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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
VIN issue 1995 Ducati 900SS/SP

Hi Everyone,
I'm a new DUCATI owner and new to this forum, but VERY excited to get started on my new bike. The purchase was somewhat painful as right after a price was agreed upon (no transfer of money), the owner decided to disclose something. He was the second "local" owner, only having the bike 3 months (800 miles). The prior owner, "local" as well owned this bike for 7yrs unaware of the disclosed information. I talked to him and he seemed like a very stand up guy. He bought the bike on ebay in 2002.

Here is are the concerns (even though I own the bike now). I do have a title in hand that matches the description of the bike, but the head set on the frame is lacking a VIN. This info threw me for a loop, but in the end I felt ok about the purchase, especially knocking the price down from $4300 to $3450. The bike is absolutely immaculate and I had 2 DUCATI friends come take a look and ride and they were extremely impressed. The condition of the bike is amazing and looks like almost new. It is beautiful and I'm a VERY proud owner.

I did discover last night that the engine number does not match the VIN on the title that I have. Should this be a concern? I did read one thread that mention it was common on these older bikes for the engine number to not match the frame number. Of course there is no number on the frame, but I do have a VIN on the title.

Anyway, sorry for the long winded explanation, but I wanted to introduce myself, and share the experience. Any advice/thoughts you could offer would be greatly appreciated. I will post pics soon.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks. The only thing that caused me to question this was that the owner's manual showed an example where the VIN on the frame and engine number matched (i.e. VIN on frame ZDM906P**** and the engine number was ZDM906P****), but maybe that's just an example for owner's manual ease for editing.

Engine number is independent of the frame number.

Tom
 

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a number of carb'd ss's had their frames replaced under warranty or goodwill due to cracking up by the steering head. my guess is that this bike could be one of those.
 

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I'd guess you've got a replacement frame that somehow didn't end up with the VIN stamped into the headstock. Are there any small rivet holes in the upper tubes near the headstock? The original frames had emission information plates riveted in this location and a replacement frame (more than likely) wouldn't have the plates transferred.

Nice clean bike; my trackday bodywork is also in basic black and it always looks right.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
absolutely no holes anywhere. It's really clean looking and welds look good and professional.

I'd guess you've got a replacement frame that somehow didn't end up with the VIN stamped into the headstock. Are there any small rivet holes in the upper tubes near the headstock? The original frames had emission information plates riveted in this location and a replacement frame (more than likely) wouldn't have the plates transferred.

Nice clean bike; my trackday bodywork is also in basic black and it always looks right.
 

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Old Wizard
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Ducati VINs Decoded

Some older non-US bikes had a 13-digit VIN like ZDM906P**** which explains why the manual uses this as an example.

Post-1980 US models and post-2002 non-US models have a 17-character VIN.

Here's an example of a 1995 900 SS Supersport VIN

ZDM 1LC 4M 4 S B 018569

Here's what it all means:

Ducati US Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)

Characters 1-3: World Manufacturer Identifier

Z = Italy
D = Ducati
M = Motorcycle ( i.e. ZDM = Ducati)

Vehicle Descriptor Section. The 4th through 8th positions in the VIN are the Vehicle Descriptor Section or VDS. This is used, according to local regulations, to identify the vehicle type and may include information on the platform used, the model, and the body style. Each manufacturer has a unique system for using this field.

Character 4: Motorcycle Type

1 = street version
2 = dual purpose version
3 = off-highway racing version

Character 5: Motorcycle Model

D = (example: 1987 Paso 748)
G = (example: 1987 750 F1 Laguna Seca)
H = homologation model
K = (example: 1990 750 Sport)
L = supersport
M = (example: 1992 Paso 9071e)
N = (example: 1993 750SS)
P = (example: 1995 E900 Elefant)
S = hypersport/superbike
R = monster,
T = sport touring
U = 9X9 series
V = Multistrada

Character 6: Engine Type

A = air-cooled twin
B = liquid-cooled twin
C = air/oil-cooled twin
7 = race model variations
9 = race model variation

Character 7: Engine Displacement

1 = (examples: none)
2 = 600cc (examples: 620SS)
3 = 750cc (examples: Paso 748, 750 Sport, 750SS, 748/R, Monster 750, 749)
3 = Australian 1996 900SS
4 = 900cc (examples: 900SS, M900e Mike Hailwood)
5 = (examples: 996, 998, 999, ST4S)
6 = (examples: 851)
7 = (examples: 888 SPO)
8 = (examples: 916, Monster S4, Monster 1000)
9 = (examples: 996R)
0 = (examples: Mike Hailwood Mille 1000)

Character 8: Net Brake Horsepower

The following examples are for US models except where noted.

