2018 Shannons Sydney Winter Classic Auction
Lot
50

1976 Ducati 900 SS Motorcycle

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Specifications

Engine Twin-cylinder, 864cc
Gearbox 5-speed manual
Colour Silver & Blue
Trim Black

Description

Ducati’s legendary 900 Super Sport can trace its origins back to the Fabio Taglioni-designed desmo 750 racers ridden to a one-two victory at Imola in 1972 by Bruno Spaggiari and Paul Smart.  A handful of race replicas were sold the following year and the model entered limited production in 1974; the original ‘round-case’ motor was an exotic air-cooled twin developed from the 750 GT sporting special carbs, polished valve rockers plus milled and machined con-rods.  The so-called ‘green frame’ remains a landmark model in Ducati’s history while the first ‘square-case’ 750 and 900 Super Sports were developed as sporting siblings to the 860 GT, with approximately 250 of each version produced in 1975.  Only sold in the iconic silver with blue accents paint scheme, the 1975 900’s engine was a sleeved version of the 750 and both featured special heads, 40mm Dell’Orto carburetors and crankshaft, along with a right-hand gearchange and Conti mufflers.  Notable details included Marzocchi forks, Brembo disc brakes (drilled up front) and 18-inch Borrani wheels, while the tank was a 20-litre fibreglass piece similar to the previous 750 SS.  Equipped with Smiths instruments, there were no turn indicators, further evidence of the SS’s dual-purpose nature and the 1975 models were barely road legal in most markets.  Good for 70 horsepower at 7500 rpm, the 900 SS was capable of reaching a top speed of 135mph and Bike magazine wrote “While other flashy Italian bikes are basically roadsters dressed up and pretending to be racers, this is the real thing”.  The 900 SS was put into regular production for 1976 with various modifications to make the bike legal for sale in North America, principally the shift to a left-hand gearshift and a quieter exhaust.  Other changes included a steel fuel tank, the addition of turn signals and a revised instrument panel (featuring the ignition switch), along with Pirelli or Michelin tyres.  Periodically updated, the 900 SS ultimately remained in production until 1982 and just over 6,000 were made in total, with surprisingly large numbers sold in Australia.  Considered one of Ducati’s truly iconic models, the Super Sport has become one of the most sought after bikes produced in Bologna.  
 

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