Tagged: Pantah

Practical Classic: 1982 Ducati 600SL Pantah for Sale

1982 Ducati 600SL Pantah R Side

After the humiliating failure of the parallel-twin 500GTL project, Ducati was quick to introduce the v-twin Pantah that had been developed in secret by Fabio Taglioni, who was convinced that the parallel-twin wasn’t the right direction for the company to pursue. It kept the iconic, smooth 90° “L-twin” configuration, but replaced the bevel-drive and tower-shafts of the earlier motor and substituted cheap and quiet toothed rubber belts. The upside was greatly reduced production costs, the downside was relatively short service intervals, although belt-changes are a pretty simple operation and many owners do the work themselves.

1982 Ducati 600SL Pantah Dash

The new bike had impressive specs, with a claimed 50hp from its 500cc engine and a five-speed gearbox. Unlike the earlier bevel-drive bikes, all of Ducati’s twins now featured their Desmodromic valve actuation. Wet weight was 443 lbs. and the bike could reach a top speed of 115mph. The 500 was superseded by the 600 in 1981 that, thanks to revised gearing, had an almost identical top speed but better midrange punch, with power increased to 57hp from the 583cc engine.

1982 Ducati 600SL Pantah Speedo

From the original eBay listing: 1982 Ducati 600 SL Pantah for Sale

I bought it in 5/12/2006 from a collector and I kept it the in garage all this time without riding it. The previous owner did ride it and the motorcycle has normal wear on it. It is otherwise in great condition.

Also included are two original Italian helmets.  Buyer is responsible for pick-up.

Obviously, a couple old helmets are best for display, but still pretty cool to have. Keep in mind that, if this has been mostly sitting since 2006, it may need some attention before being ridden: hoses dry out and crack, tires get hard, electrical connections can corrode, and gaskets can leak. That being said, the bike does run, and the seller includes this video of the bike running.

For a long time, these were very inexpensive to buy, although not all that easy to find. Considering the relatively high miles, I think the seller might be aiming a bit high with a $6,700 Buy It Now price. But these are ground zero for Ducati’s modern bikes, and provided the foundation for virtually every two and four-valve twin produced, making them historically significant and the ideal practical classic, with good parts availability and real-world ability.

-tad

1982 Ducati 600SL Pantah L Side

 

One for the Road: 1982 Ducati NCR TT for Sale

1982 Ducati NCR TT L Front

Almost literally a one-of-a-kind motorcycle, this Ducati-powered NCR is one of only two bikes built that were originally intended for road use, although several of the racebikes have apparently been converted for street duty. The one-piece tank and tail-section are distinctive NCR design features and the Verlicchi frame and monoshock rear were both advanced features for the time.

1982 Ducati NCR TT R Engine

If you’re not familiar with NCR, their history is intertwined with Ducati, and they are responsible for building some of their most famous racebikes, including Mike Hailwood’s Isle of Man machine. Powered by the 600cc version of Ducati’s then-new Pantah L-twin still found in air-cooled models today, although this earlier configuration has the carburetor feeding the rear cylinder in a more traditional, entirely less-compact location.

1982 Ducati NCR TT Dash

There are lots of great details on this bike, including the vintage Kröber racing tachometer. And where can I get one of those cut-out “DUCATI” front sprocket covers?

1982 Ducati NCR TT L Engine

The listing includes the full history of this bike which, it turns out, sounds pretty dramatic, considering it has no racing history at all…

From the original eBay listing: 1982 Ducati NCR TT Roadbike for Sale

Scuderia NCR TT. One of only two road bikes made by the legendary Ducati race team.

Approximately nine frames were made by Verlicchi for the Pantah based bikes.Seven were in racing style. With six being mono shock and one twin shock.

The whereabouts of all seven race bikes are known. Three went to Australia (two converted to road bike, including the one twin shock), one was never assembled, One each to Sweden (written off), Germany (converted to road), and two in Italy, including one in a ‘Old Racing Spare Parts’ museum. Mario Sassi has confirmed that mine is an original Verlicchi built frame.

