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Ducati 900SS Sports Tourers Motorbike Review

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Ducati 900SS motorcycle review - Riding
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MCN overall verdict rating is 3

Real retro sports motorcycle that was outdated when new. If you’re after all-out speed, practicality or reliability look elsewhere. If you want old school charm, a great twin cylinder sound track, stunning looks and handling to surprise the odd modern motorcycle the Ducati 900SS is worth a look.

Engine

MCN rating rating is 3
Owners' rating rating is 3.5

On paper it’s the Ducati 900SS is a loser. In the real world the low down torque is pretty effective and modern motorcycles only pull away when revved hard. This makes the Ducati 900SS a deceptively quick motorcycle in experienced hands. Old technology with just two valves per cylinder and air cooling. V-twin like most Ducatis.

Ride and Handling

MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 4

Matches the looks and engine – old school but kind of effective. Hard suspension, a committed riding position and taught frame means the Ducati 900SS can roll in and out of bends surprisingly well. It’s not as nimble as modern motorcycles but the Ducati 900SS is a delight to ride.

Equipment

MCN rating rating is 2
Owners' rating rating is 3

Basic – but that’s par for the course on a motorcycle like this. Early Ducati 900SS's had a rubbish spring-up side stand. Comfort’s not good – there’s lots of weight on the wrists and the seat and screen are on the stingy side. Mirrors are pretty poor too but a motorcycle like the Ducati 900SS is about a raw, exciting riding experience not fuel gauges and stereos.

Ducati 900SS (1990-2002)

Detail Value
Used price range View Ducati 900SS bikes for sale to see current asking prices
Engine size 904 cc
Power 80 bhp
Top speed 140 mph
Insurance group 14 of 17
  MCN ratings Owners' ratings
Overall rating is 3 rating is 4
Engine rating is 3 rating is 3.5
Ride & Handling rating is 4 rating is 4
Equipment rating is 2 rating is 3
Quality & Reliability rating is 2 rating is 3
Value rating is 3 rating is 4

Quality and Reliability

MCN rating rating is 2
Owners' rating rating is 3

Older Ducati 900SS were notorious for snapping the head bolts in the engine and bending the bolts that push the rear spindle back when adjusting the chain. Clutch can be grabby and fail. Later motorcycles were better but don’t count on low cost trouble free motoring with a Ducati 900SS.

Value

MCN rating rating is 3
Owners' rating rating is 4

Like all SS Dukes, the Ducati 900SS is expensive for the level of performance but quite cheap for an exotic motorcycle with real presence. Whatever model you go for, buying from a reputable dealer with a decent warranty is a good idea. Cherished owners club member’s bikes will be sorted but rarely cheap. Find a Ducati 900SS for sale.

 

Insurance

Insurance group: 14 of 17

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Model History

1990: Ducati 900SS launched (alhough previous Ducatis had used the same name).
1991: New Showa up-side down forks.
1998: Major update with new bodywork, tank and uprated suspension.
2000: New side stand, higher bars, grey frame and wheels.
2001: New swing arm and Ohlins rear suspension.
2002: Ducati 900SS discontinued.

Other Versions

Ducati 900 Super Light: High spec version of the Ducati 900SS with Marvic wheels, tuned engine, higher exhausts carbon mudguard and #1 graphics. Sold from 1992-1996.
Ducati 900SS FE: Final Edition version of the pre-updated 900SS. Numbered engraved tag, carbon mudguard and clock surround, single seat, silver only.
Ducati 900S: Budget version of the 900SS. Sold from November 2001-2002.
Ducati 900SSie: Updated model with new fairing, tank, headlight and suspension.

Specifications

Top speed 140 mph
1/4-mile acceleration 12.1 secs
Max power 80 bhp
Max torque 59 ft-lb
Weight 188 kg
Seat height 815 mm
Fuel capacity 16 litres
Average fuel consumption 39 mpg
Tank range 135 miles
Annual road tax
Insurance group 14 of 17
Engine size 904 cc
Engine specification 4v V-twin, 6 gears
Frame Steel trellis
Front suspension adjustment Preload, rebound
Rear suspension adjustment Preload, rebound
Front brakes Twin 320mm discs
Rear brake 245mm disc
Front tyre size 120/70 x 17
Rear tyre size 170/60 x 17

See all Ducati 900SS motorcycles for sale

Ducati
900SS

miles

£4,495

Ducati
900SS

miles

£8,000

Ducati
900SS

25000 miles

£2,600

Owners' Overall Rating rating is 3.5(9 reviews)

  • Ducati 900 sport

    Ducatijay

    Average rating rating is 4

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    Picked mine up from KJM also. 2002 ltd edition SPORT model. Really impressed with it for £4000!!! Much rather have it than my mates 600 4's and what a soundtrack... Ducati's really are special and the SPORT and SS models are still brilliant these days. Buy one :-)

    31 January 2009

  • Ducati 900 sport

    Ducatijay

    Average rating rating is 4

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    Picked mine up from KJM also. 2002 ltd edition SPORT model. Really impressed with it for £4000!!! Much rather have it than my mates 600 4's and what a soundtrack... Ducati's really are speciall and the SPORT and SS models are still brilliant these days. Buy one :-)

    31 January 2009

  • Love it

    phild1

    Average rating rating is 4

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    Stock bike, 14 years old - Looks more beautiful as time rolls on, sounds wonderful, feels great. Who cares if its out performed by Japanese fours. A bike built with spirit not technology and still plenty fast enough on the road. Only problem in 16 months was a broken throttle cable. Used regulary for commuting

    10 October 2008

  • Mucho Funno!

