1993 Du­cati 900SS

Duke gets prepped for some win­ter rid­ing. Yes, re­ally

Practical Sportsbikes (UK) - - News -

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

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