn’t long before he realised the potential of the Ducati 900SS, he knew he had to race it.
That same year in June, Hailwood returned to the Isle of Man TT with the Ducati 900SS in the Formula 1 race, a category classed based on large displacement motorcycles. Not many believed that the then 38-year-old would be any good on the treterous and dangerous Tourist Trophy course. On the contrary, Mike Hailwood rode so brilliantly that those who didn’t know would never say that the man had made a comeback after 11 long years.
Mike Hailwood rode the Ducati 900SS to victory at the 1978 Tourist Trophy in a hugely popular fashion. This was despite the fact that the Ducati 900SS that Hailwood rode to victory had about 87hp, a little less that what the other purpose built TT machines were making back then.
To commemorate 30 years of the British motorcycling legend’s incredible achievement, back in 2008, NCR motorcycles launched the NCR Mike Hailwood TT. This was a very special Ducati 900SS that NCR Motorcycles had lightened by using a titanium frame that weighed just 5kg, while uprating the engine to NCR spec 1120cc mill that now produced 130bhp.
Alongside the carbon fibre bodywork, carbon fibre wheels, titanium exhaust and MotoGP Ohlins forks, the NCR Mike Hailwood TT was a really special motorcycle of which only 12 examples were ever to be made. Of the limited numbers, one example has now re-appeared and is going on sale at Mecum Auctions Las Vegas Sale.