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Silver Bullet: 1998 Ducati 900SS FE for Sale

1998 Ducati 900SS FE L Side

The 90s iteration of Ducati’s famous SuperSport wasn’t exactly a fast bike, even by standards of the day. And by the time the Ducati 900SS “Final Edition” rolled around, it likely appealed mostly to die-hard Ducati fans and collectors. Which is a shame because, although the 900SS didn’t offer cutting-edge performance, it did offer plenty of charisma, great handling, and accessible real-world performance.

1998 Ducati 900SS FE R Side Fairing

The chase for abstract performance numbers has always obsessed the world of motorcycles and cars. But the truth is that peak horsepower numbers are often pointless. Since these machines are only fully exploited by .01% of riders, and what works in ad copy isn’t always all that useful on the road, it’s not always the most powerful bikes that make the most rewarding bikes to ride, especially on the road. Look at the endless praise heaped on the K5 GSX-R1000 by modern reviewers and see how this year’s Brutale 800 actually produces less horsepower than the previous version to make it a better roadbike, and it becomes easier to see why this Ducati might win your heart, even if it won’t win any bench-racing sessions…

1998 Ducati 900SS FE L Side Fairing

Powered by Ducati’s long-lived two-valve Pantah engine, the FE featured a solo-seat tail that allowed upswept pipes for increased cornering clearance and some carbon-fiber parts ostensibly because of their light weight, although the savings on a front fender are probably negligible… With a claimed 80hp on tap and a big fat midrange these are very rewarding to ride stock and a huge range of aftermarket support means you can modify the bike to suit if that’s more your thing.

1998 Ducati 900SS FE Dash

From the original eBay listing: 1998 Ducati 900SS FE for Sale

Here we have a 1998 Ducati 900ss FE.  #246 of 300 imported to North America.  The FE stands for ‘Final Edition’,  Based on the 900SS SP, the FE comes dressed in elegant silver bodywork and black wheels, with carbon fiber rear fender, dashboard cover, and countershaft drive cover. A solo (monoposto) seat completes the stunning visual impression.

But there’s more than just skin deep beauty in the FE.

To back up the race-bred look, a few additional changes were made as well. The exhaust pipes have been raised to provide improved cornering clearances. New cast iron floating brake rotors have been fitted with remote reservoirs and adjustable levers. New cylinders, alternator, and voltage regulator have been added. The resulting combination will assure that the thrill of the ride matches the beauty of the machine. Limited to just 300 bikes in North America, the 900SS FE is the last of the 2nd generation SuperSports to be produced by the Bologna factory. To further secure it’s place in the DUCATI legacy, the top triple clamp of each FE is fitted with a consecutively numbered commemorative plaque. There is no doubt as to the special position the FE will assume in the heritage of the most sought after sport motorcycles in the world.

 

1998 Ducati 900SS FE Plaque

The 900SS was certainly dated when new, a nearly retro-performance machine before that was really even a thing. Certainly, it was intended to appeal to collectors and designed to shift the moribund hardware while a replacement was being prepared, but the package can provide plenty of smiles if you’re more of a back-road rider than a track-day warrior. The seller is asking $8,999.00 for this sub-10,000 mile example which, although premium money for a 90s 900SS, seems pretty much on-par for an FE these days.

-tad

1998 Ducati 900SS FE R Side

5 Comments

  • Inspect the front fairing panels on this one.
    -Jeff

    • What is wrong with the fairing panels? Pictures look ok.

      $9,000 seems crazy to me, but we know what they smoke in Portland! I sold my immaculate 900 SS/FE #299 1 1/2 years ago for $5,000!

  • I’m surprised to see 900 prices higher than 916 prices. Or maybe it’s just me.

  • What a stunner – may not have the power of a superbike but definitely has the looks of a supermodel and the soundtrack of a rocketship. Apparently a blast to ride, too, although I’ve never had the pleasure – I know Walt Siegl is a big fan of the carbed SS engine. Could definitely find room in my garage, if I had the beans to spare. Agree it seems pricey but people have been predicting for a while that they’re going to start appreciating, and I guess it marked the end of an era for Ducati. Even though the FE is pretty much a standard Superlight (SP in the US?) with some carbon trim, I think the 300 FEs made for the US market were unique in that they got the upgraded, neater 1998 engines with internal oil lines, unlike our Euro ones which had the standard engine shared with the rest of the Superlights/SPs. And that paintjob is boss – always puts Hawkwind in my head (“I… just took a ride… in a Silver Machine… and I’m still feeling mean…”) Hmmm…

  • There’s three of them (including this one) over on CycleTrader right now, ranging from $8895 to $10250. Dealer prices though. Maybe the affordable FE boat has sailed. Just sayin’.

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