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Sometimes simplicity is key

There’s just something about a Ducati 900SS, isn’t there? Already a pretty attractive bike in its stock form, the 900SS definitely lends itself to be modified. Some of the most notable 900SS builds might be Walt Siegl’s Leggero series café racers. Another recent favorite of ours was Deep Creek Cycles ‘Distino’ build. When Bullitt-reader, J. B. Mcclure III, submitted his 1993 900SS to us, we were instantly intrigued.

Ducati 900ss cafe racer left side

Ducati 900ss cafe racer overhead
J.B.’s SuperSport started its life as a 1993 900SS and in the end, about the only elements not modified were the front forks, wheels, tank, and dash. He purchased the bike as a basket case from a Marine who was shipping off to South Korea. It was missing the great majority of its bodywork, had bent bars, and numerous dents in the tank.

Ducati 900ss cafe racer fairing

Ducati 900ss cafe racer controls
He trailered it home and got to work. From there J.B. used a 220 Lincoln Welder, a 5” angle grinder, too many cut off wheels and flap discs to count, various hand files and way too much sandpaper! “My power came from a 50’ cord plugged into an outlet on my back porch. I hit it with the mower which made for “show” of sorts!”, Mcclure shared.

Ducati 900ss cafe racer rear image

Ducati 900ss cafe racer engine

“I took it down to the frame. I modified the rear portion of the frame to shorten and prepare for a different tail section. I also ground off any “offending” frame mounts, tags, and bosses. I took the frame to a powder coater to work his magic and started on modifying the stock fairing/dash mount. I tried – because I’m not a millionaire – to use as much of the original parts as I could and I think I did a pretty good job of just that!

Ducati 900SS cafe

Ducati 900ss cafe racer

The fairing/dash mount was cut and welded to accept a round headlight and it new front fairing. The engine was in pretty good shape so I got away with new case side gaskets, carb rebuild kit, cam belt replacement, new plugs, wires, and coils and then a decent detailing job. The paint came from me as well. I’m far from a paint pro but I had to keep costs low so the shed became a paint booth on decent days.”

Photography by Poul Ober

Modification list:

Tail section from Glass From The Past

Faring from Dime City

Lucas-style headlight bucket

Windscreen from Gusstafson

Seat shaping by Mcclure and upholstery by a buddy

Clutch slave is an Oberon

All lines replaced with Speigler

Clip-ons by Apex

Renthal sprockets and RRK Chain

Replacement foot pegs from eBay

Fast by Ferracci pipes

Battery relocated under tail with lithium ion battery

Air filter is an ITG for a Weber 38/38 or 32/36

Controls are stock from eBay

Oberon clutch slave cylinder

Hypertech rear spring