No Trespassing: 1977 Ducati 900SS

Found in Texas and rebuilt in Wisconsin, the restoration of this once-crusty 1977 Ducati 900SS is impressive.

| May/June 2016

1977 Ducati 900SS
863.9cc air-cooled OHC desmodromic 90-degree V-twin, 86mm x 74.4mm bore and stroke, 9.5:1 compression ratio, 80hp @ 7,500rpm
Top speed:
5-speed, chain final drive
Fuel capacity/MPG:
4.75gal (18ltr)/25-40mpg
Price then/now:
$3,600 (approx.)/$30,000-$50,000

This is not your average Ducati tale. Almost unbelievable, it’s a story with horror movie elements along with a whiff of romantic comedy.

Matt Linex isn’t sure which genre this tale best suits. The one thing the college student from Denton, Texas, does know is this — it’s the tale of a rare 1977 Ducati 900 Super Sport that positively changed his life.

Setting the stage

In 2012, about a week before Halloween, Matt’s cousin invited him and a friend to a pasture party in South Arlington, Texas. After getting off the highway and navigating some back roads, the pair eventually traversed a bumpy and rutted trail. It was dark, muddy and overgrown. Branches were brushing the sides of his Jeep, and a rusted “No Trespassing” sign hanging from a tree was flapping in the wind. Matt wasn’t comfortable. It didn’t get any better when he saw the party was happening in a derelict-looking trailer house.

“I said, ‘I ain’t having any of this,’ and started to turn around to get out,” Matt explains, adding, “That’s when the headlights of the Jeep caught a flash of chrome hidden in the weeds.”

Overcoming his nervousness about what he thought was a sketchy situation, Matt got out of his Jeep and walked to where he’d seen the chrome — just inside a half fallen down wooden barn. He pulled aside the weeds to find an old Honda CB350, and behind that was a Norton and a bunch of Chevy Corvairs. Nearby, but fully exposed to the elements, Matt found a 1977 Ducati 900SS.

4/19/2016 9:12:34 PM

Good story, as I had a 1977 900SS, that exact bike, which I club raced in New York as well as in the first Battle of the Twins at Daytona. I sold it when I moved to Colorado. Now, 70 years old and 7 Ducatis later, I'm riding a 2005 1000s Monster, with an engine quite similar to the '77SS. I'm very happy with my Monster and have loved all of my other Ducatis. I've owned, at last count, 26 motorcycles altogether, however the '77 SS stands alone in my heart as the essence of the passion of motorcycling for me.

4/7/2016 2:03:56 PM

Would really like to contact Matt Linex.

4/7/2016 10:41:42 AM

I have to know who the rancher (dead racer) was. I grew up in that area and probably knew him when I was living and racing there. If Matt could respond. Jess Thomas

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