    ShedofBren

    Average rating rating is 4.5

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    I have owned a 1999 900ssie registered in Mar 2000 for 8 years now, it has Remus carbon race cans and I have replaced a lot of the nuts and bolts with stainless items to stop the rust. I keep the bike clean and I keep to the required service intervals and it has given me over 10,000 miles of trouble free fun, it's been to Germany and Holland doing nearly a thousand miles in a long weekend. As for scalping bigger bikes, as long as you are steaming along at a fair pace the suspension keeps the bike firmly planted and you can take them in the twisty’s, sorry Mr Fireblade owner, Handleys Corner, TT 2008!

    06 March 2008

  • I owned an old knacker of 1994 bike

    Sean Warwick

    UK

    Average rating rating is 3

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    briefly before turning it into a sexy seventies SS replica with a Baines frame/bodywork kit.

    07 June 2007

  • Tambuini vs Terblanche

    JACKMCN95

    Average rating rating is 3.5

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    Should be mentioned that the beautifully styled Tamburini-era SS bikes ended in 1998. After that Pierre Terblanche gave them a good working over his ugly stick. Despite technical improvements under the skin, sales tanked worldwide.

    26 March 2007

  • A dark horse

    DucatiMartin

    Average rating rating is 3.5

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    I have a brand new out of the box 900ss matt black. Its a 2002 model from KJM, for what I paid for it which is no more than a Versys I have twin Brembo front discs and Ohlins shocks and tons of smiles. In 10mths I have done 7300miles and its never missed a beat, nothing wrong, no breaks or faults. 4 hours in solid rain to glasgow, nothing, it just keeps going. As my first ever bike I couldn't ask for more, I love it, its full of character unlike the souless Jap bikes. And the sound it makes is up there with a merlin engine. Those who have one know the real truth about this bike.

    23 March 2007

  • Great bike

    greger

    Average rating rating is 3.5

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    Every time I take a ride I think it's never been as good as this. Its not sweet like many fours from Japan its just a pure, raw no fuzz sportbike. The SS is like your favourite dog and japanese sportbikes are like dishwashers, you like both but have a better connection with one. Forks are not great and mirrors are for looking at your shoulders. My 97 has not broken down yet after 33000 km.

    15 March 2007

  • I love and hate it

    dazzawra

    Average rating rating is 3

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    I have a 97 model 900SS. I bought as a second bike and only really use it for fun and riding to race meetings. When I first got the bike it was standard. My first long trip (400 miles) the clutch started slipping due to overheating trying to get out of Donington. Then on the same journey the regulator failed so I was stranded. Fixed with non Ducati parts all OK. Next long journey (Le Mans) and I suffered carb icing all the way there and all the way back. Changed the carbs for Keihin flatslides...no more problems. Now I`ve sorted all the problems, I love it. The sound, the character the torquey power delivery are all great. No chance against modern sportsbikes on a straight, but when the road gets twisty, you can surprise alot of people. I keep spending money on bits and pieces for it. It`s got Sil moto exhausts, single seat unit, Ohlins shock and steering damper. It`s cost me a fortune, but for some reason I don`t mind. I`ll probably keep this bike forever....even though I don`t trust it!

    05 March 2007

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ant123

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ant123says

900 sport

i've just got a brand new 2002 900sport , apparently it is a parallel import , the equivalent is the 900ss. its fantastic .OOOOH YEAAAH! what a sound . Its like a Messerschmitt. pulls like a train but different to my bigger cb1300sa-7 . I agree with the others- it dives in to corners like an old lady at a jumble sale .  Just had its first 600m service it starts first time; uncomfy as buggery ; flapping mirrors because of that v-twin shudder ; bendy fairings; kills my wrists at 6ft 5.5 ins tall . Managed 180miles before the empty light came on, thats 13 litres or so ., about 3ltres left in reserve .  I was very easy on it tho . i'm impressed with it . thats pretty much 60 mpg as good as my old thundercat . i'm very impressed its so much FUN , and what the heck....I've got a ducati thanks to my missus ordering me to get it . went out for a bacon butty n came back with that . first time out to a meet and people were coming to look at it and I hadn't even managed to stop and get off . looks great in matt black surprisingly. seen a red one , its not the same . BBBBBRRRRRRRUMMMM! GET ONE ....but with a full fairing its better looking .

02 July 2010 00:25

benjybobs

benjybobssays

Awsome round the twisties

I own an old 900ss and I find it very uncomfortable, the engine is very lumpy on low revs and the bike is carborated. It makes a noise that puts the newer models to shame with the standard exhausts. It also seems to pull harder at lower revs too, probably due to the emition tests for the newer models restricting them but the newer models are alot smoother to ride. My steering geometry is different to the newer models too, but it feels like the bike is on rails, and with sweeping bends it just goes round effortless and exactly where you look. It never feels heavy or a handful to use even through tight hairpins and thats probably due to my riding style suiting the bike. Ive had the bike for at least 10 years and its only had a few issues but generaly its been good(especially for its age). Apart from acheing and a sore bottom it gives incredible satisfaction to ride and good power delivery where its really needed. It is a real joy on the open road through the twisty sections and you can go fast whilst being totally relaxed as you dont have to keep swaping the gears. It manages about 50 mpg at a steady 80. I can get in to top gear at 60 mph in 6th @ 3000rpm and if i try to go any slower it becomes juddery and you get chain snatch. I would say its one of the most confidence inspireing bike that i have ever rode. The more i ride her and the more i learn about bike control, the better the bike seems to glide smoothly around the bends. If you currently ride a jap bike and you try out a 900ss then give yourself a long test ride to get used to a different breed of bike, and properly understand how to ride one. In my opinion its all the bike your ever need for road use apart from the comfort. It still makes an awsome track tool until the drag race sections of the track but it can definately show up faster bikes through the twisties. A great fun bike.

29 August 2008 22:16

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