Two were built in road style. One was in silver/red with full fairing (photo 24) and one in red/silver with half fairing. Mine is the only one ever built where the one piece tank/seat unit is in alloy and fiberglass.   

These road bikes were never made available to the public but produced by commission only. 

1982 Ducati NCR TT R Rearset

With a focus on racing, machines from NCR are obviously not series-production bikes. Like modern NCR’s, they are built upon request to customer specifications and are of the “if you have to ask” variety. This is pretty clear from the bidding, which is up to $37,500 with just one day left on the auction. That’s a ton of dough for a Pantah-based Ducati, but accurately reflects the rarity and racing heritage of both parents. Or “all three,” if we include frame builders Verlicchi.

This same bike was up for auction last year, with a $50,000 Buy It Now price, so perhaps the actual value lies somewhere in between?

-tad

1982 Ducati NCR TT L Side

The Anti-UJM: 1981 Ducati Pantah 600SL for Sale

1981 Ducati Pantah SL600 R side

Ducati’s original Pantah is perhaps the “anti-UJM”. Where many motorcycles of the late 1970’s and early 1980’s seemed cut from a very similar cloth, with the characteristic unfaired, transverse inline four, and stepped dual-seat, the Pantah is almost aggressively futuristic in a way that set the tone for the decades that followed, although no one would likely credit the fairly low-production machine with starting the trend…

1981 Ducati Pantah SL600 L Engine

Introduced in 1979 to replace the classic, but conventional models Ducati had been making up to that point, it’s main engineering claim-to-fame was the new engine that was designed to reduce production costs and maintenance compared to the bevel-drive models. While the venerable twin was powerful and very good-looking, the many small parts needed proper set up and needed fairly fine adjustment.

1981 Ducati Pantah SL600 Front

While the belt-driven Pantah engine did, until recently, famously require very regular belt changes and valve adjustments, both of these procedures are relatively straightforward, and the engines performed as advertised: they’re rugged, respond well to tuning, and make famously cool noises.

Originally a 500cc engine, the new twin made 50hp and could push the 443lb 500SL to 115mph. In 1981, displacement was increased to 600.

1981 Ducati Pantah SL600 Dash

From the original eBay listing: 1981 Ducati Pantah 600SL for Sale

Up for sale this week is a very nice 1981 Ducati Pantah 600 SL. It was just repainted and a new factory decal set was applied.

I acquired this bike a few years back from a noted West Coast Ducati collector, having searched for 3 years after regretting selling my previous one. It is the only Pantah in stock configuration that I have seen for sale on ebay since 2009.

According to the previous owner, this bike had been gone through mechanically within the 2 years prior to my purchase. The engine runs strong, and I’ve never had an issue with any of the electrics or ancillaries.

 The bike is beautiful, one of my favorite designs of all time. The engine presents beautifully, and the few places on the frame where the paint has rubbed off have been touched up.

The odometer shows 59,000 Kilometers. That’s 36,000 miles. It neither looks nor rides like an old bike.

The reason for selling this bike is two-fold. First, at 6’1”, my knees touch the fairing. Secondly, at 57, back issues have forced me to give up riding anything remotely café-style. Much as I love this bike, I’m not operating a museum over here, so she’s got to go to a new home.

As I said, I haven’t seen another stock configuration Pantah available on ebay in 5 years. If you have been looking for one, this is the one. I have set a fair reserve based on the condition and availability of these bikes. You can be confident that this bike won’t disappoint.

These bikes were until recently dirt-cheap to acquire, although they’ve been headed ever-upward in value: this one is looking at a starting bid of $5,000. They represent the perfect useable classic, with real performance and handling, good parts availability for the engine, and even a bit of wind protection.

1981 Ducati Pantah SL600 L Rear Wheel

If 36,000 miles on the clocks puts you off, it shouldn’t: Ducati’s two-valve twins are very rugged and can reach 100,000 miles before needing any significant internal work, assuming they’ve been properly cared for.

This one looks ready to gas up and ride.

