The ex-Peter Egan, one of 137 imported to U.S.
1977 Ducati 900 SS
Engine no. 087237 DM860
Frame no. DM860SS*086871
From Motorcycle Classics:
Ducati Super Sports are some of the most sought-after motorcycles the Italian manufacturer has produced. In 1972, Paul Smart and Bruno Spaggiari made a 1-2 sweep at the first Imola 200 race aboard 750cc Desmodromic V-twins designed by Ducati’s famous Fabio Taglioni and based on the production 750GT introduced in 1971. Shortly after, Ducati set out to build a race-replica version that would be known as the Super Sport.
The street-legal desmo twin took some time to materialize. “Although a handful of Super Sports were produced out of 750 Sports during 1973, the 750 Super Sport wasn’t generally available until 1974,” writes motorcycle historian and Ducati expert Ian Falloon in his book the Standard Catalog of Ducati Motorcycles. “At the time it was one of the most exotic production motorcycles available, a true race replica boasting triple disc brakes, racing fairing, and a race-shop prepared engine.”
The 860GT stablemate did not receive critical acclaim, so Ducati built another limited run of Super Sports for 1975 in both 750cc and 900cc variations. The engine for both models was based on the “square-case” engine found in the new 860GT and was fitted into what was basically the 750SS chassis of 1974 with fiberglass tank, fairing and tail section. These machines were “race replicas,” with no electric start or provision for signal lights. They were also right-foot shift, a drawback as recently adopted U.S. legislation required all new production motorcycles to have left-foot gearshift mechanisms.
Berliner Motor Corp., Ducati’s American importer, requested that the 750SS and 900SS enter regular production for 1976. This necessitated “upgrades”, including a toned-down intake and exhaust, with smaller carbs fitted with air filters and Lafranconi mufflers instead of Contis. Also, the gearshift lever migrated to the left side of the bike and operated through a crossover linkage, and a 4.75-gallon steel tank from a 750 Sport replaced the fiberglass Imola tank. Signal lights helped complete the specifications.
Although something of a compromise from its earlier versions, Falloon says, “The 1976 and 1977 Super Sport re-established Ducati as a premier manufacturer of sporting motorcycles and maintained its reputation for outstanding handling and braking.” Ducati produced the 750SS until 1979 and the 900SS until 1982. Only 137 examples of the 1977 900SS came to the U.S., making it a very rare motorcycle, indeed.
The example offered here, showing an original 3,666 miles from new, was purchased in 1989 by famed writer and journalist, Peter Egan. Egan wrote for Cycle World Magazine, and was reported to have said that one of his greatest regrets was to have sold the bike. Peter then sold the bike to the current owner in 2009, and since its sale the bike has been on static display in a very prominent Southwestern collection. As such, it will need re-commissioning before returning to the road. The largely original machine has been repainted at some point, but retains its original Conti exhausts, and is accompanied by a clear title, and copies of the original title and registrations in Egan’s name.
Exquisite provenance, true rarity and Italian exotica and three great ingredients for a collectible motorcycle. Here’s a great opportunity to attain a superb machine that ticks all the boxes.