The Ducati 851 was created to bring Ducati up to speed with
engine technology. Previous to the 851, Ducati had relied on
a simple air-cooled two valve engine. Massimo Bordi, one of
Ducati's engineers provided a solution.
The 851 cc engine had a cylinder head designed with the help
of Cosworth (UK engine specialists), four valves per cylinder,
electronic fuel injection and liquid cooling. The 851 engine
also used Ducati's desmodromic valve actuation system, meaning
valve control was assured even at high rpms.
The Ducati 851 used a steel tube trellis
frame coupled with high performance chassis components including,
Marvic wheels, Brembo brakes and Marzocchi suspension.
Ducati 851 bikes (1987 - 1988) suffered from poor handling
characteristics, however this problem was rectified with the
introduction of larger 17 inch wheels and superior suspension.
In 1992 the engine size was increased to 888 cc and with the
capacity change came a name change, the Ducati
888 was born.
1993 the capacity increased yet again to 916 cc, it is this
engine which powers the Ducati