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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello Everyone
I’m in the market for a 900 supersport. I’m leaning toward a full fairing model 1992-1997. I’m in Canada. With the borders still closed(Canadians headed south), it would be great if I could find on this side of the border. But if I cant find on here, and I’m looking in North America, are there years that are better then others? I know about the SPs and Superlight. I would want a model that has the upgraded suspension but that aside, things like better frames, wheels, electrical, oiling, etc is the info I’m looking for. I have seen some info on frame cracking, swingarm problems but am not 100% on which years were problematic.
Thanks in advance
Shayne
 

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The most "updated" version with the "best" set of OEM components is the 1997 900SS Final Edition. It is the culmination of everything that was fixed in the previous years, with an upgraded 3 phase electrical system found on the fuel injected bikes, but retaining carburetors. It will have an Ohlins rear shock and the Showa forks that can be upgraded with an Andriani (Ohlins) fork cartridge if that's the upgraded suspension you're looking for.

The 1997 900 SS/SP will be the same bike, but in a two-seat configuration and red in color and a Showa rear shock IIRC. I don't recall of there was a CR version in 1997, if there was it should have the same motor and 3 phase electrical, but lower spec non-adjustable Marzocchi forks and adjustable Marzocchi shock.

1996 will be just as nice, but with a single-phase alternator and a small chance of a crack-prone frame, that may or may not have been replaced under warranty. 1994 and 1995 are pretty much identical, and came with the crack prone frame, again that may or may not have been replaced under warranty. 1993-1994 used a different, shorter crank with a different (and harder to find) alternator side case cover.

There was a thread in this forum a few years back discussing this in detail. I am sure I will be corrected on some specific configuration detail I got wrong, but the 1997 bike is the one to look for if you are starting from scratch. None of them are wrong to get though some may take more attention to work with.
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Ok. This is good info. Thanks. I’ll search for the previous thread. In your write up, you didn’t mention 1992. Any info on that year? Thanks
 

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91 and 92 can be a little odd on some electrical parts, but still great bikes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Great. Thanks. Regarding the frames….. any idea what was different if in the day, if you received a warranty replacement frame. What Ducati changed on it?
Also, I see there is a bolt on brace that can be added to the top frame bars by the neck. Do they keep the frame solid? I imagine anything might be better then nothing?
 

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Great. Thanks. Regarding the frames….. any idea what was different if in the day, if you received a warranty replacement frame. What Ducati changed on it?
Also, I see there is a bolt on brace that can be added to the top frame bars by the neck. Do they keep the frame solid? I imagine anything might be better then nothing?
I have the BB Fabrications frame brace on my 91 900SS, Why just peace of mind --even though I have been told by many people that they have never seen a White Frame crack, I put it on just because I could. --If you find a 93 & up check to see if the frame has been replaced or repaired --If repaired how nice a job was done. ---Again I dont know if the brace really helps but sure as hell cant hurt.
 

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The most "updated" version with the "best" set of OEM components is the 1997 900SS Final Edition. It is the culmination of everything that was fixed in the previous years, with an upgraded 3 phase electrical system found on the fuel injected bikes, but retaining carburetors. It will have an Ohlins rear shock and the Showa forks that can be upgraded with an Andriani (Ohlins) fork cartridge if that's the upgraded suspension you're looking for.

The 1997 900 SS/SP will be the same bike, but in a two-seat configuration and red in color and a Showa rear shock IIRC. I don't recall of there was a CR version in 1997, if there was it should have the same motor and 3 phase electrical, but lower spec non-adjustable Marzocchi forks and adjustable Marzocchi shock.

1996 will be just as nice, but with a single-phase alternator and a small chance of a crack-prone frame, that may or may not have been replaced under warranty. 1994 and 1995 are pretty much identical, and came with the crack prone frame, again that may or may not have been replaced under warranty. 1993-1994 used a different, shorter crank with a different (and harder to find) alternator side case cover.

