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True that. You'll either pay up front, or pay over the long haul. Your choice. If you're set on a Ducati, I think the same applies across the board with any of them. If it's going cheap, there's probably a reason it's going cheap.

At least in the case of the Supersport you've posted about in this thread there is not a great deal of mystery involved. Owners have been through them for a couple of decades now, and the vast majority of issues and fixes is well documented.

You could very well wind up paying a good deal more for a cosmetically clean and original motorcycle but still wind up with plenty of hidden issues that you'll have to solve eventually anyway. IE, you find a $5K example and wind up having to make the same kind of repairs and as many as you would with the $2500 example.

I'm not trying to dissuade you, or persuede you to take one course or other. Just relaying my collective experiences. As someone already pointed out, there's no free ride....but equally there's no cheap ones either.
 

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Discussion Starter #22
Ok, I am going to talk to the owner and find out exactly what he's already fixed over the years. He told me the bikes been very well looked after and after looking into the miles. The bikes only averaged about 2700 miles/year since 96' which doesn't sound as bad.
 

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Discussion Starter #23
True that. You'll either pay up front, or pay over the long haul. Your choice. If you're set on a Ducati, I think the same applies across the board with any of them. If it's going cheap, there's probably a reason it's going cheap.

At least in the case of the Supersport you've posted about in this thread there is not a great deal of mystery involved. Owners have been through them for a couple of decades now, and the vast majority of issues and fixes is well documented.

You could very well wind up paying a good deal more for a cosmetically clean and original motorcycle but still wind up with plenty of hidden issues that you'll have to solve eventually anyway. IE, you find a $5K example and wind up having to make the same kind of repairs and as many as you would with the $2500 example.

I'm not trying to dissuade you, or persuede you to take one course or other. Just relaying my collective experiences. As someone already pointed out, there's no free ride....but equally there's no cheap ones either.
True that. You'll either pay up front, or pay over the long haul. Your choice. If you're set on a Ducati, I think the same applies across the board with any of them. If it's going cheap, there's probably a reason it's going cheap.

At least in the case of the Supersport you've posted about in this thread there is not a great deal of mystery involved. Owners have been through them for a couple of decades now, and the vast majority of issues and fixes is well documented.

You could very well wind up paying a good deal more for a cosmetically clean and original motorcycle but still wind up with plenty of hidden issues that you'll have to solve eventually anyway. IE, you find a $5K example and wind up having to make the same kind of repairs and as many as you would with the $2500 example.

I'm not trying to dissuade you, or persuede you to take one course or other. Just relaying my collective experiences. As someone already pointed out, there's no free ride....but equally there's no cheap ones either.
Ok, I am going to talk to the owner and find out exactly what he's already fixed over the years. He told me the bikes been very well looked after and after looking into the miles. The bikes only averaged about 2700 miles/year since 96' which doesn't sound as bad. I've been looking into these for awhile now and for me it really boils down to what shape the engine is in. My last bike (KLR-650) blew up after 1000km after buying it and I think that's why I'm very hesitant with the deal. I'm only 21 and I'm not sure if I want to buy a potential money pit. I'm just looking for a very well built motorcycle that I can keep for a long time. If I have to put in 1k-2k to have it running smooth. That's a price I can live with.
 

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You don't want a potential money pit eh?

It IS a Ducati you know.... parts can be expensive, and older bikes like the SS are getting harder to find bits for, a lot of mechanical and service items are easy, cosmetics and bike specific stuff like tail lights for example command a pretty penny.
That said, the 2 valve air cooled 900 is probably the most reliable/indestructible of the Ducati range, and from the pics i've seen it certainly does look like it's been well maintained.

Know that it doesn't matter what brand, year, mileage bike you buy, if it needs the consumables they will all cost about the same price give or take so get the cleanest example that's been looked after the best and look for the general state of it and list what needs replacing to make it rideable.
 