-tad

1981 Ducati Pantah SL600 L side

It’s Pantah-stic! 1980 Ducati 500SL Track Day Racer

 

1980 Ducati 500SL Race Bike R Side2

In the late 1970’s Ducati introduced their best-forgotten parallel twin motorcycles in an attempt to broaden their appeal and cut manufacturing costs. But while the bike handled well, reliability was an issue and the looks did not appeal to Ducati’s fanbase: the bike was a massive flop.

After the debacle that the 500GTL parallel-twin represented, Ducati needed to get back in the saddle quickly, and the 500SL Pantah was the right horse for the job. The four-valve, water-cooled superbikes get all the glory nowadays, but the Pantah-derived engine has been the air-cooled, Desmodromic heart of Ducati’s breadwinners for over 30 years now, providing the motive force for SuperSports, Monsters in a dozen shapes, sizes, and displacements, Hypermotards, Pasos, and every other darn bike that rolled out the door, basically keeping the company afloat.

1980 Ducati 500SL Race Bike R Side Engine

The updated motor dispensed with the expensive-to-produce bevel-drive and tower-shaft system and replaced it with simple rubber camshaft belts. These needed regular replacement, but saved the company significant costs during manufacturing and assembly.

1980 Ducati 500SL Race Bike Tank Detail

This one features very stylish NCR-replica bodywork and paint, although the effect is somewhat spoiled by that unpainted front fender. That’s pretty easily fixed though. And these smaller twins sound plenty strong and could easily be mistaken for a bike of much larger displacement. You may not get the top-end scream out of a bike like this that you would from a modern 600, but this will punch you out of corners, handle well, and put a big smile on your face

1980 Ducati 500SL Race Bike Dash

From the original eBay listing: 1980 Ducati 500SL Vintage Track Day Racer

HERE IS A GREAT EXAMPLE OF A BUILT 1980 500SL VINTAGE TRACK DAY RACER.
HAS  NCR/AIRTEK BODYWORK
38MM MARZZOCI FRONT FORKS( TUNED BY ACCELERATED TECHNOLOGY IN CANADA)
BITUBO REAR SHOCKS(NEED REBUILD) LITTLE LEAK
WAS TOLD BY PREVIOUS OWNER IT HAS A BIG BORE KIT. (THE BIKE IS FAST AS HELL)
36MM DELLORTOS (REBUILT)
SPA DESIGN TACH/SPEEDO (JUST RETURNED FROM SPA FOR REPAIR)
AVON  AM23 130/65/18 REAR NEW (OLD REAR TIRE COMES WITH BIKE STILL GREAT SHAPE)
AVON AM22  100/80/18 FRONT NEW
THIS IS A RACE BIKE WITH NO LIGHTS AND TOTALLY REWIRED ELECTRONICS FOR RACING WITH 2 TOGGLE SWITCHES AND PUSH BUTTON START
IT IS CURRENTLY REGISTERED IN CT WHICH THERE IS NO NEED FOR A TITLE UNDER 1981 YEAR
FRESH OIL CHANGE AND PLUGS
I CURRENTLY STREET DRIVE THIS AWESOME BIKE AND ITS A BLAST ON THE STREET
THE END OF THE UPPER FAIRING ON THE LEFT BY THE GAS TANK IS BROKE OFF. CAN EASILY BE REPAIRED
THE PAINT IS NOT PERFECT AND THERE IS SCRATCHES

The simple, air-cooled two-valve Ducatis have been around for a long time, and have proven very reliable and responsive to tuning. Looked after, the belts are very reliable, but they need replacement every two years or 12k miles, something that every Ducatisti knows is cheap insurance. The job itself is relatively simple and requires less know-how than adjusting the Desmo valves, so potential buyers shouldn’t be put off by Ducati’s exotic reputation. This one is obviously no trailer-queen, excepting trips to the race track and the photography leaves a bit to be desired, but it looks like this bike has been well-maintained and is ready to go.

1980 Ducati 500SL Race Bike Front Brake

The one-piece NCR bodywork may not be the most elegant, but it embodies tons of racing history and certainly is distinctive. There’s been no activity on this auction and time is almost up, but at $4,500 it looks like it’d be a great tool for track day fun at a pretty budget price.

