900SS vs 900SD

If you need technical information or help with your BOSCH ignition squarecase Ducati 900SS - Darmah engine - post your FAQs, comments & questions here.
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killfile
Mariana
Posts: 32
Joined: Sat Jul 28, 2018 5:16 pm

900SS vs 900SD

Post by killfile »

Folks,
Talk to me about the 1980 900SS vs the 900SD.
I just came back from looking at what I expected to be a 900SS. In fact, the entire time I was in my friend's garage I thought I was looking at a 900SS, but there were a few quirky things that I thought were odd. Looking back on my photos, I'm 98% sure it is actually a 900SD that had the tank, seat and front fender changed to look like an SS. This is a friend who isn't trying to pull a fast one and he's owned the bike for years, I think if we discover it is a Darmah, he is going to be a bit surprised.

My understanding is that the Darmah isn't quite as nimble as the SS. What else should I know? Odds are I'll be getting a reasonable deal on this bike and will be buying it either way. That brings me to the fact that it hold has 9k miles on it. I tend to ride my bikes a TON and but some very HARD HARD miles on them through rough roads in Northern California. I typically looks for non-original bikes considering the wear I put on them. I would feel a bit bad putting such a low mileage bike through these extremes. Perhaps it should go to someone who would value the low mileage more than myself, but given that it is sporting SS garb on a SD frame, I figure most of the low mileage types wouldn't be interested?

Thanks to anyone that weighs in with their opinion. All my previous experience is with my '75 860GT, so I might still discover I'm wrong and it is an SS...
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81mhr900ss
750 GT
Posts: 155
Joined: Tue May 31, 2016 3:49 pm

Re: 900SS vs 900SD

Post by 81mhr900ss »

Confusing question. Darmahs came in different flavours: SD and SS(SSD). The frame was the same, based on the 860GT (also my first Ducati).
https://www.ducaticlassics.com/motorcyc ... ssd-darmah
Buy it!
killfile
Mariana
Posts: 32
Joined: Sat Jul 28, 2018 5:16 pm

Re: 900SS vs 900SD

Post by killfile »

Thanks for the article, 81mhr!

Part of the issue is I can't discern if it is a 900SD or 900SSD as I've never had these models. Something to be fixed on the next visit to inspect the vin as the title offers no useful info. It does have Darmah (SD) side panels, not SSD or SS sidepanels, which originally made me curious to inspect more, but it could still be SD side panels on a SSD. Won't know for sure until I inspect in person again.

My real question is for the feel of the frame and the engine. I'm used to my 860GT, and I've never had any complaints about responsiveness, geometry or braking. In my opinion, my 860 is the perfect bike, but I've never ridden a SD, SDD or SS. I'm seeing a lot of people comment/complain on the unwieldy wheelbase and rake on the Darmahs and the owner of the one I'm inspecting has mentioned how this one isn't nimble.... so interested on hearing thoughts from others who have experienced the range.

Now I'm sure it's an SD/SSD conversion to look like a SS, I would have less concerns about riding it the way I'm used to... but I'm still wondering if it should go to a gentler home with such few miles on it...
doug s.
Mariana
Posts: 27
Joined: Fri Sep 02, 2016 5:17 pm

Re: 900SS vs 900SD

Post by doug s. »

this thread may (or may not) be helpful:
viewtopic.php?t=2361

doug s.
killfile
Mariana
Posts: 32
Joined: Sat Jul 28, 2018 5:16 pm

Re: 900SS vs 900SD

Post by killfile »

Doug,
Thanks for the thread link. I'd read some other SD/SSD identifying threads but this was the definitive version.

Looks like there is a 98% chance that I'm the new owner of a low mileage Darmah, and a 2% chance I'm accidentally the owner of an SSD instead. I took another look at the bike today and there is obviously a 0% chance it is a 900SS as originally thought. At least that meant that I was able to get it rather than simply helping to sell it!
Last edited by killfile on Mon Jun 14, 2021 12:23 am, edited 1 time in total.
killfile
Mariana
Posts: 32
Joined: Sat Jul 28, 2018 5:16 pm

Re: 900SS vs 900SD

Post by killfile »

Thanks everyone. I picked up the Darmah last week and had it running 48 hours later. Still a number of things to sort out, but I'm loving it so far.
doug s.
Mariana
Posts: 27
Joined: Fri Sep 02, 2016 5:17 pm

Re: 900SS vs 900SD

Post by doug s. »

congrats, killfile, on your new ride! :vroom:

curious, tho - who's andy?

doug s.
killfile
Mariana
Posts: 32
Joined: Sat Jul 28, 2018 5:16 pm

Re: 900SS vs 900SD

Post by killfile »

Ha!
Thanks, Doug!
Andy replied to me in a different thread and I must have accidentally thanked him double and you not at all. Well I fixed that above, but thank you, Doug, for the link to that thread!

Well I've got her running again, using carbs off a different bike. Took her down to my club meeting last week and everyone stood around appreciating her and waiting for the delight exhaust note when I started up to go home. Definitely a different ride than my '75 860!
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