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Hi all,

Looking at buying a darmah in Australia. There are a few out there but I've noticed that some have a dual kph/mph speedometer, whereas others have a kph only dial. Does anyone know whether this a year model change? Any info appreciated thanks. Roy
 

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I wouldn't read too much into it, Ducati fitted whatever was in stock at the time. It could indicate that the bike was intended for a MPH market, or that it has had a replacement speedo.
 

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Hi Roy
What years are you looking at busting my memory of cars I had at that time. 72 LJ Torana was MPH only 73 had dual reading Miles for Odomter and change from white blinkers to amber on the front My 76 corolla was all metric yet my 78 honda 750 F1 still had dual reading metris for odometer. Hope that helps
 

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Hi all,

Looking at buying a darmah in Australia. There are a few out there but I've noticed that some have a dual kph/mph speedometer, whereas others have a kph only dial. Does anyone know whether this a year model change? Any info appreciated thanks. Roy
Hi Roy

It happened during 1979. For example, my SSD is one of the few late 1978 models and still has just a mph speedo. But 1979 SSDs have the dual version.

It really isn't of any great significance, tho'. Much more important are the changes to the inlet stud spacings, use of CD carbs, 'flip up' seat, use of Silentiums, oleo-pneumatic shocks etc.

(For details, see Ian Falloon's 860,900 & Mille Bible)

Ciao

Craig
 

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I have 1980 SSD originally sold in Britain and it has miles only speedo. Also its black colored but under the tank i can see metallic blue painted over with black.
 

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From the factory, the SSD only ever came in blue.

Where are your gear and brake levers mounted? See photo, if you're not sure what I'm referring to :)

982342


I'd be interested to see your frame and engine numbers, if you don't mind. I keep a register, you see. By all means send them by PM, if you like.

Ciao

Craig
 

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I have seen picture of black SSD in Australia, paint and decals seems original. Leveys as in left picture, po fabricated attachment lower and forward. IMG_20190507_193116.jpg
 

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I have seen picture of black SSD in Australia, paint and decals seems original. . View attachment 982343
Interesting ... That bike is certainly an authentic late, i.e 1980- 81, model, but I do wonder about the absence of any decal additional to the 'Ducati' on the tank. Even on the very last (1982) SDs, Ducati retained some kind of additional decoration on the tank. And similarly, why is there no decal on the seat base? Again, all the whale tail SDs had something. So why not this one?

Do you have any more info?
 

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Levers as in left picture
Ok, that makes it one of the 1978-79 models, hence the mph only speedo.* It is possible that all these bikes were 'batch built' before April 1979 - note, I say 'possible'.

As build dates weren't recorded in the UK, when you say yours in a 1980, I suspect that means it was first registered for road use in 1980, i.e. it sat around in the factory and then the showroom for a while before being sold. Can you confirm what you have is a registration date?

* Actually, I'm going to argue a bit against myself here. Because I do know of at least one late model, i.e. 1980 bike, with a mph speedo. It's in the USA, tho', where I guess a dual mph/kph speeedo would have been considered even more superfluous than in the UK ... :)
 

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I bought it from Finland where i live, someone brought it from Britain years ago. Full restoration going, was in a sorry state, except the engine, only some 16 000 miles, as it looks inside, good pistons only light head job required. Plus ignition wires and alternator wires as well, since i opened side cowers anyway. It is whale tail and this very modest decoration looks as it was from factory. Tank looks like it has the usual blue paint under black. Idon´t have engine number here, but frame is: 950491 if it helps.
 

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Thanks! I can now tell you that your bike is one of a large batch sent to the UK in - yes, 1980!
The two bikes closest to yours that I know of are 950487 and 950502. These bikes seem to have been built between September and December 1979.

So there you are! You've re-written the text books - a bit! 1980 bike sold in UK with mph only speedo.

Thanks! And if ever you get to find the engine number, do please let me know.

Ciao

Craig
 

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Hi Craig,

I can confirm that the Darmah SSD flew out of showrooms like hot cakes - not! They sat around for months and were heavily discounted. I remember gazing at one in my local showroom that was almost being given away and trying to convince myself that it was NOT a bargain. Anyway, I succeeded and walked away. I ended up buying almost the same bike (900S2) some time later at probably £1500 more. That's life.
 

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Thanks! I can now tell you that your bike is one of a large batch sent to the UK in - yes, 1980!
The two bikes closest to yours that I know of are 950487 and 950502. These bikes seem to have been built between September and December 1979.