-tad

1980 Ducati 500SL Race Bike R Side

1986 Bimota DB1R for Sale

1986 Bimota DB1R R Rear

Originally founded to manufacture heating systems, Bimota turned its obviously wasted talent and enthusiasm to motorcycles in the 1970’s. During the 60’s and 70’s, major manufacturers were relatively hit-or-miss when it came to handling. This led to a number of small shops that specialized in frames to house powerplants from European and especially Japanese companies, who sometimes seemed content to stuff their powerful and reliable engines into bikes with the rigidity of a Schwinn bicycle.

Companies with names like Egli, Spondon, and Harris made everything from complete bikes, to frames, to kits you could buy and build your own specials. Bimota took the best ideas available and combined them to create their stunning SB2 in 1977, a bike so far ahead of its time it took the major manufacturers another twenty years to incorporate some of its more unusual features.

1986 Bimota DB1R Front and Rear

While Ducatis are only rarely criticized for their handling, some of Bimota’s most famous collaborations include the feisty twins from Bologna: we’re up to DB11 as of now, not including the innovative Tesi bikes, and this trend is likely to continue.

On that note, Bimota names can generally be decoded as follows: the first letter indicates the name of the manufacturer, the “B” is for “Bimota” and the number represents the bikes place in the history of Bimota’s working relationship with the manufacturer. So the “DB1” is really the “first Ducati-Bimota collaboration.”

1986 Bimota DB1R Right Front Wheel

DB1’s are pretty uncommon beasts although they were produced in relatively large numbers for a Bimota. But this particular example is very, very rare.

From the original eBay listing: 1986 Bimota DB1R for Sale

Bimota DB1R, 1 of 4 built, factory raced at Daytona by Malcolm Tunstall, new fluids, runs perfect, 

1986 Bimota DB1R Dash

A few years ago, I wrote up another one of these, meaning that two of the four in existence have featured on this site! It’s worth a quick look for the pictures of the bike with bodywork removed: the complex trellis frame looks like a Ducati by way of a Maserati Birdcage. And while the regular DB1 makes do with the regular Ducati clocks, the R has just one instrument: a honking big Veglia racing tach.

I really should just buy one of those already and mount it in a shadowbox or something…

Bidding is up over $26,000 which is no surprise, given the condition and rarity of this wonderful machine.

-tad

1986 Bimota DB1R Left Front

1987 Cagiva Alazzurra for Sale

1987 Cagiva Alazzurra L Side

This 1987 Cagiva Alazzurra is a bit newer than most bikes we usually try to feature here. Bikes from the 80’s, while not quite yet considered classic, are definitely old… And they’re getting very close: 1987 was 27 years ago! I’d bet that 80’s sportbikes will be the next big thing in terms of classic bike trends, and before you know it, early “slingshot” GSX-R’s that haven’t been polished and stretched into cruise-night machines will be getting gobbled up for outrageous prices.

The Cagiva Alazzurra was a simple badge-engineering job from the period when Ducati was owned by Cagiva, a rebodied Ducati Pantah with the 650cc version of Ducati’s famous belt-driven, desmodromic v-twin cloaked in very chunky 1980’s styling. It was pitched as a sports-tourer with the emphasis on “sports.”

1987 Cagiva Alazzurra L Rear

The smaller Ducati twins sound just like their bigger siblings with the right pipes on them, so if you’re worried about being seen on a “learner bike,” no one has to know. And even if they do, it’ll just make passing them on the outside at a trackday that much sweeter.

This bike deviates a bit from original, but I’ll let the seller tell you about it. After so many bikes recently featuring very little information, it’s very refreshing to see something as seemingly honest as this.

