1981 Ducati 500 SL Pantah
Frame no. DM600SLA661673
Engine no. DM500L.1 602456
In 1979, Ducati introduced a completely modernized motorcycle, improved in a thousand ways over the old but revered 'bevel drive' twins. The new lineup, dubbed 'Pantah', was spearheaded by a 500cc L-twin, still a desmo, but with camshafts driven by toothed rubber belts rather than the typical shaft-and-bevel system. The engine was a wholly new design, from the big-ends to the rocker covers, although the gearbox was taken from the earlier vertical twin model. The whole machine was shorter and lighter, using a rigid trellis frame to hang the motor; steering was now at contemporary GP standards, and set the benchmark for the entire industry. Amazingly, controversially, this new Ducati was Quiet and Civilized, although performance certainly wasn't sacrificed, as a genuine 120mph top speed was available; not bad for a mere '500'. That Taglioni's new design was, as usual, completely sound has been borne out over the past 3 decades, as the Pantah has served as the foundation of all subsequent Ducati motorcycles.
This 1981 machine is the last of the 'Mark 1' machines, with their distinctive sharp styling. Purchased by the vendor in Perugia, Italy in May of 2002, it enjoyed another two years in its country of birth before being exported to the US. Currently showing a little over 38,000km from new, this Pantah is offered with an Illinois Certificate of Title.