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Hi all, this is my first post so be gentle :) This forum has been super helpful to me in the past month as I get to know my new bike. I'm relatively new to motorcycling, and this is only my second bike, so I still have a lot to learn.

I bought a 1995 900 SS CR with ~9K miles on the cheap for $1500 about six weeks ago. I'm the bike's third owner and it's clearly been pretty well cared for. Cosmetically it's pretty much flawless with some wear that could be expected on a bike maybe 10 years old like some hardware that isn't as shiny as it once was. Pretty solid. I bought it knowing that it needed a little bit of work. For starters, there's some rust in the tank and the previous owner reported that one of the carb floats sticks every once in a while, plus it will soon need new belts, valve adjustments etc. Seems pretty standard.

Anyway, I took apart and cleaned out the carbs and reset the jets this week and found that there was a pretty significant amount of some sort of gel-like granule sediment in the float bowls. The carbs and jets are clean and seem to be running well (I'm still figuring out the pilot jet settings) and the sticky float that cropped up twice for me should be gone.

Before the cleaning, and when the bike was working fine, the friction zone on the clutch was very tiny and it was near impossible to keep the clutch there at all without stalling. Then starting in first gear rolling on the slightest about of throttle would speed you ahead. The slowest it really liked to go was 20mph without being super torque-y. In traffic it's kind of a pain.

Now that I've cleaned the carbs and reinstalled them, the bike rides significantly different. I didn't touch the clutch, but it's much more forgiving than it was. I can now hold the lever at the friction point and inch the bike forward, something I couldn't really do before. Also, starting in first is much more manageable. Rolling on feels responsive, but not touchy like before. It's difficult to compare, but it just feels more relaxed in general.

So here's my question: What does your 900SS feel like in regards to clutch, throttle, and starting?

I ask because I feel like I don't have a good baseline for the bike (in good condition) and don't know anyone else who has one.

Thanks in advance!!

(I'll attach a photo of the bike. I got rid of the rear fairings and I'm in the process of removing the rear fender as well)
 

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What a 900ss is supposed to feel like...

Hello J. and welcome to an excellent source of information and an even better group of always helpful members!!! Obviously you got an excellent deal assuming there are no engine or tranny serious problems. Those side panels come very frequently on Ebay for very reasonable prices. Now, regarding the clutch, open it up, check and clean everything there, if possible bleed the system and re-adjust the master slave. Also, you don't mention what rear sprocket you are actually running, I like for city driving my 39 black steel sprocket from Chris @ CA-Cycleworks. My bike had a 37 rear and I felt an immediate more civilized bike for city driving with the 39 rear and 15 front. Regarding throttle... I have the originals Mikunis with Stage 1 and Open-lid airbox with a K&N and my bike throttle responds instantly at any range and gear!!! Therefore not needing to replace them with the so much mentioned Keihins 39 or 41!!! I still have the factory choke (which I only use to start my bike) which I immediately turn off and warm the engine manually, and my bike runs perfectly at least here in the Florida state. I would recommend a fuel filter change and if it makes you feel better... an external fuel filter between carbs and tank! ;) As far as starting... I use a gel battery, higher gauge wires, clean contacts and bike is practically "always" plug to a "Battery Tender" when not being ridden. My bike cranks immediately without a hesitation and I attribute that to the magnificent Dynacoils (green). For me, it has been a wonderful bike always!!! It feels like the very first time I rode a Ducati, which fortunately for me was an unparallel experience!!! It still brings an eye to eye grin everytime I crank her up and go for a ride by the Florida West or East Coasts!!! Wait until you source out the minimal "issues" on your 900ss and you will be posting here everytime you come back from a ride!!! I've had many bikes throughout the years but only kept one and that is my 91 900ss!!!

*Regarding those missing rear panels... check this item on ebay right now: Item number: 120930451176*

Good luck J and keep posting on your progress!!!

Best Regards,

Vickon:abduct:
 

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Looks like a great deal for $1500. I just saw the sidecovers you need on ebay for not a lot of money. I just bought a 1994 900 SS/SP about a month ago and I paid $3500.

Since you and I are both new owners, I will try to explain what mine feels like. I have been riding since I was ten(I am now 48), and this is my first non-Jap bike. My initial impression is that it is a rude, crude, yet effective tool. It idles funny, it feels funny, but boy, does it ever get the job done. I am now addicted to the feel, and can't see myself riding anything else for a while.

To put it bluntly, I am completely obsessed with mine. I sometimes go out to the garage with a beer in hand just to stare at it. Like most Italian vehicles, you have not only bought transportation; you have bought art.

Enjoy!
 

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What it should feel like...

