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In defense of the bike:

I don't compare the SS to something like my wife's Ninja. That Kawasaki is practical transportation. She doesn't want to do anything but add gas and oil (or, to be more precise, have me add oil). The SS is more of a cafe racer mentality. Something that's wild and temperamental. There's gotta be a tradeoff somewhere, and if the bike was a dog there would be no reason to mess with it. But there's something special about the SS. Kinda the looks, kinda the sound. Kinda the feel. It's like having a petite, adorable, oversexed Italian girlfriend from Bologna who is, to be sure, kind of a nut; but in a generally entertaining way. Sometimes she goes bonkers on you, but she's redirectable, and in the end the sex is good, and she doesn't expect you to spend a lot of money on her. Sure, she might crack up completely someday. But probably not today.
Love it.

I'm on my third engine. I've rebuilt the bike after a mate cartwheeled it in a gravel trap at Eastern Creek, then my output shaft failed and lunched the gearbox. The frame cracked! I then crashed it 2 weeks after it was all tip-top (rebuild no. 2), my regulator failed and the battery blew up spewing acid all over the place, then my bike had another issue with 1st and 2nd gears slowly failing so the engine gets pulled again, rebuild no. 3! Then my swing arm tried to eject itself when a circlip came of the end of the pivot. The last thing to happen was the oil pressure sensor failed, spewing oil on the rear tyre.

Sure there are bikes out there that could be less hassle but this bike is so alive. The combination of snorting flat-slides, hot cams and big bore exhaust sends a chill up my spine - even thinking about it.

I bought the bike new in '97 and before that I had a '95 model. I'm still in love with my bike.
 

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The frame cracking issue it typically due to wheelies and hard braking using the front brakes of course.

As for the ride I love mine. It's not the kind of bike you will just put into gear and go. It has a good amount of power but the gearing and lack of raw hp makes it so you actually have to ride the bike. If you shift too soon or too late you will miss the power band but when you get it right it will ride like no other! The age old saying is its better to ride a slow bike fast than a fast bike slow. That applies 100% to this bike! BTW it's not all that slow.
 

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Love it.

I'm on my third engine. I've rebuilt the bike after a mate cartwheeled it in a gravel trap at Eastern Creek, then my output shaft failed and lunched the gearbox. The frame cracked! I then crashed it 2 weeks after it was all tip-top (rebuild no. 2), my regulator failed and the battery blew up spewing acid all over the place, then my bike had another issue with 1st and 2nd gears slowly failing so the engine gets pulled again, rebuild no. 3! Then my swing arm tried to eject itself when a circlip came of the end of the pivot. The last thing to happen was the oil pressure sensor failed, spewing oil on the rear tyre.

Sure there are bikes out there that could be less hassle but this bike is so alive. The combination of snorting flat-slides, hot cams and big bore exhaust sends a chill up my spine - even thinking about it.

I bought the bike new in '97 and before that I had a '95 model. I'm still in love with my bike.
I really did love my '95 900SS, and am missing it terribly....... looking hard at replacements now....
Only problems I had was the headlight wiring melted the headlight bucket. This was on a trip and I was like 1000kms away from home. Blew a few fuses but she kept on going ( after a little bush mechanic work ) all the way home.
The headlight was replaced with a Honda CX650 item, fitted perfectly with some small mods, and was SOOOOOO much better to be able to see at night !!!!
At just under 30k she dropped an exhaust valve on the front cylinder, caused by a loose keyway on the camshaft sprocket. This allowed freeplay on the belt, it moved over and rubbed on the belt cover heated up stretched and jumped a tooth ( or two ) allowing the exhaust valve to kiss the piston head.
Lucky I was only cruising along at about 110kph or so on a nice open sweeping road. Earlier in the day were riding through the Snowy Mountains, easy though as she was a little sick but had nowhere to help/look/check. Locked up though and lunched the piston, head and barrel..... conrod and the crank etc was all fine.
This was on a trip again and almost 2000km from home but sent to Melbourne ( thanks Nova Ducati !!!! ) and she was fixed and rode home within 10 days. So we still got to the GP !!!!!
I replaced the carbys with flatslides, open airbox and dynoed/jetted to suit.
Custom high mount Stainless Exhaust by my mate from the local bike shop, Coil kit from Ca-Cycleworks, and a lithium ferrous battery from a little known Aussie Company Lithium Batteries Australia - Battery Cells
This made such a difference starting, and would only lose less than 10% charge sitting dormant for over 12 months !!!! Enough CCA to crank a 4x4 and all in the size of a coke can !!!!


anyway, I loved my fiery italian girlfriend and am looking for another to play with.......

