motorcycles & more

1985 Ducati F1

The F1 was Ducati's attempt to capitalize on the success of their TT2 racing success. The marketing idea was to create a race replica akin to the highly successful Mike Hailwood Replica of the mid 1980's. At the time the factory was in the process of being sold to the Castiglioni brothers and there was a great deal of uncertainty over the future of the factory and the brand. Cycle World posited that Ducati built the F1 as if it were the last motorcycle that Ducati would ever build, making an uncompromising sporting machine.

It took me about a decade to find mine.


From what I have gathered from the literature and the accumulated wisdom of F1 owners, the early F1's lacked the power and the rideability of the later ones. The 1985 model had smaller valves than the Montjuich special edition and subsequent normal edition F1's. In the case of my bike this appears to have been remedied by the extensive tuning necessary to make the bike competitive at the track. Indeed Reno Leoni recognized the importance of larger valves; I would be very surprised if the head has not been significantly reworked.

According to the eBay listing, the following are the reputed modifications

  • Cosworth pistons, reported to be 13:1 compression
  • NCR cams
  • Malossi 41.5mm carburetors (based on the 40PHM Dellorto's)
  • Montjuich (open style) Clutch Cover
  • Marzocchi M1R front fork
  • Montjuich dual piston calipers
  • Brembo Radial Piston Race Master Cylinder
  • Verlicchi race swingarm
  • Verlicchi Racing Clipons
  • Technomagnesio Magnesium Wheels, 3.5" front 5.5" rear, both 17" diameter
  • Dunlop D204 tires as new 120 front 180 rear
  • Fox Racing Shock with remote reservoir
  • Aluminum Gas Tank (stock on the 1985's) in excellent condition, signed by Reno Leoni
  • ceramic coated racing exhaust system (very , very light)

In addition, the following spares are included

  • a selection of rear sprockets and one front sprocket
  • a selection of jets for carburetor tuning
  • two head gasket sets
  • original tachometer with mounting brackets
  • rear stand

The track history of this bike poses a couple of challenges, however. The bike needs a side stand (or stand of some sport). Here in New Mexico it can be difficult to find an appropriate structure upon which to lean a motorcycle. Though the motorcycle has a headlight, the tail light and brake light will have to be rewired and installed. A tail light assembly has been procured, but that is the least of my concerns. A fuseholder will have to be mounted and additional wiring will have to be run. I am not looking forward to deciphering mid-80's Italian wiring diagrams.


  • Ian Falloon, 2000. Ducati Belt-Drive Two-Valve Twins, MBI Publishing.
  • Mick Walker, 2002. Ducati Illustrated Buyer's Guide MBI Publishing.


The F1 community is a pretty tight-knit group. Years ago, when I first contacted an F1 owner, he recommended a local fellow here who (as it turns out) has a Montjuich. Within days of purchase of my F1, one fellow emailed me pictures of Reno Leoni with the bike. A second person responded with an email that the very same bike once belonged to his father. And so on.

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Certainly, if you find other pages, forums, etc that are helpful to owners of these somewhat rare machines, please send an email to ericatmayorericdotcom .