So there you are! You've re-written the text books - a bit! 1980 bike sold in UK with mph only speedo.

Thanks! And if ever you get to find the engine number, do please let me know.

Ciao

Craig
Hi, the engine number is 904327. 40mm carbs and two ribbed conn rods, all as in 900 SS engine.
 

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Ta Colin. Well, I guess for one thing, in the UK at least, 1980 wasn't a great time to be selling expensive motorbikes ...

22 April – Unemployment stands at a two-year high of more than 1.5 million.
16 May – Inflation risen to 21.8%.
28 August – Unemployment stands at 2 million
24 October – MG car production ends after 56 years
etc.

On top of that, the SS, which the Dramah SS was meant to replace, simply refused to die. Due to customer demand and against its better judgement, the factory was being obliged to make some toy town replica after some bloke named Hailwood won an obscure race on an island in the Irish Sea, and ... ;).

P.s. IMO, there's no doubt which is the better bike. The factory were right ... :eek:
 

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Hi, the engine number is 904327. 40mm carbs and two ribbed conn rods, all as in 900 SS engine.
Brilliant - thanks! Just for interest, the engine numbers of those two bikes for which I earlier gave you the frame numbers are: 904 343 and 904 326. So that last one is just 1 number different from yours. They would have sat next to each other on the rack in the factory while waiting to be installed :).

As you probably know, the PHM 40mm carbs were not 'true' SSD factory specification. This was for PHF 32mm CD/CS carbs (after April 1979, AD/AS before). However, 40mm carbs were available ex-factory as part of a Darmah tuning kit that included cams, valves and Conti silencers. My suspicion is that 40mm carbs were never homolgated in Italy - and certainly not in the USA.

So your PHM 40mm carbs may have been fitted either in the UK - 40m carbs had been retro-fitted to standard Darmahs in the UK since 1978. Or they may have been fitted in Bologna under special order. (The 58mm stud spacings of the inlet tract that allowed the bigger carbs to be fitted came in in 1979, (notionally, if not entirely in reality) with engine number 903206).

Double rib conrods is correct for an early 1980 bike. Unfortunately I haven't been able to pin it down more tightly than that: on the page of the parts book that records the change, the "d.m." (= "da motore") is left blank ...
 

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I remember reading at the time that Coburn and Hughes were doing all sorts of things to increase sales including getting the first batch of black and gold SS models sprayed in the UK and fitting the 40mm carbs over here.

When I went to buy my S2 I already owned a 750 Sport and felt that I wanted something more civilised to complement it, so I bought the S2; worse decision I ever made (apart from marrying my ex wife). Side by side in C&H showroom was the S2 and one of the last Super Sports, which was around £1000 cheaper, and like an idiot I picked the S2, then spent thirty years turning it into an SS, albeit a very heavy one. I've taken a ton of weight off the S2 but it is still a big lump and will soon be too much for me to wheel out of the garage. My 750 Sport was SO much lighter. Hindsight..........
 

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Ah! The least said about Coburn and Hughes the better. But, man! Was I so glad **** Walker was around!

(As to the S2 ...Remember Moto Vecchia? Salesman there tried to persuade me to trade my MHR for a new S2. Yeah, right, like that was ever going to happen ...o_O)
 

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The problem with the S2 (and the SSD) was that Ducati tried to combine the best parts of the Super Sport and the Darmah, but ended up with an uncomfortable Darmah. When any company made a benchmark, raw sports bike in the classic era they created a problem in how to develop it, because subsequent versions would all be heavier and slower. Think Ducati SS, Le Mans. Jota, Commando; what if Velocette had civilised the Thruxton, or BSA the Gold Star?
 

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... ended up with an uncomfortable Darmah.
But there you see, that's the 'problem' I don't find my SSD in the least bit uncomfortable - and I've got the early, high peg model which is reputed to be the worst!

I go out with fellow riders round here, them on their modern Hondas, Aprilias, Ducrappis, BMWs whatever - and then get moaned at because I took them down all those 'bumpy twisty roads', 'my back/wrists/arse hurts' :oops:.

I dunno ...:)
 

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That's true, comfort is in the body of the beholder and we are all different. It depends on the speed that you are going at too - a high-bar bike will be comfy around town, but on the motorway? My 750 Sport was comfortable when I was 25, but now I'm 65 most of me hurts when I get back from a ride, whatever the riding position.
 
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