Ducati 900SS

The 900SS Desmo was a direct response to the latest crop of superbikes from Suzuki, Honda and Kawasaki that were sweeping podiums by the mid 70’s. Seeking to juice the lineup after its disappointing 860GT, Ducati equipped this big 900SS with a sexy, swept-back fairing, sporty solo seat and Desmo heads.


Initially offered in an electric blue version with traditional spoke wheels and high-shouldered Borrani rims, it later came in a black-and-gold livery with matching mag wheels.

The bike could be ordered with a dual seat or a paint-matched solo seat option. Additionally, while the U.S. models came detuned for emissions standards with 32mm carbs, an airbox, and restrictive Silentium pipes, included in the shipping crate from the factory were 40mm carbs set up with velocity stacks and a set of Conti pipes—but word has it dealers would often pocket those items and sell them back to the owners as an upgrade kit.


Start Here: Intro 70s Italian Superbikes

The Ducati Story
Ducati 350 Mark 3-D (1968-1972)
Ducati 350 Desmo (1971-1972)
Ducati 750S (1972-1974)
Ducati 750SS (1973-1974)
Ducati 900SS (1975-1982)
Ducati Darmah (1977-1982)
Ducati MHR (1979-1984) 

The Laverda Story
Laverda 750S (1969-1970)
Laverda SF (1970-1976)
Laverda SFC (1971-1976)
Laverda Jota (1976-1983)
Laverda Montjuic (1979-1981)

The Moto Guzzi Story
Moto Guzzi V7 Telaio Rosso (1971)
Moto Guzzi V7 Sport (1971-1974)
Moto Guzzi 750S (1974-1975)
Moto Guzzi Lemans 850 (1976-1978)

The MV Agusta Story
MV Agusta 750S (1971-1974)
MV Agusta 750 America (1975-1977)
MV Agusta Magni 861

BonusThe Benelli 750 Sei

Illustrations: Martin Squires
Studio photography: David Genat
Bike owner: Ken Salamone