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Discussion Starter #1
Hello all. Brand new Ducati owner- for about an hour now...

1999 900SS.

So many questions I dont know where to start, but for now- thanks for being here, and brace yourself for the questions...
 

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Welcome to the group. There is a lot of information and experience here.

Joe
 

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welcome. :)

98% of your questions have already been answered,
try to find them with the search function. :)

you could use www.imageshack.us to upload some pictures of the bike. :)
 

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hey there! welcome to the group! I am a new rider and have been on this forum for almost a year now. I also bought my first Ducati (yellow 99' 900SS) which is also my first bike. I have had tons of questions answered on this forum both asked by me and other members. tons of good advice and good laughs on here. Have fun and ride safe.

Lonestar Aviator
 

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Welcome...

Welcome hopz!! Like Muschi said... you will most probably find the answers to your questions there or with these excellent group of riders/owners and mechanics!!!

Post some pics soon!:D

Vickon:abduct:
 

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Good to have you here it's a great place to be when you are not out riding:D
 

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Discussion Starter #8
First Question-Fluids

I did some search but no clear answer yet. It must be so obvious no one asked it before.

Checking oil level... on side stand or vertical?

I notice the rear brake fluid reservoir is way low... Read that on side stand or vertical? Which Fluid DOT 4? DOT 3 or ?

I am in the process of removing the dirt from the bike and putting it on me.

Pictures as soon as I can figure out how... I'm searching, Gone Searching... maybe I have it... maybe it is just like the BMW Sport Touring Board....

I love this thing already. It is so "Mechanical"... and so unlike the BMW, which is so... German.

Aren't there supposed to be some "Ducati" Decals or something?

 

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Your bike has been repainted (it looks good in that color); the 900SS was not offered in black. Grey color "Ducati" decals were located on the fairing sides, but you could certainly add them.

In addition to searching for what you want/need, you could share with us what you expect to do with this bike (where/how do you intend to ride?).

I have a highly modded '99 SS, so I might be of some help. Check oil and brake fluid when the bike is vertical.
 

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Welcome to the club. You have a great bike, and as another longtime BMW and Ducati owner, there is definitely a place for both in mind and spirit.

Your bike should be on the wheels and level to check the oil. And RZ33v4 (along with many others) does know ALOT about modding these bikes.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Hello again...

My intentions? Well that is a fair question and one I ought to have a good answer for.

Maybe start with what I am not. I'm not a go faster guy, not a track racer, not a street racer. I don't do wheelies or stoppies.

I am a gentleman's canyon carver but not a blaster. I'm the guy that you might pass or try to catch who just seems to go at a pretty good pace but not crazy about it. If you pay attention you might notice that guy is smooth, never misses an apex. I'm not afraid of triple digits on the BMW and I suppose I won't be on the SS, but I will cruise at 10 over most of the time.

I am a detailer guy. Keep my bikes clean and touched up, mechanically tuned up too. I am a gear head so I want to know what everything does and why. I am not obsessive about building a museum bike, but I do like clean. I don't mind using my bikes... ride often and go for it.

Thanks for asking... now until I get my manual... any way to tune the front forks? They just seem way harsh.

And I have a squeak at the lower mount of the rear shock. Is there supposed to be a bushing in there or something else? Know the torque on that lower nut/bolt?

Thanks again.
 

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I did some search but no clear answer yet. It must be so obvious no one asked it before.

Checking oil level... on side stand or vertical?

I notice the rear brake fluid reservoir is way low... Read that on side stand or vertical? Which Fluid DOT 4? DOT 3 or ?

I am in the process of removing the dirt from the bike and putting it on me.

Pictures as soon as I can figure out how... I'm searching, Gone Searching... maybe I have it... maybe it is just like the BMW Sport Touring Board....

I love this thing already. It is so "Mechanical"... and so unlike the BMW, which is so... German.

Aren't there supposed to be some "Ducati" Decals or something?

Aren't there supposed to be some "Ducati" Decals or something?
Welcome, and I love the Beemer, I wish I could justify another bike.

Agip stickers are always a nice touch without getting to busy, here is mine;
 

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On the decals, you seem to like things very clean/simple, according to the picture of your Beemer. If so, just add the simple "Ducati" decals to the fairing sides. You can order them from your dealer.

You need to adjust the suspension settings, front and rear. A friend of mine bought an ST4s a few years ago and thought the front end felt too stiff. He was right; the former owner had the front fork compression setting set two clicks from "full hard".

