~ 1978 900SS ~

Paul Fitzpatrick, who is the current owner of an early 1978 900SS that I owned for over 16 years, brought your site to my attention - what a wealth of Ducati information and pictures! I couldn't help but think that the site would be enhanced by a picture of 'our' 900SS.

I bought the bike new in early 1978, just before the 'softer' model with cast alloy wheels replaced the more classical, raw, wire-spoked version. I picked it up still in the crate; 40mm Del Ortos and Contis as standard, with spare seat (double), 32mm carbs and La Franconi mufflers thrown in. I have very fond memories of many kilometers riding the SS in what I call 'Ducati heaven' - the continuously winding roads of the Adelaide Hills, as well as various locations along the eastern seaboard of Australia. After sixteen years of ownership, it was time to hand over the responsibility of the bike's care to someone who could spare the time and energy to get the best out of it, and I sold the bike to the current owner, Paul Fitzpatrick, in 1994.

The photo was taken by me a few months into his relationship with the bike, after he had had a chance to give it a good polish up and re-paint the frame. The bike is very original; only mods are a fibreglass tank (which was a 'racing kit' option at the time of original purchase), Fiamme horns, Mulholland rear shocks, and alloy 'grommets' for the ignition and alternator wires where they exit the crankcase covers. At the time of sale (~105,000 km), it still had the original crankcase wire/lead seals in place, but this year it had the big end replaced and first oversize (87mm Wiseco) pistons/rebore (at ~140,000 km). Other than these changes and a bodywork re-paint in 1982, the bike has not been subject to any substantial 'restoration'. It has simply always been looked after, and regularly ridden.

Paul loves the bike, and rides it in the way it is meant to be ridden (which I wasn't getting the time/opportunity to do). Hope you can find a place for a picture of 'our mobile sculpture'.

Kind regards,
Mark Heinrich
Heinrich, Mark [Mark.Heinrich@defence.gov.au]
Bruce, Australian Capital Territory
Australia


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