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DUCATI Paul Smart 1000 LE

Motoitaliche Signature


italian version click here

Altri Special Moto Italiche:


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The "DUCATI Paul Smart" was designed as a tribute to the British rider's historic victory on a Ducati 750 Imola Desmo in the 200 Miglia at Imola in 1972.
With this motorcycle (the Paul Smart 1000LE) the designers at Borgo Panigale have started a new line of retro style machines called SPORT CLASSIC.

The first to appear was the Paul Smart followed by the Sport 1000, the GT 1000 and finally the Sport 100 S.
In their Ducati Performance catalogue, the people at Borgo Panicale have as usual given us enough choice to customise every aspect of the motorcycle; not to mention the fact that some suppliers have had several aftermarket components ready since its first appearance.

For the version described here, the MOTOITALICHE.IT team started with a small preparation of the engine; they purchased the “Trofeo” kit from the Ducati Performance catalogue, which consisted of:

-- high performance camshafts which optimise the distribution diagram, resulting in a coupler curve that is both more uniform and substantial for mid- and high-rotation regimes.
-- a light alloy flywheel to reduce the rotating mass and increase the engine’s pickup speed. Also, it reduces engine weight by 0.938 kg.
-- A steel 2 in 2 exhaust, which we replaced following a crash first time out; the worthy substitute being a titanium one from Zard.
-- A Ducati Performance control unit updated trough a POWER COMMANDER UNIT, to take account of the above modifications.
This set-up has improved the machine’s overall engine output, handling and enjoyment.

Now that we’re fired up, it’s easy to get carried away……..and dive into something other than the motor: for example, the aesthetic and technical aspects.


Regarding the wheels, although the production model is fitted with good quality spoke rims, we decided to go to ALPINA RAGGI in Lomagna in the province of Lecco. This company is famous in the world of cross and supermotard for its tubeless spoked rims. We decided on rims specially made for the Ducati Sport Classic series, with something like racing colours – black with grey squares and the hubs in gold.

Having fitted tubeless spoked rims, we then decided to swap the original tyres for a pair of higher performance Pirelli Diablo Corsa III’s.


The improved looks brought with them a significant reduction in rotating mass too, saving 1 kg on the front and 1.8 kg on the back.
We also made purely technical improvements: in particular the look of the bike’s front end and the dynamics of the Ohlins fork.
We started by shining up the brake calliper brackets until they sparkled; then came an adjustment of the fork, with the fitting of K95 springs in place of the original K85 ones.
The fork tubes were treated with TiN and the lamellar units of both tubes were modified in compression.

To increase steering control on the front end, an adjustable Ohlins steering shock-absorber was fitted in place of the original.


Apart from opting for DUCATI PERFORMANCE camshafts and flywheel, we tried to obtain even more without making any fundamental changes to the original engine.
Therefore, as we have already said, we fitted a 2x2 ZARD exhaust kit, suitable for road use and with an extractable db killer. The whole thing was in noble TITANIUM and weighed only 3.8 kg!!!
These exhausts snake their way round the engine and frame as if they were alive!!!

They are superbly made and every transition and joint has been constructed with obsessive care. Take a look at the oil breather valve for example!!


If you consider the weight of the original exhaust (15 kg), then this fact alone justifies replacing it.
According to ZARD’s specifications the exhaust can be fitted without modifying the original control unit. Not convinced, we fitted a BMC racing air filter and a POWER COMMANDER PCIII USB unit supplied by FERRACCI.
These modifications - along with a dedicated mapping of the PC carried out specially for us in Bologna - gave us a maximum power at the wheels of 89 HP at 8,000 rev/min and a maximum torque of 9.17 kg-m at 6,100 rev/min.


Now let’s take a close look at the torque and power curves.

Looking first of all at the torque curve, notice that from 3,800 rev/min the torque is 8 kg-m, a value maintained all the way up to 8,050 rev/min. A peak torque of 9.17 kg-m is reached at 6,100 rev/min, so the engine has a full power range of more than 4,000 rev/min. Combined with the weight reductions, the engine seems to be an inexhaustible source of propulsion.
The power curve is almost linear: from low revs, progressively building up to a crescendo in the region of maximum power, and lasting well up to when the limiter kicks in at 8,800 rev/min. At this point, the power has dropped by just 6 HP from its 8,000 rev/min peak of 89 HP.
So to sum up: our little tonic cure, combined with some painstaking adjustments to the Power Commander control unit, made huge improvements to the engine’s performance, extending its utility from low revs and increasing its reach.
As for the final stage of the transmission, we decided to reduce the final ratio by fitting a sprocket wheel with 14 sprockets - one less than the original.


Basically, not much needed changing here!!
The original design was very well done, the paintwork and chrome were nigh on perfect; so we decided to improve and customise a few things.

We had the steering plate - which was originally electro-polished - chrome-plated; then we transplanted the radial brake and clutch pumps from a Ducati 1098.


After that we replaced the original plexiglass windshield with one with a spoiler found in the Ducati Performance Catalogue.
Then we replaced the original black plastic belt guard covers on the right side of the engine with aluminium and plastic ones from RIZOMA.

RIZOMA also supplied a new aluminium sprocket guard cover we fitted on the left side of the engine; and from Ducati Performance we got a more powerful clutch pump.

Finally, to the rear we added a polished aluminium chain guard and a comfort seat from Ducati Performance.


These changes gave the machine a different character with much better handling; and the new Alpina wheels increased its downhill and cornering speeds.
The weight losses also helped during changes in direction and load-shifting, like braking and accelerating.
Another impressive feature is the “guts” the engine shows in the first three gears: it’s well nigh impossible to keep the front wheel on the ground in first and second gears.
In the other gears - in the 3-6,000 rev/min range - there’s so much power in reserve that, with a twist of the throttle, you literally shoot out of the bends.
A lot of the effort here is saved by the new radial clutch pump and the improved fluid that goes with it.
The radial brake pump increases braking sensitivity and the gripping force of the calipers on the discs.
On the whole, we are very satisfied with what we’ve done to the Paul Smart, and hope you’ll like it too!!




Photo: Lucio Artioli

Written : Lucio Artioli & Tiziano Milani