1987 Cagiva Alazzurra R Engine

From the original eBay listing: 1987 Cagiva Alazzurra for Sale

The photos show that the standard instrument gauges have been replaced by a large tachometer. I purchased the motorcycle like this and therefore I do not know the exact mileage. I can tell you that the compression is strong at 160psi per cylinder. There is no ignition switch and so there is no key, the on off of the ignition system is controlled by a toggle switch mounted inside the headlight fairing which I can be seen pointing out in the photos. Both front brake calipers, rear brake caliper, front axle, rear axle, and oil filter are secured using safety wire. Has a very unique APE steering damper installed. The front and rear brake lines are all steel braided. The following services were all completed at Desert Desmo in February of 2014. Timing belts have been replaced, both carburetors have been rebuild, fuel lines replaced and fuel filters have been replaced. This bike originally came with unreliable ceramic style fuses. The fuse box has been replaced and now uses blade style fuses that are much more reliable. I have receipts and old parts. Engine starts and runs extremely well. Has Bridgestone Battlax tires front and rear that are about 1 year old with less than 300 miles on them.  I have had the motorcycle stored indoors however the paint is probably around 20 years old and has many chips and cracks. The fuel tank has a few minor dents and the frame also has a few chips. The seat is starting to come open on the left side as can be seen in the picks.

1987 Cagiva Alazzurra Dash

The tachometer is original, but the speedometer, clock [?!], and idiot lights have been removed and replaced with a single bracket for the remaining instrument. It looks like the bike is well used, but also well maintained and updated. Learn to do the valve adjustments and belt changes yourself and these engines aren’t nearly as expensive to run as their exotic reputation suggests. Ducati’s two-valve twin can be very reliable when properly taken care of, and they seem to like it much better when ridden they’re ridden regularly. It’s when they sit idle that they seem to fall apart…

No danger of that with this one! It’s especially interesting that the bike has been safety wired for the track. On one hand, that may be an indicator of a hard life. On the other hand: track bike!

1987 Cagiva Alazzurra Wiring

The paint isn’t original, but if you can handle the garish design, I think this could be a really unusual, low-cost way into Ducati ownership and you net a trackday bike in the bargain.

-tad

1987 Cagiva Alazzurra R Front

1980 Ducati Custom for Sale

1980 Ducati Custom L Front

This is a one-of-a-kind custom naked Ducati.  I’ve seen a few Pantah-based customs come up for sale recently, perhaps because, for a while, they were cheap to buy and the huge fairings and 80’s styling were considered pretty uncool until pretty recently.  Or maybe people just thought that early trellis frame should be on display.  This one is claimed to have an “NCR type frame” and it definitely doesn’t look stock.

The belt-driven, single overhead cam Pantah motor still lives on in modern, air-cooled Ducatis and has featured displacements from 500 to 1100 cc’s, although this early bike probably originally had a 500 or 600.  The seller mentions that it has a new 650 in it, most likely from the Cagiva Alazzurra that used a version of Ducati’s famous L-twin.

1980 Ducati Custom Clocks

Don’t let the smallish displacement fool you though: what these twins lack in outright power, they make up for in midrange thunder.  The basic hard parts are very durable, respond well to tuning, and while they do require regular maintenance, they can be very reliable.

From the original eBay listing: 1980 Ducati Custom for Sale

You are bidding on a  Ducati  with a specilal frame and body work, the chassis and body work was imported by Jimmy Adamo in the late 80:s, some one then put a  new 650 cc engine  and components in the frame and built the bike, engine had been hopped up along with race type exhaust system etc. When I got the bike I put on Marvic magnesium wheels, had the frame nickel plated, built the clutch you see, added the racing type full floating rotors, Brembo Gold line calipers, stainless lines, added the alloy rear swing arm, steering damper, etc,etc,. The bike also has 38 mm front forks with alloy upper and lower steering triple clamps. This bike has won numerous awards at shows, finished  second  overall at the Cycle World show at the Javits center in New York. The bike has been off the road for 10 years  and stored in a climate controlled garage,  I just rebuilt the cylinder heads and carbs, the gas tank-seat assembly is fiber glass and we cut the bottom out and cleaned up the inside of the tank, reassembled it and Caswelled the entire inside of tank, the tank is now  ethanol and fuel proof. the brakes and clutch are on silicon brake fluid and work perfectly. I just put a brand new battery in , bike runs  great and sounds like a racing smallblock Chevy