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Discussion Starter #25
Thanks for the response, you made some good points. I'll see what he says about the service record and go from there. If I do get this bike I would keep it indefinitely. To me it's been a unicorn for some time haha.
 

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Discussion Starter #26
You don't want a potential money pit eh?

It IS a Ducati you know.... parts can be expensive, and older bikes like the SS are getting harder to find bits for, a lot of mechanical and service items are easy, cosmetics and bike specific stuff like tail lights for example command a pretty penny.
That said, the 2 valve air cooled 900 is probably the most reliable/indestructible of the Ducati range, and from the pics i've seen it certainly does look like it's been well maintained.

Know that it doesn't matter what brand, year, mileage bike you buy, if it needs the consumables they will all cost about the same price give or take so get the cleanest example that's been looked after the best and look for the general state of it and list what needs replacing to make it rideable.
You don't want a potential money pit eh?

It IS a Ducati you know.... parts can be expensive, and older bikes like the SS are getting harder to find bits for, a lot of mechanical and service items are easy, cosmetics and bike specific stuff like tail lights for example command a pretty penny.
That said, the 2 valve air cooled 900 is probably the most reliable/indestructible of the Ducati range, and from the pics i've seen it certainly does look like it's been well maintained.

Know that it doesn't matter what brand, year, mileage bike you buy, if it needs the consumables they will all cost about the same price give or take so get the cleanest example that's been looked after the best and look for the general state of it and list what needs replacing to make it rideable.
Thanks for the response, you made some good points. I'll see what he says about the service record and go from there. If I do get this bike I would keep it indefinitely. To me it's been a unicorn for some time haha
 

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The most important thing to do regardless whether you purchase this one or another bike is (and this is coming from someone who own's a European motorcycle shop) Do your services religiously, when they are due and dont cut corners. If you do this the bike will last and serve you well. Do it not and it WILL bite you in the arse. Find out from the owner when the last full service was including belts & valve adjustment--This will tell you alot.
 

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By the way--I have a 1977 BMW R100SRS it is my primary bike. I have always kept up on all service. That bike now has over 1 million miles on it. The engine has had 1 complete overhaul --yes I have done the top end about 6 times and other things but they can last a very long time if cared for. And no I dont expect my Ducati's to be that trouble free
 

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I can only say this is great advice. Having recently bought a 900 Monster (Mechanically very similar to the SS) that the PO cleaned religiously but skipped the last Valve service. The bike is Mint, literally showroom new, but ... now the heads and jugs are off because the Valves clearances were ignored for too long and no longer seal (20% loss with a leak down test).
 

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I will also throw out there that interest in carby SS is growing so if you do spend based on Brads cost estimate (which may be accurate) the value of the bike will likely exceed that number if you own it long enough. Ask any owner of a Pos Bevel drive what they are worth now compared to 20 years ago and you get what I am saying, bevels that were scrapped back around 2000 because they were mostly worthless would now be worth a pretty penny and rising still. Time can be your friend if you keep it long term and do not do things that lower value like cafe ,chop etc.
 

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Discussion Starter #32
Update - I have seen the bikes condition in person and heard it run. She sounds very good and the bike is cleaner then I expected. It needs a little bit of TLC before it's road worthy but I want to thank you everyone for your comments and input, I've taken all your advice into consideration.
 

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The issue is that when looking at something this old there is more to look at.

Miles do not tell the story. Time can do just as much damage.
Personally I get terrified when thinking about buying an ultra low mileage bike that has just sat for the last 20-30 years.

Iconic just sold a SS with almost 200k miles.

For something vintage you are looking to understand how all the pieces of the puzzle fit together.
When was that millage added. If the owner has been regularly using and maintaining the bike then the odometer reading becomes less important.

Comments about track use signs are the same in my book. These are performance bikes, why would track use diminish the bike? There is a difference between track use, and abuse.

It sounds to me like there would be more value in talking about what the OP wants to do with a bike, rather then discussing this specific example.
 
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