Help in the decision making - 750/900 CR/SP - - The Ultimate Ducati Forum
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post #1 of 31 (permalink) Old Feb 9th, 2017, 8:57 am Thread Starter
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Help in the decision making - 750/900 CR/SP

I'm on the hunt for my first bike (ever), and some of my friends are all into cafe racers and are trying to rebuild old Honda's etc. I have myself checked in that direction also, but I feel that it might not be the best first bike to get.
And since I've always liked the Dukes, I have thought about the 750 (or perhaps the 900) SS. I'm not extremely tall (around 5"10 / 177cm) and the lower seat hight seems to suite me well. The thing is, I saw a '95 750 SS/CR, with a beautiful "champagne grey" frame and found a few builds removed some fairings, switched the lamp and remade the rear and seat, that looked awesome. Though, the '95 was removed from the marked before I got a chance to really check it up, and left are some newer models of 900 SS/SP (99-02).
My questions are really, are the frames the same on these newer models the same as the 95? Minor differences doesn't matter that much. I'm thinking more about the angles of the frame itself. Also in regards of color. The newer versions seems to have a "colder" steel color than that old one. Is it only the older versions that had this?
Since I think of removing most of the fairings, will the result be the same or is it more hidden electrical wiring etc behind the fairings on the SP's? Also, the tank was beautiful on the 95 version, but I don't really like it on the newer ones. It has some big scratch protection and more angles and stuff that I don't really like. Would the older tank fit the frame of the newer ones - and is it possible to get a hold of?

Some might say that I could get a monster instead, if I want a naked bike. But I would rather have a unique bike - and somewhat joining my friends in a "cafe" build that isnt what everyone is doing. And to be honest, I wouldnt mind riding that '95 750 SS/CR without any modifications either. I don't really have the same feeling about those SP's to be honest.

I tried to search the forums and net as much as possible before asking, and I found a lot of interesting information that I didn't need to ask here. These questions still stand though :P

According to this site 900SS: SP vs CR, he thinks you should stay away from the CR's from 96 until they introduced the fuel injection as I get it, but don't really know about the ones with fuel injection or the SPs. Any thoughts?

I borrowed some pics from the interweb (the last one, one of the builds I like, gathered from The DuC - From a 1993 Ducati 750 Super Sport to a Cafe Racer)
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post #2 of 31 (permalink) Old Feb 9th, 2017, 11:15 am
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From 1991-98 all SS models look pretty much the same with fairings off, I'm guessing 99-up is the same way. I love my Ducatis, and if you've made up your mind to have one, do it. BUT, you say this is your first bike. I NEVER would recommend a bike that big as a starter bike. You will break it and they are very expensive to fix. You will hurt yourself, maybe seriously. But if you are determined I know I can't stop you. The SS has a bunch of ugly crap hidden behind the headlight fairing that is not easy to relocate without doing some wiring, which may be over your head. You can put CR side panels on an SP if you want to expose the engine. I would highly recommend a 99-up bike if you're ok with the styling , as most of the mechanical issues were cured by then, and the fuel injection is easier to live with. The older " Carbies " the 91-98 models, require more maintenance. The SP model has a higher grade of components but will be more expensive . If your going to cafe it you may as well start with a CR. My real recommendation to you would be to start with a cheaper and smaller Japanese bike until you learn more and then if you want a Ducati, go for it. They are more reliable, and don't require the constant maintenance a Ducati does. You'll appreciate a Ducati much more after you've become a better rider and mechanic.
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'96 Ducati SS900CR, '07 S4RS, '06 Busa, '77 Bonny,
'00 Superglide, '85 Sportster, '78 SR500
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post #3 of 31 (permalink) Old Feb 9th, 2017, 12:58 pm
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This has been my experience: I've had three Supersports. My first Ducati was a new '97 SS/SP I bought in April '98. I put about 35K mi. on it. Commuted, rode locally and took it cross-country. It was lost to me when a local driver hit me and it was totalled. Did not have one issue with that bike. Literally, not one. Picked up a '96 SS/SP with about 3K mi. on it. In the first year everything that is typically wrong with these bike happened. Frame crack, valve guides, etc. I modded this bike with 944 kit, HC pistons, lightened flywheel, 41 mm flatslides on Malossi short stacks and a bit more. Once I did that, it was awesome and fast as hell. Took that one cross-country too. Lost that one to divorce after about 30K mi. Some years later, after two 998's (which I loved) I had a chance to buy an '05 SS1000DS for a great price. This bike I still have. I have about 30K mi. on it. I have done two 1,000 mi. days on it. Have never done a thing with it except Sil Moto CF cans, bar-ends and a Sargent seat. Here's what I learned....The SS1000DS fits me very well (I'm 5'9", 185 lbs w/32" inseam) but the SS/SP fits like that pair of old boots you never want to give up. The '97 and later SS/SP is the best of that breed. The SS1000DS is the best of them mechanically...strong and seemingly bullet-proof. I was initially put off by the styling but it has grown on me to the point that I actually see it as beautiful. So are the SS/SP's IMO. Just different. Whatever Supersport you have, you can be sure that it is one of the best all-around bikes that has ever been built. Chances are that until I am done riding I will have a Supersport.

'05 SS1000DS
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post #4 of 31 (permalink) Old Feb 9th, 2017, 8:53 pm
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clarifying in terms of what you are talking about model name wise:

91 - 97:
900ss/sp and 900ss/cr are usa only models. the sp is (depending on how you want to look at it) the euro ss with the sl bits, or a dual seat sl. the cr is the 750ss chassis with a 900 motor - usa market demand of biggest engine in cheaper chassis. built in 94 to 97 year models. early ones had showa forks and shocks, some time in 95 my that went to marzocchi and boge/sachs as the euro 750 did. i think all cr were half fairing / sp were full fairing. i'm not in the usa, so no first hand experience.

in euro models, you could buy a half or full fairing 600, 750 and 900ss. same bike, different side fairings, all called ss. identification of full or half fairing was visual only. also a euro 350ss (to 92?) and euro/japanese 400ss / ssjunior from 91 to 97.

