1978 Ducati 900SS “Cafe Corsa” for Sale
Ducati’s SuperSport bikes are truly some of the most iconic sports motorcycles ever conceived and probably rank up near the top of every Italian bike enthusiast’s wish list: racy bodywork, one of the best-looking engines ever designed, race-winning heritage, and a booming exhaust note combine for a truly involving experience.
Much is made of Ducati’s “Desmodromic” valve actuation, although it can be argued that, even by the 1970’s, it was pointless technology and offered no real advantage: plenty of machines during that period revved much higher and featured regular, ordinary valve springs instead of Ducati’s signature Desmo system that used cams to open and close the valves. But the mystique remains and this exotic technology helped, then and now, to differentiate Ducatis from other mere motorcycles and give them a clearer brand identity.
Speaking of identity: when it comes to naming cars and motorcycles, manufacturers tend to round displacements up or down to come up with something that looks cool on a fender or tank, although it seems like Ducati was pushing things a bit when they introduced their new “square-case” engine in 1975 and decided to call the 864cc engine a “900”, although this particular example is packing a bit more than stock…
Aside from the new displacement and angular aesthetic for the engine, the 900SS featured updates to the bike to help it sell in the USA, including a gearshift moved to the left side of the bike and updates to the electronics to improve reliability.
The photos in the original listing aren’t the best, but the seller includes a ton of details that suggest a sympathetic and attentive ownership:
From the original eBay listing: 1978 Ducati 900SS “Cafe Corsa” for sale
There’s quite a bit more in the listing that concerns significant upgrades to the suspension and other details: it’s been thoughtfully upgraded with a laundry list of desirable period parts and modified with an eye to modern necessities like a tank treated to handle ethanol-ized gasoline. Bidding is up to $18,200 and the reserve has been met, which seems pretty reasonable considering what nice 900SS’s go for these days. 900’s certainly don’t have the value of the earlier round-case bikes, but they obviously benefit from the gradual upgrades and changes applied throughout the bike’s lifespan.
It may be a bit dorky, but I happen to love Bevel Heaven’s “Gear Gazer” and would probably add one immediately after purchasing an SS. Otherwise, it doesn’t get much better than this, unless you’re looking for perfectly untouched originality.
Me, I’d rather go riding, and it’s pretty clear that’s what this bike was built for.