Reader Greg Rathe is lucky enough to own one of these machines, and we’re jealous. Ducati only produced 200 Montjuichs, and just 20 were exported to North America. It was the first of three limited edition models of the F1 to be homologated for racing; many were campaigned by privateer racers seeking an extra turn of speed against the Japanese superbikes.
The name came from the Montjuïc Park street circuit in Barcelona, which was closed after the chilling events of the 1975 Spanish F1 Grand Prix. (But that’s another story.) The Ducati Montjuich had several upgrades over the standard F1, which enabled it to pull away from Suzuki’s all-conquering GSX-R750. You got cylinder heads with larger ports and hotter cams, higher compression pistons, plus 40mm Dellorto carbs—and on this particular bike, a free-flowing Verlicchi exhaust system. The extra power was transmitted through a lightweight clutch and straight-cut gears. The gas tank was aluminum; so were the wheel rims, although the spokes were magnesium ribs painted red. Brembo supplied state-of-the-art fully floating ‘Gold Series’ brakes.
In his Illustrated Ducati Buyer’s Guide, Mick Walker says: “Prospective buyers must realize that these ‘racers’ were strictly hand-built small-production machines and therefore did not have a ‘standard’ specification—even different carburetor sizes and types of tires were specified … If you find, or already own, an F1 (four stars) my advice is to hang on to it. If you are doubly lucky to have been able to afford one of the ‘limited edition’ models, then guard it with your life, for you have a real classic of the future. Any one of the Montjuich, Laguna Seca or Santamonica models is worth five full stars, for they are both beautiful and rare.”