Hope my ramble is easy enough to comprehend and digest.....

cheers
Darryl
 

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Hey Darryl,

Bit of a late reply, but thanks for sharing your experience. I'm definitely going to look into your battery modification. Often think of the dark time when my battery blew up and spoiled so much brand new carbon fibre so this is one mod on the list.

Cheers,

Steven.

I really did love my '95 900SS, and am missing it terribly....... looking hard at replacements now....
Only problems I had was the headlight wiring melted the headlight bucket. This was on a trip and I was like 1000kms away from home. Blew a few fuses but she kept on going ( after a little bush mechanic work ) all the way home.
The headlight was replaced with a Honda CX650 item, fitted perfectly with some small mods, and was SOOOOOO much better to be able to see at night !!!!
At just under 30k she dropped an exhaust valve on the front cylinder, caused by a loose keyway on the camshaft sprocket. This allowed freeplay on the belt, it moved over and rubbed on the belt cover heated up stretched and jumped a tooth ( or two ) allowing the exhaust valve to kiss the piston head.
Lucky I was only cruising along at about 110kph or so on a nice open sweeping road. Earlier in the day were riding through the Snowy Mountains, easy though as she was a little sick but had nowhere to help/look/check. Locked up though and lunched the piston, head and barrel..... conrod and the crank etc was all fine.
This was on a trip again and almost 2000km from home but sent to Melbourne ( thanks Nova Ducati !!!! ) and she was fixed and rode home within 10 days. So we still got to the GP !!!!!
I replaced the carbys with flatslides, open airbox and dynoed/jetted to suit.
Custom high mount Stainless Exhaust by my mate from the local bike shop, Coil kit from Ca-Cycleworks, and a lithium ferrous battery from a little known Aussie Company Lithium Batteries Australia - Battery Cells
This made such a difference starting, and would only lose less than 10% charge sitting dormant for over 12 months !!!! Enough CCA to crank a 4x4 and all in the size of a coke can !!!!


anyway, I loved my fiery italian girlfriend and am looking for another to play with.......

Hope my ramble is easy enough to comprehend and digest.....

cheers
Darryl
 

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Maybe I'm just lucky

But other than wear and aging, I've had no issue with my 900ss that is other than normal to most any bike.

With modern gasoline, it does require adding some sea foam to the fuel, which has kept carbs moving forward. Frame cracks, mine not yet, but it's most likely right at the headset, and easily repaired. Many are proactive and put gussets in the appropriate place.

Yes, brake pads, tires, rubber bits, etc have been replaced as needed.

It's a 20 year old bike that I can ride and just not look at. Do I worry, never when I'm on the bike, having a great time.

And as Fernando Lamas (and Billy Crystal) says "looking marvelous"

Bob
 

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But other than wear and aging, I've had no issue with my 900ss that is other than normal to most any bike.

With modern gasoline, it does require adding some sea foam to the fuel, which has kept carbs moving forward. Frame cracks, mine not yet, but it's most likely right at the headset, and easily repaired. Many are proactive and put gussets in the appropriate place.

Yes, brake pads, tires, rubber bits, etc have been replaced as needed.

It's a 20 year old bike that I can ride and just not look at. Do I worry, never when I'm on the bike, having a great time.