H = (examples: 1990 750 Sport)

K = (examples: 1999 750SS, 2003 620SS)
L = (examples: 1995 E900 Elefant, 1998 Monster 750)
M = (examples: 1993 750SS, 1987 750 F1 Laguna Seca)
N = (examples: 1987 Paso 748, 1992 Paso 907ie, 1992 900SS, 1994 Monster 900, 1999 900SS, 2002 MH900e Mike Hailwood)

P = (examples: 1998 ST2, 2003 Monster 1000, 2004 Multistrada)

R = (examples: Mille 1000 Mike Hailwood, 1990 851, 1993 888SPO, 1998 748/S)
S = (examples: 1995 916, 2002 Monster S4, 2000 748R, 2003 749)
T = (examples: 1988 851 Tri-Color Racer, 2000 996/S, 2002 ST4S, 2003 999)

V = (examples: 1998 916SPS, 2000 996SPS, 1999 998/998S, 2003 999S)

Character 9: Check Digit

A calculated number that is used to verify the validity of the VIN.
A single number or the letter X only.

Character 10: Model Year Code

9 = 1979

A = 1980
B = 1981
C = 1982
D = 1983
E = 1984
F = 1985
G = 1986
H = 1987

J = 1988
K = 1989
L = 1990
M = 1991
N = 1992
P = 1993

R = 1994
S = 1995
T = 1996

V = 1997
W = 1998
X = 1999
Y = 2000

1 = 2001
2 = 2002
3 = 2003
4 = 2004
5 = 2005
etc.

Character 11: Manufacturing Plant Code

B = Bologna Italy
V = Varese Italy (the old MV factory)

Characters 12-17: Production Number (six-digit sequential)


Engine Number Code

Ducati uses different coding for different markets. Generally the engine number encodes engine displacement, number of valves, cooling type, fueling type and build number.

for example:

S B8S 002996 (US 916)
S B8R 003926 (US 916)

ZDM 916W4 000707 (Euro 916)
ZDM 916W4 000xxx (Australian 916)
ZDM 916W4B 000076 French 916
ZDM 888W4 00xxx (French 888)

ZDM 748W4B 000902 2000 748R (Dutch)

ZDM = Ducati, 916 = 916cc capacity, W = water-cooled, 4 = 4 Valves

ZDM 904A2C XXXXXX means 904 = 904cc A = air-cooled, 2 = 2 valve, C = carburated
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Great info...thanks. Here's what I found on the engine: LC4S022348

Some older non-US bikes had a 13-digit VIN like ZDM906P**** which explains why the manual uses this as an example.

Post-1980 US models and post-2002 non-US models have a 17-character VIN.

Here's an example of a 1995 900 SS Supersport VIN

ZDM 1LC 4M 4 S B 018569

Here's what it all means:

Ducati US Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)

Characters 1-3: World Manufacturer Identifier

Z = Italy
D = Ducati
M = Motorcycle ( i.e. ZDM = Ducati)

Vehicle Descriptor Section. The 4th through 8th positions in the VIN are the Vehicle Descriptor Section or VDS. This is used, according to local regulations, to identify the vehicle type and may include information on the platform used, the model, and the body style. Each manufacturer has a unique system for using this field.