1980 Ducati Custom Engine

I’m a big fan of the air-cooled Pantah motor: until you’ve heard the clanking, hissing, rasping, thudding cacophony of one, you really haven’t lived, and even the smallest Ducati twins can sound truly fierce.  That vented cover shows off the dry clutch , although I’d consider putting some covers over those cam belts: I love the exposed look, but one stray rock…

 

1980 Ducati Custom R Rear Susp

The starting bid is set at $5,000 and there’s been no real interest with a few days left on the auction.  I actually prefer the original Pantah’s bulbous fairing and classic silver, blue, and red paint, but you certainly won’t see anything like this at your local bike night, and the rare parts are certainly very cool.  Although I’d lose that plastic hugger on the rear wheel and those fakey carbon-look turn signals as soon as I got it home…

-tad

1980 Ducati Custom R Side

1980 NCR Replica Ducati Pantah 500SL Race Bike for Sale

1980 NCR Pantah Replica L Side Front

This is a pretty cool machine, a track-ready Ducati with NCR-replica parts like the very cool one-piece tank-and-tail section.  The Pantah was really the first Ducati of the modern age, a significant update of the earlier bevel-drive, tower-shaft twins that moved the company into the big leagues of bike manufacturing.  Originally a 500cc machine, it was quickly boosted to the 600, then 750, 900 and beyond.  And NCR is still around, making if-you-have-to-ask parts for well-heeled Ducatisti.

1980 NCR Pantah Replica R Engine

Modern trackbikes are tools.  That’s really the point: the bike itself is just a device for going fast, to develop your skill, connect you to the road.  But honestly, it’s a bit hard sometimes to tell the GSX-R’s from the ZX’s and the CBR’s and the 600’s and the 1000’s apart on track days as they go screaming past, and that does get a bit boring sometimes.  So things like this pique my interest:

1980 NCR Pantah Replica Dash

From the original eBay listing: 1980 NCR Replica Pantah 500SL Race Bike for Sale

This is a NCR race replica but I’m not really sure about much of the history. It’s very nicely done with some great upgraded hard parts like:

Bigger Brembo brakes

Marzocchi front end

Swingarm

Bitubo rear shocks 2-way adjustable

Rearsets

NCR replica bodywork

All electrical done very professionally with keyless ignition.

Race tach with shift light and billet fairing stay

I will show as much as I can in Pictures but I wish I knew more about the build because this really isn’t just thrown together in some guys garage.

Needs float bowl retainers and throtle cable to get the carbs together and have it running. I heard the motor run by spraying gas into the carb intake but have never had it riding.

1980 NCR Pantah Replica Bracket

This looks like it could be a great way to combine a love of track days and a love of vintage Ducatis! Will it be as fast as a modern machine?  Certainly not.  Will it challenge you and reward you and possibly require a bit more maintenance?  You bet it will. Clearly some real love has gone into it: just take a look at that fairing bracket!

-tad

1980 NCR Pantah Replica L Side Rear

 

1981 Ducati NCR Pantah for Sale

1981 Ducati Pantah 600 NCR RSide

If you’re looking for exotic carbon fiber and titanium jewelry for your Italian exotic, you can’t do much better than NCR.  CRG, Speedymoto, Termignoni, OZ Racing, Marchesini?  For peasants.  NCR is the original: they were founded in 1967 and developed Mike Hailwood’s Isle of Mann Ducati racebike.  You know?  The machine on this website’s masthead?  They’re still around, making if-you-have-to-ask-you-can’t-afford-it, Ducati-powered complete machines, like the Desmosedici-powered M16 that is actually lighter than the donor bike.

