View Full Version : Advice sought - 1978 Ducati 900ss

06-10-17, 18:24
(Also posted in the Ducati section)
I need some advice from you fine gentlemen please.
I already know that there's nothing as expensive as a cheap Ducati...

Well, this one isnt too cheap, but I have chance to buy what looks like a pretty original 1978 Ducati 900ss, one of my favourite bikes of all time. 16k and with the original gold magnesium wheels and contis, just the tyres and seat cover are different, but I'm no exper on these Ducatis.

Its been stood for nearly 15 years, due to the owners ill health rather than a mechanical problem and appears a to be straightforward refresh..Except

The engine doesn't turn though..

a) whats one of these likely to be worth buying as a non runner, Ive seen that the restored prices are ITRO £25-35k.

b) Assuming the worst, whats an engine rebuild likely to cost me?

My niaive guess at costs would be to set aside between £5 for a refresh or up to £12k for a restore. Am I even in the right ball park?

Many thanks

07-10-17, 15:42
I've owned x2 ducati bikes,
my advice is to stick to motoguzzi
if you must own one be prepared for a lot of £ spending.
there's a similar bike in Gyndaff Evans ( car dealers in Dolgellau, powys) it hasn't moved in many years.
Gyndaff won't sell it, it remains an interesting ornament :eek:

07-10-17, 18:25
Thanks for the advice, which I fully undestand...
I kinda just have this itch and.....

12-10-17, 17:44
There will be loads of advice around. I’m afraid my Ducati experience is limited to the belt drive engines but I do know rebuilding the earlier twins is a bit of a specialist job. I’d be doing some research into who knows how to build these engines properly.

steve hughes
12-10-17, 18:46
Thanks for the advice, which I fully undestand...
I kinda just have this itch and.....

Why don’t you pop down to Stafford this weekend, there will be many desmo / Classic Ducatis on show. You can have a chat with current owners and get a good feel on the lay of the land from their point.

12-10-17, 19:29
Thanks Steve, will do, especially as I'll already be there, my 'Zagato' Guzzi will be on show in the Guzzi club stand on the balcony.


steve hughes
12-10-17, 19:56
Now thats just showing off, must remember to hold back the pee until I see the Zagato on the guzzi stand!!!!!

Have a great show might see you there

12-10-17, 20:49
Thanks :beerjug:

I posted up a little thread about it here
Oldrat's cafe jobbie link (http://www.ukgser.com/forums/showthread.php/422185-Oldrat-s-Guzzi-cafe-jobbie?highlight=Oldrats+cafe+jobbie)

17-10-17, 09:55
On what you are starting with and what you want to end up with

I’ve got three bevel engined bikes.

A 73 round case, 75 and 79 square case.

A few things I have learned in the resto work

If you want to restore to original condition be very careful on the following:

A full engine re build will cost you up to £10k
Original spares are very expensive, so if you buy a bike to restore check all the parts, brake calipers, headlights, switches etc etc
Wheels. The early magnesium wheels were all prone to cracking, get them tested. A full set of new replica wheels and discs will cost up to £3k

Check the frame and engine numbers very very carefully. Check the fonts, check the number ranges. There are a lot of bitsa/fake bikes that will instantly de value

If you have any detailed photo’s, engine & frame numbers flip them over to me and I will have a look for you.

17-10-17, 16:23
Drool :cool:
That is some stable that you have there, very nice.

Thank you for your advice useful and practical advice. :beerjug:

I've passed up the chance on that particular SS, I figured that £20k was asking too much, especially as the engine doesn't turn.

I'm still in the market for one or something similar, so welcome any heads up.

Thanks again


17-10-17, 16:33
Could be as simple as a fried regulator, might sound daft but was the original battery still in there :drums

17-10-17, 16:37
Wont turn over as in 'seized'. I was told that it was unlikely to be a mechanical failure as it was running well when it was laid up due to the owner being ill.

17-10-17, 16:54
One of my favourite bikes of all time ...
Engine [I]could[I] be siezed due to rings rusting into the bores, how long has it sat?

17-10-17, 17:00
That's quite likely, but not certain. It's been sat in a damp garage for @ 15 years

17-10-17, 17:06
You could also give Pietro a call if he is still around, I am going back a while.