It’s fun to go back to the Ducati archives to learn more about the bikes that have come and gone and made their mark on the world. The Ducati 750 SS is a good example. The 750 Super Sport (SS) was produced between 1991 and 2002 before paying its final respects and joining the crowd of retirees who left their impressions on the world. Before we dive into the reasons for her retirement, we pay tribute to the bike that went from being a savior on the track to a street legal warrior.
To fully appreciate the 750 SS, one must look back at the beginning of the family line. Fabio Taglioni started the purely sports line in the 1970s with the Ducati 750 GT. It wasn’t sporty, however the bike’s DNA would serve as the foundation for the SS line to follow a few decades later. Paul Smart rode the Ducati 750GT to win the Imola 200 in 1972. He accomplished the feat on the 750 V-twin converted into a sports bike. Bennetts. Taglioni’s dream of building a V-twin in the sports class came true in 1971 when a prototype designed with drop bars and a single seat emerged. With the Japanese bikes taking center stage, it was time to roll up your sleeves and enter the fray. In 1974, he finished work on the sporty and lightweight 750 SuperSport. The 750 SS was the first Super Sport model manufactured by the brand. Ducati kept production numbers at just 401 until 1979. The 900 Super Sport’s entry in 1975 took center stage. Demand for 750 SS decreased. It wouldn’t resurface until the 1990s.
1990 Ducati 750 SS
According to Auto Evolution, the original Ducati 750 SS entered the scene in 1990 with an air-cooled, 748cc 90-degree V-twin engine. The engine mated to a five-speed chain final drive manual transmission with a maximum power of 66 horsepower and 72 Nm of torque. The frame was a steel trellis with a 40mm Marocchi inverted telescopic fork. The rear suspension featured an adjustable Showa monoshock. The bike was equipped with front and rear disc brakes with Brembo calipers, a double seat with a passenger handle, a full fairing and a small windshield, and black-out cast aluminum wheels and analogue instrument dials. The bike was agile but powerful and suitable for the track or the road. It was a nice dual-purpose bike.
Upgrades for 750 SS
The first update came in 1992 with a larger 41mm Showa inverted telescopic fork. The Half-Fairing Edition was released for 1991-1992 and continued for the life of production. This bike represented an evolution in the 750 SS line by offering better wind protection for riders while maintaining the integrity of the bare style that contributed to its agility on the road or track. The bike maintained its low weight of 386 pounds with a fuel tank that held 4.6 gallons. The new variant was the hybrid version that fell in the middle between the traditional supersport and a naked bike, giving riders the best of both worlds.
Advertising strategies changed for the 1994 model which remained largely unchanged. Comparisons with the 900 SS sibling that pointed to the advantages of the 750 SS attempted to regain some of the prominence it was losing. The new bike was beginning to outshine the 750 SS. The selling points of the 750 version were its lightness and increased agility, but power output was an area the 750 couldn’t tackle. Ducati introduced its 750 Sport IE model in 2000. Although it was listed as a “light” sports bike, it weighed 399 pounds more. The fuel capacity was just 4.2 gallons versus the 4.6 capacity we saw in the 750 SS. The Marzocchi inverted fork for the next model increased to 43mm, and the bike featured clip-on handlebars with an upgrade to a digital instrumentation panel.
The Ducati 750 SS in review
Motor Cycle News offers a bit of information on the reasons for the recall of the 750 SS. The bike fell in popularity after the 900SS became available. The grades dropped to an overall score of 3 out of 5. This score is the equivalent of a grade of C on a school test. For Ducati, the average was simply not enough. While the model was classified as a “good bike with improvements like fuel injection,” it did not live up to the cost value. Some of the weaknesses noted by riders include the non-adjustable “hard” front suspension, too much vibration at low revs, and the uncomfortable seat that made long rides miserable. The engine took a few hits …