Restored – 1981 Ducati Darmah SSD

In Italy, Sport by Abhi0 Comments

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One of Leopoldo Tartarini’s many accomplishments (including the creation of Italjet in 1960) was his design of the 900SD Darmah as an evolution of the relatively unsuccessful 860 models. The 900 was introduced to the world at the 1976 Bologna Motor Show and the styling did a much better job of capturing the hearts of Ducati fans. It eventually evolved into the Super Sport Darmah, blending the Darmah motor and frame with the Super Sport riding position. Over a three year production run, just 1,440 examples were built – this example has just received a crank up rebuild and it’s ready to tear up your local twisties.

The air cooled, 864cc twin was good for approximately 70 horsepower thanks to Bosch electronic ignition, Dell’Orto carbs, and Ducati’s iconic desmo heads. Top speed was just shy of 130 miles per hour.

This example (Frame #: DM900SD*950999) had the engine (# DM860*900527) rebuilt by Dutch Ducati dealership Biggelaar Specialty Performance. The motor was originally a Darmah unit but in the build it got Super Sport rods, a Magnafluxed crank, Hastings piston rings, Borgo pistons (OEM units on the Super Sport), new bearings, Viton valve guides, and more. The transmission was gone through and any gears that “needed replacing” were done with NOS units. The bevel drive gears were replaced and a new clutch was installed. 900SS heads were installed, and as the motor is now said to be ‘race spec’, it has been paired with 40mm Dell’Orto carbs and Malossi manifolds. The exhaust is a set of replica Contis but the original LaFranconi mufflers are included.

The OEM Speedline wheels were replaced with Oscam units and the brake system has been redone as well with new discs and calipers in the front. The lines are stainless steel but they’ve been wrapped in rubber to look like the OEM parts. The Marzocchi suspension has been rebuilt in the front and restored in the rear (I’m not entirely sure what the difference is when it comes to suspension, my assumption is that the fork internals were taken care of but the exterior was left alone). The restoration also included a repaint with CutGrafix decals. The wiring system was redone with a custom harness, modern connectors, and upgraded fuses. This was a comprehensive rebuild that followed a philosophy of keeping “the soul of the vintage bike but upgraded with modern components for safety and for reliability purposes.” Any original items that were ditched for modern units are included with the sale.

The motor has been test ridden enough to tune the carbs but you’ll need to break it in yourself. Hopefully it’ll feel like the bike did when it was brand new! The seller does not mention it in the listing but the included photos show that this bike won First Place in this year’s Tucson Vintage Motorcycle Riders Vintage and Classic Bike Show. Find this Darmah SSD for sale in Tucson, Arizona for $23,900 here at Italian Iron.

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