750ss - there is no 750ss/cr. it's just a 750ss. they went to the usa early on 92, 93 maybe. didn't sell (coz they're slow), so that's why they went with the cr and sp to give them two price points instead of the different capacity points.

900ssfe is the last of the carb ss range. we got euro bikes with 97 spec motors, usa got 98 m900 spec motors (different alternator). sl bodywork and silver.

98 - 02:
750 and 900ssie. no cr/sp. available as half or full fairing to some extent, don't think i ever saw a half fairing 900ssie. they did make a similar concept to the cr bike in 750cc for 01 - 02 and 900 in 02 with the 750 and 900sportie. 750 had a single front disc, 900 had the cheaper spec 750 chassis with 900 motor. all had half fairing with "dark" bodywork as far as i saw.

2003 onward was 620 sport, 800ssie and sport, 1000ssie, last 800ssie made in 07. similarly to the above, sport means cheaper version.

you can ride a 600ss out here on the learner approved motorcycle scheme. the law considers them slow enough for the learner. as a comparison, i once got stuck behind a 600ss at a track day on my kr1s250. couldn't get past it with track day ettiquite. if the riders were equal, the 600ss would have about been a match for the kr1s. for a new learner tho, the 600 would be a lot calmer i would think, which kind of shows up the sometimes silliness of the old 250 learner law.

only one self righteous old rider point to make for a learner: up to the level of fairly serious club racer, you'll always ride a slower bike faster.

Brad The Bike Boy
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post #5 of 31 (permalink) Old Feb 10th, 2017, 3:33 am
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About the DS1000SS, just remember that the first modelyear(s) had some problems with the valves.

900SSie 2002 - Senna
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post #6 of 31 (permalink) Old Feb 10th, 2017, 3:59 am
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I've been riding super sports for a number of years. The 750 was rock solid. My 900ie the vertical belt went and I only had a minor valve bend other than that I ride her almost daily no other issues and she has 60k.
My ds1000 has about 15k on it and she is getting the best mileage of ant I've had.
So my opinion as long as you stick to maintaince schedules they will run forever.
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post #7 of 31 (permalink) Old Feb 10th, 2017, 8:49 am
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Originally Posted by bruce19 View Post
This has been my experience: I've had three Supersports.
Impressive SS pedigree. I think the Carby SPs and SLs are among the best looking bikes ever, but the injected models are up there too. I would pick up a 1000ds in a heartbeat if one came up locally, for the right price.

95 900SS/SP #210
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post #8 of 31 (permalink) Old Feb 10th, 2017, 9:22 am
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The bottom line, for the OP, though, is that these are all great bikes, but are not a good choice for a beginner bike -- either from a riding standpoint, or from a mechanics/maintenance/modification standpoint. Hang with your friends and build Honda café bikes for a while, until you learn what you're doing, and make your starting mistakes on a cheap disposable bike, *then* get a Ducati.


1993 Ducati Monster M900, bought new, 261K miles (so far)
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post #9 of 31 (permalink) Old Feb 10th, 2017, 10:03 am
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Noted that OP has not checked back in,...

Anyway, I disagree that a Supersport does not make a good first bike because it is light, handles well,and for the '90's era bikes at least there is a wealth of information on upgrades and repairs. If he buys one that is still on the road, a daily driver, it won't matter what model or year it is as it most likely has been brought up to date by that owner. One that has been in a shed for years because it broke down, probably not! As for the skill needed, OP hasn't said much about his experience, and even though it would be his first bike it seems he has friends who ride, restore, modify and repair. Sounds like an ideal situation to get into motorcycling, and a Ducati has caught his passion.

1991 900SS
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post #10 of 31 (permalink) Old Feb 10th, 2017, 11:54 am
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Not sure what country the op is from but as a first ducati or even first bike a 750ss is a great bike. Plenty of power and easy to ride, with his height listed I would go for a carby as the seat height is shorter by a fair amount. Finding one may be the hard part as carby 750's do not show up much anymore around here. If you want to cafe out a bike I do think a monster would be a better choice as you would be potentially cutting up a bike that is not that common.

There is no bike easier to work on than a carby supersport or monster and the 750 has had fewer issues than the 900's in the US.
900ss= cracked frames, cracked aluminum swingarms,broken cylinder studs, crank gallery plugs falling out. Bad rectifiers.
750s= In the US the frame change happened after the 750ss left so I have never seen a cracked 750ss frame and most of the ones I do see are racers/crashed.
Cracked aluminum swingarms, yes these are the same and can crack, check to see if it had already been updated to the later style.
no stud problems
no gallery plug problems (steel plugs used)
Same bad rectifiers

If height is not an issue the later 750ssie is plentiful and cheap, a 620ssis is also a good bike just a bit down on power over the 750 but I would not worry about it.

The frames between the models are the same in the same versions. Ie: a 900ss , 900cr and 750ss carby frame will all be the same. Same with the 900ssie, 620sport,750sport,750ss,900sport, 800ss and 800sport The 1000ss may have diferent bracketry for the airbox but I would not be surprised if you could make that swap too. What this means is these are lego bikes, If you find a 750ss and ride it for a few years to get used to it and then want more power you can swap motors for the desired size. Suspension can also be swapped easily though some are easier than others.
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