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Old 04-12-2014, 10:46 PM   #1
Bongolia OP
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Joined: Feb 2007
Location: Hong Kong
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Ducati 900 SL 1994

Ducati 900 SL 1994 (Mk3) ~ 20K miles with some documentation, may have been clocked at some point as the numbers don't line up spot on?

I know these are basically the 900SS just a couple of kilos lighter, but I've been after a 900SS for a while and this looks pretty clean. I'm also one of those idiots who likes yellow Ducs.

Anything in particular to look over on the '94 models?

Thanks
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Old 04-13-2014, 06:52 AM   #2
mark1305
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Like any bike there can be lots of things to look for that could go wrong. But the 94 and up 900s are pretty good (I had a 95 M900 and a basket case 92 900SS track bike that was passed off as "mostly" Superlight bits.

Most importantly make sure the cam belts have been changed within the last 12K miles or 24 months and it is documented. I have a cylinder head that came with the basket case - it ain't pretty when the belt breaks, the valve head breaks off, and gets driven intothe combustion chamber a couple of times.

Superlight should have the aluminum swingarm and the ID plate on the upper triple clamp.

One of my quirks is to keep tabs on oil pressure by removing the sender (easy to reach on the 900s) and screwing in a homemade gauge. I then check cold pressure at startup, then again after the oil gets up to temp. I haven't done this when checking out a potential purchase, but did it annually and kept notes. Easy to make a gauge using the 5-piece metric to NPT adapter set from Autozone and a regular liquid type gauge from a pool or irrigation supply store.

I'd pull the clutch cover if it has one and check for oil weepage down the case behind the basket. Also grab the basket and try to wiggle it - on my SS one of the bearings inside the primary gear the clutch basket bolts onto was toast. The bike ran fine and very fast, but it had a high frequency vibration that I couldn't feel, but it loosened up and launched parts off the bike a couple of times. At speed, naturally. Also look at the fingers of the clutch basket to see if the plates have worn significant grooves where they contact the basket fingers. Once that gets bad enough it can cause problems from clutch dragging to slipping.

Those are the things off the top of my head beyond the generic chain/sprockets/brakes/tires, etc.

Edit: Oh yeah, if you get it, get the Haynes manual for those models (750s/900s). Most Haynes manuals are packed full of inaccuracies and BS, but I found the one for the Ducs to be very accurate and worth every penny.
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Old 04-13-2014, 08:11 AM   #3
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Thanks Mark, appreciated.
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Old 04-13-2014, 08:26 AM   #4
mark1305
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You're welcome, and my apologies for not noticing your location - you may have a slight bit more difficulty finding an Autozone and metric/NPT adapters (or maybe not)if you want to make a gauge. Making an adapter from bike to gauge can even be done easily by any machine shop. I made one myself for my BMW airhead when I couldn't find a mass produced adapter locally to match that bikes M12 X 1.5 oil sensor threads to the NPT gauge threads. It helped already having the right thread cutting tap and die.
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Old 04-14-2014, 08:56 AM   #5
vtduc
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Also check the bolts that attach the spokes to the rims, if the Superlight has the original Marvic 2 piece wheels. The bolts sometimes work loose and egg out the mounting holes. If I remember correctly, there was a recall on that. Those wheels are pretty much unobtanium now, so if they're in good shape you might consider replacing them and tucking them away.
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Old 04-15-2014, 02:54 AM   #6
stainlesscycle
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i have a 94 900ss - i believe the sl is similar motor wise - i would assume it has the same potential issues : they had cylinder stud issues, and the frame cracked at the neck..

common modifications are a gearing change and rejet...and clutch mod, so it stops eating baskets/plates.

the oem reg/rectifier is junk and will fail, as is the stator.. aside from that it's probably the most reliable motor duc built.....

this era of duc's are the best deal going, a really good rider, and still priced right..although the sl are usually significantly more money...
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stainlesscycle screwed with this post 04-15-2014 at 03:00 AM
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Old 04-15-2014, 05:43 AM   #7
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Ask questions on the Ducati Super Light Face Book page. There is a registry for the Super Lights also. Mine has FCR 41 carbs and Nichols Studs. They are beautiful bikes.
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