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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
It's finally official, so I can make a real post about it.

TL;DR version - In 1993 I saw a Ducati Superlight. Loved it. Decided I wasn't in a position to buy it. As of today I own one.

Long version...

In February I decided I wanted a Ducati V2 Streetfighter. That meant I had to sell my Moto Guzzi V85tt. Right after putting down a deposit on the Streetfighter, I put the V85 up for sale. The ad clearly stated "No trades".

So of course I got the guy who wanted to trade me two POS Japanese bikes that didn't run and one old POS snowmobile that didn't run and some other crap that didn't work for my as new Moto Guzzi because sure, I want to take your junk in trade. Seriously? Do I look like a trash collector? What are these peolpe thinking?

Then I got another guy who wanted to trade, but his one was different. It's a long story but the gist of it was this guy had a Ducati Superlight that had been sitting at a friends house for 20 years, unridden.

Well at least this was something decent, but no, I needed money for the Streetfighter. I started turning it down, but as I was writing I ended up talking myself into getting more info. My reply was like "Yeah, no, but do you have any pics? Because, I dunno, maybe?"

I was very skeptical. Sitting for 20 years? The carbon fiber was probably cloudy. The tank rusty. Etc... the thing probably needed more work than I cared to do, but, come on. It's a Superlight. I have lusted after a Superlight since spending about half an hour staring at the first one I saw on the showroom floor back in the day. I bought a yellow 996 because of the Superlight. I love 900ss's, the Superlight is the top dog 900ss. Ya gotta check on it anyway.

A few pictures were sent. Hmmm..... not bad. It's a couple hours from here, I'll go look at it.

I got there, and about 45 seconds in I saw this and decided the bike needed to come home with me.


It already had FCRs. Braided lines. Open exhaust. The wheels have a little corrosion on them but nothing major... and it only had about 7300 miles on it. Did I mention the carbon fiber was clear, no cloudiness?



Once I got it home my IQ recovered a bit and I checked a few other things. The inside of the gas tank looked as new. The airbox was spotless too.






The only bummer was the swingarm is cracked. Not shocking, they do that.



It just so happens I have a 900ss trackbike that will need more work than I had planned, and it has the updated aluminum swingarm that doesn't crack as easily... which will need to be removed when I pull the engine. And I have a steel swingarm banging around that will fit in it's place. Problem solved.

So, the Guzzi was sacrificed to get the SL. The guy showed up this morning and we made everything official after about two months of planning.

Coincidently... I got a phone call last night. The Streetfighter is ready to go. I would have included more pictures of the SL in this post but they'll have to wait. Now I have to get ready to go pick up the Streetfighter!

The bad news is, once everything gets settled in I need to get serious about selling the 851. Sacrifices need to be made I suppose.

More info later, this probably won't be much of a project thread. Or at least I hope it isn't.
 

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Sounds like an exciting project!

Looking forward to watching this one. I fully admit I never really got the appeal of the early 900SS.
I enjoyed my 1000SS, but figured that was mainly due to it being the end of the line and more refined.
BUT I do find myself tossing a leg over my DB2 A LOT more then I had anticipated.
Starting to understand the simple pleasure of these bikes.

So, that 851......
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
I'm still trying to put together the details on the 851 for an ad. I'll send the details when I have a rough idea. The gist of it is, it's nice but not a museum piece, and I'll probably ask $9500 for it.

Appeal of the 900ss... I could go on for days but it turns into fanboy stuff at some point so I'll try not to ramble too long.

Basically, the Super Sport was the Ducati sportbike for the everyday guy. If the Superbikes were like prize fighters, the Super Sports were bar room brawlers. They may not win the fight but you're gonna know they were in it. Yestertech from day one, but attitude for days. And the best sounding exhaust of any Ducati of the era. I've got stories about that too.

The SS worked better on the street than the Superbikes did. I say that having owned a couple SS's, an 851 and a 996. The SL is my 4th 900ss.

Of course the early Monsters have the same engine and some would argue a better chassis, and they're pretty nice too, but to someone who got into Ducatis in the F1 era, the SS was the cooler choice. Last year I started looking for an M900 as my "classic" bike, but I've now bought two Super Sports instead. So yeah, I'm incredibly biased.

I can imagine your DB2 is a kick to ride, it's the Bimota I'd search for if I was looking for one. In fact the DB2 and an RC30 are two of the few bikes left on my "bucket list". With the addition of the Streetfighter and this I'm thinking I won't be buying anything else for quite some time.

I did bring the SL into my shop, so work can begin. Though if it's nice out I'll be out putting miles on the SF.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I had been working to get my 900ss trackbike ready for this season but that's not gonna happen. It's nickname is now "donor bike".

