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900MHR‘83/900SS‘93/888‘94/996‘00/996(1198 Hybrid)/Scrambler‘15/HD VL’31/Husky450fs’17
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello!
I wanted ask some advice about the bike I bought recently. It’s a Ducati 900 MHR from 1983/84. Based on VIN/engine numbers it seems to be one of those latest bikes with a kick-start. Plan is to get it registered first and that might be a little bit of challenge as papers are lost. Ultimate goal is obviously to make it great again. I have attached some pictures. If possible, could you please comment/give an advice on how to restore this bike to authentic condition. For example fork tubes in front are polished although the later models had them black or red I think. Fairings, they are robust. Though are they genuine or replicas? Etc. I believe I must also buy those bibles mentioned earlier in this forum for a proper restoration guide. Any suggestions on literature and tools essential for working with this bike are welcommed also. Many thanks in advance for all who will take time to share some wisdom. Feel free to offer parts that are seem to be missing.



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If it was mine I’d clean it up and get it running well, make it the best it can be without changing anything I wasn’t forced to change . Don’t modify it at all. Assume everything is stock and don’t throw anything away, put everything you take off in a box.
 

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Bon Vivant
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I really doubt that bike is going to clean up or run without some major work. Personally I couldnt enjoy a bike in that condition unless I was working on restoring it but to each his own. It does look like a lot of the original bike is still there but that is not a project that can be done half heartedly. it needs a lot of work.

Does it turn over? have you drained the oil? how does that look? any water inside?
 

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Quick reply ...

First off, congratulations on your acquisition!

Agree - it looks like one of the few late 1983/early 1984, kick-start only, MHRs that used the S2 frame. (That said, I don’t quite understand why it has the Verlicchi electric start handlebar switch. But it’s possible that all bikes made at this period got this, regardless …)

It’s a shame the left side cover has been butchered to fit those nasty K&N air filters.

It's possible the front mudguard has been modified. The holes on the side look too big, certainly bigger than shown in the parts book I have. But I’m not an expert, so please don’t take my word for it.

I’m attaching a few photos that may be of interest. They’re of a similar bike that turned up here in France a few years ago. It came in with a batch of bikes imported from Japan. Even if it is a kick-start only model like yours, I I reckon it's later than yours - see the fuel cap, for example. And this one had the later style of instrument panel.

1010178


1010177


1010179
 

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900MHR‘83/900SS‘93/888‘94/996‘00/996(1198 Hybrid)/Scrambler‘15/HD VL’31/Husky450fs’17
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
If it was mine I’d clean it up and get it running well, make it the best it can be without changing anything I wasn’t forced to change . Don’t modify it at all. Assume everything is stock and don’t throw anything away, put everything you take off in a box.
Thanks for a comment! I would be happy to keep it in original condition. Unfortunately it is not in the best shape and many things need to be recoated. Gas tank, fairings, chrome parts etc. I try to polish the frame and keep it original although it has some rust and scratches. I am not yet sure if the same treatment is enough for a swingarm. I am not going to do any modifications. Hence my question about authenticity of a bike. My intention is to have it as close to the factory condition as possible.
 

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Once you get the mechanicals working, perhaps you can polish the paint work and keep it original? Some of the metal parts might clean up and without needing to be soda blasted. At least the photos look promising. I think keeping it original is best if possible. Get it running first and figure it out. I kind of think that less is more.
 

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900MHR‘83/900SS‘93/888‘94/996‘00/996(1198 Hybrid)/Scrambler‘15/HD VL’31/Husky450fs’17
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I really doubt that bike is going to clean up or run without some major work. Personally I couldnt enjoy a bike in that condition unless I was working on restoring it but to each his own. It does look like a lot of the original bike is still there but that is not a project that can be done half heartedly. it needs a lot of work.

Does it turn over? have you drained the oil? how does that look? any water inside?
I really doubt that bike is going to clean up or run without some major work. Personally I couldnt enjoy a bike in that condition unless I was working on restoring it but to each his own. It does look like a lot of the original bike is still there but that is not a project that can be done half heartedly. it needs a lot of work.

Does it turn over? have you drained the oil? how does that look? any water inside?
Thanks for a comment! I totally agree - this bike needs a lot of attention and work before it can be driven again. I need to take it into parts, choose what to replace or repair and what could work with a little bit of cleaning and polishing. Hence my questions about theoretical authenticity and parts it is suppose to have.
I got it just yesterday. Yes, engine is turning around. I drained oil as you recommended and there were no signs of a water. Oil though was dirty, like from a diesel engine :) I am sure the engine will work if to clean the carburetors and if the electricity is OK. But I will take it apart first. Carburetors have been kept uncovered and it can be seen that intakes have dust and dirt inside.
All in all yes, it needs a lot of work. And I want to restore it properly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Quick reply ...