+1 on Chris's post! Countless times I've done the exact same thing!!! :D

"To put it bluntly, I am completely obsessed with mine. I sometimes go out to the garage with a beer in hand just to stare at it. Like most Italian vehicles, you have not only bought transportation; you have bought art." :D

Vickon:abduct:
 

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Thanks for the replies! The engine runs great from what I can tell and I'm in the process of acid etching and lining the tank (with Kreem) to resolve the (minor) tank rust issue. In the process I'll be replacing ALL fuel hoses and filters (Probably won't be moving the filter outside the tank though because i'm not even sure where I'd want it to go (it's not small).

I was considering doing my own valve adjust and belt change, but the more I'm learning, the less I want to risk doing an amateur job on those.

Oh, and I'm getting rid of the rear fairings for good. They make the tail look a little heavy imo and I like the exposed truss/trellis frame. I actually have three (the previous owner had a spare with a tiny crack). Maybe I'll put them up on ebay too…or just stash them away.

It really is a thing of beauty. It makes me feel kind of bad when I pull up to other bikes because it makes them look a lot less cool :cool:
 

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If you want it to be worth something at resale keep the original bodywork ...
Ps I'd replaced my clutch plates on my superlight very recently using oem ducati steel friction and drive plates but it was still a bit grabby and would stall until I re-adjusted to the feel. I subsquently fitted an alloy clutch basket and alloy friction plates and its a lot more controllable and quieter too though I dont mind the tamborine player down by my right foot.
Got the basket from MPL on ebay but I think you have plenty of more local (USA) sources .
 

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My initial impression is that it is a rude, crude, yet effective tool. It idles funny, it feels funny, but boy, does it ever get the job done. I am now addicted to the feel, and can't see myself riding anything else for a while.

To put it bluntly, I am completely obsessed with mine. I sometimes go out to the garage with a beer in hand just to stare at it. Like most Italian vehicles, you have not only bought transportation; you have bought art.

Enjoy!
I cant really better this description. The clutch is grabby and a bit 'on or off', but thats dry clutch ducati's for you. Its a pig in slow town traffic, where its lumpy as hell until 3000 revs. Once out of that traffic its an absolute blast. I dragged mine off the lights against a mates GSXR1000 and up to about 70mph I had him. Of course after that the gixxer got into its stride and left me, but its a 140bhp, 10 years newer bike. I only find it lacking at top end. If it had the same low down power and feel with 20mph more it would be perfect. That said i've ridden a few dukes (I own another 2 including an F1!) and for sheer fun to ride the SS takes the crown each time.
 

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it looks like yours has the large 888 mufflers which have less of a midrange hole than the smaller 851/900 mufflers, but open mufflers really help the smoothness and rideability. a jet kit can also make a big difference to low throttle smoothness too apart from the performance differences.

the clutch packs have a thinner steel plate that is slightly conical to act as a (can't think of the word) thing to extend the take up distance and smooth things out a bit. make sure it has one fitted.

some of the mid 90's motors are rough/coarse in how they feel. my 900m was one of them. not sure why, but it was quite obvious when you rode a bad one.

the single step ignition units exaggerate the low speed jump too - you go from idle advance at 1,500 rpm to full advance around 2,000 rpm.

with std coils spark plug gaps over 0.7mm make them run noticeably worse when cold at least.

the us bikes have carbs with leaner internal circuitry as well as the single groove needles and blanked mixture screws.

gearing also as mentioned. 15/37 is not nice except for consistant high speed work. 15/39 or even up to 15/41 depending on your riding. 14/37 is like 15/39.5, and is a cheaper way to get there if it has 15/37 in good condition.

yours has non adj showa forks, which can be made nicer with springs and revalving. worth doing them and the shock.

more rear ride height makes them steer better.

taking the time to set it up will be worthwhile. there are lots of modified and some heavily modified ones simply because for a road bike (as opposed to a track or high straightline speed requirement) they work very well.

they really are a nice little bike.
 

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My initial impression is that it is a rude, crude, yet effective tool. It idles funny, it feels funny, but boy, does it ever get the job done. I am now addicted to the feel, and can't see myself riding anything else for a while.
they feel positively nice when you've come from guzzis. we used to see most people really gel with them, but some really not. they'd go back to a jap multi and be happy. depends what you like.

and how well it's set up.
 

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I did just come off a Guzzi (850T5), and I initially found my '95 bike very difficult in traffic.

I've spent a little money replacing the clutch, clutch slave seals & fluid, changing the gearing to 14/37, getting the bike serviced, and it's now perfectly bearable in town.

Bit wasted though, this bike needs twisty / open country roads to excel.







Hope you enjoy!
 
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