Character 4: Motorcycle Type

1 = street version
2 = dual purpose version
3 = off-highway racing version

Character 5: Motorcycle Model

D = (example: 1987 Paso 748)
G = (example: 1987 750 F1 Laguna Seca)
H = homologation model
K = (example: 1990 750 Sport)
L = supersport
M = (example: 1992 Paso 9071e)
N = (example: 1993 750SS)
P = (example: 1995 E900 Elefant)
S = hypersport/superbike
R = monster,
T = sport touring
U = 9X9 series
V = Multistrada

Character 6: Engine Type

A = air-cooled twin
B = liquid-cooled twin
C = air/oil-cooled twin
7 = race model variations
9 = race model variation

Character 7: Engine Displacement

1 = (examples: none)
2 = 600cc (examples: 620SS)
3 = 750cc (examples: Paso 748, 750 Sport, 750SS, 748/R, Monster 750, 749)
3 = Australian 1996 900SS
4 = 900cc (examples: 900SS, M900e Mike Hailwood)
5 = (examples: 996, 998, 999, ST4S)
6 = (examples: 851)
7 = (examples: 888 SPO)
8 = (examples: 916, Monster S4, Monster 1000)
9 = (examples: 996R)
0 = (examples: Mike Hailwood Mille 1000)

Character 8: Net Brake Horsepower

The following examples are for US models except where noted.

H = (examples: 1990 750 Sport)

K = (examples: 1999 750SS, 2003 620SS)
L = (examples: 1995 E900 Elefant, 1998 Monster 750)
M = (examples: 1993 750SS, 1987 750 F1 Laguna Seca)
N = (examples: 1987 Paso 748, 1992 Paso 907ie, 1992 900SS, 1994 Monster 900, 1999 900SS, 2002 MH900e Mike Hailwood)

P = (examples: 1998 ST2, 2003 Monster 1000, 2004 Multistrada)

R = (examples: Mille 1000 Mike Hailwood, 1990 851, 1993 888SPO, 1998 748/S)
S = (examples: 1995 916, 2002 Monster S4, 2000 748R, 2003 749)
T = (examples: 1988 851 Tri-Color Racer, 2000 996/S, 2002 ST4S, 2003 999)

V = (examples: 1998 916SPS, 2000 996SPS, 1999 998/998S, 2003 999S)

Character 9: Check Digit

A calculated number that is used to verify the validity of the VIN.
A single number or the letter X only.

Character 10: Model Year Code

9 = 1979

A = 1980
B = 1981
C = 1982
D = 1983
E = 1984
F = 1985
G = 1986
H = 1987

J = 1988
K = 1989
L = 1990
M = 1991
N = 1992
P = 1993

R = 1994
S = 1995
T = 1996

V = 1997
W = 1998
X = 1999
Y = 2000

1 = 2001
2 = 2002
3 = 2003
4 = 2004
5 = 2005
etc.

Character 11: Manufacturing Plant Code

B = Bologna Italy
V = Varese Italy (the old MV factory)

Characters 12-17: Production Number (six-digit sequential)


Engine Number Code

Ducati uses different coding for different markets. Generally the engine number encodes engine displacement, number of valves, cooling type, fueling type and build number.

for example:

S B8S 002996 (US 916)
S B8R 003926 (US 916)

ZDM 916W4 000707 (Euro 916)
ZDM 916W4 000xxx (Australian 916)
ZDM 916W4B 000076 French 916
ZDM 888W4 00xxx (French 888)

ZDM 748W4B 000902 2000 748R (Dutch)

ZDM = Ducati, 916 = 916cc capacity, W = water-cooled, 4 = 4 Valves

ZDM 904A2C XXXXXX means 904 = 904cc A = air-cooled, 2 = 2 valve, C = carburated
 

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Well, you probably knew this anyway but the frame has been either coated, painted or replaced at some point... there were no '95s with white frames.

Looks very sharp - reminiscent of the '92-only back with white frame 900SS.

Cheers

d.
 

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Well, you probably knew this anyway but the frame has been either coated, painted or replaced at some point... there were no '95s with white frames.

Looks very sharp - reminiscent of the '92-only back with white frame 900SS.

Cheers

d.
Quite so! Only mine isn't true black but metallic charcoal. If I ever get it painted it will be true black. Or silver with blue frame.

To the original poster, very sweet looking bike, and welcome to the clan. I don't think there exists a more fanatical owners group than those of us that have SS's.
 