First off, congratulations on your acquisition!

Agree - it looks like one of the few late 1983/early 1984, kick-start only, MHRs that used the S2 frame. (That said, I don’t quite understand why it has the Verlicchi electric start handlebar switch. But it’s possible that all bikes made at this period got this, regardless …)

It’s a shame the left side cover has been butchered to fit those nasty K&N air filters.

It's possible the front mudguard has been modified. The holes on the side look too big, certainly bigger than shown in the parts book I have. But I’m not an expert, so please don’t take my word for it.

I’m attaching a few photos that may be of interest. They’re of a similar bike that turned up here in France a few years ago. It came in with a batch of bikes imported from Japan. Even if it is a kick-start only model like yours, I I reckon it's later than yours - see the fuel cap, for example. And this one had the later style of instrument panel.

View attachment 1010178

View attachment 1010177

View attachment 1010179
Thanks! It’s VIN is extremely close to the latest reported kick-start bike I found from a Bevel Heaven webpage. VIN starts with DM860SS. Others (that are later I suppose) had already different first symbols.
Picture about handlebar controls I put intentionally. I had the same confusion - why the kick start bike has a starter switch. And this is exactly why I need opinions/advice from those who are much more experienced with these bikes.
Nice pictures you shared. As it can be seen this bike from Japan has black front tubes as they are supposed to, my bike has these polished. Should I simply paint them black? The bike from Japan has black rear fender, my bike has red - does it make a difference? Front fender, I have two of them and they are of different design. Which one is correct? I also think there is a difference in exhaust mufflers. Those that my bike have are not connected properly and they seem to be not authentic for this particular bike - they are short in front ( they don’t reach the middle section properly). And so for. Thanks for a comment!
 

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Some parts may be difficult to get so start looking before commiting money to what you already have. A thorough clean up is the best start. These bikes come up beautifully and are worth the effort.Note which model you have. From what I see yours is an S2 framed bike.
I completed one a few years ago for my son who bought it as a basket case.
1010199

1010198

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The screen still has its protective coating. The fairing lower is a real pain and useless for good riding. Cheers,
Ian
 

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I still kick myself for not purchasing the one of these I had a chance to purchase about 27-30 years ago, Of all Ducati's This is the one I want. --I saw Mile at the Isle of Man in 78 come back and win on his--This is my Dream Ducati
 

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Bon Vivant
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Some parts may be difficult to get so start looking before commiting money to what you already have. A thorough clean up is the best start. These bikes come up beautifully and are worth the effort.Note which model you have. From what I see yours is an S2 framed bike.
I completed one a few years ago for my son who bought it as a basket case.
View attachment 1010199
View attachment 1010198
View attachment 1010200
The screen still has its protective coating. The fairing lower is a real pain and useless for good riding. Cheers,
Ian

absolutely beautiful as usual Ian! (y)
 

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Over time I’ve found my older bikes would have been worth more had I kept all the stock stuff, regardless of how i modified the bike. Had I been able to sell each with the original stuff in a box it enables a easy return to stock, and often times it’s the little stuff .
 

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Hi,

It's in a bit of a state! Get your wallet ready. Your bike is one of the last square-case models made, when Ducati were in the process of bringing in the dry clutch engine, so they added things like the oil sight glass and spin-on filter. I would guess that you bike originally had an electric start, otherwise the wiring for it would not have been connected to the handlebar switch - many people removed the starter and fitted a kick-start lever and plain clutch cover.

Good luck with it and let us know how you get on.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thanks for all comments! I am not in hurry and it is not going to be a quick build. I want to do it right and I am collecting info now to have a clear plan once I am starting to work on it. Don’t want to spoil genuine parts if they belong to other models/model years. Would buy proper parts instead.
BTW how do you guys paint your frames etc.? Based to my experience nothing competes with factory paint in strength, durability and finishing quality as a combo. Car paint looks nice until you start to bolt on stuff and it gets quickly ruined by properly torqued bolts and nuts. Powder coating is strong, but I haven’t found a place yet in here where they have the finishing layer nice and bright (it has annoying “orange” pattern). I usually try to avoid re-painting the frames or metal parts. If some areas are really bad the I try to find a matching color and I am fixing the paint in specific areas only. But sometimes you cannot avoid the sand blast and new paint.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Hi,

It's in a bit of a state! Get your wallet ready. Your bike is one of the last square-case models made, when Ducati were in the process of bringing in the dry clutch engine, so they added things like the oil sight glass and spin-on filter. I would guess that you bike originally had an electric start, otherwise the wiring for it would not have been connected to the handlebar switch - many people removed the starter and fitted a kick-start lever and plain clutch cover.

