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The 98+ frame has a totally different angle of the upper tubes where they meet the steerer tube, that's probably what reduces the flexing of the tubes and prevents the cracking.
 

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Cracking was due to a poor weld where they mounted the tank latch.

Late 97 and 98 (us model) frames did not have the problem. 1999 (in US) first year of the EFI SS they eliminated the weld on bracket and no more issues.

I also have not seen a white frame 92 and earlier frame crack.plenty of 95,and 96 frames. Best time to change one was under 4 hours start to finish. Yes I had lots of practice.
 

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Cracking was due to a poor weld where they mounted the tank latch.

Late 97 and 98 (us model) frames did not have the problem. 1999 (in US) first year of the EFI SS they eliminated the weld on bracket and no more issues.

I also have not seen a white frame 92 and earlier frame crack.plenty of 95,and 96 frames. Best time to change one was under 4 hours start to finish. Yes I had lots of practice.
I wonder why there's a crack on the front side of the tube in my frame if the problem is the bracket welds.
 

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Pajazo
That's a good question, any pictures to share?

I have never seen a tube start a crack in the middle of the tube. They Mostly start around the weld as a small rust line that travels up the tube. I have seen them completely separated with the owner not knowing anything was wrong.

There are common reasons the frames crack and then there will be the uncommon. Frames that have suffered damage from owners or material defects. No way to always know but it is always good to see one when it happens. I have seen very few that cannot be repaired those were usually due to the owner riding the bike with the cracked tube for too long ( and it takes a long time to get bad).
 

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Here's a pic and also a pic from a brace I intend to get welded in. The rusty line is a crack.

The brace allows the airbox lid to be removed and installed without modifications. The airbox itself will not go in without releasing carbs from the intake runners when the brace is in place.
 

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Does anyone know the frame material? I have read somewhere that it's just mild steel, but the manual for 1991 supersport says "the frame is a tubular type with chrome-molybdenum steel trestle".

The nichols website says the gussets are made of low carbon steel, no mention of chromo.
 

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Pajazo

Yes I have seen them crack along the weld in the front They have always been started from the tank latch welds and traveled along the weld around the tube but I see no reason the crack could not have started elsewhere. Always along or starting from a weld though.

Yours looks like it must have been growing for a while. The early frame like you have has the two small buttons for the tank latch was the early version. Ducati made a more braced version next but they still cracked, by 1997 they figured out it was the welding process and fixed the problem as far as I have seen it has been good to go.

Some of the early replacement frames were the more gusseted versions but the same weld process and they broke so I have replaced more than one frame on the same bike.

Your brace looks good as long as the airbox fits i always have added a little extra bracing, some times It does double duty.

Early frames were told to be chrome moly but later (around the time of the issue, 95) it was changed to als-450. I have never seen an older frame crack mostly 95 and 96.
 

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I think it's highly likely that the frame will eventually crack. The brace seems well made to me and the price is right. I think it would be a good idea.

Ducvet: my frame is 94 model and I have a friend with a 97 or 98 model bike that has the cracks already welded. So I wouldn't say its limited to 95-96 years.
 

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I work on Ducati's for a living, I learned many years ago there is never absolutes. Any year can have issues but there are years that were more prone than others. I did not keep track of the years changed so we are relying on my ever melting brain. I would guess I have done a 94 and I know early 97 we saw a couple but The majority of 97's and I have not seen a 98 myself crack.

Another thing to think about is that we n the US may have not gotten the same model when there is a model change. 1998 in the US is a carbureted bike but IIRC Europe got the fuel injected model that year. Same may have happened with earlier frames (your 94 is our 95 model year). Plus back then Ducatis were on their production schedule so you might get a 95 in 94 or 95 depending on when the came off the line.

On my wall is a list of VIN numbers for 5 Ducati SS frames that were warranty jobs all were 95 or 96. This does not mean that's all we changed.

In reference to Humbugs 95, I have some original 94,95 and 96 SS customers that have never had a crack even at higher miles. There is no guarantee that your will ever crack. I would look at it as a timer, if it ever does crack it is time to take the bike apart (fix the weld) and make the bike new again.

The Brace certainly will not hurt anything but I do not know if it will "fix" the issue (I simply have no experience with adding a bolt on brace).

If the lack of a brace was the problem you would wonder why the fuel injected models (US 1999-2006) did not have the same problems even though they used the same frame materials and still have no brace there.
All that Ducati did was change the tank mount so they were no longer welding on the top tubes.
 

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Thanks both. I've messaged the seller.

Ducvet - UK spec bikes and US bikes are pretty similar - my bike even has a red line on the speedo at 55mph :) Only major difference is we never got the SP/CR models - everything is either SS (full or half faired) or SL (monoposto).

The SS lasted until '97, the FE was the next year , and the fuel injected bike was '99 on.

My bike was built in late '94 (from date stamps on the bike) and registered in April '95.



 
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