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HOME/Ducati Forensics: the life of a 900 Super Sport

17 June 2011 by Harné Heuvelman

Sometimes we come across a Ducati that is beautiful in every single detail. When working on the 1976 900 Super Sport we sold last month, I really fell in love. This particular bike has been preserved so well, you can follow her story back to the factory in Borgo Panigale.

Just look at the pictures: the seals on the exhaust ring nuts are still in place as is the seal on the bottom of the crankcase. The original ‘early’ Brembo brake callipers, the Aprilia JOD headlight, the Aprilia switches, the Tomasselli twist grip, the Conti mufflers… Everything is there, up to the original Pirelli tyres!

Now originality is one thing and surely makes this 900 SS special, but it’s not what gives it her personality. It’s the way she was treated over the years. When I started to work on this bike, I noticed a lot of dirt and grease. After removing the tank, seat and fairing, even more grease was found on the frame. Every nut and bolt was set in a thick layer of grease and with every part I took off I had the feeling it was the first time since she was built in 1976.

Feeling like a forensic expert, I reconstructed the life of this bike. Because of the dirt and the wear of the paint on the side covers, I reckoned it must have been used extensively after it was purchased. Than after just 5000 miles, the owner must have thought not to use it for a while, got a jar of grease and covered it in a thick layer. It was kept under a blanket in a shed until this year when we came across it.

Although Ducati’s are not build to be kept under a blanket, in this case it was preserved to become a classic and start a second life in the hands of someone with a deep respect for her background. She had to pay the price of standing there with nothing to do for over 30 years, but now she in a position to impress everyone that sees her, let alone rides her (yes, you see what I mean…).

After a full engine service, new brake seals and pistons, fresh air in the tyres and a good polish, she’s ready for the road. Running beautifully! I’ll keep her phone number in my address book…

Tags: 900 SS, Patina Restoration

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