Ducati 900SD Darmah


Make Model

Ducati 900 SD Darmah


1977 - 78


Four stroke, 90°“L”twin cylinder, SOHC, 2 valves per cylinder, bevel gear driven


864 cc / 52.7 cu in
Bore x Stroke 86 x 74.4 mm
Compression Ratio 9.4:1
Cooling System Air cooled


2 x Dell'Orto PHM 40 A, B or C carburetors

Spark Plugs

Champion L88A / Bosch WM7B




Yuasa B68 36Ah


Electric and Kick

Max Power

47.8 kW / 65 hp @ 7500 rpm


Wet, multiplate


5 Speed

Primary Drive Ratio

2.187:1 (32/70)

Gear Ratios

1st 2.237 / 2nd 1.562 / 3rd 1.203 / 4th 1.000 / 5th 0.887

Final Drive Ratio

2.533:1 (15/38)

Final Drive


Front Suspension

38 mm Ceriani 608 telescopic fork

Rear Suspension

Marzocchi 300 mm dual shocks, 3-way adjustable

Front Brakes

2 x 280 mm Disc, 1 piston caliper

Rear Brakes

Single 260 mm disc

Front Wheel

3.50 - 18

Rear Wheel

4.25 - 18
Dimensions Length: 2260 mm / 88.9 in
Width:     780 mm / 30.7 in
Height:  1090 mm / 42.9 in
Wheelbase 1550 mm / 61.0 in
Seat Height 780 mm / 30.7 in

Dry Weight

216 kg / 476 lbs

Wet Weight

224 kg / 494 lbs
Braking: 100 km/h - 0 39 m / 128 ft

Fuel Capacity 

15 L / 4.0 US gal / 3.3 Imp gal

Consumption Average

5.2 L/100 km / 19.1 km/l / 45 US mpg / 54.0 Imp mpg

Standing ¼ Mile   

13.6 sec / 159 km/h / 98.8 mph

Top Speed

185 km/h / 114 mph
Manual Bevelheaven.com
Road Test Bike 1980

Ducati 900SS vs Le Mans III


The Ducati Darmah is in all respects a thoroughbred motor cycle in the best tradition of the great Italian manufacturers. Named after a fictional tiger, the Darmah does have something of a tiger quality with its effortless power and agility. The power unit of the bike is a 900 vee-twin engine mounted longitudinally in' the frame with the rear cylinder offset to the right of the front. Like the other large Ducat's, it has a capacity of 863.9cc but only the 900SS shares the same desmodromic valve system, as designed by famous race-engine builder Fabio Taglioni. Although not as well endowed with horsepower as some Japanese bikes, the 65-bhp put out by the engine has to power considerably less weight than the competitors, so performance is not that far behind. Top speed is just on 115mph, while a standing start quarter mile takes just over I3secs.

As with all big Ducat's, fuel consumption is excellent, being between 45-50 mpg most of the time. Where the bike does score over opponents is' in the handling and road-holding sector of performance for, with light weight, good balance and a sturdy frame, this bike is just about the quickest on a twisty road. Like Vincent, Ducati use the engine as an integral part of the frame with the front downtubes bolting on to the bottom of the crankcase, having the cylinders one behind the other makes the bike narrow so that the handling and roadholding can be exploited to the full. Other now almost standard Italian chassis parts include Brembo discs all round, Ceriani forks at the front and good-looking but expensive Campagnolo wheels.


Ducatis have never been the most attractive bikes (except in an engineer's eyes, perhaps), but with Leo Tartarini taking a hand in styling, they have gained a new image. The Darmah features neat tank and tail bodywork which, with subtle striping, look neat and racy. Also, Nippon Denso instruments have been put on to replace the suspect items of older models and an electric starter is there to save the aggravation of kicking the plot into life.


The Darmah is the touring version of the famous 900SS which has a 9.5:1 instead of 9.4:1 compression ratio and the option of 40mm instead of 32mm carburettors. With a dolphin fairing less weight by virtue of a manual starter and more power (8obhp is claimed), the 900SS is an unashamed road racer and top of the Ducati range.