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Signed and Numbered: 2006 Ducati Paul Smart 1000LE for Sale


Different motorcycle manufacturers have different ways of mining riders’ nostalgia and their own history: Triumph makes motorcycles that look like they rolled straight out of the 1960s but perform like modern machines, while Harley Davidson makes actual 1960s motorcycles, only heavier and with 1980s brakes and electronics. Ducati’s retro bikes manage to straddle the line between vintage and modern styles, so designs for their Sport Classic and Scrambler models have classic colors and shapes, but you’d never mistake them for actual vintage machines. When released, bikes like the Paul Smart 1000LE caused a sensation, but demand died out relatively quickly and the line was discontinued after just a few short years, with only the GT soldiering on until 2010.

Values for them second-hand have been surprisingly strong however, particularly for the 1000LE and Sport models. I’m a huge fan of the offset monoshock that looks like a dual-shock setup from the left side and the tubular swingarm, although that setup on the original bikes meant a solo-seat option only. Performance was fairly tame on paper, although 92hp is really nothing to sneeze at and can be put to good use because of the bike’s excellent handling. This was a bike pitched at a more mature crowd and experienced riders who appreciate a fast motorcycle but weren’t interested in bench-racing or pointless horsepower-measuring contests.

Paul Smarts show up pretty regularly on eBay, considering how few were built, often with low miles and exorbitant prices. This particular bike certainly fits that description, as the asking price is $27,500 only with even lower miles and the added bonus of Paul Smart’s signature on the bodywork, which should be like catnip for Ducati collectors. I’m glad the factory pipes are included for originality’s sake, but they are very ugly things clearly designed to be replaced by the owner as soon as possible. The Keihan exhausts currently installed suit the classic style of the bike, but are almost too vintage for my tastes, and are likely too quiet as well. Maybe some Termignoni pipes would be more appropriate? Or those wild Zard high/low pipes that only work on the solo-seat models?

From the original eBay listing: 2006 Ducati Paul Smart 1000LE for Sale 

2006 Ducati Paul Smart 1000LE Limited Edition. Perfect condition with just under 700 miles.  Autographed by Paul Smart on the tank and tail. Both have had a clearcoat applied over them. Always garaged. Collector owned. The bike is located in Washington DC, but I can arrange for shipping anywhere. Aftermarket Keigen pipes, but the originals will be included in the sale. More photos available upon request.

Aside from a relatively uncomfortable riding position, the 1000LE makes for a pretty great roadbike, with excellent handling, adequate power and a rich midrange, wind protection, decent fuel economy, and reasonable reliability, assuming you take good care of it. But in such perfect, low-mileage condition, and with that Paul Smart signature on the bodywork, I doubt anyone would want to destroy the bike’s value by actually riding it. So it’s a shame that such a practical exotic will  probably spend most of its time in an office, living room, or heated garage, sealed away as an investment.



  • I have one of these. Its a fun bike. Not too bad on the riding position – in terms of pain. Its just that with regard to the seating position, you’re so bent over – that if you turn your neck to look for traffic “behind you” – your head is actually looking “up at the sky!” I’m age 53, and 6′-0″ tall. But it has been a reliable, great looking, fun motorcycle (well, aside from the plastic tank expansion problems, eventual warranty replacement, and class action lawsuit owners got dragged into). And to remedy the defective gas tank problem, Ducati just slapped a new tank on it. Exactly the same tank, with the same ethanol fuel problems. So . . . owners can expect the same expansion problems. Thanks for fixing it Ducati! (I know, I know, its “on me” and I’m supposed to after engineer or re-engineer Ducati’s gas tank by internally coating it myself, or as Ducati suggests, not filling it all the way, or not leaving gasoline in it, or by purchasing an ungodly expensive replacement Italian aluminum gas tank (who makes parts for Ferrari), or by purchasing 55 gallon drums of non-ethanol containing racing gasoline from Long Beach, CA, to keep in my garage (because let’s see, “that’s super safe!”)). Somewhere down the line the tank is going to deform again. And my Aprilia RSV Mille has the same problem, but Aprilia acts like no real problem ever existed. So what . . . if it just leaks gas out the bottom of the plastic gas tank’s fuel pump seal (which of course won’t seal at all – because the plastic tank deforms when it comes in contact with good ol’ American fuel (containing ethanol)). The Aprilia leaks gasoline directly onto the engine. But that’s not a safety issue – at least not one Aprilia is interested in remedying. By comparison, the ’96 900 SS/SP I have seems d-o-w-n-r-I-g-h-t b-o-m-b-p-r-o-o-f next to the tank issues of the PS Mille, and RSV Mille. And my 2 stroke 1954 Mondial T160 Sport Lusso, beats them all! I could go on, but I gotta get back out in the garage – to figure out why the Aprilia SR50 won’t start.

    • Yeah, I’ve heard about the horrible things our gas does to those tanks. In fact, I was at Cafe Desmo a couple weeks back and the gorgeous restomod bevel-drive VeeTwo brought along from Australia had its tank and fuel system basically ruined by that stuff. They somehow had it ready to run in just a couple short days anyway, but still…

  • Is it really worth $27,500? Really? MSRP on this bike on 2006 was just $15k. It’s a great bike, its cool and all, but is it really gonna make me happier than a brand new Panigale AND a mint old S2R (or 900ss cr)?


    • Previous sales of these Paul Smarts suggest that yes: it probably is worth $27k, or at least pretty close to it. The fact that the MSRP was $15k means nothing: what did a Shelby Cobra sticker for back when it was new? What’s it worth now? If people pay the money for it, it’s worth it to them. Is it worth it to me? Of course not. That same $27k being asked for this Ducati would buy a nice Bimota SB6, a used 899 Panigale, and an MZ Bagheera. That’s what I’d probably buy. At least this week I would…

    • Absolutely NOT worth 27k

  • I don’t care if the Pope signed that expanding plastic gas tank- it’s not worth $27,500.

  • LOL at the Harley comparison. I think the author nailed it.

  • Relisted for $23,500 buy-it-now


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