The motorcycle’s concept by the Ducati designer Pierre Terblanche was a homage to the racing motorcycle Mike Hailwood rode to win the 1978 Isle of Man TT.
The MH in MH900e is Hailwood’s initials, and the e suffix is for evoluzione in Italian, evolution in English.
In September 1998, the sketch was presented to the general public at the Intermot Show in Munich.
Ducati decided to post a questionnaire on their website to test the interest of the MH900e fans. Federico Minoli and Massimo Bordi (General Manager of Ducati) produced a limited run of two thousand hand-built bikes. The first one thousand bikes would be produced in 2000 and the second thousand would be produced in 2001.
Ducati made the decision to sell the new bike directly to the consumer exclusively via the Internet.
The Ducati website opened for orders on January 1, 2000 at 00:01am GMT at a price of Euro15,000. The first 1,000 units were sold out in 31 minutes. The remaining bikes were sold over the next few weeks. Individuals made purchases from 20 different countries. The estimated breakdown of the sales was 30% from Europe, 30% from the US and 39% from Japan.