The 900CR is a bit of a forgotten Ducati. Offered as part of the late 1990’s Ducati range, the 900CR and its sister 900SS weren’t objects of lust like the Ducati 916/996/998 but also weren’t the companies sales leader like the “standard” Monster series. The 900 series was targeted towards non-hard core sport rider, a smaller market segment that wasnt as interested in having the latest tech or bolt ons. The result was that the 900 series bikes were never the most technologically advanced bikes in the Ducati lineup nor did they have the most aftermarket bits/offerings created for them. Furthermore, most buyers at the time seemed to prefer the full fairing look of the 900SS so the CR is a bit of a rarity.
While the 900CR didn’t enjoy huge sales success back in the 1990’s, nowadays it is enjoying a bit of a resurgence in popularity. This is probably due its exposed/cafe racer style aging better than the bulbus 900SS and the fact that CR’s are a bit less common.
The genesis of the the CR is that back in 1989 Ducati engineering boss Massimo Bordi set up two separate production lines; one for the liquid-cooled, four-valve, fuel-injected 851 range and the other for air-cooled, 600/750/900cc two-valve carburetor twins. This was done because while the 851/888 range was the one that formed the basis of the companies racing efforts and future tech, the air-cooled twin powered bikes were actually what kept the coffers full/were the most popular selling Ducati’s.
For 1998 the Ducati 900 SS/CR series came with a pair of 38mm Mikuni CV carbs, an aluminium swingarm to shorten the wheelbase, Showa shocks and forks and 320mm Brembo discs. None of this technology was revolutionary at the time it was introduced nor was it discontinued after the bikes production run ended. The benefit of this is that the 900SS/CR series are easier to live with than their liquid-cooled brethren. Simply put, the 900 series are a way to have the Ducati experience without breaking the bank.
This particular 900CR looks to be in good condition but isn’t pristine. There are some aftermarket parts (exhaust, seat, bar ends?) and the fluid reservoir caps look to be either replacements or have had the paint come off due to fluid leaks. Mileage is approximately 18,000 and the maintenance info is very limited with the seller indicating only that “maintenance locally at an established Motorcycle Dealership here in Nashville, TN” so there might be some belt replacement costs for the desmo engine. The seller also indicates that the bike went down at 15mph which is perhaps why the pictures don’t show the other side of the bike?
So is this Ducati 900CR a future classic or a future crock? Sure the 900SS/CR series will never be as desirable as other Ducati’s such as the Supermono, Desmosedici or even 916, but prices for the late 1990’s 900 series bikes do seem to be creeping up in value. Bidding for this one is currently at $2500 USD with the reserve not met and previous listings of these on RSBFS have shown prices slightly under $5000 USD.
Perhaps if this one interests you an email and then phone discussion to the seller would be a logical next step. Personally I think this one is a bit of a gamble; it might be a future “classic” or it might be a “crock”…perhaps some of our more experienced readers will share their opinions in the comments section.