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It's only the aluminum swingarm that cracks.

In the US the 900 SS/CR was essentially a 750SS (coffin masters, steel swingarm, 4.5" rear wheel, non-adjustable fork) with a 900 motor in it. The swingarm is interchangable between the models, many steel swingarms were traded out for aluminum ones.
yeah right, so a budget model like the 748 "economico"

What does the CR stand for? the OP's new purchase is certainly nice, it will be a nimble handler with the 4.5" wheel but yeah, the 5.5" with a 180 does look meaner back there.
 

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Nice buy!

Yes as others have said the CR had the steel swingarm (you have), It may not be as sexy as a aluminum but they have been 100% problem free. Considering the paint it does not look bad so you would have to be picky to "upgrade". I would check that the swingarm is properly shimmed at the swingarm pivot as often they were loose from the factory and if painted the paint may wear causing it to loosen.

The rear 4.5" wheel is only a issue if you do not like the looks, a 5.5" can come from a supersport (any year but the water pumpers). It also can come from a 851 or early monster, pay attention to the axle size.
 

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Personally, I would leave it as is. Like Ducvet said, there are no issues with the steel swingarm and unless you know exactly what you are getting, you may be buying problems with an aluminum one. The bike won't handle any better with a 5.5 inch wheel.
 

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Discussion Starter #25
Nice buy!

Yes as others have said the CR had the steel swingarm (you have), It may not be as sexy as a aluminum but they have been 100% problem free. Considering the paint it does not look bad so you would have to be picky to "upgrade". I would check that the swingarm is properly shimmed at the swingarm pivot as often they were loose from the factory and if painted the paint may wear causing it to loosen.

The rear 4.5" wheel is only a issue if you do not like the looks, a 5.5" can come from a supersport (any year but the water pumpers). It also can come from a 851 or early monster, pay attention to the axle size.
Thanks!

Thanks for the info on which bikes are good wheel candidates. What is the current axle size on the bike now; factory stock 4.5" wheel? Again, NOT changing to an alum swing arm - I like the powder coated steel one in-place. Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter #26
Personally, I would leave it as is. Like Ducvet said, there are no issues with the steel swingarm and unless you know exactly what you are getting, you may be buying problems with an aluminum one. The bike won't handle any better with a 5.5 inch wheel.
spacey,

I'm leaving as-is, for now. I just want to grab a wheel IF is see a good deal on one. Like I said earlier, I'm not changing the steel OEM swing arm; I don't want an alum arm. Thanks.
 

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...the CR had the steel swingarm, It may not be as sexy as a aluminum but they have been 100% problem free.
Like Ducvet said, there are no issues with the steel swingarm...
Agreed gentlemen. While the steel swingarms themselves were pretty much problem free it's not entirely accurate to say that the CR model steel swingarms were completely without problems.

I've got a '95 900SS CR and I can tell you from experience that the cheap ass chintzy stamped steel rear axle plates that Ducati used were a major pain in the ass. Yellow arrow in Pic 1.

The steel swingarms have a stamped scale on the top rail on either side of the swingarm as a visual aide for properly aligning the rear wheel. Pic 2.
Those crummy stamped steel axle plates would always bend and twist and warp whenever you torqued up the rear axle bolt making them pretty much completely useless as a guide for accurately aligning the rear wheel.

Go back and look closely at Pic 1 and you'll actually see that the axle plate is bent and twisted slightly clockwise on the swingarm rail.

Also because those plates would always bend and twist and warp they didn't provide much,if any,stability or clamping force on the swingarm to help keep the rear axle from slipping either. Before every ride I would have to check to make sure that the rear axle hadn't moved.

The reported fix for those crappy stamped steel plates was a set of machined aluminum axle plates from a company called Moto-Techniques. Green arrow in Pic 3.
I actually have a set of them on my parts shelf still in their original package that I bought from Motowheels many years ago. Pic 4.

The Moto-Techniques aluminum axle plates are fairly beefy and fit snug and securely on the CR model's steel swingarm rail. And like the stock steel axle plates there's also a pointer machined at the top of each plate to help with wheel alignment. Pic 5.

These machined aluminum axle plates were supposed to help make it easier to align the rear axle and more securely hold it in place.
I never ended up using them because I decided to go with a Metmachex aluminum swingarm and a set of OZ Piega rims with the 5.5 inch width rear rim instead.
 

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Discussion Starter #28
Agreed gentlemen. While the steel swingarms themselves were pretty much problem free it's not entirely accurate to say that the CR model steel swingarms were completely without problems.

I've got a '95 900SS CR and I can tell you from experience that the cheap ass chintzy stamped steel rear axle plates that Ducati used were a major pain in the ass. Yellow arrow in Pic 1.

The steel swingarms have a stamped scale on the top rail on either side of the swingarm as a visual aide for properly aligning the rear wheel. Pic 2.
Those crummy stamped steel axle plates would always bend and twist and warp whenever you torqued up the rear axle bolt making them pretty much completely useless as a guide for accurately aligning the rear wheel.