On the front fork, the slotted brass screws on the very top adjust rebound damping, the hex nuts just below those slotted screws adjust the preload and the compression damping is adjusted from the bottom of each fork leg, with a straight screwdriver. The owner's manual gives the standard factory settings as:
- On both the rebound/compression, start by turning the screws clockwise until they stop, then turn each counterclockwise, 7 clicks for rebound (14 clicks out total) and 11 clicks for compression (16 clicks total).
- Preload is adjusted by turning the top hex nuts (clockwise for more, the opposite for less).

You really should set "sag" first, then start with the factory settings. Sag....Distance a motorcycle compresses with weight on it. There are two types of sag we deal with. The first is "free" (static) sag, which is the amount the springs compress under the weight of the bike. The second is rider sag, which is the amount the springs compress with the rider on board.

Preload....This is the amount a spring is compressed with no weight on it at all.


BASELINE SETUP:
At this point, we're finally going to do some measuring and adjusting. We will use a known working baseline to set up your chassis. Then the next time you practice, you will be able to analyze how it works and fine tune it to work even better. All suspension adjustments made by pushing or bouncing on the bike should be made with the bike off the stands, on level ground, and with the bike in neutral.

Rear Shock....The first and most basic adjustment is to set the sag on the shock. When you make these measurements, accuracy is important. If at all possible, use a metric tape measure with millimeter increments. If you use an S.A.E. tape, then measure to the sixteenth of an inch (1" = 25.4mm). You need to pick two fixed points on the rear of your bike for this. One on the rear of the swingarm (like a stand spool or the axle), and one on the sub frame (like one of the bolts that holds the rear passenger pegs on. never use the bodywork since it can sag when the rider gets on). Before you can measure the sag, you must first find the fully extended measurement between your two points. Have a friend help you by pulling up on the footpegs to fully extend the rear suspension. Your bike may be fully extended already. If it is, this is not a problem. Record the distance at "full extension" on your log sheet. Now have your friend balance the bike for you and push down on the seat several times to settle the suspension. Now measure and record the distance between your two points again. This is your static sag. There should definitely be a little static sag on the rear shock. Most expert race bikes have 5-10mm static sag. Your next measurement is rider sag. Have a friend stand at the front of your bike and balance it by the ends of the handlebars. Sit on the bike like you would ride it and bounce down on it three times to settle the suspension. Now have another friend measure between your two points for you and log the measurement in the log. This is your rider sag. Next you need to subtract your rider sag measurement from your full extension measurement. This is your rear sag measurement. You should have 30mm of sag. This is your baseline setting and can be adjusted after your test ride. If your spring tops out the bike, you will need a stiffer spring.

Now we need to adjust the damping. The object is to get the suspension to respond as quickly as possible to irregularities in the pavement. Damping is required to control the movement of the wheel and the spring. Set your rebound damping adjuster first. It is difficult to explain how it should appear in words, but as you push on the seat, it should return quickly, but not instantaneously. It should take approximately one second for it to return to the top from a hard push. You should be able to watch the seat rise. If it just pops back up right away, you need to add rebound. If it drags up slowly, loosen it up. If you have a compression adjuster, sit it up in the middle. You can determine how to adjust it after your initial test ride, too hard loosen it up, and to soft add.


Front Forks....Start here by setting the sag on the fork the same way you did on the shock. First you need a fully extended measurement. Only way to get consistency is to have two guys pick up on the handlebars until the front wheel leaves the ground slightly. Measure the exposed area of the fork slider. On a conventional fork, this will be from the bottom of the lower triple tree to the top of the dust seal on the slider. For an inverted fork, this will be from the dust seal down to the top edge of the aluminum axle clamp. Record this measurement on your log sheet. Push down on the fork hard three times, to settle the suspension. Now measure the static sag. Finally, get on the bike and push down three more times, while a friend balances the bike. Have your friend with the tape take the final measurement. The measurement you are looking for on the front fork is 35mm. If your spring is of the correct rate, the free sag should be about 65 percent of the rider sag, or about 20mm. The front fork has to have a great deal of free sag so that the front wheel may move down into a hole as well as over a bump. If your fork has too much sag turn the preload adjuster in. If you don't have preload adjusters, then you will have to remove your fork spacers and cut longer preload spacers. Adjust in 10mm increments. When you get close, you can go to 5mm increments.

I found this under "suspension cheat sheet" using the search function. The rear shock should not squeak and, yes, there is a bushing at each end. I have a RaceTech Goldline kit in my front forks and changed over to an Ohlins rear shock many years ago, so I don't remember much about the stock parts. The SS (to me anyhow) is all about twisty road riding and it does it well, so that is the area I would work on first - improving the chassis.
 
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