You may remember that when I shared an interview with Ford Strei (the founder of Austin Vintage Cycle), I mentioned that a Bike-urious reader was having his 1977 Ducati 900SS restored by AVC. Well, the work is now done and I thought you’d want to see how it went!
As told by AVC and lightly paraphrased by yours truly:
Here is the finished product after close to 4 months of restoration. This 1977 Ducati 900SS is special as it is as close to original as it can be 40 years after it was built. The bike was not in horrible condition when we started and it was mostly complete and original to begin with.
We started with a total teardown right down to the spokes.
The motor was given a full teardown to inspect and replace any part that was not in good shape. While we were in the motor, we replaced many bearings and resurfaced all the rocker arms. The motor was then carefully assembled with great care given to every part to assure all parts were shimmed to proper tolerance. This one starts easily and idles very nice. It runs very strong and shifts well. The clutch action is smooth and engagement is spot on.
All of the bare aluminum motor parts were cleaned and media blasted to make it look just as it came from the factory.
All polished parts were carefully cleaned and re-polished. During the assembly process, it is critical that one remains clean as unfinished aluminum will stain easily from greasy hands. The frame was stripped and painted as opposed to powdercoating as this was the way it was done in the 70’s.
The wheels were rebuilt with the original painted spokes. This means we have to clean and repaint every spoke and carefully lace and true the wheel, while not damaging the freshly painted spokes.
The original wiring harness was retained. We cleaned it up and sorted any issues it had. We cleaned and reused all of the original fasteners on the bike. The original body parts were also stripped and repainted with a clear coat applied over the stripes and stickers.
We made some new cables and reused the original brake hoses. Brake calipers were anodized as opposed to painted and then rebuilt with new seals, pistons, etc. All chrome parts were sent to out and are now perfect and will wear well for decades to come. This one is still sporting her original Conti pipes with a fresh show chrome applied. Gauges, lenses and such were all polished and cleaned up as they were in very good shape to begin with.
The bike is wearing a new pair of Dunlop K81’s as this was our tire of choice in 1977. The original seat and pad were reused and given a good cleaning and conditioning. The switch gear, and fuse box is original as are the clipons and levers. We also retained and refurbished the original blinkers which actually work.
It is running the 40mm Delorto carbs, which were provided as a race kit from the dealer in 1977! The bike will be sold with the 32 mm carbs and LaFranconi pipes which would have come with the bike in the US back in 1977. These will be boxed up as the bike is being sold as you see it in the pictures with 40mm carbs and Conti pipes.
We are very proud of the end result of this build and I think anyone will have a hard time to find fault with this build. The owner tells us it will be for sale,, but maybe he will change his mind once he throws a leg over this old girl and takes her out for little bonding?
Austin Vintage Cycle brought this 900SS and 12 other bikes out to the 2016 Harvest Classic in Luckenbach, Texas. The Ducati won an award, so congrats to AVC and the owner of this exquisite motorcycle:
If you want more details and photos of the work, head on over to Austin Vintage Cycle’s page on the bike.