851 Race Preparation and 888 Racing Info - Written Sept ‘05
I bought some Cagiva Service Bulletins on Ebay from a fellow in England that detailed the available kits and mods to be done to turn 851 models from ’88 and ’89 into race bikes for Superbike and BoTT racing. There was also some 888 Racing info too. So I’ve scanned the pages and they’re presented here. There’s a few pages missing as I didn’t receive some and others without anything in English on them I didn’t scan. The quality is not that great either and the scanned GIF are about 250k so they’re not overly small files. But hopefully it’ll work ok.
Having an ’89 model I’m pretty into the whole 851 thing and tend to get all the info I can about their development. There’s an ’87 vintage race bike in the factory museum that’s a real prototype, and if you’ve worked on the ’88 and ’89 models you can really see the progression and refinement. Also one of our customers has an 851 Tricolour Kit Superbike which is a very cool thing, and very loud with its Verlicchi megaphone mufflers. I found out a lot more info one day when I was working on this bike. I was told to speak to Red, who owns Ducati Penrith. Red, it turns out, is the 851 Tricolour Kit goldmine of info. He wanted one back in late ’88, and Norm Fraser Importers (now the Australian and New Zealand Ducati importer, back in ’88 it was a state by state affair pretty much) bought the last 17 or 18 out of the factory. They must not have sold too well if there were that many left new at the factory the base model was originally released at $23,000 here in Australia, then reduced to $18,000 when they didn’t sell. Upsetting the people who ponied up 23 large no end. So I’m not sure how much the kit bikes were, but I’m guessing they were more.
Anyway, the deal was, according to Red, that if he went to NFI and uncrated / assembled the 17 or so kit bikes back into road trim he’d be able to buy one. As he remembers it there were more kit bikes sold in Australia than base model Superbike Strada as I believe they were called 851SS is what the Motociclismo test says. In the crate with the kit bikes were all the parts detailed in the following sheets 94mm 888cc cylinder and piston kits, exhausts, front and rear sub frames, battery box, etc to turn them in to what Ducati was racing. Std Marzocchi forks and shock were used, although Motociclismo has a picture of a Ducati supplied ’88 factory race bike with Marzocchi stickers on what would appear to be Ohlins’ forks.
The sheets also detail what you need to do to an ‘89 to turn it into the race spec bike. Basically they were running (851cc or) 888cc with 33/29 valves, ‘A’ grind cams and 45mm exhausts. The same engine spec as the 851SP2/3/4. Plus there were a variety of eproms available the ‘Racing’ ones were to be used in conjunction with a 5 bar fuel pressure regulator (std 3 bar). The kit bikes ran dual black injectors I’m not sure how much they flowed, but if it was the same or less than the later 851SP red injectors then they would have needed more fuel pressure. From memory the 851SP3 and SP4 with the red injectors go to the maximum injector duration available on the fuel map in std trim at around the torque peak.
The 008 eprom for the ’89 model “without air filter, without silencer bottoms” is the same map as the 009 save for 5% more fuel across the whole map. The silencer bottoms referred to are the spot welded in removable baffles in the alloy sleeved ’89 mufflers, the same mufflers used on all 851 and 900SS, excepting those USA models that were fitted with 888 mufflers. Removing them makes the bikes rather loud and raspy, but does help the power, especially in the midrange.
Plus there’s a page detailing the improvements for the ’94 888Racing over the ’93 model and a comparison table for 888SP5, 888Racing ’93 and 888Racing ’94.