The Paso is pretty polarizing in terms of its styling. I’m fond of this bike even though the frame is hidden: I love the signature Ducati trellis frame and am slightly heartbroken the new Ducati superbike is rumored to do away with the frame almost entirely. The Paso does have a trellis frame hidden under all of that bodywork, but it’s not so pretty to look at, being welded up from square-tubing and never intended to be on display.
First producted in 1986, the bike was designed by Massimo Tamburini and named after Italian rider Renzo “Paso” Pasolini. Pasolini was killed in 1973 on the first lap of the 250 cc race at Monza while riding for Aermacchi.
The Paso was powered by the Fabio Taglioni- designed, belt-drive, air/oil cooled Pantah motor that replaced the famous bevel-drive twins. In this iteration, the engine displaced 748cc’s and made about 72 hp, enough to propel the slippery, sport-touring machine to a top speed of about 130 mph.
From the start, the bike was very controversial and sales were disappointing. As forward-thinking as the styling is, it must have been shocking when introduced.
And there were practical problems.
The bike used a Weber carburetor intended for use in an automobile, nestled in the crotch of the engine’s vee. This led to sometimes serious rideability issues that are difficult to overcome with simple tuning.
The 750 Paso later grew to 904 cc’s and gained a 6th gear with the 906 Paso, but retained the problematic carburetor. It was ultimately superseded by 907 IE that dropped the “Paso” name but gained 17” wheels and the fuel injection indicated by the “IE”, finally providing the smooth power delivery the bike should have had from the start.
From the sellers ad:
“Immaculate condition, slight imperfection on seat. All original parts with the exception of K&N Air Filter, Barnett Clutch, and European spec taillight/directional signal. Includes Large Ducati Jacket, X-Large Ducati Helmet by Suomy and Service Manual.
Tires, sprockets, and chain have less than 500 miles. New battery. Third owner purchased in 1995, has been garage kept and fair weather driven. Only 700 of the Ducati PASO 750 model year 1987 were sold in the US.”
The seller’s add mentions “slight imperfection on seat,” which looks like someone tried to bite it. Corbin still makes a replacement that is highly recommended, considering this bike’s touring intent.
These bikes are stylish, distinctive, and very usable. Prices are relatively low, even for the white “Limited Edition” that really emphasizes the slab-sided styling of the bike and can represent an affordable entry to Ducati ownership. Ducatis do need maintenance more often than a comparable Japanese bike, but the Pantah motor is extremely well-developed and generally very reliable if cared for. Tire choice can be very limited for these bikes due to the 16” wheel size. Upgrading to 17” wheels is possible, but pretty involved: the best move if you’re really looking to fit modern rubber is to just buy the later 907 IE.
A carburetor upgrade is more straightforward and worthwhile, with owners often converting to a pair of Dell’Orto’s.