Black and Gold, Part II: 1980 Ducati 900 Super Sport

1980 Ducati 900SS L Side Front

The street-racer sibling of the Ducati Darmah featured earlier this week and even decked out in the same colors, this 900SS represents the logical evolution of the SuperSport line that began with the 750SS in 1974.

The original 750 SuperSport was built to celebrate Ducati’s surprise, David versus Goliath victory at Imola in 1972 and helped cement Ducati into the minds of motorcycle fans as a builder of performance twins. With only 401 of those built, they remain well out of reach for most enthusiasts.

1980 Ducati 900SS Cockpit

A much better proposition for folks who want to ride, and not just stare at, their bikes for fear of wrecking a valuable bit of history, the 900SS was introduced in 1975 and featured the restyled “square-case” engine displacing 864cc’s. The 900 also came with improved or modified features to improve performance and make the bike more appealing to US buyers, including a modified shift mechanism to make the left-side shift required a less Rube Goldberg-ian proposition, and quieter stock mufflers. Which hopefully have been canned for some glorious open Conti pipes by now!

1980 Ducati 900SS R Side Rear

In 1979, Ducati fitted cast-aluminum wheels to the SS and the bike was available with the classic black with gold-stripe paint scheme. This bike lacks the cast wheels, but that’s not necessarily a change from original: bikes of the period tended to blur the lines a bit, and this may actually have been an earlier bike that wasn’t titled until 1980… Or maybe they just stuck on a set of wire-wheels they had lying around. Or maybe a previous owner fitted them.

1980 Ducati 900SS Engine

From the original eBay listing: 1980 Ducati 900 Super Sport

This bike is proudly wearing all its original paint and decals, some of which are showing signs of age and a few chips. The gold paint on the included original wheels, especially the chain side of the rear, has not held up too well. There is a dent in the r/h Conti, under the foot peg, that was there when I got the bike. There are a few other scuffs and marks that should show in the pictures, that are from normal use. This is typical for the original finishes on Ducatis of this era. That said, this bike is in beautiful condition and has a real presence. It never fails to attract attention and complements where ever its ridden. It is 100% ready to ride.

The seller also includes this clip of the bike being fired up.

This particular example is unrestored, and it’s important to remember that, like so many other classic Italian machines, the fit and finish on these from the factory was far from perfect. A meticulously [over] restored example might be a thing of beauty, but examples like this are far more likely to capture the real experience of these bikes. But this is no beater: just look at what’s hiding under the bodywork in the picture below!


1980 Ducati 900SS Naked



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1 Response

  1. Bill says:

    Tad, some of your remarks about this bike are misleading or incorrect. The bike is a 1980, the original cast wheels are included in the sale, and these wire wheels were built specifically for this bike. Everything is gone over in the eBay listing.