Go back and look closely at Pic 1 and you'll actually see that the axle plate is bent and twisted slightly clockwise on the swingarm rail.

Also because those plates would always bend and twist and warp they didn't provide much,if any,stability or clamping force on the swingarm to help keep the rear axle from slipping either. Before every ride I would have to check to make sure that the rear axle hadn't moved.

The reported fix for those crappy stamped steel plates was a set of machined aluminum axle plates from a company called Moto-Techniques. Green arrow in Pic 3.
I actually have a set of them on my parts shelf still in their original package that I bought from Motowheels many years ago. Pic 4.

The Moto-Techniques aluminum axle plates are fairly beefy and fit snug and securely on the CR model's steel swingarm rail. And like the stock steel axle plates there's also a pointer machined at the top of each plate to help with wheel alignment. Pic 5.

These machined aluminum axle plates were supposed to help make it easier to align the rear axle and more securely hold it in place.
I never ended up using them because I decided to go with a Metmachex aluminum swingarm and a set of OZ Piega rims with the 5.5 inch width rear rim instead.
stoshmonster,

Thanks for the solid info! And yes you are correct.....those factory plates are CHEAP! If you are interested in letting those Moto-Techniques fall of your parts shelf "for sale" I'd be interested if the price is right. PM me to let me know. If not, I'll order up a set if they're still available. Again, thank you.
 

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Yes I do agree that the cheap sheet metal side plates are a little wimpy and DO run the risk of scarring up the swingarm if not properly used. What I was talking about with the trouble free was from a defect (cracking/breaking) aspect, the side plates can make cosmetic damage but they are not an issue structurally. The billet side plates do help quite a bit and if you have a nice painted piece like you do it would be worth the cost.

I have been doing this long enough I am used to seeing the wimpy side plates used on many models and just have techniques that make them a non-issue, plus not everyone will spend the money on parts. For removal use a impact gun as the torque is low enough it should shock the nut/bolt free without turning the side plate. When tightening (or loosening) make sure the side plate is not loose on the swingarm top or bottom, a pair of channel locks will help snug things up but simply do not allow the side plates to twist when tightening goes a long way. Often times a washer between the plate and bolt helps as well.

The chain adjustment marks are just something I never trust on any swingarm regardless of type unless I verify them first, most are simply made poorly and should be considered only a reference point and not a measuring device. I always align my rear wheel from swingarm pivot (fixed point) and axle center, once you get them set the same you can determine if the mark are close enough. In this design I would not trust them other than getting you close enough to ride, for proper setting there is too much room for error.
 

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Every time I remove the wheel I tighten those plates up on the swing arm. Measuring between the pivot center and axle center, I was surprised to find the marks are accurate enough to use.
 

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I found the alloy swingarm has wheel adjustment issues as well. Over the years one of the adjustment bolts on mine froze in the swingarm fitting. I got it to move with lots of heat, penetrating lubricant, and finally anti-seize. It works, but is still very stiff. I bought new adjuster bolts but am afraid to remove the old ones for fear that I may not the the new ones in.
 

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Discussion Starter #32
ducvet and duc96er thank you! I'm buying the swing arm plates from stosh as soon as he gets back my reply PM!
 

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900SSCR

What made the CR a CR was the crappy forks...crappy shock...UGLY as FUGLY frame color..
This bike has a 2K front end...beautiful tail and paint detail.
You couldnt get a CR and make it like this for 5K
If it were mine and I was offerred less than 5K id show you the door..
Now I need to disclose I have about 8K (maybe more)in my SSCR now..
CF goodies from RSR Moto in England(Tail and plate hanger)
Metmachex Engineering Swinger
SSSP Al. Swinger(polished)
41mm FCRs
Kevlar tank
Showa Forks
Ohlins Shock
CycleCat triple
Aftermarket Bodywork
PC red frame
CZ wheels
snowflake rotors
Rare DP valvecovers
944 kit with HC Pistal pistons done right by Millennium
And custom graphics from TapeWorks
And custom paint ...Senna(to match my 2003 ST4S)with red lettering(paint by me still in process)
I need to stop....
Mike S
 

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I also need to say yes $5000 or even $8000 is not a small amount of money but.....

After the mods are done and the known issues are gone what other bikes for the money would you buy?

$5000 isn't that the going rate for a old Harley, BMW or Japanese bike? you can have just as many issues with any of them ( I know people bring them to me all the time). Or a new small bike like the ninja 400,R3 or my fav the ktm rc390 . If you find a leftover you might get close to a sv650 for $7000. All nice bikes But I would say not even comparable to a supersport that someone has taken good care of.
 

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Discussion Starter #35 (Edited)
900SS CR Problematic Areas

ducvet,

Always appreciate your input. This bike definitely has been put together well; pretty much torn down and completely redone. I am a picky dude, and I couldn't find a single thing that jumped out at me to say "turn around and exit stage".....been there and done that with many bikes/cars. I typically don't buy stuff others have built because I like to do it myself or my way. This bike was done exactly how I would've done it, except for maybe a set of Flatslides and 5.5" rear wheel. He did mention it has a new "rectifier" or something of that sort, just can't remember because we had a long conversation about the bike regarding many things.

