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Discussion Starter #1
OK guys I am sure this is covered somewhere but may be of interest to crazy people like me who like details---Other then the plaque on the upper triple clamp what are the differences between the bikes, just as an example the SL started in 92-from what I have seen in books the difference between a standard 900SS & an SL is-the SL came with--high pipes, carbon ft mudguard & solo seat -the info says nothing of a carbon rear mudguard or a carbon clutch cover. it does say that a 900SP came with a carbon rear mudguard & clutch cover. It would be great to know the exact differences between the 3 models--So this is basically geared to those of you who have an original unmolested Bike --900SS, 900SL, & 900SP. Or those of you who know for sure the exact differences. Thanks :nerd:
 

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Don't forget the FE (last run). It's basically an SL in silver... high pipes, solo seat, light goodies to include carbon fiber clock surround as well as front and rear mud guard, carbon fiber front sprocket cover, lighter wheels... also had the new engine (don't know when it changed, but probably 97') that does not have the external engine oil lines. It also has a redesigned fairing that has air scoops with some additional plastic-ware that directs outside air onto the vertical cylinder (may have also started in 97'). Super cool write up on the FE here: https://www.motorcyclespecs.co.za/model/ducati/ducati_900ss 97.htm

Scott
900 SS/FE #126
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Well maybe not forget it but ---I was not including the FE nor the CR in my query lol--basically just 1991-1996 versions which are all basically a little different version of the same theme --The FE & CR are for another thread. but thank you. --I had a chance years ago to purchase an FE and turned it down, it was cheap enough back then --again many years ago but it just did not twist my cork enough to spend the money -and I think I could have gotten it for around $1500.00 but that again was somewhere around 2003 or 2004. Thinking back I should have bought it just because lol
 

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To really understand the difference you also need to include, in the USA at least, the 750SS. Think of all of the above as trim levels in the automotive industry, where 95% of the bike is identical, but the 5% trim differentiates the models.

In any given manufacturing year:

The 750 SS is the "lowest" trim. Smaller motor, wet clutch, coffin style master cylinders, stainless semi floating rotors on steel carriers, 4.5" rear wheel

The 900 SS/CR is the the basic "low end" running gear from the 750, but it upgrades to the 900 motor.

The 900 SS/SP improves the running gear with Brembo Goldline remote reservoir masters, full fairings, full floating stainless rotors on aluminum carriers up front, 5.5" rear wheel, adjustable forks

The 900 SS/SL Superlite is the top rung. All the stuff from the SP, plus: solo-seat, high mount exhaust, full floating cast iron rotors on aluminum carriers up front, anti-chatter rear brake. The earliest versions got special magnesium/aluminum wheels.

The Final Edition is just a Superlite painted silver. I think these may have also had 3 phase power?

That's just the carb'd bikes; the fuel injected bikes had similar levels of escalating trim, but with different naming conventions and trim differentiation.

You also need to consider that Ducati made manufacturing changes year over year, so across all the bikes in a given year: early years of the forks had the 40mm caliper bolt spacing, later had 65mm spacing. The front axle was 17mm, then 20mm, then 25mm (the rear axle was unchanged, 17mm start to finish). There were three different sets of wheels over time, etc.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
we could talk about all kinds of models BUT In this thread I am asking about nothing but 1991-1997 900SS, 900SL & 900SP models. By keeping this to a few models only it can be easier to narrow down so please in this thread -forget about 750 , 900cr, & FE models please--We can talk about them later
 

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The Superlight in the US has a white frame. Ducati discontinued the white frame in 1992. US Superlights are 1992 models everywhere else in the world. Here they're 1992 or 1993 depending on when they were sold.

