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Ducati Darmah SS Engine Strip
“Rebuilding A Broken Duke
No, not therapy for the heartbroken Duke of York after those entertaining Fergie revelation, but the inevitable work required once the crank on your Darmah expires.
Peter Marston works here on his own bike while Doug Millhouse takes the pictures.
Sooner or later the crank will go on your Ducati 900 bevel twin.
If it hasn’t yet, don’t worry. It will. Mine appears to have done so, so editor Bob asked me to write about my rebuild for the magazine. At least my miserly payments might buy a few replacement engine bits…
This series covers the ‘square case’ GTS, Darmah, Darmah SS and 900SS models.
But first, some background.
By the mid 1970’s Ducati were finding life a little tough. This despite the fact they’d made their name by building superb single cylinder four stroke machines, which often beat multi cylinder bikes in endurance races such as Barcelona 24 hours.
Ducati had gained a reputation for producing superb sports models. They had the successful 900SS, which was the successor to the limited production 750SS – Ducati’s pure sportster more often found on the race track than the road.
However, their move into touring bikes was not so successful. The market they were targeting was not so tolerate to the lack of detailed finish, comfort or equipment.
The touring models in question were the GT and GTS. These began life as the 860 GT and the GTS 860. They later became 900 GT and 900 GTS. These bikes came with what can only be described as terrible styling. Ironically they were styled by leading Italian sports car designer of the day. Unfortunately, they were not the success that Ducati hoped.
So, Ducati had successful protesters but terrible tourers. They needed a compromise model, a bike to replace the GT/GTS and appeal to Japanese sports/touring bike riders as well.”
Complete article series to download – Ducati Darmah SS Engine Strip