What Ducati Powered SuperSport Should You Choose? And Why?

Lets say you are in the market for a 900cc air cooled sporty motorcycle. Should you buy a near new first gen Ducati SS, or a mildly used Bimota DB4?

1w ago


In the past I have written a few articles with the title "Smart Buys". I go on to talk about how a particular motorcycle offers a unique value or experience that many people would overlook. This time I want to pose a choice between two seemingly similar motorcycles and discuss why I think someone would buy one over the other.

Very much hope to have a healthy discussion in the comments.

Lets set the stage here a little. You are in the market for a fun sporty bike. Nothing with a million horsepower or anything too modern. It will be used on modern roads, so it can not be a real vintage bike. Uniqueness is important as there is a thriving cars and coffee near you. This will be a cherished addition to your garage, not something to commute on.

Personally I feel that the Ducati line of air cooled super sports fits this bill rather well. Great real world performance, quality parts and simple. Over the two generations there are many engine sizes, suspension set ups and body work designs. There really is something for everyone, and at every budget. The market for this era motorcycle is hot, so now is the time to jump in.

Right now in my garage is a 2004 1000SS. I will even admit to taking it to work a couple of times a week. It has been nothing but interesting and reliable all season.

So, you have taken the bait and decided that this is the bike for you. We will say that you agree that the first gen bike is the one to have. After all Hunter S Thompson famously wrote about one. You want the best of the best. Enter stage left....



A beautiful 1995 900ss. This example is priced at $9500. Yes this is the high end of the spectrum, but this bike has less then 1,000 miles on it from new. It will be about as perfect as one could ask for. Sure you pay a premium for this, but it more then likely is worth it in the long run. You will be able to put a couple of hundred miles on it a year and not feel too guilty.

Search around, I bet you never find another this clean, and this stock. Most have lived hard lives at this point. As prices rise, the market will gravitate to the best examples, this will always be in that category.

But what if you wanted "more"? Something even more unique and interesting. Enter stage right...



A 2000 Bimota DB4. This is powered by the second generation 900ss engine. In Bimota form there is a stiffer and lighter frame, better suspension, improved braking, upgraded fueling and a trick Ti exhaust. Everything about a Bimota is just a tad bit more special then on a normal bike. When new this came at a massive price. These were often two or three times more expensive, but on the used market they are within reach. This bike is currently on Craigslist for $13,000 but has been listed for less other places. I also feel it is slightly high for the current market, but not out of line.

What are your thoughts? Are the subtle differences worth the money? Is the Bimota just too obscure? Maybe you think it is pretentious to compare the two?

What do you guys think? If you were in the market, what bike would you pick? More importantly, lets talk about it in the comments.

Join In

Comments (5)

  • Does the Supermono count?

      8 days ago
  • ... to be honest, I would avoid any air-cooled Ducati, especially one with a fairing ... the reason -- as explained to me by an elderly Italian mechanic who noticed the snot-marks I was leaving on the Ducati showroom window -- the rear cylinder is inadequately cooled and will ALWAYS eventually suffer from heating issues ...

      9 days ago
    • While I have heard that tail of concern before (and on every air cooled twin), I honestly have never actually seen a real failure. To me it sounds more like folklore then something to really fear.

      I know on my SS there are ducts inside the...

      Read more
        8 days ago