1981 Ducati Pantah 600 NCR LSide Detail

The seller includes a wealth of historical information in his original ad to get you up to speed on this rare and exotic machine, so if you need a solid history lesson, take a look:

1981 Ducati Pantah NCR for Sale

Thanks for sticking with me so far. Finally, on to this motorcycle. It is a Scuderia N.C.R. T. T F2 600 Tony Rutter Replica Panthilever SuperPantah with Rino Caracchi type frame. Title says 1981, but may be 82 or 83. It’s one of about ten frames built, and I believe the only one ever built from a ‘road kit’. The condition is excellent, and the build quality is superb. The mechanical condition I’d rate as a 10 out of 10, and the cosmetics about a 9.5 out of 10. I’ve ridden the bike just once. It seems to run fine. The last full service, including belts was completed in 2005. There is no mileage counter, so the actual mileage is unknown. But looking at all the wear indicators, I’d suspect the actual mileage to be extremely low. The only minor flaw is a small dent in the NCR stamped exhaust system, that may have been there since new, or may have been done intentionally. It is also missing the rear view mirror, but the mounting hardware is still there. Make no mistake, this is the only chance you will ever have to own a genuine Scuderia N.C.R. road bike. Do not confuse this bike with the many replicas and look-a-likes. Often bikes are described as N.C.R.s when they are in fact Ducatis with body kits. U.S title. The frame number and title reflects the original donor bike. This makes importing, registering and insuring the bike much easier. Expert crating is available for overseas customers. Viewing welcomed with pick up service from Nashville airport. I have many detailed photographs available for those who are seriously interested. I’m open to offers.

1981 Ducati Pantah 600 NCR Dash

I really have no idea what a fair price for this machine might be: it’s nearly a one-of-a-kind bike.  The Buy It Now price is just under $50,000 so if you’ve got an 80’s exotica-sized hole in your collection and a big fat income refund check headed your way, this might just be the ticket.

-tad

1981 Ducati Pantah 600 NCR L Side

1980 Ducati Pantah 500 for Sale

Introduced in 1980, the Pantah 500 was powered by Taglioni’s evolutionary L-twin successor to the somewhat long-in-the-tooth bevel-drive motor.  Ducati’s original plan had been to use a much more compact and cheap to produce parallel-twin developed without Fabio Taglioni’s input but, when that flopped on the sales floor, they scrambled to repair the damage done to their reputation.  Luckily, the Italian designer had some ideas about how to do just that…

The new single overhead-cam engine used Ducati’s desmodromic valvetrain to open and close the two-valves per cylinder, but used toothed belts instead of tower shafts to drive the cams.  This change did not increase output or reliability to any significant degree: it was intended to decrease the substantial production costs of the bevel-drive motor and reduce mechanical noise.

While obviously much smaller than the earlier L-twins, the specs for the new motor were impressive: it put 50hp [46hp at the wheel] through its 5-speed gearbox and boomed its way to a top speed of about 115mph.  A 600cc version was introduced in 1981 and a 650 was eventually offered.  The 650cc version ended up in the Cagiva Allazurra once they’d purchased the Ducati in 1985 and, bored out to over 1000cc’s, the engine powers today’s air/oil-cooled Ducatis, making it an extremely long-lived design.

The Pantah also introduced a number of other features that became Ducati hallmarks in the years to come: a trellis frame that used engine as a stressed member and a swingarm mounted to the rear of the engine.

From the original eBay listing: 1980 Ducati Pantah 500 for Sale

European Market bike imported from the UK, euro paperwork also, never registered in the US.  Bike not ridden or started in 5 years, wouldn’t take much to make her roadworthy again.  Very good red body work, windshield is cracked missing some hardware.  Metzelers, Conti 2 into 1 pipe, Brembo brakes all around.  Vintage race this and/or create a TT2 or NCR tribute bike.  Lots of potential.  Shipping is buyers responsibility. 

This particular example is a bit rough around the edges, but it looks like everything is intact.  I’ve no idea how difficult registration would be for this bike, so be sure to check with your local DMV before buying.  Of course, you could follow the seller’s advice and just turn it into a cool vintage racer.  The bike sure won’t sound like a 500, with that 2-into-1 Conti pipe set up…

The belt-drive motors may have been cheaper to produce, but maintenance costs remained pretty high: belts should be replaced every 2 years or 12k miles, valves checked and adjusted every 6k.  But a handy mechanic can do most of the necessary work and, electrical foibles aside, the basic engineering is very durable.  The motors respond well to tuning, parts availability should be excellent, and the styling will garner plenty of attention.

-tad