There was a thread in this forum a few years back discussing this in detail. I am sure I will be corrected on some specific configuration detail I got wrong, but the 1997 bike is the one to look for if you are starting from scratch. None of them are wrong to get though some may take more attention to work with.
The short crank engine I think was 1991 & 1992 --Not 1993 & 1994---My 91 has the short crank & as far as I know the 92 & 93 Super Light also used the short crank ( they were all built in 1992-some sold as 93 year model in the U.S.)---But in general the 900SS of 1991 & 1992 would have short crank engine's--the only exception would be 93 900 Super Light.
 

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My 1997 900 SS CR was built in 11/96 and had the smaller 2 phase alternator on it.

But I don't use electric grips, so I don't sweat it.... :ROFLMAO:
.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
So with a short crank that would dictate a longer rod set up? Thats usually a more desirable setup isn’t it? Smoother easier revving?
What’s the amperage with the 2 phase vs 3 phase? Or is it amps at lower revs? Is there any reasonable upgrade for this setup?
Shayne
 

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Short crank refers to lateral crankshaft length. It's a different older style crankshaft. Stroke is the same.
 

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I had my early 91 alternator rewired, it is an old design Motoguzzi (narrow) one, to get about 12% more out of it. Enough power along with a modern R/R, new wiring including direct to negative battery post, better coils, new spark plug wires, LED signals all round. Later SS models of the single phase or 2 phase whatever you want to call it, are adequate the way they came with good wiring, connectors and upgraded with the newer style MOSFET R/R. I also use old school Champion copper spark plugs which I go through fairly quickly.

The only device I use is a radar detector which doesn't draw much. No alarm, fog lights, heated grips, gloves, socks or suits. Maybe those would work fine but I had enough trouble keeping the Shorai battery going on my '91 that I switched to AGM type on both my bikes. If they ever make an affordable air conditioner for helmets and jackets I will revisit the charging system options.
 

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I run a heated jacket liner and gloves on my '96 and it keeps up with that load but I do have LED lighting that reduces the load.
 

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The most "updated" version with the "best" set of OEM components is the 1997 900SS Final Edition. It is the culmination of everything that was fixed in the previous years, with an upgraded 3 phase electrical system found on the fuel injected bikes, but retaining carburetors. It will have an Ohlins rear shock and the Showa forks that can be upgraded with an Andriani (Ohlins) fork cartridge if that's the upgraded suspension you're looking for.

The 1997 900 SS/SP will be the same bike, but in a two-seat configuration and red in color and a Showa rear shock IIRC. I don't recall of there was a CR version in 1997, if there was it should have the same motor and 3 phase electrical, but lower spec non-adjustable Marzocchi forks and adjustable Marzocchi shock.

1996 will be just as nice, but with a single-phase alternator and a small chance of a crack-prone frame, that may or may not have been replaced under warranty. 1994 and 1995 are pretty much identical, and came with the crack prone frame, again that may or may not have been replaced under warranty. 1993-1994 used a different, shorter crank with a different (and harder to find) alternator side case cover.

There was a thread in this forum a few years back discussing this in detail. I am sure I will be corrected on some specific configuration detail I got wrong, but the 1997 bike is the one to look for if you are starting from scratch. None of them are wrong to get though some may take more attention to work with.
I had a 1998 900FE for many years, that I sold in Jan 2021. It had Ohlins rear shock with Ohlins fork inserts and carbon fiber exhaust. Performance air box and a jet kit with stock carbs. You can still find these, but are increasing in price. I loved the white framed 900's, but like the fact that the 1998 model was 3 phase. I did have to change out the regulator, but other than that the bike was great.
Did not know about the shorter crank in the early bikes, but my 900 ran very well and pulled better than I thought for a bike with around 80 hp. The bike came with Showa front and rear shocks stock, which were not at all good, so upgrading the suspension is a must! As far as upgrading to Flat sides carbs, I did not want to mess with the cold start issues. But many do change out the stock carbs. If there is a negative to owning the bike, the rear cylinder valve inspection is a pain, you have to pull the rear shock out.
 

