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SS 800 questions

2764 Views 11 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  dutchduc900
For those who have or have ridden a recent SS800. How big a difference does the down graded suspension make? I'm not the most aggressive rider in the world and never will be. Nor do I demand the most plush and soft of suspensions either. But I would at least like a bike with a suspenion that doesn't beat me to death on less than perfect roads and can cope with the occassional track day. Think the stock suspension on the SS800 is decent? How does it compare in terms of ride quality to other Ducatis?
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This will be an odd question, How much do you weigh?? I've been led to believe that although it's all a compromise they are set for a person of 70 Kgs or about 160 lbs. Does this help?

I'm right at 160 lbs and about 5'9". I figure I'm pretty much the size and shape Ducati builds bikes for.
When I was riding mine (180+- with gear) it felt pretty good. I was happy with it and really had no complaints. I still thought the front was a tad bit stiff but at the same time, it dived really bad under hard braking. More so than I thought it should, but not uncontrollably so. I never ran into any problems. But, with my wife riding it now (115-120+- with gear) riding beside her on the freeway it looks like the front end is beating her to death. She hasn't complained of anything particular but I can tell she's using very little of the movement. I really want to change the springs for her at a minimum.
I wonder if the forks could be sent someplace to have the compression circuit reworked or even a switch of fork oil to get a more compliant ride.

I like the M1000 I have now, but I would like something with more wind protection, slightly better cornering clearance, slightly quicker handling, and some underseat storage. The SS800 ought to do fine even with its slightly lower power. I don't honestly use all the HP of my M1000 anyway.

My only real concern has to do with the suspension of the newer SS800 and how that will affect ride quality. I like to take longish rides. If the suspension is particularly harsh and that can't be dialed out -- then all day comfort becomes too serious an issue for me.
i think the 800ss will suit you fine. the rear shock is a good unit with full adjustablitly. the front is still a cartridge type fork. and of course you can always send them off and have them reworked to your specs. for not much money.

for the money the 800 is a great bike. go for it
Nice to see a Drill member over here. The 800 is a good buy for what you want. The #1 problem with suspension is making sure that it is sprung correctly for the rider. There is no magic weight that a bike comes set up for. I find with most that that either the fork or shock springs have to be swapped out. A simple sag measurement will get you in the right direction. So let's take the 800SS components. The stock shock is fine for most. Not the best but Ducati has to make a profit, If the rear spring is incorrect than swap it out. If your doing track days and are unhappy then all you should do is swap it out with a Ohlins unit. For the forks the best thing to do is respring and go to a heavier fork oil, also we can try different preload spacer lengths to fine tune them. Step 2 would be to put a set of 916/996 forks on the bike. I have a few sitting around or they can be found used at a decent price.
If you switch to the superbike forks they can be revalved for even better riding. So it boils down to that the money you save buying a 800SS would more than cover any suspension upgrades that you may need. -Ken
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If you can find an '03, buy it. All of your above mentioned issues don't exist.

They have fully adj. forks, aluminum swingarm, they are the best year-model you can get.

But, I think you'll be generally happy even with a later model. If you choose to work on the front suspension at a later date you can always upgrade to superbike forks. They are readily available for a reasonable price, and the top conversion clamp from cyclecat is bulletproof [I bought a "blem" from the cat-shop for a little over half price]
Yes, The 03 has a great swingarm and all the goodies. Here is a link to a upgrade that I did.http://www.sbkitalia.com/projects/?id=15
I pretty much get myself to say, "Self, you don't need to get another Ducati." Then Ducati has to come out with their "pseudo race ready" leftover SS1000DS deal, for less than the price of a new SS800.


Crap. That company is evil. Evil, I tell ya. I'm trying to be a good boy and not spend more money on this Ducati habit. Just gather a little info, I say. Just ask a few questions, I say. It's all harmless. Just being an informed consumer. Yeah, nothing serious.

Then what happens. Those evil folks at Ducati North America come up with a clever way to move some leftover SS1000DS stock, at a bargain price, providing me with the further tempation to... buy another Ducati. Crap. And for about $500 I imagine you could slap some turn signals and lights on that puppy from eBay or retail to get it street legal. Unless the VIN has some kind of title restriction.

On the plus side (as far as my bank account, wife, and therefore sex life are concerned) they are only selling 30 of these stripped down SS1000DS bikes. So if I stall long enough they'll all be sold out and I won't get myself into trouble.
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I would guess that the 1000SS' that they are importing for race only will come with a title restriction, similar to the RS superbikes.

I would also imagine that they come with no warranty, similar to their racer program [you can walk in and plop your racing license on the counter and get a bike at discount too....but no warranty]

I don't know this as fact, I'm just guessing.....
Why don't you get yourself a 2002 900 SSie? It has all the goodies + better power. With an open exhaust, open airbox, and some headwork it will give allmost the same power as the 1000. Prices for these ones with only about 6000-8000 miles are very good (at least here in Europe...) compared to the 1000.

I just changed from the 900 sport/dark with the cheapo parts to a 2002 900 supersport. Only did a few miles but front suspension feels so much better.

Check the supersport picture topic for some pictures
Good luck!!

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