Back To Classics Ducati Darmah SD — SSD

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Ducati 900 SD Darmah


Article #8, 11 by Harné Heuvelman

Although the of the 860 GT brought the new ‘square case’ engine, it was a big misconception. The design was a as it still struggles to find a in hearts and souls of classic enthusiasts. Sales were on the forecasted level and the model a slow ……

Ducati from the 860 GT failure, shown by the of the 900 Sport Desmo ‘Darmah’ or 900 SD in Although the two models were simultaneously until 1979, the is regarded as the better sporty bike of the two.

A number of were introduced on the 900 SD in 1977. The bearings were updated, the was enlarged and desmodromic camshafts now standard like on the 900 SS . Perhaps the improvement was the new gearshift selector now located on the left side. meant an end for the rather simply crossover rod to make left-side possible in 1976.

Bosch ignition replaced own and an electric starter motor was

The technical improvements of the 900 SD Darmah saw way to all other Ducati bevel of 1978. The 900 SS and even the troubled 860 GTS called the 900 GTS ) got the same updates.

the frame was much like of the 860 GT . all bodywork was new. The fuel and seat formed a nice by sharing a line all the way over the end of the bike. Instruments were now Denso and the 900 SD was fitted with finished Camagnolo magnesium

Leopoldo Tartarini’s design well and reception looked in 1977.

The anticipated success and in 1978 some minor were introduced. The 1977 had a Ceriani front fork, by a Marzocchi front fork in The wheels were now Speedline.

During 1978 the Lafranconi mufflers were replaced by and the kick-start lever was removed.

The of the 900 SD made Ducati management about possibilities to add a sporty to the range. In 1978 the 900 Super Desmo ‘Darmah’ or 900 SSD was introduced, on the standard 900 SD . The 900 SSD featured clip-on and a half fairing in 900 Super style. The basic layout of the and chassis remained the same, with a slightly higher ratio.

For the ‘regular’ 900 SD . a new dual with thicker padding was in 1979 and in 1980 FPS aluminium replaced the Speedlines. Along some minor changes, the 900 SD Darmah of 1982 received a new scheme.

The 900 SSD had only minor over the course of its lifetime. It got FPS replacing the Speedlines in 1979 and foot pegs in 1980. the 900 SD the 900 SSD never caught on, probably it was too heavy for a true sport and too sporty for a true tour

With the 900 S2 replacing both the 900 SS and 900 SSD . ended in 1981. It is now one of the rarest twins and with its two-tone finish, still a great

The 900 S2 was also meant to replace the 900 SD in One can argue whether the S2 could replace the comfortable features of the 900 SD . but stopped in the same year. The is probably the most undervalued of all twins. It offers great and performance, especially with Dell’Orto’s and Conti mufflers (an fitted to many Darmah at the time), combined with a comfortable ride.

A great and great value for money, now!

Ducati 900 SD Darmah
Ducati 900 SD Darmah

The 863cc ‘square L-twin was introduced on the 860 GT in 1974 and the basis for all other ‘square models introduced later on. technically based on the 750 ‘round L-twin, this engine had a lot of for faster and simpler assembly. The engine cases were by Giorgetto Guigiaro of Studio

The engine has vertically split crankcases, a 90 degree L-twin with the vertical cylinder at 15 degrees upwards.

With the of the 900 SD Darmah . the crankshaft bearings updated and the crankpin was enlarged. All ’s have and desmodromic and 32mm Dell’Orto’s, although 1978 on the cylinder heads with the 900 SS . making it possible to fit Dell’Orto’s. Perhaps the biggest in 1977 was the new gearshift selector now located on the left side.

meant an end for the rather simply crossover rod to make left-side possible in 1976. Bosch replaced Ducati’s own and an electric motor was standard.

The frame was taken from the 860 GT and an eccentric pivot chain and kinked front down flattened at the end. The chain got an update in 1982 sharing of the 900 SS . The front fork was Ceriani 1978 when it was replaced by a 38mm. 900 SD ’s of ’77 – were fitted with four bolt, Brembo brakes front and rear.

was changed in 1980 when it the drilled, six bolt Brembo brakes shared with all 900 SSD Only 1977 900 SD ’s fitted with Campagnolo wheels, replaced in 1978 by magnesium wheels and, in 1980 with FPS aluminium Only very early 900 SSD came with Speedlines, to be replaced by FPS’s.

All bodywork was designed for the Darmah and features a 15 fuel tank, a duck-tail and tiger headed side In 1979 the seat was thickened and side covers were The 900 SD was available in red/white, from on also in black/gold.

The 1982 900 SD was available in silver, or burgundy. All 900 SSD ’s are two-tone

References (recommended further

Falloon, Ian (2008) ‘ The Bible: 860, 900 Mille All 1975 to 1986 . Dorchester; Publishing

Ducati 900 SD Darmah
Ducati 900 SD Darmah
Ducati 900 SD Darmah
Ducati 900 SD Darmah
Ducati 900 SD Darmah

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