new (to me) 900ss? - Page 2 - Ducati.ms - The Ultimate Ducati Forum
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post #11 of 38 (permalink) Old Jan 18th, 2013, 2:28 pm Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the replies! I expect to have lots more questions, and will be sure to search the forum and read as much as possible.
I'm in Washington DC, which has a pretty active ducati community so I'm sure to learn a lot both online and in person.
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post #12 of 38 (permalink) Old Jan 18th, 2013, 10:23 pm
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There are some good roads an hour west of DC, once you get toward the mountains. It's looking like my job will be taking me to DC this summer, in fact. Now I gotta find a place to live... Inexpensive rent in a nice neighborhood with good schools for the kids. Yeah, right.

Current
'98 Triumph T-Bird Sport
'95 Ducati 900SP (US) #561
'74 Moto Guzzi Eldorado
Garage is full!

Gone but Greatly Missed
'95 Ducati 900SL (Euro) #003
'72 Honda CB350

Gone and Good Riddance!
'83 Kawi GPZ 750 Turbo

I centauri indisciplinati in servizio sulla strada!
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post #13 of 38 (permalink) Old Jan 19th, 2013, 8:55 am
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I'm on my second SS, and haven't used either as a sport tourer (I have an ST for that), but one of the previous owners did. I found a receipt for a new tire installed at Las Vegas Harley Davidson (quite a haul from Kansas City) dated 9/11/2001 (wierd).

In my opinion, the biggest issue to check for before you buy is broken head studs. My current SS had two and almost relegated the bike to parts status. It can be extremely difficult and expensive to remove the broken studs since they often break off below the surface of the case and are made of a diamond hard metal. Almost impossible to easy-out. I'd suggest putting a wrench on all eight to make sure they're not loose before you buy.

2006 ST3s ABS, 2000 Yamaha WR400,
2003 Honda TRX300ex
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post #14 of 38 (permalink) Old Jan 19th, 2013, 6:19 pm
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I noticed no one has mentioned the swing-arm. After the cylinder studs breaking - that's probably the next most common failure (of the alloy swingarm models). Failure points are around the 'pinch-bolts' on the main pivot, and near the top shock mount. Then the next failure problem is the frame. OTOH - mine has done >60,000 kms - and the frame is still fine. For now. But - I've had to replace a couple of broken studs (well, replaced the lot...), and the swingarm, due to a crack.

Electrics - as mentioned - are a big thing too. Check/clean and re-plug all connectors that you can get to. Check the plug on the headlight bulb - if it shows signs of heating/burning - replace it, and while you're at it - wire up the headlight with a separate feed from the battery via a fuse and heavy gauge wire into two relays (for high and low beams) - this will improve the lighting hugely. Also remove, clean (including removing paint from bike frame) all connections between the frame, battery, and motor for the earth wiring. This is another of those 'well worth the time' jobs.

Change the fuel filter (in the tank). Change the fork oil - often that never gets done - and makes a big difference to the ride. Do the usual air and oil filter changes. Check/change the cam belts.

After that, you can start playing with things like new rear shock, exhaust, clutch kit, carbs, cams, pistons... Still plenty of good stuff around for the 900's. Enjoy!

'95 900 Superlight IV #064

Mods are: K&N filter, airbox lid on with rubber trumpets removed, MBP collets, full SMI (SilMoto Italia) spaghetti exhaust with 'open' carbon cans, 41mm FCR's - #182 mains!, Barnett alloy clutch basket, Oberon slave cylinder, Ohlins fork springs, Ohlins rear shock, Verlicchi swingarm.
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post #15 of 38 (permalink) Old Feb 19th, 2013, 10:00 pm
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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.
Zoomie and 2x2 like this.

1995 900SS/SP, 1988 BMW K100RS, 1980 Yamaha SR500
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post #16 of 38 (permalink) Old Feb 20th, 2013, 12:50 am
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Quote:
Sure, she might crack up completely someday. But probably not today.
damn, i love that last paragraph. Makes me miss my SS even more!

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post #17 of 38 (permalink) Old Feb 20th, 2013, 3:10 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AbqDave View Post
In defense of the bike:


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.
Wow, that really sums it up! and if you have ever been to Bologna and seen the "belle donne" you would agree even more
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post #18 of 38 (permalink) Old Mar 24th, 2013, 4:15 pm
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new (to me) 900ss?

I really do have one of those girlfriends.....and the SS fits just right.

The word is passionate. About everything. But I'd rather it be that way than boring....


Sent from Motorcycle.com App

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post #19 of 38 (permalink) Old Mar 24th, 2013, 4:34 pm
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new (to me) 900ss?

Btw I beat the living hell outta mine and fix things when they break which is almost never.

Got stranded once when the fuel pump shorted out. But I'd just had the fuel lines and filter in the tank messed with.

So I kinda expected it.

It's comfy, quick enough to scare me, looks and sounds amazing.

FCR carbs are up and coming.

Frame hasn't cracked that I can see.
Electrics are holding up
Carbs allow me to start the first time every time...

Maybe my tech is a genius?

Ain't selling.

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post #20 of 38 (permalink) Old Mar 25th, 2013, 8:29 am
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[QUOTE=Spitfire;1871953]Btw I beat the living hell outta mine and fix things when they break which is almost never.

Girlfriend or bike?
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