Ducati 900SS







This 900 Super Sport is among the most desirable motorcycles of the 1970s, a masterpiece in metal and a fantastic machine. Ducati introduced its new L-twin overhead-camshaft design in 1968, and it was clear Dr. Fabio Taglioni had designed his masterpiece. He chose the 90-degree layout for the cylinder for its perfect primary balance and anyone who’s ridden a Ducati L-twin will agree that they are incredibly smooth and equally amazingly rideable, despite the long wheelbase required to stretch around that front cylinder. The 900SS model was an enlarged version of Ducati’s amazing 750SS Imola production racer, on which Paul Smart won the famous Italian 200 Miglia di Imola, even though he’d barely ridden the new Ducati in practice. He found plenty of small things to criticize after his first test laps, and while recounting them to the assembled racing staff, he was informed he’d just broken Agostini’s lap record. Ducati capitalized on this success one year later by introducing the 750SS Imola Replica, its first V-twin using Ducati’s famous Desmodromic valve operation. The 750SS was a hand-built, limited-production model and did well in the hands of production racers. For road riders, the 750GT and 750Sport models with standard valve-spring heads proved very popular. In 1975, Ducati developed the 900SS, which was also initially intended for a limited run. But sales of the new 860GT model—an ugly duckling styled by Giorgetto Giugiaro, who normally penned the bodies of squarish cars—flopped and Ducati was forced to give the public what it actually wanted: a mass-produced 900SS. The early 900 Super Sports are the most coveted of all these models with their wire wheels and raucous Conti megaphone silencers that give a distinctive deep bellow like a V-8 NASCAR racer. The 18-inch wheels use Borrani shouldered alloy rims, and Brembo disc brakes front and rear haul the bike down nicely from its 130-plus MPH top speed. This 900SS is modeled on the 750SS racer with its high exhaust pipes and a large-capacity fiberglass fuel tank with clear strips on the side to keep track of the fuel level. It’s a factory café racer of the first order and a best-ever of the genre, and it remains on everyone’s list of top-10 most desirable motorcycles ever made. From the days Italian designers seemed to get everything just right, this magnificent 1977 Ducati 900SS is from the MC Collection and is on every collector’s must-have list for its combination of performance with terrific styling.
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