Good luck with it and let us know how you get on.
Thanks for a comment! Interesting what you say about starter. How can I identify if it had a starter when coming out of factory? Search by VIN code at Beavel Heaven shows that there is a successor that is a kick-start bike.
 

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Thanks for a comment! Interesting what you say about starter. How can I identify if it had a starter when coming out of factory? Search by VIN code at Beavel Heaven shows that there is a successor that is a kick-start bike.


Your bike is indeed one of the last square case models, however, I doubt that it was fitted with an electric starter motor.
Electric starts weren't fitted to MHRs until the later 900 dry clutch model with Mille type side casings (at least not in Ducati's largest market,- Australia).
To remove the starter, as well as the associated sprag clutch and thin fly wheel behind the clutch housing, replace both engine covers and fit a kickstarter is a lot of work and expense.
Why would they leave the cheapest and easiest part to replace? The throttle housing.
Have a look behind the clutch basket and see if the sprag clutch is still there.
Trace the wires from the starter button to where a bracket and solenoid should be attached. There may also be extra wires from the wiring harness which aren't connected to anything in that area.
More likely someone replaced the throttle cable housing with one from a Darmah.

The front guard fitted to the bike is the same style as originally fitted to 1982 SS and was painted black for the 83 MHR.
Front brake discs look like 900 S2 or Darmah.
A lot of other things are missing.

Don't be too concerned with what is right and what is wrong. Ducati were in a state of flux during the early to mid eighties and no two markets in the world got bikes exactly the same.
Whatever they had at hand was fitted.
Since it's inception, the MHR has had three different styles of front mudguard, three different styles of front brake rotors. Fibreglass, ABS and metal rear mudguards. Wide berth (one and two piece) and slim line fairings. Different colour schemes for forks, chainguards, mudguards. Six then five spoke wheels. Two different frames, extra brackets on those frames, etc., etc.
Few of these differences can be pinned down to an exact time or certain model as there was no rhyme or reason for what was fitted.

Decide what you want to do with the bike then rebuild/restore as appropriate.
If you want concourse condition to sell then you better have a lot of time and money to invest.
Afterwards, please don't advertise it for sale as "original condition" because it won't be.
If you want a bike to ride then you won't be fitting all OEM parts as some are just pure crap.

There is nothing more expensive than a "cheap" Ducati bevel.
 

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I don't think that there is a sure way of telling if your bike came with an electric starter. I have seen Hailwood's like yours with the 'old' electric starter, and I'm guessing that the factory were using up old engines before fitting the new dry clutch engine. Many people had nothing but trouble with the electric starter - failing to start the bike in cold weather, or more importantly constant trouble with the sprag clutch bearing, which caused them to ditch the electric starter. A lot of people preferred the cleaner - looking, and simpler set-up of the kickstart engine too. There was a company here in the UK that used to offer an exchange service for the clutch covers, who welded up the starter opening on the covers for people who wanted to convert their bikes, and another company near me who produced kick-start clutch covers from scratch as replacements.

Can you tell us the engine number? I think that will solve the issue: according to Ian Falloon, Hailwood electric start engines for around 1983 began with the engine numbers 907000, but kickstart engines were at 095700. Of course, the engine could have been changed after a blow-up......

Colin
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I don't think that there is a sure way of telling if your bike came with an electric starter. I have seen Hailwood's like yours with the 'old' electric starter, and I'm guessing that the factory were using up old engines before fitting the new dry clutch engine. Many people had nothing but trouble with the electric starter - failing to start the bike in cold weather, or more importantly constant trouble with the sprag clutch bearing, which caused them to ditch the electric starter. A lot of people preferred the cleaner - looking, and simpler set-up of the kickstart engine too. There was a company here in the UK that used to offer an exchange service for the clutch covers, who welded up the starter opening on the covers for people who wanted to convert their bikes, and another company near me who produced kick-start clutch covers from scratch as replacements.

Can you tell us the engine number? I think that will solve the issue: according to Ian Falloon, Hailwood electric start engines for around 1983 began with the engine numbers 907000, but kickstart engines were at 095700. Of course, the engine could have been changed after a blow-up......

Colin
Engine DM860 0970xx
Frame DM860SS 0928xx
 
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