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a number of carb'd ss's had their frames replaced under warranty or goodwill due to cracking up by the steering head. my guess is that this bike could be one of those.
I got one of those frames for my 95 SP. They got my VIN and ordered the new frame. About two months later they called and said the frame was in and I had to bring in the old frame and trade it for the new one. The new one had my old VIN on it and they took the old frame to send back to Ducati to be destroyed.

Jim
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Well, not sure what to make of my situation other than I REALLY like the bike and am going to keep it, but the frame does lack the VIN. I've been told you can apply for a VIN thru the State Patrol and it takes about 3yrs before they'll give you a matching VIN on the frame to the title in hand. Either way, I'm keepin/lovin the bike.

I got one of those frames for my 95 SP. They got my VIN and ordered the new frame. About two months later they called and said the frame was in and I had to bring in the old frame and trade it for the new one. The new one had my old VIN on it and they took the old frame to send back to Ducati to be destroyed.

Jim
 

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Old Wizard
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Write to Ducati (explaining the issue simply) and ask them to provide a written response stating the frame number that your engine number was installed into. They keep these records. They may even be able to provide you with a copy of the original Certificate of Origin

In a separate letter, also ask them if your frame number of record was exchanged by them during the cracked headstock warranty replacement program. This would explain the missing stamped VIN. The other possibility is that the frame was repainted and the VIN is still there under the paint so the area could be masked-off and the paint bead-blasted off.

Their written responses would probably be all that you need to prove ownership and accomplish a resale.

You need to clear this up. In the laws of several states (Illinois, Arizona, etc), the definition of a stolen motorcycle is a bike being held by a person who is not in current possession of the Title, or any motor vehicle without a VIN.
 

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like brad said. the easiest way would be to get a stamp set and copy your vin on the title.you don't even have to put the # in the stock location if access is an issue
 

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Old Wizard
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Bad advice.

First off, there's no way you could stamp a VIN number into the metal frame without buggering up the paint. Then at some point you (or the next owner) is going to have to explain your illegal VIN tampering to the DMV or State Police inspector.

Listen, federal laws make provisions for frame replacements (with loss of VIN markings) by the owner/repair shop. State laws make provisions for inspections that assure that stolen parts are not being used. Get your paperwork in order and follow your state's procedures.
 

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Bad advice.

First off, there's no way you could stamp a VIN number into the metal frame without buggering up the paint. Then at some point you (or the next owner) is going to have to explain your illegal VIN tampering to the DMV or State Police inspector.

Listen, federal laws make provisions for frame replacements (with loss of VIN markings) by the owner/repair shop. State laws make provisions for inspections that assure that stolen parts are not being used. Get your paperwork in order and follow your state's procedures.
Great advice. Don't ever, ever stamp a VIN onto anything, or transfer a VIN plate onto anything, at home in your spare time. Even if you have a title with the VIN you will use. Check our Washington State DOL website for information on what you need to do about this.

I find it surprising to hear a few of you mention bikes with miss-matched frame and engine numbers. It's my understanding - and I could be wrong - that Federal law requires the VIN be permanently marked on both in a conspicuous location. I've heard of (but have not actually seen) titles for custom bikes that carry two VIN's, one for the motor and one for the frame. Like when a guy builds a custom Harley with an S&S motor and an aftermarket frame.

Anyway, I would check. It would really suck to get pulled over and have to explain why there is no VIN on the frame. If you can find and download any official paperwork on this (like the applicable RCW), run off a copy to keep with the regristration on the bike. It helps when you have to make your case to a cop on the side of the road. I go through this too often with a couple of cars running vintage, original year of issue plates; most cops don't know we can do this, the plates stand out a bit, so they pull me over to cite me for expired plates. Having a copy of the RCW in the glovebox has saved me every time.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
In communication with Ducati of North America right now. They've indicated no records because of age of bike other than they claim original color was red (per the VIN I gave them). Everything on this bike indicates it was never red....(white frame, white wheels, black everything else). I will solve this mystery and go thru State Patrol to help, but I do own the bike now so I am motivated.
 

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I would send an e-mail to the factory in Italy. I don't think DNA as we know it even existed then. As a matter of fact, I remember a little hole in the wall motorcycle shop in Lillington, NC that used to import Ducatis at that time. I am not sure they were the equivalent of DNA but...
With that, I would not count on DNA to have the records.
 
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