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Discussion Starter #1
I am about to put an offer in on a '96 900 SS sp and would like to know if there are any specific problem areas I need to ask about on this bike. It has about 14,000 miles on it and has had the 12,000 mile service. I will ask if it had belts replaced at 12,000.
Did the '96's have problems with frame cracks at the steering head like the '94's ? Are broken cylinder studs a problem with a '96 ?
Anything else I should check on ?
This will be a long distance purchase so I won't actually be able to see the bike before I commit to it, I want to be sure I ask all the right questions.

Thanks,
 

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I have a 1995 Ducati SuperSport SS SP and can tell you a few of the things to look for. 1. Take a close look around the swingarm, on the inside by the front of the tire. My swing arm cracked around the front joint on the inside on the left side. 2. As you know, also check the steering head area (my frame cracked here, Ducati gave me a new frame). 3. Cylinder studs should have been replaced on a bike of this year. They could be fine but my shop told me they could break on the 95 so they were changed out years ago. 4. Overall service history, you dont want to risk a huge repair bill right off. 5. The suspension could be going off on a bike that old, take a ride or at least bounce up and down on it a little. I have replace the rear shock with a Ohlins and had the forks rebuilt with Ohlins parts. I love this bike even with all of the problems I have had and I am sure you would to. Just saw that you can not see it in person, get a good deal so if there are any issues it will not be a heartbreaker. Good Luck.


Post some pix if you get her :) .
 

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Where is the bike you're looking at located? There may be somebody on the board who could give it a visual once-over for you. I've got a '96 ss/sp and kind of know what to look for on these bikes...

What Motophoto said is all good advice but I'm curious what modifications the bike has. Have the carbs been changed to FCR's. is the shock the original, open airbox, if the original carbs, have they been rejetted, what condition are the tires in, etc. These things are mostly maintenance issues and relatively cheap and easy to fix, the cracked frame is a real safety issue though (I have a replacement frame on mine).

These bikes are pretty tough and even a neglected one will run well for quite a while.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
PSsssp,
The bike is in St.Louis
You mention carbs being changed to FCR's, please give me some details. Is this a common change that should have been done? I'm not familiar with FCR, is this a brand name or a model designation? Also, could you give me some more detail on the frame cracking issue, are the cracks usually easy to spot with the naked eye. What is the location to inspect, under the steering neck or on top?

Thanks,
 

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Here's a really good buyer's guide written by Chris Kelley, a great guy who knows his stuff: http://www.ducatitech.com/info/buyers_faq.html

...and his online shop:
http://www.ca-cycleworks.com/index.html

The FCR carbs are a flat-slide design that many owners have retrofitted. They offer many advantages over the stockers including increased driveability, better throttle response and increased mileage. FCR is the model name, the units are built by Keihein.

Here are a couple pictures of a cracked frame I grabbed off the net, I don't know anything about this bike or who owns it, but this shows what to look for and where. Because the frame in these pictures has been repainted gloss black the cracks are easy to see. On the bike you're looking at, if it had a new frame there would probably be no warning stickers and the VIN would be stamped in the steering stem with a series of dots forming the digits.

Also, make sure it is a real ss/sp. Many people have put full fairings on an ss/cr and passed it off as an ss/sp. A real ss/sp will have a brass plate on the triple clamp, floating front rotors, carbon fiber mudguards, fully adjustable forks, and (of course) full fairings.

Do you have any pictures of the bike you could post?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Hope I did this correctly, never attached pictures to a post before. Anyway, the pictures indicate this is a true SP and the seller says it has the brass tag on the triple clamp.

Thanks much for your information and for the links. If I do buy the bike my first project would be to turn it into a monoposto. Do you have any suggestions for me here? What is the best source for parts ? I have heard of people wanting to turn monos into bipostos and figure I could trade parts w/ someone. Know anyone looking to do this?

Thanks,
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I knew I'd screw up.
The first picture is not the right bike, ignore that one
 

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Looks very nice, indeed! Go for it. I just bought a '94 SP with 15.5K miles and I love it!

Mine's had lots of mods, but all good, discreet stuff that just makes her much more fun to run through the canyons! I HIGHLY recommend the Yoyodyne flywheel...wow, what a difference! I also recommend the Ohlins rear. Handling was/is mediocre from the factory, but get the rear-end up a bit and it's a delight!
 

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I just picked up a sweet little ss/sp myslef (a '97) and absolutely love it. It did take a bit of getting used to as far as the jingle-jangle of the full-floaters. They seem way looser than the BrakeTech's I have on my Monster. Good luck on the purchase & if you find one, enjoy the hell out of it.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Well, big changes since my first post in this thread. I didn't buy the '96, I found a better deal on a '97 with a lot less miles on it, so I bought it. However, now I have a new question. I wanted to get a service manual for the bike, Clymer doesn't list one and the Hayne's manual for the SS only covers models to '96. Is there any mechanical difference between a '96 and a '97 ? Will the '96 manual give me most of the information I will need to do my own maintenance, or were major changes made ? Anybody know of an affordable alternative to Hayne's ?

Thanks again for the help
 

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There's no appreciable difference in any of the carb'ed 900ss's. There were minor changes throughout the model run, but short of a full teardown you'll never see any of the changes.

The Haynes is a good manual, covering everything you're likely to encounter.
If you're interested, I've got a .pdf version of the orginal Ducati service manual and I'd be happy to email it to you (you can P.M. your email address).

Any pictures?
 

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Don't forget the LT Snyder manual. It's a great, real-world, manual that covers all the 2 valve bikes. Between that & the Haynes book, you should have all the bases covered.
 
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