Basically everything that's already been stated. Carbon front and rear fenders (mud guards) vented clutch cover, cast iron full floating rotors on alloy carriers, floating rear brake assembly, solo seat and high pipes. The wheels on the 1992 were Marvic-Akront composites with a magnesium center and alloy hoop joined by steel bolts. There was a Superlight in Europe and the rest of the world right to 1997. They got "dumbed down" in the wheel department. The 1993s didn't get the cast iron rotors, just the bog standard stainless ones. I think that changed in 1994 though. Check here for the differences between all the years (Mks) Ducati900sl.com (The Ducati Superlight register)

SS/SP only came around in 1994. Before that there was just a "standard" Supersport. The SP is kind of a combination of the Supersport and the Superlight. It got the floating rear brake in some years, as well as the carbon fenders. Or not. Depends on whether or not suppliers got paid. Some came with variations in installed equipment. Basically a two seater version of the SL.

The Supersport if you wanna call it the standard version, came along first and remained basically the same all the way to 1997. No carbon goodies, no floating rear brake, non-adjustable forks. Or not. My statement below describes why.

As the story goes, during the hard times at the factory, the assembly line would frequently run out of parts. When they did they'd just grab what as available and install that instead. Better to get a bike out and get paid than to let it sit in need of a fender or something similar. I don't know how much truth there is to that, but I've read it a number of times from different historians.....sean
 

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As the story goes, during the hard times at the factory, the assembly line would frequently run out of parts. When they did they'd just grab what as available and install that instead. Better to get a bike out and get paid than to let it sit in need of a fender or something similar. I don't know how much truth there is to that, but I've read it a number of times from different historians.....sean
i started pulling these things out of crates mid 94, and ime that's just fanciful bullshit.
 

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900ss 900sL 900SP

swingarms- aluminum swingarms on all, 2 variations based on early or late model.

Frame= pre-900sp/CR/FE Same as 900ss 94-97 in USA- most prone to crack, early frames are not common to crack in my experience.
Engine= 91-92 short crank/1993 long short crank long crank
rectifier= crap crap still crap
forks= fully adjustable showa 41 same same
brakes= black line brembos coffin master/goldline calipers remote masters blackline/goldline calipers
fairings= full and short full only Full only
cyl. studs chrome chrome chrome except 1997 IIRC
tail= 2-up seat solo only 2-up seat
Rotors= steel center stainless iron full floaters iron full floaters
rear caliper mount= top mount top mount floating underslung rear caliper
pipes= low high low
crank plug might be out don't look you know the answer.


probably missed some things and keep in mind this information is on US models only as that all I see.
 

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So - my '95 SP had full floating cast iron rotors for sure.
I was living in CH in 1995 and travelled on business - one trip had me passing through Italy. I tried to get a tour of the factory but it was shut down tightly. Production had stopped and suppliers were on "COD" of which ether wasn't any "C". Very close call I was told! So - they were surely shy of parts and likely used what they had around until they couldn't build a complete bike. Times surely improved in the years since that!!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
900ss 900sL 900SP

swingarms- aluminum swingarms on all, 2 variations based on early or late model.

Frame= pre-900sp/CR/FE Same as 900ss 94-97 in USA- most prone to crack, early frames are not common to crack in my experience.
Engine= 91-92 short crank/1993 long short crank long crank
rectifier= crap crap still crap
forks= fully adjustable showa 41 same same
brakes= black line brembos coffin master/goldline calipers remote masters blackline/goldline calipers
fairings= full and short full only Full only
cyl. studs chrome chrome chrome except 1997 IIRC
tail= 2-up seat solo only 2-up seat
Rotors= steel center stainless iron full floaters iron full floaters
rear caliper mount= top mount top mount floating underslung rear caliper
pipes= low high low
crank plug might be out don't look you know the answer.


probably missed some things and keep in mind this information is on US models only as that all I see.
Perfect Eric thank you very much thats a good list--now one thing you left off, Mudguards-I have a copy of Mick Walkers Ducati book-he says that both the SL & SP had carbon ft mudguards--The SP he says also had carbon rear mudguard & carbon clutch cover--But He does not mention a carbon rear mudguard or carbon clutch cover on the 900SL ( he does say that the SL had a vented clutch cover but nothing about it being carbon)--so did the SL have those carbon:nerd: items from the factory or not. I know these are crazy little details but that is the kind of info I love to have--the devil is in the details
 

