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The Ducati Supersport 900SS. A motorcycle which so beautiful, you will forget where you are, what you are doing and even what you wanted to say!
This bike has a lot of history and the current crop of Panigales will have to admit that this was their ancestor that started it all. When this bike was first launched in 1988, it was the fastest motorcycle that Ducati had ever produced and one of the fastest motorcycles available at that time. At the time of launch, it produced around 84 bhp and 84 Nm from its 904cc L-Twin engine. Coupled with its relatively light weight at 192 kg, this was quite the rocket in the 80s! The 900 boasted a top whack of 219 kmph, which is by no means slow. The figures might not seem impressive for the current generation of bikers, but it was phenomenal for its era.
And where else would you want to enjoy a motorcycle like this other than the wide open roads with zero traffic in Bangalore! Eh, who are we kidding? Even though we would love to ride this bike on the Buddh International Circuit, we must make do with what we have. And so we pitted this bike against the infamous traffic of Bangalore, to experience the motorcycle, where its creators had probably never intended! This motorcycle has so much Italian ‘character’ and Bangalore traffic has so much Indian character, that it was bound to be a heady mix!
The 900 Supersport was actually based out of the Ducati Pantah engine. And though the bike we rode was 20 odd years old, it still looks fantastic and in this shade of yellow, it was a traffic stopper. Not that the Bangalore traffic was moving very fast in the first place! This could easily vie for being the most beautiful bike we have ridden in #100Motorcycles. Only the MV Agusta F4 could actually challenge it in the looks department. The bike looks like a modern superbike and it’s only when you see the analog clocks, that you realize the motorcycles real vintage.
The sculpted tank can have you ogle the motorcycle for hours at end. The twin exhaust can stick out a bit from an otherwise gorgeous motorcycle. The tail section being the only thing that looks dated in 2016! The styling was not all that radical for its time, as you can expect from Ducati, but it was still a departure from the bulbous styling that the Japanese manufacturers employed during that period.
The bike handles like a dream and is light enough to be flicked around without thinking too much of it. Though it has a super aggressive riding stance, true to its Supersport name! It would be a hoot to ride on track but does take a toll on the rider’s body in stop-start traffic.
We were overjoyed to ride and experience this brilliant piece of motorcycling history right here in India and are happy to include this in #100Motorcycles. We thank Joe’s Garage for letting us revisit this Italian beauty from decades past.