And as Fernando Lamas (and Billy Crystal) says "looking marvelous"

Bob
learning to ride, all over, again, on a bike like this, is a sheer joy. I will fix all the years of neglect inflicted upon her by others. Promise
I look forward to reading the stories of others who have had years of experience with these bikes and who are eager to share their wisdom (and constructive criticism).
Fred (her name is Carmella)
 

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I really did love my '95 900SS, and am missing it terribly....... looking hard at replacements now....
Only problems I had was the headlight wiring melted the headlight bucket. This was on a trip and I was like 1000kms away from home. Blew a few fuses but she kept on going ( after a little bush mechanic work ) all the way home.
The headlight was replaced with a Honda CX650 item, fitted perfectly with some small mods, and was SOOOOOO much better to be able to see at night !!!!
At just under 30k she dropped an exhaust valve on the front cylinder, caused by a loose keyway on the camshaft sprocket. This allowed freeplay on the belt, it moved over and rubbed on the belt cover heated up stretched and jumped a tooth ( or two ) allowing the exhaust valve to kiss the piston head.
Lucky I was only cruising along at about 110kph or so on a nice open sweeping road. Earlier in the day were riding through the Snowy Mountains, easy
though as she was a little sick but had nowhere to help/look/check. Locked up though and lunched the piston, head and barrel..... conrod and the crank etc was all fine.
This was on a trip again and almost 2000km from home but sent to Melbourne ( thanks Nova Ducati !!!! ) and she was fixed and rode home within 10 days. So we still got to the GP !!!!!
I replaced the carbys with flatslides, open airbox and dynoed/jetted to suit.
Custom high mount Stainless Exhaust by my mate from the local bike shop, Coil kit from Ca-Cycleworks, and a lithium ferrous battery from a little known Aussie Company Lithium Batteries Australia - Battery Cells
This made such a difference starting, and would only lose less than 10% charge sitting dormant for over 12 months !!!! Enough CCA to crank a 4x4 and all in the size of a coke can !!!!


anyway, I loved my fiery italian girlfriend and am looking for another to play with.......

Hope my ramble is easy enough to comprehend and digest.....

cheers
Darryl
Hey there......
I was cleaning up all my old ' stuff ' and found some info I had completely forgotten...... I had broken head studs, and replaced them at just under 20k.
Were a bitch to get out, and had to be helicoiled...... My motorbike mechanic is a great friend of mine, but he was cursing the shit out of me with this job 😀
I still miss my SS terribly, and constantly visiting this forum does NOT help. I'm always looking at the for sale SS's, longingly......and lovingly 😍
One day she will be replaced, for sure.

Cheers
Darryl 😎
 

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Hi All

Just picked up my first Ducati - a 1996 900SS. It looks and sounds magnificent and has reignited my interest in motorcycles after a 20+ year break. My bike has been relatively well looked after, but as always with these things, there are always jobs to do to get the bike to one's preferences. The things that are nagging me now are:
  • Sidestand interferes with clean gear change operation
  • mirrors on fairing are useless
  • Rear brake caliper appears to be seized
  • Wiring from battery gets hot when starting motor (I know - replace the wiring with heavier gauge...
I've had a bit of a search online for parts suppliers and I'm sure there is a reference on this site, but if anyone (esp. in Oz) has a favourite supplier, I'd appreciate the link.

Looking forward to participating in the great forum and learning more about my bike.
 

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900ss buying advice

I'm in the market for a 900SS for a Walt Siegl styled cafe racer project. I'm trying to decide between a 2001 900SS ie vs a 96 900SS CR. If condition and cost are the same would one be better for a cafe project bike based on things like handling, issues (frame?), engine, performance, suspension, brakes etc.
 

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I'm in the market for a 900SS for a Walt Siegl styled cafe racer project. I'm trying to decide between a 2001 900SS ie vs a 96 900SS CR. If condition and cost are the same would one be better for a cafe project bike based on things like handling, issues (frame?), engine, performance, suspension, brakes etc.
IMO I'd use a carbie model as the rear sub-frame is flatter than the ie models. Most of the cafe racer ss are carbie versions for this reason.
 

