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Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone,

I have a well travelled 1984 900s2 kickstart.
I have had issues with the alignment of the swingarm from the start.
I am looking to replace the swingarm, and Eurotrash make one for the 900ss.
I am aware that the frames are different but will it bolt in? It looks the same.
I asked them but they are not sure.

Also any advice on how to brace the flexi frame would also be appreciated.
I am not looking to change the frame or bodywork. Yes it looks like a 1980s volvo (kinda square)
But I am fine with that.

Rossco
 

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Hi Rossco,

First off, the swinging arms are identical - same part number. But when you say you have had alignment issues from the start, do you mean that the wheel alignment is out? This is normal for all bevel Ducatis and the culprit is not the swinging arm, as I've been down the same road myself. I believe that the problem is that the headstock is welded on at an angle (vertically) only a small amount, but by the time the wheel contacts the road it amounts to about half-an-inch.

Ducati frames were made by Verlicchi and they were very generous in that they gifted every owner a misaligned frame free of charge. They also made Norton Commando frames and these too had headstocks welded on incorrectly. I know this from reading an article by a Norton employee who joked about this issue.

I sort of solved the issue on my S2 by fitting spoked wheels and adjusting the rear offset to the right to line up the wheels. What most owners do is to just align the wheels in the time honoured fashion using the rear wheel adjusters, but this results in the chain line being out and the front sprocket wears heavily on the inside.

The only real answer is to get the headstock reset in a jig, and I will do this if, and when, I ever rebuild my S2. The amount of setting needed is tiny, it is just that any error is magnified by the time the wheel reaches the floor.

BTW, you mention the flexy frame; I had issues with this when the bike was new - handlebars shimmying all over the place - but after putting the beast on a diet and removing over 60lbs of weight the shimmying disappeared and I've been totally happy with the handling ever since. One area which really improves the bike is sorting the forks (see an earlier post of mine) there is so much stiction in the forks that they work really poorly and this masks the fact that there is not enough rebound damping.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Yeah Duccout I think the swingarm might be out of alignment, as well. I have had to have the bushes and pin line bored each time to make the pin fit. Simply fitting new bushes will not work because the pin won't line up with the inside of the far bush when it is inserted into the frame. The pin and bushes have to be replaced often because the wear is uneven (yes I lube them often), and the resulting slack has killed a set of contis as well.

Maybe it is time to replace the frame and swingarm, because the behaviour you describe is probably most of the reason for the original post.

Thank you for your time to post Duccout, I am just wondering how you are going tank wise. I am looking for my 4th tank, the cap leaks water, which rusts out the seams. Fairly sure the ethenol in the fuels here would kill a fibreglass tank, so I guess I'm going to have to wait for a metal replacement.

Rossco
 

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Hi Rossco,

Strange that you mention the tank, because either **** Walker or Ian Falloon talks about them rotting in their books, due to the cap not sealing. Touch wood, I've never had a problem and I did drain the tank about ten years ago and could not see any rust inside at all (maybe I should recheck!). One thing that I did do when the bike was new was to rub down the sealing area of the filler neck to get a flat surface, as the paint there was uneven and petrol used to seep out.

It looks like a 900SS tank would fit, although it wouldn't look right and I think that you are right about fibre glass and ethanol - not good bedfellows. BTW I didn't think that it rained in OZ!

For a swinging arm, try HEDS USA, who make them, but make sure it is for a 900 and not a 750, which is different. BTW, it is not just Ducati who sent out bikes with misaligned frames - American Superbike racers used to hack saw off the headstocks of Z1 Kawasakis and re-weld them on straight because the frames were out of line.

Colin
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Hi Duccout thanks mate. The ss tank is an inch longer than the standard s2 tank. I know this because I have one that has been used to make do over the years. Look after your standard tank! One of the Aussie bevel parts makers recon they have a fibreglass tank that is resistant to ethanol as strong as 10% so I think I'll give one of those a go.

It rains here if you visit the right place. The outback... not so much.

Rossco
 

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Hi Rossco,

You probably know this already, but I'll say it in case. On the two 900 S2's that I've worked on, it was nearly impossible to remove the swinging arm, because the pin was so tight in the frame clamps. Loosening off both rear engine mounting bolts until the frame had spread completely (about 10mm) allowed the pin to slide out easily. So obviously these frames are 'sprung' and distorted where the rear down tubes are squashed. This may have a bearing on what you are experiencing.

Thanks for the info on the tank, it may be time to drain mine again and have a look and maybe line it with epoxy resin. I always thought that a 900SS tank would fit, although it shouldn't be too difficult to get one altered to fit.
 

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Rossco,
Be careful when buying fibreglass bodywork. I know of people sending back Australian made tanks. As for ethanol claims I would be lining myself. The best stuff seems to be now coming from Back to Classics in Holland. They have just released resistant Imola glass tanks and for them to go to the trouble of re-inventing these means that what was out there wasn't too good. I have been looking around for a while now. Good luck.
Ian
 

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Discussion Starter #10
i have a very good condition S2 tank laying around if someone needs one .
i am located in the Netherlands .
Sent you a pm.
Rossco
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I also found a mob in India making replica tanks in steel and alloy.
The Sportclassic boys had some samples sent over and seemed pleased with the quality.
Ebay store here. They don't have an s2 tank at this stage, but do have a few ss options.
 

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Those Indian tanks sure are expensive though, considering that they pay their workers about £2 an hour! £475 + £75 delivery + 30% import duties adds up to a hell of a price! I can buy a hand beaten alloy tank made in the UK for £500.

funny story - friend?? of mine bought a 900S2 tank from a stall at a jumble for £5!! about 10 years ago, to fit to his SS. When he found out it did not fit, he sold it on eBay for peanuts (probably to another guy who thought it would fit an SS). I wish that he had told me he was selling it.

The maker of the ethanol resistant tanks in Italy is open to the idea of making new types of tanks, so it may be that he can be persuaded to make S2 tanks, because it looks like the supply has probably run out.
 

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Back to Classics does get parts from Italy but the tanks that they have now are very recently a new lot which may be of their own making I will get to look at one soon. As for the Indian tanks if you can contact Rohan ( I think that is his name ) directly you can get them cheaper. He was on this forum quite a while ago looking for singles tanks to copy. One was sent over and the copy was very good. I will see if I can find the contact.
Ian
 

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Discussion Starter #15
friend?? of mine bought a 900S2 tank from a stall at a jumble for £5!! about 10 years ago, to fit to his SS. When he found out it did not fit, he sold it on eBay for peanuts (probably to another guy who thought it would fit an SS). I wish that he had told me he was selling it.
Over here s2's are often retro fitted with MHR or SS gear because they are generally looked at as the least desirable of that period of bevel twins. I guess this is the reason that there is still an odd original tank for sale. I had an SS fairing and a MHR tank (nos) but couldn't bring myself to do it. Sort of destroying the history of the bike in a way.

I will see if I can find the contact.
Yes please, we may need them at some point.
 

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I must admit that I've got an SS fairing on mine, to make access to the carbs and engine easier and to save weight (but not for looks!). All-in-all the old girl has done me proud and I'm still pleased that I bought her all those 31 years ago. Certainly she's been more reliable than a 620 Multistrada that I owned.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Post a couple of pics Duccout.
Interested to see what it looks like.
 

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Can't figure out how to post pictures!

Patience with us old'uns.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
No worries, getting on a bit myself.
This pantah is for sale here, the fairing looks like a hybrid, its kind of interesting.



Wonder where you could buy one of those. I suspect it is a bespoke item, it looks great.
I wonder if something new but channeling the SS might have sold better than the s2 did.
 
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