Ducati's second-generation v-twin engine - the 900cc "square case" - debuted in the 860GT of 1974 and the following year was used for the new 900SS superbike. The latter was styled like the original 750SS that had been developed from Paul Smart's 1972 Imola winner. More than just a simple over-bore, the square case engine incorporated a new camshaft drive arrangement, improved oil pump, cartridge-type oil filter and electronic ignition. In addition, the gear change was moved to the left-hand side and the frame altered to provide chain adjustment at the swinging arm pivot. Desmodromic valve gear distinguished the new sportster from its tourer counterpart. "Like the tamer valve spring version of the engine in the 900GTS it is uncannily smooth, while possessing a much more dramatically punchy power output than the soft touring motor," reported Bike magazine in October 1977. Breathing through gaping 40mm Dell'Orto carburetors, the 900SS engine produced 70bhp at 7,500rpm, an output good enough for a top speed of 135mph.
First sold in 1986, this bike came with the Imola tank, no indicator cutouts and a right foot shift – and that's how it is today, still with the paint runs! It is the proverbial near perfect survivor with only one owner on the registration documents. It was recently detailed which is when the tank was lined and K&N filters were added and the vendor reports that it starts and runs well and is ready for its new owner subject to the normal safety checks. The odometer reads 10,497 kilometers.