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Hi All

Just picked up my first Ducati - a 1996 900SS. It looks and sounds magnificent and has reignited my interest in motorcycles after a 20+ year break. My bike has been relatively well looked after, but as always with these things, there are always jobs to do to get the bike to one's preferences. The things that are nagging me now are:
  • Sidestand interferes with clean gear change operation
  • mirrors on fairing are useless
  • Rear brake caliper appears to be seized
  • Wiring from battery gets hot when starting motor (I know - replace the wiring with heavier gauge...
I've had a bit of a search online for parts suppliers and I'm sure there is a reference on this site, but if anyone (esp. in Oz) has a favourite supplier, I'd appreciate the link.

Looking forward to participating in the great forum and learning more about my bike.
Good looking bike, I wouldn't try to rebuild the Rear caliper the cost for a New one on my bike was $62 US funds..
 

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Just picked this up this afternoon and can't find anything wrong with it. :D



Marc
 

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'96 900CR - 1st bike in 25 years, my 17th motorcycle.

Since the last entry in this thread was nearly FOUR YEARS AGO (Aug 2015) ... I'll see if I can pick it back up again with my own recent introduction into the Ducati universe. Hopefully others will continue to post their newly acquired Supersports here again.

1996 900 SS/CR .... 17k miles on it, rather new Pirelli Angel GT tires, new chain, new batt, new f/r brake pads, freshly serviced by a Ducati tech at a Ducati shop in the Phoenix Arizona region.

The bike sat unridden for last 8 months in a garage, covered with a tarp and on a battery tender. The heat in this region can lacquer fuel in carbs in a danged hurry. That said, the carbs are gooped and need to be serviced/rebuilt. Absolutely zero rust/no rust in the tank, this bike spent it's entire life in Arizona so that would account for the lack of any significant rust issues. EDIT: The exhaust pipes have a wee bit of surface rust, nothing a little steel wool and/or 3M "green" scouring pads can't fix.

Previous owner insisted that I replace the belts ASAP. As I go through the profuse documentation that came with the bike I see that new belts were installed on June 16th, 2012 at 12,120 miles (it currently has 17,149 miles on it).

*** Dealer in Wisconsin (Barr Kawasaki Cycle Center) bought it from Ducati on Dec 29, 1995.
*** 1st owner (lived in Peoria Az) purchased it new from the dealer on May 31, 1997.
*** 2nd owner (lived in Phx area) bought it from original owner on an unknown date.
*** 3rd owner (the person I bought it from who lives in the Chandler Az area) bought it from Owner 2 on Jan 13, 2017.
*** 4th owner (myself) purchased it on Jun 19, 2019.

There's a goodly pile of service documentation that came with it. The motorcycle is in what I consider to be "B+" overall condition. 17,149 miles on the OD, paint and finish is in "A" condition. The seller paid for notary public services to notarize the sale, he also took me to the shop he had it worked on to obtain one of those tie-down handlebar "sock" things, which he also graciously paid for. It came with a brand new battery tender (with wiring installed), and the stock mufflers. This is my 17th motorcycle, and the transaction was easily the most trustworthy and confident feeling interaction I've ever experienced (which includes transactions at dealers for new bikes). We had to drive roughly 400 miles round trip to make the purchase, nearly a twelve hour day ... and worth every minute, every mile, and every penny paid.

I paid $4k cash for it. Some may say I paid too much for it. What's done is done.

So that's my addition to this thread. Pics below, all shot by the fella I bought it from before I bought it. I'll be posting my own pics in the project thread I've already started on this mind and soul machine. I am a military and LEO vet with severe combat related PTSD .... it's been roughly 25 years since I've owned a running street bike (there have been a few project bikes along the way, but they didn't get completed). I can feel it in my gut that this bike will serve to heal my mind, body, and soul.

Soul Healer, this bike is. 0:)

"You dont stop riding because you get old, you get old because you stop riding."

My wife deserves all the credit for encouraging me to "get back on the bike ... you need this". We've been married for nearly forty years ... that girl deserves a friggin medal. She's the love of my life, and we're still "in love" with one another. Lucky fella, I.

Shutting up in 3 ... 2 .. 1.

:smile2:
 

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Thanks for "un-deading" this thread. I took a look last year after I got my 1993 and saw the last post was several years old....and decided I wasn't going to be the one doing the un-deading. :grin2:
 
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