Join Date: May 2012
Location: Albuquerque, New Mexico, United States
In defense of the bike:
1. Who knows why Ducati used such cheap wire. But the wiring diagram is KISS-simple and rewiring the major features isn't that hard. If you re-wire your starter relay, and replace/rewire your regulator, you're pretty much good to go. That's like an afternoon of work, if that. Not every motorcycle is that way.
2. Maintenance access is pretty durn good. People gripe about the rubber cam belts, but it only takes a few minutes to change them. I haven't had to do the clutch yet, but again everything is right out in front of you. Don't underestimate how nice it is, to be able to work on something without two hours of removing crap beforehand.
3. I don't find the carbs to be that bad. Buy a jet kit, follow the instructions, badabing.
4. I think the engine is a brilliantly simple, robust design.
5. Price of entry is pleasantly inexpensive.
6. And as for the other stuff, well that's what happens when you buy old motorcycles. You gotta work on them. Frankly I feel the SS is a pleasure to work on.
I don't compare the SS to something like my wife's Ninja. That Kawasaki is practical transportation. She doesn't want to do anything but add gas and oil (or, to be more precise, have me add oil). The SS is more of a cafe racer mentality. Something that's wild and temperamental. There's gotta be a tradeoff somewhere, and if the bike was a dog there would be no reason to mess with it. But there's something special about the SS. Kinda the looks, kinda the sound. Kinda the feel. It's like having a petite, adorable, oversexed Italian girlfriend from Bologna who is, to be sure, kind of a nut; but in a generally entertaining way. Sometimes she goes bonkers on you, but she's redirectable, and in the end the sex is good, and she doesn't expect you to spend a lot of money on her. Sure, she might crack up completely someday. But probably not today.
1995 900SS/SP, 1988 BMW K100RS, 1980 Yamaha SR500