1981 Ducati Pantah 500SL for Sale

This appears to be another bike from the same seller in New York that had the NCR Café Racer up for auction I posted last week.  Looking like something Batman might ride, the Ducati 500 Pantah is the granddaddy of all modern air-cooled Ducatis.

By the late 70’s, the bevel-drive twin had gotten pretty long in the tooth: it was a gorgeous, flexible and melodious motor, but the system of gears and tower-shafts that drove the cams was very expensive to produce.  With the parallel-twin experiment officially deemed a failure, Ducati went back to the V-twin [or L-twin if you’re being pedantic] configuration that made the company’s big-bore reputation.

Of course, the first Pantah, introduced in 1980 was a 500, so “big-bore” is relative but that’s beside the point.

The new engine kept the desmodromic valve-actuation, but used toothed rubber belts to drive the cams.  The system was obviously a success: an evolution of this engine is still in use in today’s Monsters and Hypermotards.

1981 Ducati Pantah 500SL

This example looks and sounds really sharp: the seller has helpfully included a nice clip of the bike starting up and being ridden away:

As with the NCR bike, the seller has helpfully included a list of upgrades and modifications:

  • 24462 KLM’s
  • REBUILT 36MM DELLORTO PHM CARBS
  • ORIGINAL PAINT (FADED)
  • CAMPAGNOLO WHEELS
  • VINTAGE MARZZOCHI REAR SHOCKS
  • REAR SETS
  • LOUD REPRODUCTION ???CONTI MUFFLERS STAINLESS STEEL (NASTY FLEX TIUBE FIX FOR x OVER)
  • H4 HEADLAMP
  • NEW CAM DRIVE BELTS
  • OLDER  METZLER TIRES GOOD TREAD
  • NEW BRAKE PADS
  • EVERYTHING WORKS AS IT SHOULD
  • CHARGING SYSTEM WORK PERFECTLY
  • NEW BATTERY
  • FRESH OIL & FILTER
  • NEW PETOCKS I WILL INSTALL THE BEFORE  DELIVERY
  • ORIGINAL OWNERS MANUAL
  • TOOL KIT
  • OEM AIR BOX INCLUDED
  • JUST NEEDS A  OEM MUFFLER SET W/ X OVER 
  • OR A 2 INTO 1 HIGH PERFORMANCE SET UP

He does mention that the bike could use some help with the exhaust, but at least the one that’s on there sounds pretty cool for a small-displacement twin.  That flex-hose is ugly, but not obvious at first-glance: onlookers are likely to be distracted by that fairing and paint-scheme.  Some minor dents and scratches just mean that you won’t be tempted to tuck the thing away in the corner of your garage while you hope it appreciates in value…

 

 

His Buy-It-Now price is almost $6,000.00 which seems pretty fair for such a wild-looking little bike.  Parts availability should be excellent for most of the parts needed for maintenance.  Just be careful crashing it, since those panels could be a bit harder to source…

-tad

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