It's suspension was downgraded a bit.


The donor, er, track bike had a perfectly good, updated (less prone to cracking) aluminum swingarm. And it came with a spare steel swingarm. What's a few pounds between friends anyway?





The belts had just been changed on the track bike too. Today was spent getting it into shape to wheel into the corner while the SL gets some love. It's a little worse for wear but it will get it's day in the sun. Someday.


I had a few parts left over when I was done, but I think I can find somewhere to put them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I'm surprised there is not more of a difference in swing arm weights, although I'm not sure what I expected it to be.
I was a little surprised too, until I thought about it in percentages. The steel arm is about 38% heavier than the aluminum, and I didn't include the blocks that the axle fits in either so that'd be more weight for the steel one.


i got somewhere for that rear shock
I've got a couple places for it!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
It looks like these tires didn't see a whole lot of use. I haven't checked the date code but they have to be 20 years old at least, so I'll be replacing them.


I was hoping to get more done today but things came up. I did make the first parts order though!


Looks pretty tidy under the tank


Took a look at the carbs, obviously they'll need to be rebuilt. No surprise there, my first clue was when I couldn't twist the throttle easily...


At least I got the trackbike out of the way. I'm hoping it stays there for weeks rather than years, but I'm not promising anything.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
On another site I mentioned the replacement swingarm was a newer version, which led to confusion when someone thought I was talking about a swingarm from a later generation Super Sport. Yes, those will fit but then you have to change to a later hugger too I think?

Anywhos, what I meant was, Ducati revised the design of this swingarm somewhere between 1993 and 1996, so same generation but different part. I'm not sure when it happened but the later arms have a mod that keeps them from cracking so easily. Here's a shot of the original swingarm (top) vs the later revised version. Notice the extra material on the front, you can't see the bolt head on the later version.





I also checked the date codes on the tires. Rear was made in the 8th week of 2000, front was 40th week of 2000. They're about due to be replaced I think. A new set of Pirellis were waiting for me when I got home, Diablo Rosso II. Older tech but available in a 170/60 rear and they're not expensive. Perfect for what I'm going to be using this for. I almost went with Angel GT sport touring tires, but they cost about the same and judging by past experience, these tires will probably die of old age out before they wear out...
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Progress for now still means going backwards



Carbs and airbox are pulled. Cracked swingarm is still on there but the shock is gone. Belts are off too, so that means everything's out of the way and I can check/adjust the valves. but instead of doing that I ended up cleaning one of the carbs. I can't get the freaking fastener out that covers the needle and am not sure how I'm going to deal with that without damaging a $200 slide... I could just leave it but it would be worse to deal with later if I want to change things. Hopefully tomorrow I can clean up the other one with no issues and get all the parts ordered.

Since this is a '93 it has the pesky flanges on the cam pulleys that make changing the belts a pain in the ass. Or I should say "had" the pesky flanges. They were removed and tossed in the bin - the later bikes don't have them and now neither does this one. I'll probably replace the tensioner and idler bearings, they spin just fine but the outer surfaces are corroded. I haven't checked prices yet... the track bike may need to step in with a generous donation once again. In fact it's got FCRs too, if things go south with the slide on this.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I took a closer look at the swingarms this afternoon, and spotted another difference that explains someone else's issue with the chainguard not fitting. The original swingarm has a smaller brace.


Original swingarm. Let's call it 30mm



Revised swingarm. More like 40mm



Originally there was a little clearance (hard to tell but only pic I had)



while it hits the brace with the revised version



Could it be trimmed? Maybe. Do I care it doesn't fit? Not really.


BUT... the hugger doesn't really fit either now, because the tab for the guard hits the swingarm brace. I can trim it, but it kind of annoys me to trim an original hugger... I'll decide later aka get up the nerve when I price a new hugger. I'll have to figure out just how much would have to go to get it to fit.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Slight progress made. Parts are showing up so I've got that going for me.

At this point the valves are done, belts replaced, swingarm replaced, shock installed, and I'm midway through rebuilding the carbs. I managed to pull the stuck bolt that was preventing me from getting to the needle without damaging the slide, so that was good. I hope the second one goes easier...

Ooooh... much more better now.


I also pulled the brake rotor off the rear wheel. This era bike is known for having crap bolts holding the rotor on. They use a 5mm allen wrench and commonly strip. I broke all six loose with no issues, and then when I went to remove the last one, it stripped. I guess it hadn't broken loose after all. I got it out, but it eventually involved welding a nut to the messed up bolt, all the while wondering just how easily magnesium can be ignited...
 
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