So here are my question(s) to you or anyone else who'd like to chime in............

Mechanically (engine/trans) the bike seems really solid.

I know......I know.....HIT THE SEARCH FUNCTION, but I'm here in the zone now and SOMETIMES the search isn't enough, plus info comes to light in threads that aren't even asked in the initial.

In my limited reading of this Supersport model, I've read problems seem to stem rom electrical issues that become problematic. As far as I know the bike still has its original harness/electrical/wiring. What are ALL the "electrical" areas/components I can attack now (even though they may not have an issue) front to back, and completely replace? Looking for exact components/brands/info on where to purchase them. Last thing I want is to be stranded because of inadequate wiring or OEM replacement parts that are problematic when there are better alternatives to be used to give me a piece of mind 50+ miles away from home. Re-post the info or provide links to other threads that might cover/address what I am asking of the aforementioned.

Lastly, does Ducati sell an actual factory service manual for this bike?

And again, GREATLY appreciate all of you member's thanks/help/advice in advance!

Thanks gents.......let the info fly!
 

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My 96 was not well cared for before I bought it. The wiring was stock. I blew fuses from time to time, the wire broke at the neutral switch, then the tail light quit. I snipped the zip ties holding the wiring harness to the frame, and found they were worn through in a few spots. I unplugged every connector on the bike and if the connector didn’t look good, or felt loose, or had any broken wires , I replaced it. I squeezed any connections that didn’t snap snuggly together with needle nose pliers. The headlight plug looked burnt so I replaced it. Basically fixed anything that didn’t look good. I haven’t had any wiring issues since. The wiring harness itself is still the original . Considering the work that’s already been done I’d be surprised if the p.o left the wiring alone. Sure the bikes have electrical issues, they’re 30 years old.
 

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The primary issue that many folks have with the electrical system is failure of the stock regulator-rectifier and associated wiring that deals with the charging system. The fuel level sensor can be an issue as well. Other than that I can't think of anything regarding the electrical system that is worse than other bikes. Ducati does have a factory manual for these bikes. I have it, but it really isn't all that useful. The Haynes and Desmotimes manuals are more useful for DIY stuff.
 

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Electrically the 90's were problem free compared to modern bikes, that does not mean they did not have an issue or two and as duc96cr has said the bike is older now which means time as well as probably more than one owner who was not afraid of doing repairs (for better or worse). I was at the dealership in 97 while these bikes were current and owned a 92 851 so I am quite familiar with some of the known issues they had.

Regulator rectifiers. #1 issue was the original ducati electronica rectifiers used on everything up to 97 (after 97 all was good for many years). There are aftermarkets that are better and some that are worse, the factory hitachi was about the best in my opinion but with some you lose the charging light on the dash. Not all ducati electronicas fail as I still see plenty many miles later but I would upgrade one on my own bike as it is often the regulator that fails and the bike will overcharge.

Headlight bulb socket. These could on occasion melt down if corrosion gets in there, keep the contacts clean and tight and you should have no issues.

Outside of that issues were rare, yes the 2 wire neutral switch leads would break off at the switch if you move them much and the front brake light switches can fail. Oh and the little white plug on the starter solenoid should be lightly zip tied in place so it can not become dislodged. Do NOT go crazy cleaning the bike and I will even vote that you never wash the bike with water, spray on wipe off cleaners are best as I have seen harsh cleaners cause corrosion on electrical connectors. Also avoid packing connectors with dielectric grease as I often find it causes more harm than good.

That's all I can think of.
 

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Discussion Starter #39 (Edited)
ducvet, duc96cr & spacey......and others,

Thanks for the info! The wiring has been upgraded. Its all done nicely. I'll take a closer look at things in the morning. The former owner delivered the bike to my front door today. Damn this thing is nice and it runs/rides awesome. I cannot wait to get into the canyons!

So here's the deal. I didn't pay $5500 nor did I pay any cash at all for it. The owner just happened to be a firearms freak and former military. I just happen to be looking for another bike for spirited runs in the canyon's on Sunday mornings. I also like firearms and was looking to thin the herd in my gun safe with guns I rarely shoot anymore. We discussed, met, looked at each others goods and THE DEAL was history! So I acquired this bike in-trade. Yes, the proper paperwork and checks were completed to ensure he was legal to own the firearms, etc. We switched goods and he was on his way. I hope he doesn't wake up regretting it tomorrow morning. I could kinda see it in his face as he drove off. But I'm very happy right now!

Here's a few pics in her new home. Will move a few things around to accommodate. Thanks guys.
 

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Trades are always a great way to go and if you both are happy then win,win!

I would bet he was just as happy to see the bike go to a good home, somewhere it will not ruin all of his hard work. I would imagine he will keep your contact info just in case he someday wants to see if you are ready to trade again.

Best of luck, and welcome to the fold.
 
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