Fans of two- and four-wheeled performance: what would you pay for a Ferrari motorcycle?

The answer is apparently, "not £180,000." That's the amount for which this one-off bike, designed and constructed in the early 1990s by David Kay Engineering and the only motorcycle to officially carry the prancing horse badge, failed to sell when it went up for auction in Switzerland on Saturday.

Kay, known for his work with MV Agusta, requested permission from Piero Ferrari to use the famed logo on the bike, which was designed and built as a tribute to the late Enzo Ferrari. Ferrari's letter granting permission for the venture is included with the motorcycle's documents. The bike became known as the Ferrari 900, and it remains the only one of its kind.

"Ferrari" or not, it's an impressive vehicle. Power is provided by a unique 105hp 900cc DOHC 8v four-cylinder engine, mounted transversely and connected to a five-speed gearbox. The aluminum bodywork is fashioned to mimic the familiar Ferrari strakes, and a distinct exhaust note is ensured by the double-curvature, reverse-cone megaphone exhaust. Brembo brakes front and rear, hand-spun 17-inch Astralite wheels, Forcelle Italia upside-down front forks and WPS twin shocks at the rear round out the specifications.

The Ferrari 900 has been featured in many publications but has never been ridden to its full potential; this bike is more a work of engineering art than it is a performance vehicle. Perhaps that's why it failed to find a new owner at the recent Swiss auction. Better luck next time.

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