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So - my '95 SP had full floating cast iron rotors for sure.
I was living in CH in 1995 and travelled on business - one trip had me passing through Italy. I tried to get a tour of the factory but it was shut down tightly. Production had stopped and suppliers were on "COD" of which ether wasn't any "C". Very close call I was told! So - they were surely shy of parts and likely used what they had around until they couldn't build a complete bike. Times surely improved in the years since that!!
That's about the time Cagiva was running on fumes, and was about to sell Ducati to TPG.

Or it was August, and EVERYTHING was shut down in the area...:laugh:
.
 

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the early sl had the slotted aluminium covers like the 851sp.

if the sp of a given year had carbon then the sl of that year also had carbon. the sp is a superlight with a dual seat.
 

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Yes IIRC carbon front ,rear hugger and a slotted carbon clutch cover on the SL. And to be correct withing a few days of ownership the correct carbon should turn a nice cloudy faded green as they had not yet figured the sunlight effected the carbon resins. carbon from Ducati in this era did not stay clear if the bike was ridden much and saw sunlight. A perfect carbon part has likely not been used much, has been re-finished or is a reproduction/aftermarket piece.

standard ole 900ss had no carbon.

900sp had carbon front and hugger but a solid carbon cover iirc
 

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That's about the time Cagiva was running on fumes, and was about to sell Ducati to TPG.

Or it was August, and EVERYTHING was shut down in the area...:laugh:
.
it was the first of a few times that the castiglionis ran their business model of not paying suppliers and running the lines until there were no parts left, then selling the concern. they only did it once with ducati, they did it twice and bought it back dirt cheap twice with mv.

there is a photo from the time of a line of 748 missing fuel tanks. that's the sort of thing that happened. in a production line environment you don't have non production parts kicking about to fit if you feel like it.
 

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One thing that nobody has mentioned...the '93 Superlight we got in the States was yellow.

Word I got from our sales rep back then was that the guys out in California at Cagiva N.A. didn't want the SL with the light wheels if it was red. They supposedly said it looked too much like a standard full fairing SS. They told the factory to paint it yellow or something to make it stand out....wonderful.

I blame this decision for the proliferation of yellow bikes we saw from other manufacturers in the '90s.

If it had been the same color as the old '73-'74 750 Sport, I might have over looked it, but it was a pale, sickly yellow...:(
.
 

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it was the first of a few times that the castiglionis ran their business model of not paying suppliers and running the lines until there were no parts left, then selling the concern. they only did it once with ducati, they did it twice and bought it back dirt cheap twice with mv.

there is a photo from the time of a line of 748 missing fuel tanks. that's the sort of thing that happened. in a production line environment you don't have non production parts kicking about to fit if you feel like it.
I noticed it for the first time when I pulled my F1 out of the crate in early '87. It was a late production '86 F1b, but had been retitled as an '87 by Cagiva N.A. That really messed with their heads at State DMV HQs because it still has the 10th digit in the VIN showing it to be an '86. I still have the MSO for it somewhere...Cagiva screwed up and mailed us 2 of them a week apart.

They were just putting parts on that were available since the F1 run was ending as they switched over to Laguna Secas and later, Santa Monicas. It came with a 2 piece Montjuic front fender, and a sidestand instead of a centerstand. And no turnsignals, horn, brake light switches or mirrors.

But lots of stickers all over it proclaiming it wasn't street legal and didn't meet U.S. emission laws.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Thanks guys, I know this info may sound petty But I have a reason--I am also a judge at AMCA events as well as a few other shows so all of this crazy detail info helps me in judging bikes correctly
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I wish lol I would love too but I went on holiday about 2 weeks ago so I cant get away for Barber
 
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