Back To Classics Ducati Pantah — F1

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Ducati 350 GTL
Ducati 350 GTL


Article 12 April 2011 by Harné

In 1979 Fabio Taglioni again proved to be a genius the development of the Ducati Pantah. in 1973 he had envisioned the use of toothed belts for driving the camshafts, not at all in the seventies.  Belt-driven camshafts be cheaper to produce and would to make engines run a lot quieter.

The design of the Pantah engine has its importance over the years as of today still use the same principles.

Ducati wanted to the range with small bikes. The single cylinder were discontinued as the technical was out-dated.  The parallel twins the 350 GTL . 500 GTL and 350 Desmo and 500 Desmo ) struggled for acceptance throughout their

It was clear something new had to be developed and so Taglioni was assigned to base a new on his 90 degree L-twin ideas.

The was the Ducati 500 SL Pantah . introduced in The engine’s basic layout was from the earlier bevel twin with vertically crankcases, a 90 degree angle, the horizontal cylinder still at an angle of 15 degrees. The design left side gearshift as a as well as a starter motor now underneath the horizontal cylinder.

The overhead camshafts were by a toothed rubber belt and Ducati’s famous desmodromic actuation. The engine design was meant for a maximum displacement of but, as we’ll see later on, it larger and larger.

The frame also was a complete new for the 500 SL ; Ducati’s first trellis with two parallel tubes. too set the standard for all Ducati’s to follow! It is to see the resemblance between the original frame and that of any modern

The 1979 500 SL Pantah was fitted Marzocchi suspension front and Brembo brake system dual front discs and FPS wheels. It received a ‘café style with a newly half fairing, clip-on and rear set foot pegs.

Not changed over the course of but 1981 saw market introduction of the 600 SL . All specifications were the shared the two models, apart from displacement. Both the 500 SL and 600 SL received a new fairing and most of the 1981 have Paioli rather Marzocchi suspension. Very updates were introduced the following years, with the most important being the operated clutch of the 1982 600 SL than the earlier hydraulic one.

Ducati had been with the more ‘touring’ bikes in their product ever since the infamous 750 GT . this model was a great and is even now considered one of the finest ever build, its successor, the 860 GT . was a styling failure. With the of the SL Pantah . however, management to introduce a touring bike again in 1982: the 600 TL . Sharing all with its sporty brother, the of the bike incorporated an unusually fuel tank and an ugly top Reception was poor and production already one year later.

A range of 350cc Pantahs . the 350 XL . 350 TL and 350 SL introduced in 1982 specifically for the market. Tax legislation made under 350cc popular in and the range of 600cc Pantahs was given a smaller engine retaining most of the other

Where the 500 SL was discontinued for 1983, the 600 SL a new colour scheme matching of the Mike Hailwood Replica and an Conti ‘two-into-one’ exhaust.

As a racing company, Ducati had a for making small numbers of racers available for customers. was done in 1982 with the TT2 . based on the Pantah engine. a highly tuned engine and a designed Verlicchi frame, the TT2 and the 750cc TT1 were among the racers of their time and are considered among the best ever build in Borgo

Ducati needed to homologate of the engine parts of the TT1 on a road and so the 650 SL was created in 1983. Although on the 600 SL . the 650 SL received the longer … of the TT1 . As it was only available in 1983, production stopped at 288, the 650 SL the rarest of all Pantahs .

The TT2 racing was very successful and in true style the racing bike make its way to the road one way or the other. strategy, previously employed on the 750 Sport and Mike Hailwood proved to be a success and in 1985 the for the road was introduced: the 750 F1 .

Although basically a 750cc of the earlier Pantah engine, included new camshafts, straight cut gears, aluminium pulleys and painted crankcase, cylinders and heads. The 750 F1 was fitted with a Conti exhaust and the same as the 650 SL . but without air filters.

