1979 Ducati 864cc 900SS Frame no. DM860SS 088471 Engine no. 091447 DM860
Lot 235N
1979 Ducati 864cc 900SS
Registration no. not UK registered Frame no. DM860SS 088471 Engine no. 091447 DM860
Sold for £22,425 (US$ 29,939) inc. premium

Lot Details
1979 Ducati 864cc 900SS Frame no. DM860SS 088471 Engine no. 091447 DM860 1979 Ducati 864cc 900SS Frame no. DM860SS 088471 Engine no. 091447 DM860 1979 Ducati 864cc 900SS Frame no. DM860SS 088471 Engine no. 091447 DM860 1979 Ducati 864cc 900SS Frame no. DM860SS 088471 Engine no. 091447 DM860 1979 Ducati 864cc 900SS Frame no. DM860SS 088471 Engine no. 091447 DM860
1979 Ducati 864cc 900SS
Registration no. not UK registered
Frame no. DM860SS 088471
Engine no. 091447 DM860
• Second generation 'square case' model
• 20,443 kilometres recorded
• Believed 5 kilometres since restoration
• Registered in Germany

Designed by the legendary Fabio Taglioni, Ducati's first road-going v-twin - the 750GT - arrived in 1971 and has since come to be regarded as one of the all-time great motorcycles of the post-war era. A 90-degree vee, the engine looked like two of the Bologna firm's bevel-drive overhead-cam singles on a common crankcase, which in essence it was.

Ducati's second-generation v-twin engine - the 900cc 'square case' (actual capacity 864cc) - debuted in the 860GT of 1974 and the following year was used to power the new 900SS superbike. The latter was styled like the original 750SS that had been developed from Paul Smart's 1972 Imola winner. (The 750SS model continued in this new 'square case' guise, though almost all of these smaller, second-generation vees were destined for the Italian market).

More than just a simple over-bore, the 'square case' engine incorporated a new camshaft drive arrangement, improved oil pump, cartridge-type oil filter and electronic ignition. In addition, the gear change was moved to the left-hand side and the frame altered to provide chain adjustment at the swinging arm pivot. As had been the case with the original 750SS, desmodromic valve gear distinguished the new sports roadster from its tourer counterpart. 'Like the tamer valve spring version of the engine in the 900GTS it is uncannily smooth, while possessing a much more dramatically punchy power output than the soft touring motor,' reported Bike magazine in October 1977.

Breathing through gaping 40mm Dell'Orto carburettors, the 900SS engine produced 70bhp at 7,500rpm, an output good enough for a top speed of 135mph. The 900SS's competition heritage was obvious on the road: 'While other flash Italian bikes are basically roadsters dressed up and pretending to be racers, this is the real thing,' declared Bike.

Purchased circa 2000 from a German collector/restorer, this 900SS is believed to have covered a mere 5 kilometres since restoration and is presented in generally excellent condition. The machine is offered with a German Fahrzeugbrief and TüV (1999).

Footnotes

  • As with all Lots in the Sale, this Lot is sold 'as is/where is' and Bidders must satisfy themselves as to the provenance, condition, age, completeness and originality prior to bidding.

Saleroom notices

  • The frame number is DM860/088471.
Activities
Auction information

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Lot symbols
N NOVA declaration

If purchased by a UK resident, this machine is subject to a NOVA declaration, undertaken by Bonhams upon a successful sale, to facilitate the registration of the machine here in the UK.

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