Tagged: 864

Original Owner SuperSport: 1979 Ducati 900SS for Sale

1979 Ducati 900SS R Side Front

I usually try to mix things up here, and we did just feature a very nice early roundcase Ducati this week, but this late square-case SuperSport makes a nice bookend to that earlier machine. While you might expect the bigger-engined 900 SuperSport to be the more desirable bike compared to the earlier 750SS or Sport, the reverse is actually true: with just 401 produced, the earlier 750SS is far more collectible than its bigger descendant. But that just means these are that much more accessible for folks who want to experience a classic bevel-drive Ducati.

“Accessible” of course being a relative term…

1979 Ducati 900SS L Side Front

Although these epitomize Italian sportbikes of the period, the truth is that, but the late 1970’s, Ducati’s v-twin was getting pretty long in the tooth. It handled better than the newest crop of Japanese superbikes, but they were less refined, less reliable, and very expensive to produce, with the complex and Swiss watch-like tower-shaft and bevel-drive gear arrangement requiring very precise set up. In fact, the Pantah that followed was mainly intended to reduce production costs, not improve performance: those rubber belts ran quieter and made building those motors much faster and easier, even though they needed more regular replacement. Thanks for that, Ducati.

1979 Ducati 900SS L Side Engine2

The 900SS was introduced in 1975 and used the updated 864cc twin that used the restyled, more angular-looking cases that led to the “square case” nickname for these later bevel-drive engines. It also used a simplified gearshift intended from the outset to work with a left-side shift: earlier bikes with a left-side shifter were basically converted from the original right-side mechanism using a convoluted linkage that was far from precise. Cast-aluminum wheels came in 1979 and added more modern performance, although some today might bemoan the loss of the classic wire spoked items…

1979 Ducati 900SS L Side Engine

From the original eBay listing: 1979 Ducati 900SS for Sale

Very rare bevel-head Ducati, all original with few modifications. Conti exhaust, Marzocchi shocks, Del’lorto 40 mm pumper carbs, and a Dr. Desmo Bevel-gear window. 14,000 original-owner miles, has Campagnolo cast alloy wheels, a rare original option, and perforated brake disks. Complete professional no-cost-barred frame-up restoration done ca 2000-2001 by MPH Motorsports (Houston), stripped to frame, powder-coated, engine sent to Perth, Australia for the performance Vee Two treatment (converted for unleaded fuel, hardened seats, porting, http://veetwo.net/ ). Very professional result and true to the original. Runs strong and handles as if on rails. The rarest collectable MC known, recognized in the Guggenheim “Art of the Motorcycle”. Perfect condition, runs great. Always garaged, maintained by Erico MS in Denver (who will crate and ship the motorcycle), did I mention I am the original owner already?

1979 Ducati 900SS Gear Gazer

It’s nice that the seller took the time to wash the bike before taking pictures, but I do wish it’d been dried off first… And I do wish that a few more unblurry pics had been included.

Bidding is up just north of $16,000 with the Reserve Not Met. There’s not much to say about this bike: it’s a blue-chip classic in nearly perfect condition, with a fairly recent full restoration by a professional shop, with an engine built by one of the best Ducati speed shops in the business. The only questions are: “Do you like the black/gold paint, or would you prefer blue/silver?” And maybe, “Would you prefer your classic Ducati with spoked wheels?”

-tad

1979 Ducati 900SS R Side

Know Your History: 1983 Mike Hailwood Replica MHR for Sale

1983 Ducati MHR R Side

If this machine looks vaguely familiar, it should: our banner image at this site includes the silhouette of Mike Hailwood’s original race bike, the machine he used to win the 1978 Isle of Man TT.

1983 Ducati MHR L Side Tank

Born Stanley Michael Bailey Hailwood, Mike “The Bike” Hailwood ranks up there with Agostini as one of the all-time motorcycling greats. He won multiple world titles during a ten-year career that stretched between 1957 and 1968, riding for Honda and MV Agusta. After retiring from motorcycle racing, he moved on to Formula 1 in the early 1970’s, once of very few to make that transition successfully.

In 1978, he returned to motorcycle racing at the Isle of Man TT, then and now the most dangerous event in the world, riding an unlikely machine from Ducati. Against all odds, he won, and cemented his place in Ducati’s racing history.

1983 Ducati MHR L Side Rear

He also got a bike named after him: the MHR or “Mike Hailwood Replica” bikes were basically full-fairings slapped on a largely-stock 900SS. Powered by the “square-case” version of Ducat’s 864cc v-twin and making about 72hp, the bike could hit almost 140mph. Although a cosmetic update to a long-in-the-tooth product at the time it was conceived, these have become very collectable.

1983 Ducati MHR R Side Detail

This particular example is no garage-queen and has covered a tick over 14,000 miles. To me, this is a good thing: nice bikes deserve to be ridden, instead of being condemned to slow decay in a museum or in someone’s garage under a tarp.

From the original eBay listing: 1983 Mike Hailwood Replica MHR

This is a Japanese edition built in late 1983 and purchased by a US military employee in Tokyo in 1984. We purchased from him last year. This is arguably one of the nicest 83 Hailwoods on the planet. Runs as nice as it looks. Comes with all paperwork and repair records back to the purchase from Muriyama Motors in Tokyo.

Tank and all bodywork in outstanding shape. Beautiful paint. All bright work looks incredible ( see photos).

New this year: Pirellis front and rear, new brakes, new cush drives, new battery hold down, tank hold down, battery tray. New rebuild on the rear master cylinder. New fuel lines (correct green) and clamps. New alternator harness. New steering head bearings. New turn signals. Petcocks reworked. Carbs looked over at Ducati Phoenix. The carbs were rebuilt by the Woods Bros in Cal in an earlier workup. Conti pipes.  All services just completed EFX clipons installed. Have original ones. This bike has the optional factory big cams.

There has been no engine work except for looking over and dialing in the carbs, oil change (Castrol GTX) and alternator harness replacement.  Factory seal on the cases still intact. We have put only 30 kilometers on the bike in the last 14 mos.

The seller also includes several videos of the bike, including a walkaround and a ride-by.

1983 Ducati MHR L Side Detail

Interestingly, the paint on the MHR was not intended to mimic the Italian flag. It was patterned after primary sponsor Castrol’s corporate color scheme. There are still several days left on this auction, and this looks to be a great bike for someone who wants to ride their acquisition!

-tad

1983 Ducati MHR L Side