Moto Magazine

Ducati Pantah

Posted on the 14 August 2012 by Wideopenmoto
Ducati SL600 SL500 Pantah
My own Pantah SL600 is finally registered! Took photos today which you can see tomorrow. It's good to have the old girl back on the road. In the meantime, this;
Back in the early 80s when my mullet/denim vest combo was frankly making mince-meat of established fashion conventions and non-smoking was illegal in restaurants, the fat-cats at Borgo Panigale had decided that their bevel-gear engines were just too expensive to produce, what with all the labour-intensive shimming and fine adjusting and what-not. Mythical engineer Fabio Taglioni was charged with designing a new engine with the objective of making the whole thing quicker to assemble and therefore cheaper.
Rumour has it Taglioni returned to his desk, lit a cigarette to replace one of two he was smoking at the time and flicked a rubber-band at a nearby graduate engineer for some much-needed stress relief. In that instant he had a revelation; rubber-bands weren’t only useful for shooting at his staff, they could in fact, replace the complicated bevel-gear setup and allow even the most mentally-stunted man-ape to assemble his engine correctly (lucky for me!)*.

This new engine would power Ducatis for decades to come, eventually continuing alongside the 4-valve watercooled powerplant. History was made. And thats as far as I'm going with this article information-wise: enjoy the photos.
*this wasn't an actual rumor before I made it up.
Note: 'rubber-bands' is a figurative term to describe rubber/fibre timing belts.
Do NOT use actual rubber bands in your engine.
Its worth spending the money on these; trust me, it's cheaper in the long run.
Ducati SL600 SL500 Pantah Exploded view showing belts driving cams.
Ducati SL600 SL500 Pantah Taglioni discusses skiing technique with a test-rider in between lap records.
Ducati SL600 SL500 Pantah The Pantah handled so well it was possible to scrape your knee on the deck even while riding in a straight line. Serious.
Ducati SL600 SL500 PantahReturning the front wheel to Planet Earth after a 64 kilometer power-wheelie across central Italy.
Ducati SL600 SL500 PantahDucati SL600 SL500 PantahGreat! Nobody else wanted it. The 600TL was the SL's frumpy sister in touring clothes.
Ducati Australia actually hacked up the side panels in an attempt to make it more attractive, but like high-heels on a sack of boogers, it didn't work. Most ended up fitted with SL running gear and bodywork.


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