1993 Ducati 900SS
Duke gets prepped for some winter riding. Yes, really
IDE A Ducati through winter, you say? Surely they’re barely reliable enough to ride through summer? Yes, I’ve heard it all before. Relentless ribbing is just one of the prices of entry into Ducati ownership.
Indeed it’s some time since I fell into the category of year-round biker. For the first quarter century or so of my riding I had a creeping disdain for fair-weather types, priding myself on my determination to face the elements on two wheels come what may. At some point that all changed and I became the man I’d always held a creeping contempt for. Winter riding became limited only to essential work-related stuff, and even that was indulged in grudgingly.
All that changed at the start of November. A cold but bright Sunday morning saw me wheeling the Duke out for one more ride before winter properly set in. Chilly though it was, I found myself having a ball and the decidedly single-figured temperature was soon forgotten about. Why had I denied myself this delight all these years? I vowed that I would once again ride through winter. But which bike?
A moment of epiphany came as I was trawling the web for a winter hack. Why buy another bike when I have the Ducati? The headlight works fine, the brakes are
Rgood, the handling is familiar and it isn’t in such good shape that I need to fear wrecking it. A good few of the fasteners are already rusty, plus I plan to replace the engine with a bigger-bore version in the new year. This will also mean a new bigger-bore exhaust system. The halffairing makes the bike easy to clean and a cold jet wash every few days should see off the salt. I’d talked myself into it.
Some winter prep was in order. I gave the old girl a jet wash prior to conducting a front-to-back mechanical inspection. I got stuck into the electrical connectors, separating them and spraying the contacts with Servisol Super 10 switch cleaner. Fresh oil and a new filter will complement my recent