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Nice Surprise – 1988 Ducati Paso 750

Arguably the first modern Ducati, the Paso used an innovative design, and new belt-driven cams for its desmodue engine.  This Pennsylvania example has been beautifully restored, using at least a gallon of arrest-me red.

1988 Ducati Paso 750 for sale on eBay

Underneath Tamburini’s ground-breaking package was a familiar Pantah 748cc twin, this time with a single Weber carburetor and 73 hp.  A 5-speed was all the torque curve required, and Marzocchi suspension and 16-inch tires are found at both ends.  Triple Brembo disk brakes are nearly the same size all around, 280mm fronts and 270mm rear.  The soap-bar bodywork freed the designers to build the square tube frame strong and economical, and Tamburini honed the geometry and balance to make the Paso a sweet handling package.

The owner has a short eBay history but picked a lower-mileage Paso as a project, and made a beauty out of it.  Right down to the exhausts, it’s hard to find a modification to the factory’s ideal.  Alloy re-finishing came out better than new.  Pictures without the fairing might require some enhancement to really see the details.  From the eBay auction:

Purchased this classic Paso to perform a full restoration, but when we removed the body work, the chassis and componentry were in such excellent condition, we opted to focus on a cosmetic overhaul. The engine and chassis have been gone through and everything is in order. Valve adjustment and belts replaced within the last 1,500 miles. New tires, new battery, new oil pressure sending unit, new leather seat cover. All bodywork (fiberglass and ABS) was repaired prior to very high quality lacquer repaint. There is a blemish on the left side panel where the mounting point caused a crack after reinstallation (picture shown). Decals replaced and cleared over. Original Oscam wheels were stripped of the delaminated clearcoat and machine polished. There is likely not a Paso this clean outside of the Ducati museum.

The Paso’s styling wasn’t enough of a sure thing to generate more than a couple of thousand sales each year, though Honda came up with a very similar package for the late -80’s CBR600F.  The Weber struggled with heat in traffic, and an upgrade to fuel injection came with the last-of-the-line 907 i.e.  Paso’s do have their fan base though, who appreciate their moderately sporty riding position and protective aero.  Hopefully a RSBFS reader will meet the reserve on this cherry and let us know how it goes.

-donn

6 Comments

  • Such a weird bike, but the last few months, I’ve been having a strange desire for one of those. It’s an imprint – I used to live in Twin Peaks, SF in the early 90s, and there was this couple next door who had matching pair, one yellow and one red. That was super cool.

  • I always loved the integrated mirrors, a very cool period design study.

  • The attached CycleWorld article may change alot of minds. I had an ’87 and really enjoyed it even with the Weber carb (different jetting and air box/filter of course). I’ve always been surprised at all the negativity towards the 750 Paso.

  • These bikes absolutely bombed at the time as Duke fans of the era saw them as being some sort of car-like thing, and Ducati struggled for years with the damage done by the killing off of the old beautiful, sporty bevel 900SS and the infliction of things such as the Darmah and 860 around the same time.
    Depreciation on all these Pas/907 bikes was a straight line down to near zero so now there are very few left.
    Without the bodywork, which divided opinions at the time, the underlying chassis is not a pretty thing, and the dashboard is another assault on the senses, but now, years later, time has been kind, I have always wondered did mighty Honda have a serious look at the styling before penning the jellymould CBR600 of 89?
    The little wheels and the Weber carb were other oddities, but folks ditched the carb, changed the wheels up a size, and many Paso models were carved up to help fashion a prettier bike.
    In blue, a factory option, they look quite well, and the design has aged very well, Tamburini after all was no mug, just maybe a bit ahead of the market.
    Its merely a personal opinion of course, but I find the last years of Ducati offerings more and more ugly, the Multistrada looks like an unfinished flying shed, even the sports bike look as if they forgot to put some bits on, whatever happened to smooth flowing lines?
    I mutter quietly into my beer, dinosaur that I am. What were the two guys called in the opera boxes from the Muppet show?

  • Bought one of these new(still in the crate) in 1990 as apparently Cagiva still had many of them in stock. It was heavily discounted at $6800 Canadian funds. My first Ducati. Lots of fun and created a lot of great memories with very few bad ones. Quirky,hard to find decent tires for but this is the bike that got me into Ducks.(Next one was a Superlight that I still have)

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