The frame was based on that of the TT2 racer than on that of earlier models. It was designed so tight the engine unit that no was left to cover the belts on the side of the engine. The fuel was aluminium and styled like the TT2 as

The 750 F1 was fitted with Marzocchi fork and a Marzocchi monoshock on the swing arm. Wheels OSCAM with fully Brembo discs front and

The 1986 750 F1 was updated in many The crankcase was strengthened and formed the for the later limited production The camshafts were updated and the strengthened.

The cylinder heads strengthened and received larger The gear box got larger gears and the system was improved. For the first on a Ducati road bike a dry was fitted, later to become one the Ducati features.

The 1986 750 F1 a 40mm Forcelle Italia fork but retained the floating discs at the front while the was now a solid type. The wheels the same OSCAM’s but painted red of gold. The fuel tank now was of steel instead of aluminium.

Ducati had been acquired by in 1985 and although one can argue the value the Castiglioni brothers to Ducati, we won’t go into here. Fact is that the design changed in 1986 to that of Cagiva, adding an to the graphic design of the 750 F1 .

In 1986 and a total of three limited 750 F1 ’s were introduced: the . Laguna Seca and the Santamonica . As did before with the 1975 750 and 900 Sport ; not much attention was to road regulations…

The Montjuich after the Montjuich Park circuit in Barcelona, Spain) was the to arrive and was uncompromising in every The engine was taken from the 750 F1 but many changes: the crankshaft was the inlet ports were the cams hotter, the carburetors and the gearbox altered. The dry clutch had an outer drum and ignition was rather than Bosch.

The was fitted with an extremely Verlicchi 2-into-1 exhaust. It an aluminium swing arm and Marvic/Akront which had a polished aluminium ring (Akront) and a cast three-spoke centre (Marvic). were Brembo ‘Gold four-piston callipers with floating discs.

No indicator were fitted. Only 200 ever produced.

With the series: the Laguna Seca after the Laguna Seca track in the USA), the concept was a bit The exhaust was a lot quieter, there indicators fitted along a centre stand and the fuel was steel rather than

Wheels were now OSCAM but the ‘Gold Series’ Brembo were the same as on the Montjuich . the Laguna Seca might been a bit more ‘sensible’ the Montjuich . it was still an uncompromised for the road. A total of 296 Laguna models were produced.

The special series 750 F1 was the Santamonica after the Autodromo Santamonica at Italy). It was basically a Laguna with only minor there was a dual seat with removable cover and the Marvic/Akront wheels were The Santamonica came with a new and red colour scheme.

A total of 204 ’s were ever

Together, the three special of the 750 F1 are among the most desirable of the 1980’s.  The 750 F1 was discontinued in 1986 and by the 750 Paso . The Pantah and F1 were the Ducati’s with a belt camshaft and proved to form the of all Ducati’s to follow till

The Pantah and F1 engine’s basic was copied from the earlier drive twin with split crankcases, a 90 degree with the horizontal cylinder at an angle of 15 degrees. The design left side gearshift as a as well as a starter motor now underneath the horizontal cylinder. The overhead camshafts were by a toothed rubber belt and Ducati’s famous desmodromic actuation.

The engine design was meant for a maximum displacement of but, grew up to 750cc the course of its lifetime.

With the great success of the TT2 and TT1 came the 750 F1 which used the Pantah engine as a basis, but new camshafts, straight cut primary aluminium pulleys and black crankcase, cylinders and cylinder The three 750 F1 ‘Special Editions’ Montjuich . Laguna Seca and ) came with an engine from the 750 F1 but with many the crankshaft was different, the inlet were larger, the cams the carburetors larger and the gearbox The dry clutch had an aluminium outer and ignition was Kokusan rather Bosch.

The Pantah came Ducati’s first tubular frame, later to become the for all models to follow. Early were fitted with a Marzocchi front fork, to be replaced by Paioli forks. The 750 F1 was derived from the TT2 and TT1 racers and had a rear swing arm. the 1985 750 F1 model had a Marzocchi fork, later to be replaced by Italia forks, also on the ‘special models’ ( Montjuich . Seca and Santamonica ).

References further reading)


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