Home   Contact   Converter   Video   Technical 

  

 

 

Classic Bikes

Custom Bikes

Racing Bikes

 

AC Schnitzer

AJP

AJS

Alfer

Aprilia

Ariel

Arlen Ness

ATK

Bajaj

Bakker

Barigo

Benelli

Beta

Big Bear

BigDog

Bimota

BMS Choppers

BMW

Borile

Boss Hoss

Boxer

Brammo

Britten

BRP Can-am

BSA

Buell

Bultaco

Cagiva

Campagna

CCM

Confederate

CR&S

Daelim

Deus

Derbi

DP Customs

Drysdale

Ducati

Dunstall

Exile Cycles

Factory Bike

Fischer

Foggy Petronas

GASGAS

Ghezzi Brain

Gilera

Harris

Harley Davidson

HDT

Hesketh

Highland

Honda

HPN

Horex

Husqvarna

Husaberg

Hyosung

Indian

Italjet

Jawa

Kawasaki

KTM

KYMCO

Laverda

Lazareth

Lehman Trikes

LIFAN

Magni

Maico

Matchless

Matt Hotch

Megelli

Midual

Mission

Mondial

Moto Guzzi

Moto Morini

MotoCzysz

Motus

Mr Martini

MTT

Münch

MV Agusta

MZ

NCR

Norton

Oberdan Bezzi

OCC

Paul Jr. Designs

Piaggio

Radical Ducati

Rickman

Ridley

Roehr

Roland Sands

Royal Enfield

Rucker

Sachs

Saxon

Sherco

Suzuki

Titan

TM Racing

Triumph

Ural
Velocette

Victory

Viper

Vincent

Vilner

VOR

Voxen

Vyrus

Wakan / Avinton

Walz

Wrenchmonkees

Wunderlich

Yamaha

Zero

   

Cagiva Elefant E900

 

 

 

 

Make Model

Cagiva Elefant E900

Year

1994

Engine

Air cooled, four stroke, 90°“L”twin cylinder, SOHC, desmodromic 2 valve per cylinder. 

Capacity

904
Bore x Stroke 92 x 68 mm
Compression Ratio 9.2:1

Induction

Mikuni BDST 38

Ignition  /  Starting

Kokusan electronic inductive discharge  /  electric

Max Power

68 hp 49.6 kW @ 8000 rpm   (rear tyre 63.0 hp @ 7900 rpm)

Max Torque

70.6 Nm 6.7 kgf-m @ 5250 rpm

Transmission  /  Drive

6 Speed  /  chain

Front Suspension

45mm Showa upside down telescopic forks

Rear Suspension

Rising rate box, monoshock adjustable for preload

Front Brakes

2x 282mm discs 4 piston calipers

Rear Brakes

Single 240mm disc 4 piston caliper

Front Tyre

100/90-19

Rear Tyre

140/80-17
Seat Height 857 mm  /  33.7 in

Fuel Capacity (res)

24 Litres
  (4 L)

Dry Weight

204 kg

Consumption  average

38.0 mpg

Standing ¼ Mile  

13.2 sec / 95.5 mph

Top Speed

114. mp/h
Manual 1990 900ie Work Shop Manual  /  1991 900ie GT Work Shop Manual  /  EFI information

Picture a 500-pound Swiss-army knife with two wheels, dual-sport styling, a torquey twin-cylinder engine, a weather-beating fairing, off-road-capable tires and a hefty dose of ground clearance. If the recipe sounds similar to BMW's R100GS Paris-Dakar machine, surely Ducati intended it that way when it cooked up the new E-900.

Run across trackless African wasteland, the Paris-Dakar rally has spawned more motorcycles than any other event, save perhaps Daytona. BMW appropriated the name first for its mammoth GS desert sled, but Honda's 750cc Africa Twin, Yamaha's 750 Super Tenere and Cagiva's Elefant (renamed the Ducati E-900 for the States) are all production-spec copies of works Paris-Dakar rally bikes. In the U.S., those bikes attempted to bridge the gap between dirt and street; in Europe, street riders love them and never get them dirty.

The E-900's bodywork looks like a Honda NX250 on steroids, but inside beats the familiar heart of the Ducati 900SS. The beast is fed by a matched pair of 38mm Mikunis. An open-loop catalytic converter, the first on any Ducati, lives inside the cavernous upswept muffler. The 493-pound brute wears a 19-inch wheel and carries twin Brembo discs on its brand-new inverted Showa fork. An enormous-looking plastic tank (appearances can be deceptive; the Duck holds only 5.3 gallons of fuel) envelops the rear cylinder of the 90-degree V-twin engine, and a mammoth aluminum bash plate covers most of the bottom end, leaving only the front cylinder poking out into the airstream. The E-900 rider is lifted high above traffic and protected from the elements by the twin-headlamp fairing.

The seat rests a tall 34 inches above terra firma. Climbing on almost requires a footstool, but once aboard, the massive bulk of the bike diminishes and even smaller riders feel in command, although riders less than 5 feet 8 inches might not find the ground too easily since the rear suspension sags less than an inch with a 150-pound rider on board. The starting ritual is complicated by the petcock position at the very bottom pf the huge tank, which demands a long reach and some fiddling to open, and an on-off choke lever behind the right thigh. Starting is immediate, hot or cold, and the choke can be quickly released.