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I had a 97 SS/SP for a lot of years. The stock Showa forks in that era SS had a manufacturing defect whereby when one adjusts the compression damping, it also affects the rebound damping. The rebound and compression damping circuits should be fully isolated. In short, the forks are adjustable but not in any linear predictable way. I (and many others) replaced the innards of the forks - I opted for a bargain basement Suzuki GSXR fork internal mod and was happy with the result. YMMV. I didn't really understand until relatively late in life that motorcycle suspension parts need to be periodically serviced in order to maintain performance... you have no idea how much difference just changing out 20-year-old oil in your shocks makes, or adjusting them properly for your weight and riding style. For me, money spent on refurbishing/upgrading shitty or worn out suspension parts directly relates to how much I enjoy riding the bike as I tend to ride them aggressively.

The SP's had aluminum swingarms which have been known to crack - inspect it carefully before buying.

Some 900cc 2V motors had issues with head studs early on - if the bike is still running in 2021 it either didn't have the bad studs or it's had them replaced.

SS's were also prone to frame cracking around the steering tube. This is fixable, but again, inspect carefully.

The 90's SS's had steering stops which necessitate a lot of 11-point turns, but you'll get used to this.

The bikes are a blast to ride, especially with an aftermarket exhaust... they have a particular look (retro but timeless, analog gauges, full floating cast iron brake rotors), sound (dry clutch and L-twin roar) and feel that's just intoxicating.

Start looking around for a pair of front turn signal lenses when you buy the bike - when the bike tips over that's the first point of contact. You'll notice that pretty much all SS's have repaired front lower fairings both around the turn signals and where the frame standoff punches through the fairing.
 

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I've had two ´97s, both had cracked frames & one a cracked swingarm, so they are not necessarily immune to the dreaded...

I personally think the 1992/3 bikes with the white frames & old graphics are the nicest looking and essentially the same performance as the later bikes.

In 1997 there was a slight upgrade to the fairings with air inlets at the rear to try to provide more cooling to the rear cylinder.
 

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No such thing as 2 phase. Only single (1)phase or 3 phase.
just saying, let's not confuse a newbie...

Fred
 

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I had a 97 SS/SP for a lot of years. The stock Showa forks in that era SS had a manufacturing defect whereby when one adjusts the compression damping, it also affects the rebound damping. The rebound and compression damping circuits should be fully isolated. In short, the forks are adjustable but not in any linear predictable way. I (and many others) replaced the innards of the forks - I opted for a bargain basement Suzuki GSXR fork internal mod and was happy with the result. YMMV. I didn't really understand until relatively late in life that motorcycle suspension parts need to be periodically serviced in order to maintain performance... you have no idea how much difference just changing out 20-year-old oil in your shocks makes, or adjusting them properly for your weight and riding style. For me, money spent on refurbishing/upgrading shitty or worn out suspension parts directly relates to how much I enjoy riding the bike as I tend to ride them aggressively.

The SP's had aluminum swingarms which have been known to crack - inspect it carefully before buying.

Some 900cc 2V motors had issues with head studs early on - if the bike is still running in 2021 it either didn't have the bad studs or it's had them replaced.

SS's were also prone to frame cracking around the steering tube. This is fixable, but again, inspect carefully.

The 90's SS's had steering stops which necessitate a lot of 11-point turns, but you'll get used to this.

The bikes are a blast to ride, especially with an aftermarket exhaust... they have a particular look (retro but timeless, analog gauges, full floating cast iron brake rotors), sound (dry clutch and L-twin roar) and feel that's just intoxicating.

Start looking around for a pair of front turn signal lenses when you buy the bike - when the bike tips over that's the first point of contact. You'll notice that pretty much all SS's have repaired front lower fairings both around the turn signals and where the frame standoff punches through the fairing.
I as well did the GSXR cartridge conversion, was pretty easy to make the few mods needed to do it & the front end now feels great plus I only paid $80.00 shipping included for a set of GSXR forks. --You just gotta know that the ones you want are the upside GSXR 750 forks from 2003-2005 ----I think thats what I used----The other important thing to remember is to use Race-Tech springs for the Ducati 900SS----The GSXR fork springs WILL NOT Work--they will not fit into the Ducati forks.
 
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