1974 Ducati 750SS vs. 2006 Ducati Paul Smart

Is there a difference between living in the past, and celebrating it? Are you someone who looks back, or looks forward? I think it is telling if you visit RareSportBikesForSale.com or ClassicSportBikesForSale.com

In 2006 Ducati created a tribute to the 1973 750SS, a bike which today is hunted and valued higher then new bikes. We will see what the final bid is for this , but at the current bid you could buy multiple new tribute bikes for you and your friends.

The 1974 750SS used the V-Twins Desmodromic engine designed by Dr Fabio Taglioni. The new 90 degree twin is essentially two of Ducati tried single cylinder engines mounted to a single crank. The new engine was designed, built and race tested in a very short period. It first appeared on the road limited to 50hp in the 1971 750 GT. It became iconic when it was put into the 750SS. The  80×74.4 bore and stroke gives the 748cc. 9.5:1 compression developed 73hp at 8000rpm, and with 5 speeds gave a top speed of 134.8 mph. Great engine, super performance, beautiful styling, but why is this bike desire over all the others 750SS made between 1973 and 1981?

It’s the color.  I have had a hard time nailing down numbers, but indications are that 10 were made in 1973, and 401 in 1974.

So when Ducati designed a new bike in the retro style that has become popular, what other color scheme would they choose?

This 2006 Paul Smart 1000LE offered in Dallas was a one year only tribute SportClassic. It was designed by Pierre Terblanche who also designed the MH900e, a tribute to the original Mike Hailwood Replica. The engine measures 992cc with 94mmx71.5mm, a 10.1:1 CR ratio giving 91bhp at 8,000rpm and through 6 speeds gave a top speed of 135mph. These numbers appear to be the same as the stock bike. The PS1000LE differs from the other GT1000 in the bubble fairing with clip-ons over the naked stock bike. Optional side fairings with number plates were offered to replicate the full racing fairings. Suspension up front looks to have changed from the stock 43mm Marzocchi to 43mm Öhlins and Öhlins in back replacing the Sachs unit.

And this is the one that everyone is copying:

Which one do you want?


Editors Note: We are publishing this on both websites for contrast and exposure. -dc

Great information provided in comments section. BB

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4 Responses

  1. Djani says:

    This appears to be great example of the most desirable production Ducati of all. The earlier GT and Sport 750s did not have desmodromic engines but are still beautiful classic motorcycles. The greenframe SS were built to legalize Ducati’s win in the 1972 Imola 200 road race. In that race, which was for producation based machines, Ducati came 1 and 2, beating Ago on a MV and all the other major manufacturers. The problem was that no SS bikes were available and under the rules, Ducati needed to have 200 examples to be allowed to race. So, nearly 2 years after the race, Ducati produce 400 bikes, all in one batch, in order to fulfill the legal obligations. The race bikes were modified GT bikes and the production 74SS, while ostensibly the same, are in fact quite different from the winning bikes. It is interesting that you point out, perhaps in jest, that what makes them the most desirable of the 750SS bikes produced in the 70s is their color. In fact that is the essential reason this bike will sell for over six times the price of a good 750 GT. It is not their perceived rarity as only 250 were built in 75, 220 in 76, 110 in 77 and 30 in 78 so the 74SS is in fact the most common 750SS variant. But the color of the bike makes it instantly recognizable and all the later SS bikes had the same colors of blue and silver. If the color scheme was maintained, then I am sure the prices of these great machines would be substantially lower and that the later 78 wire wheeled 900SS versions would be the more desirable as they had the strongest performance and most reliable engines. So what we have here is a quirk of history that has elevated the 74SS beyond a mere work of kinetic art, beyond a priceless icon, and into the realm of investment asset.
    And to answer your question “Which one do you want?” without doubt I would choose the 750TT1 that is visible in the last photo provided by the seller.
    Eh, what?, PS1000LE? You’re joking, right?

  2. Mike says:

    +1 Djani

    I don’t know what it is about size inflation, but the PS1000LE looks positively porky compared to the svelte and sexy 750 SS. Great post Brian!

  3. Brian says:

    Great information, thanks
    I also think that the PS looks a little “heavy”
    Maybe it reflects today a little too well

  1. May 7, 2011

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