DUCATI 1000SS (2002 - 2006) Review

At a glance

Owners' reliability rating: 4.2 out of 5 (4.2/5)
Annual servicing cost: £180
Power: 84 bhp
Seat height: Medium (32.3 in / 820 mm)
Weight: Medium (415 lbs / 188 kg)

Overall rating

Next up: Ride & brakes
3 out of 5 (3/5)

It’s difficult to pigeonhole the Ducati 1000SS. It’s definitely not a sports motorcycle, but it's not comfortable enough to tour on either. It’s hugely charming too but not really the sort of motorcycle to thrash down a country lane. Best not to worry about all that and simply revel in the Ducati's easy handling, V-twin soundtrack and retro looks.

Ride quality & brakes

Next up: Engine
4 out of 5 (4/5)

Definitely the Ducati 1000SS’s strongest suit – it genuinely feels as though it would handle at least another 20bhp with ease. The Showa forks complements the trellis frame perfectly. There are some vibes through the frame and bars, but nothing too intrusive.


Next up: Reliability
3 out of 5 (3/5)

The 992cc air-cooled dual spark motor coughs up just 85bhp, but thanks to clever gearing and oodles of torque the motorcycle never feels breathless, despite having to cart about well over 200kg. Fuel injection should be smooth and glitch free even when trickling along at under 2000rpm in sixth gear.

Reliability & build quality

Next up: Value
3 out of 5 (3/5)

Ducati motorcycles have come a very long way from the electrical and mechanical horror stories of yore. However, regular servicing is crucial with a Ducati 1000SS, especially the pricey but essential, cam belt replacements every two years or 12,000 miles. Avoid any Ducati 1000SS without a full dealer service history.

Value vs rivals

Next up: Equipment
3 out of 5 (3/5)

Secondhand values aren’t particularly strong for the 1000SS, so in pure monetary terms it’s a tough motorcycle to recommend. However – the Ducati's handling, charm and sheer difference are qualities hard to ignore.


3 out of 5 (3/5)

The Ducati 1000SS has an ignition-based immobiliser and a nifty Ohlins shock that lets you adjust the motorcycle's seat height independently of the preload and fully-adjustable forks.


Engine size 992cc
Engine type 8v V-twin, 6 gears
Frame type Steel trellis
Fuel capacity 16 litres
Seat height 820mm
Bike weight 188kg
Front suspension Preload, Rebound, Compression
Rear suspension Preload, ride height, compression, rebound
Front brake Twin 320mm discs
Rear brake 245mm disc
Front tyre size 120/70 x 17
Rear tyre size 180/55 x 17

Mpg, costs & insurance

Average fuel consumption 45 mpg
Annual road tax £101
Annual service cost £180
New price -
Used price -
Insurance group 14 of 17
How much to insure?
Warranty term Two year unlimited mileage

Top speed & performance

Max power 84 bhp
Max torque 70 ft-lb
Top speed 134 mph
1/4 mile acceleration 12.2 secs
Tank range 160 miles

Model history & versions

Model history

Oct 2002: Ducati 1000SS motorcycle launched (replacing previous Ducati 900SS series).

Other versions


Owners' reviews for the DUCATI 1000SS (2002 - 2006)

4 owners have reviewed their DUCATI 1000SS (2002 - 2006) and rated it in a number of areas. Read what they have to say and what they like and dislike about the bike below.

Review your DUCATI 1000SS (2002 - 2006)

Summary of owners' reviews

Overall rating: 4.5 out of 5 (4.5/5)
Ride quality & brakes: 4 out of 5 (4/5)
Engine: 4.5 out of 5 (4.5/5)
Reliability & build quality: 4.2 out of 5 (4.2/5)
Value vs rivals: 4 out of 5 (4/5)
Equipment: 3.8 out of 5 (3.8/5)
Annual servicing cost: £180
5 out of 5 Outstanding Road Bike
11 May 2020 by Paul C

Year: 2004

Annual servicing cost: £300

Truly remarkable bike with real soul and character. Perfect road bike with sports bias and comfortable.

Ride quality & brakes 4 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5

Delivery and connection from throttle to rear wheel is excellent

Reliability & build quality 4 out of 5
Value vs rivals 4 out of 5

Great engine and more practical than most Ducatis

Equipment 3 out of 5

Buying experience: Private - Underpriced generally

4 out of 5
29 July 2017 by 992

Version: FF

Year: 2005

Annual servicing cost: £50

Usable power....85bhp doesn't sound a lot, but the torque makes it far more effective than one would expect. Junk the standard cans....mute the exhaust note far too much & are heavy. Change the Ohlins rear spring too...not just a bit too stiff.....ludicrously so. Suspension set-up for rider weight makes a big difference. Overgeared....(noise emission reasons?) - a bigger rear sprocket makes it far more usable everywhere.

Ride quality & brakes 4 out of 5

Front brake excellent. Rear is u/s. Front Showa's are adjustable. Rear WAY too hard...see above. Light-to-use gearbox.

Engine 5 out of 5

Great usable torque, not annoyingly vibey. Benefits greatly with change of gearing.....very common mod. Clutch rattle.....poor design. Easy mod quietens it & lengthens clutch basket life by years.

Reliability & build quality 4 out of 5

Engine paint peeling on the crankcase. Plain Hammerite works very well. Fabric lining in side fairings is naff. Most bikes it'll have been discarded. General quality is good. No failures.

Value vs rivals 4 out of 5

Belts last longer if mileage limit not reached. DIY job to change them if you're competent.

Equipment 4 out of 5
5 out of 5 If you want to enjoy your life, you should get on SS1000DS.
29 August 2006 by mos1

As for the performance, Japanese motorcycles are far more excellent. But, The developers of this bike know the reason why people get on motorcycles. Strengths: Engine sound, excellent handling. Weaknesses: poor Rear brake.

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Reliability & build quality 4 out of 5
Value vs rivals 5 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
4 out of 5 Ducati SS1000DS
10 September 2005 by gt12k

Fabulous to look at. Crap 2-up over long journeys. (No space). Suspension too hard unless you ride it round the 'ring every week. Don't bother if you've had any form of injury to you wrist, hand or neck. Town/city riding will kill you. I had mine for 4 months/3,000 miles and have just changed to a SV1000SZ. What a difference. Good luck. Strengths: It's looks. It's sound. It's finish with the attention to detail. Superb. Weaknesses: Too small, no pillion space, suspension too hard for everyday use and no wind protection above 90. Oh, and the service bills. £190 for the 600 miler. Forget it.

Ride quality & brakes 3 out of 5
Engine 3 out of 5
Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5
Value vs rivals 3 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
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