Although it's date-stamped as a 1980 model, this Ducati 900 Super Sport is obviously a sportbike from an even earlier era: twin-shock suspension aside, the engine features vintage, half-faired style and nearly Victorian-era detailing on the engine. A bit of a throwback, this machine is nonetheless significant to modern sportbike fans, as it was the more commonly available update of the original 750 Super Sport that was Ducati's first foray into big sportbikes. These early Super Sports were basically ground zero for the company as it exists today, especially significant as we're now staring down the barrel of the end of Ducati's v-twin superbikes with the introduction of their MotoGP-aping V4.
The 900 Super Sport was introduced in 1975 as an evolution of their iconic, but very limited-production 750 Super Sport. It used an updated version of their overhead-cam, air-cooled v-twin, here punched out to 864cc and fitted with the restyled "square" engine cases to replace the "round" cases on the 750. Keep in mind that, up until the introduction of the rubber-belt Pantah engine, it was only the Super Sport models that had Ducati's spring-less Desmo valve actuation. Combined with a system of tower shafts and bevel gears to drive the cams instead of chains or belts, the "bevel-head" v-twin engine was more Swiss watch than propulsion system, and manufacturing costs were unsurprisingly high, a major reason for the switch to rubber belts.
Aside from the increased displacement, the 900SS featured a number of changes intended to broaden the bike's appeal for the US market, with modern cast aluminum wheels, a quieter exhaust [blasphemy!], improved kick start, and the gearshift redesigned for the left side of the bike. Earlier examples with left-foot shifter used a cumbersome linkage to convert the bike from its original right-foot shift and the new mechanism was much more precise. Originally, the bike came in classic silver with blue graphics, with the black-and-gold scheme seen here introduced in 1979. This particular example has aftermarket bar-end mirrors fitted that are obviously not period-correct, but pretty innocuous and easily removed if you're going for the original, mirror-less style. The engine also features a clear glass "Gear-Gazer" for the upper cylinder's bevel-drive gears, and aftermarket addition but one I'd probably want for myself, originality be damned.
From the original eBay listing: 1980 Ducati 900 Super Sport Desmo for Sale
17,066 original miles – Collector owned
Restored to Perfection in 2015
After the round case twins 750 GT, Sport and Super Sport Desmo entered the scene, Ducati management found that the line-up lacked a super sport bike capable of competing with the Japanese superbikes with over 750 cc and the Ducati 900 Super Sport was developed to fill that gap.
Initially, Ducati opted for a more touring-oriented approach, with the 860 GT styled by Giugiaro, that unfortunately did not win the public’s favour. At the same time, however, the Bolognese manufacturer also introduced a sportier version, the 900 Super Sport, reminiscent of the sales success of the gorgeous 750 SS Desmo.
The 860 cc engine was derived from the original L-twin engine conceived for the 750 GT, however with a redesigned, more squared case.
Throughout its history, the 900 SS actually underwent few modifications, from the fuel tank to the light-alloy wheels, and was offered in a gold and black livery, in addition to the classic silver and electric blue colour scheme.
Asking Price: $35,500 obo.
The Buy It Now is listed at $35,500 and for that kind of cash, I'd like a little less "brief history that we probably already know" and more information on the who-what-where of the "restoration." Describing something simply as "restored to perfection" is the kind of thing that can mean different things to different people, although I'd expect that the seller would be happy to answer any questions, and the bike looks terrific in the photographs.