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Think SS/SPring – 1997 Ducati 900 SS/SP #59

Might be time to peak over the horizon and make ready for the riding season we know is out there.  This U.S. – only 900SS/SP has been on display but with excellent cosmetics, it’s just a service visit away from opening day.

1997 Ducati 900SS/SP #59 for sale on eBay

The Supersport might just have an extra helping of Ducati DNA, with the trellis frame, air-cooled desmodue, and lightweight full fairing.  The SP had a few extra niceties, adjustable Showa forks and monoshock, aluminum swingarm, and carbon mudguards and clutch cover.  The yellow was added to the line-up for 1997, and the pillion masquerades as a monoposto with its painted cover.

With pretty near 24,000 miles, the cosmetics had me thinking re-paint, but showing so factory, it must’ve been a very careful and/or lucky owner.  The owner states the valves were adjusted recently, and says tires and a carb-cleaning would make it a runner.  Depending on the amount of time on display, some seals and minor work might beckon.  From the eBay auction:

This is one of the last 900cc Super Sports made, and only 80 900cc Super Sport  S/P’es were made in that last year world wide, this is number 59 of 80 SP’s,  {Special Performance}, see plaque on top of triple clamp. Very few were made in this color either, Ferrari called it Fly Yellow in the day.  The valves were just done as well as the cam belts. It has been only used as a display item and needs carbs cleaned, it does run but not well. The tires look fine but if it’s going to be ridden get new rubber. The paint is flawless, the bike is a work of art and that’s what I have used it for, displayed with a Ferrari Testarossa. I have the OEM tool kit, owners manual, OEM mufflers, spare air box, one OEM and the other cut to provide more air, shop manual , pit stand, and the bra seen in the pictures, also a good book all about belt drive Ducati’s. This is rolling art as much as a wonderful motorcycle.

Without too much wiz-bang stuff and not much in the way of creature comforts, an SS/SP might only demand what would be the down payment on a new superbike.  The starting bid seems reasonable here, especially if you could re-commission her as an early spring project.  The SP gave way to the Final Edition which was only available in silver, so if you wanted a classic Ducati Supersport with Mikuni carbs and in yellow, 1997 might be your year.  After a quick going-over, this example might be a total gem.



  • Nothing says ‘90s like a vinyl tank bra… I’ve always like these bikes in yellow. This one looks great.

  • Am I wrong or are the lower fairing graphics incorrect? I thought they were smalled and white

  • I’ve seen both Marty, think it depends on the year…

  • Nice bike, but I always like them better with a solo seat that eliminates that awkward grab handle. Oh, and SP=Sport Production, not “special performance.”

  • How can the paint be so flawless, yet both of the gauge needles show the common, “My Ducati’s been in the Sun a lot,” fade?

  • @Auspuff……agreed. My mint 88 Sports gauges look great in comparison to most l see around. These era of bikes age terribly if consistently exposed to weather.

  • I’ve had two of these (great street bikes!) a ’95 CR half fairing (my first Duc) and a ’96 full fairing, both red and have always wanted a yellow one. My 916 and 748R were yellow. These are the correct side panel graphics for 1997.

    Usually those bras did more damage to the paint than a tank pad as debris gets underneath and scratches the paint. The Two Bros carbon slip-ons are pretty terrible, though there is a nice Termignoni high mount carbon full system on Ebay right now…

  • Always confused when someone gets valves belts done ect. and then says bike does not run well. Why not getting it running well at that point?

  • I sold this bike as a completely apart roached out basket case in 2015 in MN, with a crank that rounded off the keyway. It is indeed a original yellow one, but don’t for a minute believe the cream puff aspect lol. I have pictures of it when I sold it, if anyone was thinking of buying it lol.

  • Thanks, Erik. The bike just screamed, “Warning. Warning, Will Robinson!,” to anyone with even a basic knowledge of Duc’s. This is the minefield, which is the reality, of second-hand, vehicles. One must step carefully, and Due-Diligence is a must.

  • No problem!
    Not trying to hurt a sale, or be that guy. However, it’s being sold as a long term display price, that needs carb work. Which really couldn’t be further from the case. I recognonized a few things, mainly being yellow- but also… ( the chopped two brothers exhaust, the warning stickers on the tank cleared over), so I looked through my old pics, and there she was “H59”.

    I bought it as a roller project, as the local Ducati dealer left the flywheel loose. I never did anything with it, and when I moved and cleared out I sold it. Was going to do a SL/ hot rod build with it.

    Has definitely been painted at least once, when I had it it had the lowers painted 1/2 white. Had race rubber on it, and was rode hard and put away wet it’s whole life. Very tired. But was still an SP, and worth fixing.

    I sold it with a good used crank, so not sure if they split the cases and “fixed” it, or just welded and ground on the crank. Either way, would be very concerned about not running well. Carbs are easy to do….

  • Erik,

    Ah, I did not notice the cleared-over warning stickers. Good catch, on your part. I, too, also could not believe that exhaust system. Sad, and ugly. Also, the big warning sign to me are the faded needles on the gauges (the Seller did not catch that). The bike was left outdoors – A lot!

    As for its sketchy running condition, if the bike is such a cream-puff, why does it not run, correctly? And, what does the inside of the tank look like? And, we’re quite sure there was never any mention (or knowledge?) of the crank issue.

    This was no Display Queen. Buyer beware.

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