Opening the throttle is rewarded with steamship-size torque and enough seamless power to make the E bike an E-ticket ride on city streets. Send the full-speed-ahead signal, and the rustling cacophony down below immediately assumes a purposeful tone, followed by a strong kick in the pants. The primeval grunt of the Duck starts at around 3000 rpm, and the power builds up to a peak around 7000. In first gear, the E-900 feels capable of leaping houses in a single bound.

The six gear ratios—overkill for a motorcycle with this broad a spread of torque—are well suited to the open road, though interstate cruising speeds coincide with a band of vibration at around 4500 rpm in top gear, or an indicated 70 mph.

The longest inverted fork in the world—exactly three feet long—keeps the E-900's 19-inch wheel well clear of the front cylinder and helps its on-road manners. The firmly damped fork gives the front a more stable feel than previous Elefants and allows fast going on all types of road with a suppleness lacking from any previous Ducati. The price of this comfort is a slight vagueness at high speed that turns into a gentle wallow in fast corners, though at lower speeds the E bike steers precisely. The strong fork and long wheelbase guarantee stability through turns at the expense of quick transitions. However, large bumps in the middle of a curve upset the front wheel enough to send it heading for the hills.

Dual fixed Brembo discs replace the old Elefant's single floating stopper. This change coupled with the increased rigidity of the Showa fork turn the front brakes into superb stoppers, though some testers commented on the mushy feel of the front lever and wished for a more clearly defined engagement point. The rear brake's master cylinder is mounted on the frame's front downtube, and the brake lever works backWard. We just wish it worked better. The single caliper isn't well matched to the compound or the disc, and the rear brake is insensitive and wooden, a fault on any motorcycle with off-road pretensions.

Leap Tall Buildings

Ground clearance is prodigious enough for even the most spirited street riding. Back roads and city streets are the E-900's forte.

There can't be many riders unreasonable enough to expect such a heavy bike to excel off road in the rough stuff, and sure enough, it doesn't. Whoops or a succession of rough surfaces get the E bike totally out of shape. Stamped out of lightweight Vie-inch aluminum plate, the bash plate bends at the mere sight of a rock. One blunder over a small boulder on a stream crossing was enough to bend the bash plate dangerously close to the sump, dinging the exhaust pipe in the process. Riding the Elefant off road instills a great respect for Paris-Dakar rallyists.

Freeway Niggles

The plastic of thelank and fairing tend to amplify noise, and the worst rattle comes from the clutch in neutral. It concerned us enough to call a dealer about it. It turns out that the newest clutch parts are designed to eliminate the grinding crunch that has plagued Ducatis during clutch slip for years. Sure enough the clutch didn't grab or grind at all during testing, a first for a Ducati. Gear changing was complicated by a neutral light that flashed unreliably and refused to stay lit when the gearbox actually was in neutral.

At freeway-cruising speeds, vibration soon becomes a pain in the der-riere. The 900 motor has 10mm-big-ger pistons than the original (and quite smooth) 650cc Elefant of seven years ago. Those bigger pistons are harder to balance, and the lack of a front engine mount magnifies the vi-bra-massage. Although the front cylinder head is drilled and tapped for a motor-mount bolt, the new E-900 lacks the bracketry; instead, the engine is hung from two through-bolts at the rear and two tire-lever-like brackets descending between the cylinders. The antivibration weights and soft rubber grips help to dampen handlebar shake, but vibration is apparent through the footpegs and seat, and the bar-mounted mirrors blur above 55 mph. No rider could ride the E-900 as far as a BMW Paris-Dakar; the E doesn't approach the BMW's fuel range or comfort zone. Apart from the butt-numbing vibration, the most glaring deficiency is in luggage space. BMW offers enough storage in its excellent panniers for a transcontinental tour, while the E-900's luggage space is limited to a token luggage carrier and a tiny, lock-able nonweatherproof fairing pocket in the left side panel. It's just big enough to hold a sandwich. The front fender also disgraces itself by directing a stream of debris in the general direction of the engine when the going gets sloppy.

Bold No More

The last Elefant we rode—the 900 I.E. European version—was painted in the bold colors of the Lucky Strike Desert Explorer team. This year, the E-900's sedate graphics don't match the desert-racer image of Danny La Porte bouncing through the Sahara's trackless wastes, and the gold pinstripes that were already peeling aren't impressive on a $9000 machine. However, our bike was- a preproduction version with European light switches and kilometer-marked speedometer; production versions should have more stable graphics.

Even painted in primer, the E-900 would still stand out, and it attracts crowds everywhere. Everyone asks, "What is it?" It's easier to say what the E-900 isn't. Though this monster looks like the biggest landcruiser around, it sure ain't a dirt bike. Consider it a two-wheeled Italian version of those shiny sport-utility four-wheelers clogging up the parking lot down at the mall. Let me put it this way: If you'd like a Jeep Cherokee, you'd love this Ducati.

Source Motorcycle list 1993

 

NOTE: Any correction or more information on these motorcycles will kindly be appreciated, Some country's motorcycle specifications can be different to motorcyclespecs.co.za. Confirm with your motorcycle dealer before ordering any parts or spares. Any objections to articles or photos placed on motorcyclespecs.co.za will be removed upon request.    Privacy Policy      Contact Me