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LAMS Ducati SS 400 junior

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by coaltrain, Oct 31, 2009.

  1. Hi,
    I've noticed a few Ducati juniors around for sale. Possibly grey imports i suppose. Anyone have any thoughts or advice on them as a LAMS bike and with regard to rideability, reliability and maintenance?

    Look forward to your constructive oppinions?

    Coaltrain (First time poster, short time reader)
  2. First question is: why?

    The D word instantly doubles all associated costs as well.
  3. Hi Lilley,
    I have noticed the cost premium associated with the D word, justified or not.
    I guess it's not unlike some 'prestige' cars/cages that many people buy for the badge as much as the quality of the product.
    If we assume I want to buy into the myth/legend/marketing success that is Ducati, How do the Juniors stack up on the LAMS ridebility, reliability front?

  4. Geting tyres is a major drama,there are lots of threads on Ducati boards about it
  5. Thanks Zim
  6. Don't use the words "Ducati" and "reliability" in the same post, let alone the same sentence. :LOL:

    I'm getting heaps of cheap Ducati-bashing shots in tonight...
  7. It appears when it comes to Ducatis, there are those who do and those who don't. :)
  8. i was looking at these the other day. around the same price as the RVF400. im guessing you were looking at international motorcycle importers yeah?
  9. Ducati bashing stems from all those riders who assume that cost = performance, & that untenable link of Ducati being the ‘Ferrari of motorcycles’ (winced saying that).

    In relation to these 400cc SS Ducatis, you’ll have to remember that they’re 2-valve aircooled 400cc engines & therefore perform like 400cc 2-valve aircooled engines. Even though Ducati seem to have a ‘Porsche-like’ obsession with what seems like an out dated engine configuration, they have nevertheless continued to develop these Desmodue engines since the ‘70s to the present day (2010 Hypermotard & Monsters have a brand new version of the Desmodue).

    You will have to ride one, because these SS Ducatis ride differently to Japanese bikes & you might really love it or hate it.
    Most young guys hate ‘em because they don’t rev too high (8,500rpm redline methinx) even though the SS’s ergonomics scream “sport”. Very ‘Buell-esk’.

    From personal experience the little Ducatis are kinda fun to ride in their odd way, even though comparatively slow to the Japanese equivalent. The clutch will be heavy & gearbox kinda cluncky. Not sure if they’re fuel injected, but the Marenelli fuel injection on Ducatis are beautifully seamless compared to any other comparable twin out there.

    Parts are scary expensive. The Desmo engine is really time consuming to service ( therefore high labour costs), but great satisfaction can be had in doing it yourself correctly (I did my Ducati 748 after the warranty expired.)

    Although these 400SS wont respond well to the ‘thrash & trash’ approach many 250/400/600 seem to live through as their owners ‘upgrade’ to larger bike before leaving the past time for something “not as dangerous”. ;)
  10. I mate was sorting one for another mates son,they are lots of fun BUT like the Paso it is IMPOSABLE to get tyres for them,Michelin and they were the last ones dont make that size anymore,there are some not the best work arounds and you can convert to 17 inch wheels at huge expense,do some research on the web ,have a read on any Ducati site and its a real drama for owners of these bikes,BTW I am not anti Ducati,I have a 600 Pantah that I ride a lot.
  11. Fix'd :p:D
  12. chrissyben,
    The bikes are at TeamMoto, they seem to have a dozen or so spread about their various show rooms. Perhaps they got a container load in from somewhere.

    Thanks for the comments. Sounds like they might be a bit too sporty - seating wise for me. I'm not really interested in wringing the life out of some high reving japanese wonder(maybe 20years ago), so engine wise it might be a good match. Though it's a LAMS bike, would it possibly have any vices that could get an inexperienced rider unstuck I wonder... I'm doing my Q-ride this weekend, so I'm really inexperienced.

    Sounds like the tyre issue is a real killer.

    I'm not really surprised that the D word is so divisive in the community.
    Thanks again to all who replied
  13. Personally I'd go for a Pantah. Proven engine design (they still use the old L-twin aircooled layout) and you can pick them up for cheap. As far as I know they are relatively long lived in untuned form and still have a decent whack of speed on them, think of them as Ducati's GS500 and you're getting close.

    They come in 500 and 600cc versions, both of which are learner legal. The only problem is that they are all getting on in years, and good examples are starting to increase in value as 'classic status' hits. They also don't have the flashy bodywork of some of Ducati's bikes, and this may or may not worry you.

    Cheers - boingk
  14. In regards to the tyres, I am told it is a condition of compliance for grey import bikes that they have new tyres (here in vic anyway), so someone must a tyre size to suit...?
  15. I have a Duc Monster 400S, mine is not the newer Desmo engine, so costs for service are down a little on the newer bikes. Most of the 400 will be the same, they are around the 1998 -2004 models.

    it is happy to rev right up to 10K, (not game to take it further yet as it is not run in, only done 2000kms. ) Insurance wasn't a problem.

    when I purchased the bike I did go the PS out in furntree gully (not one of the less reputable places), where they were happy to tell me they imported them, and they are old bikes. My bike takes a bit of time to get started, but once it is running not a problem. I am getting the carbies tuned once I get some new pipes from Megacycles.

    other than that I haven't had a problem, it does like to get up and go, I use it to ride some 40kms to work each day both on city streets and freeway. I does get a little warm sitting in traffic, but it is aircooled, so it happens.

    take one for a test ride and see how they go.

    I should also add the Clutch is heavy it is a wet clutch , I dont have a problem with it, and the gear box can be a little cluncky at times. once again this is not a problem it is the gearbox.
  16. Thanks again to all for your advice and suggestions. To me the Pantahs look mighty fine. So they might be worth looking at. Q-Ride tomorrow, wish me luck.

  17. Hello there. I'm over in Auckland, NZ and own a 1990 Ducati 400ss Junior. it's all in all a nice bike - but not without it's downfalls. I'm a rather petite girl so size wise it's great for me - low ride height etc. However it's not the most nimble of machines; Being almost identical in weight to the 900ss, but sans 500cc - it's certainly a bit flat at times. Suspect it's something in the carburetion, throttle is super snatchy - Which makes coming out of corners a tad interesting.

    It's a great round town bike, six speed and contrary to what others have said here, revs high - 9k or so at shift... claimed HP is 50 at 11k..

    They made 641 of them in '89 for the Japanese market. Was kind of an amalgam, made from various leftovers at the factory.. which worked to its advantage really - Two piece Marvik wheels from the F1 Santimonica (these wheels sell for an arm and a leg), rear floating discs made for the earlier F1.. More or less a 400 F3 engine with a reversed head. It's got all the right bits, but as someone pointed out - it's still a 400cc engine in a body made for a 900...

    Fun if find one for a good price, as I did and with only 1800kms on it - it's a great learner bike.

    Haven't had to buy tyres yet - but very interested in the claimed difficulty in finding them? Can't imagine why it'd be a problem?

    Good luck!
  18. Have fun with unobtanium parts and servicing for this most obscure of grey imports!

    Seriously, get a 500 pantah, or a 600 monster if you must. Both are LAMs and actually have a presence in this country.
  19. If its got 17inch wheels fitted to the last 2 years they were made you dont have a problem,for the first 2 years they came with 16inch wheels and thats definatly a problem finding rubber
  20. - I believe the junior we're talking about in this thread was only made the the one year - this is the earlier model, not the common 90's version which came after this.

    It's the 16", 5" tyres which are the issue - Hence why people seem to be putting the 17" wheels on the back. Which probably isn't a bad idea in the long term anyway is it...