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I'm beginning a search for one of my dream bikes: a Ducati 900SS. Red, air-cooled, belt-driven cams, 2-valve variety.What are the major differences between the model years? For example, do they all have inverted forks? Are they all carbureted?
Here's pretty good chart showing the differences. I've owned both the SS/SP and SS/CR and like things on each bike. The 1/s fairing of the CR and the adjustable suspension of the SP are wonderful together. I like the 160 rear tire on the CR better than the 180 of the SP. I also prefer the steel swingarm off the CR as it does not crack like the aluminum one on the SP but i like the rear underslung brake caliper of the SP.Either bike is great and eve then adjustable suspension of the SP is not that much greater than the non-adjustable of the CR. Steering head frames cracks do happen and its not a hard job to repair. Out of the 3 SS's I've owned none had cracked frames or repaired cracked frames. You can also buy or make a gusset that is supposed to help this from happening. It is though that the frames flex/bow at the headstock under heavy braking. This is one of the potential causes of cracking. Honestly If I found a bike with a cracked frame I'd use it a price ;leverage and within a few minutes the fellows at work could have it all TIG welded up better then new.The 900 motor responds extremely to a pair of FCR 39 carbs. Hopefully you can find a bike with these already installed or they are another $1,000 if you want to add later. The stock BST vacuum carbs are marginal at best and even fiddling with them you can make them better but a great vacuum carb will never be as a shitty pumper carb There is/was a fellow in ADV Rider selling two (2) SS's. He is in Florida. https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=2ahUKEwiaxcvjuKjwAhWNB50JHT2CCrYQFjAAegQIAxAD&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.ducatitech.com%2F2v%2Fsp_cr_faq.html&usg=AOvVaw3uKw_bMiEYJf3OXHdKRBvR
91-97 are carb bikes, 98 was a transition year with the Final Edition (900SS FE) being an up-specíd carb model, 98-on are injected and restyled, substantially different. All have upside down forks. Sounds like some study would be required to figure out what you want. Ian Falloonís books are OK, for example this one would serve your needs:https://www.biblio.com/book/ducati-desmodue-twins-pantah-f1-750/d/1194571990?aid=frg¤cy_id=1&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIhY---6Sn8AIV_h-tBh253AsEEAQYAiABEgKoy_D_BwE
The problem with the Mikuni CV carbs is people don't know how to tune them...My 96 900 Monster has the the Mikuni 's and nyone who wants to come here and test it is welcome. If you intend to race the bike on a track then the FC's are a better choice
Hereís my 96 SS/CR. Carbed. One of my all time favorite bikes. Visceral. Surprisingly comfortable. Easy to work on (donít let people scare you about the valves or cam belts).I think the half faired CR version is one of the prettiest bikes ever made. The full fairing version does nothing for me. Beware the overly long and sharp side stand.
Tuning them is not hard. The problem is the vacuum carbs have a vacuum operated slide and no matter what you do will never be as responsive as a pumper. DR650's also use BST carbs and you can make them better by doing several hacks but the will never be as good as a low end pumper carb. Add in a high end pumper like a FCR and it only gets better. Damn that is a sharp bike!
Then you need to ride my bike..In my opinion, the merits of 1000 bucks worth of carbs on a street bike with 85 hp is overated..
And you should ride one being fed with FCR's. Having owned mutiple 900'ss and DR650's with BST carbs you can rework the BST for better performance but in the end its like shining a turd. No matter how much shine you get on it its still a turd.
There is a sometime poster here named PhilB who used to ride a Ducati M900. Same engine as the 900SS. He got over 250,000miles from his before some dingbat pulled out in front of him totaling the bike. By all accounts these air-cooled, 2 valve engine are bullet proof.
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