Ducati 750SS Paul Smart Replica: Get Smart
WORDS: Jimmi Walker, JPMedia PL PHOTOGRAPHY: Tony Wilding, JPMedia PL
The basis for this awesome bike is the Ducati 750 Supersport, which was almost a ready-made production racer. The innovations on this machine start with the engine – the valve train is Ducati’s own Desmodromic system and although Mercedes Benz can claim the original concept, Ducati pioneered it.
The system does away with the need for valve springs and therefore valve float as the camshaft opens and closes the valve positively. This allows the engine to rev harder and breathe better and at a claimed 80bhp, was producing the same power or better than most of the four-cylinder Jap machines at the time of similar capacity.
Now to explain what a Paul Smart 750SS is…
The date was April 23 1972 and the place was Imola in Italy – a beautifully picturesque town and one of the world’s most demanding race circuits.
The man? Paul Smart who, when he got the call from his wife that he’d landed a ride at Imola with Ducati, wasn’t aware that Ducati made big twins and had no idea where Imola was.
Arriving from racing in America for Kawasaki jet lagged, broke and a little bemused, he was whisked off to Modena to test this machine…
The day we’re interested in though was race day. Paul found out he would be racing alongside Agostini, who assured him the MV ‘would probably blow up’. Initially, he wasn’t convinced that Ducati could win. In his eyes, the bike was too long to be a serious contender.
Teamed with Bruno Spaggiari, Paul went on to give Ducati a one, two victory at the 200-mile event. And Agos’ MV did blow up as predicted… Paul is quoted as saying some years later, ‘Ducati had promised me the bike if I won and, with my past experience of manufacturers' promises, I didn't believe them.
But I was wrong and sure enough they did give me the bike and I've still got it today. It's now on display in the Ducati museum in Bologna’.
This 1974 example of the marque has been owned by Luis Gallur of Moto Gallur in Sydney since he picked it up at an auction in the states in 2008. It was previously a part of the Peterson museums collection. Luis has around 100 iconic bikes in his collection and this is one of two ‘green frame’ 750s in his care. He has been into bikes for approximately 40 years and is an authority on ’60s and ’70s classics.
His collection covers a cross section of every nation that produced remarkable bikes during the ’60s and ’70s, with a few notable ‘80s bikes including a mint RG500 Gamma and all four Japanese turbo bikes of that decade.
This beautiful round case Ducati is an example of Italian engineering that shows you why they are world leaders in this type of machine today.
SPECIFICATIONS DUCATI 750SS PAUL SMART REPLICA
Colour: Green and Silver
Engine: 748cc Desmodromic four-cylinder-two-valve V-twin four-stroke, 80mm x 74.4mm bore x stroke, five-speed gearbox
Claimed Power: 73bhp@8000rpm
Top Speed: 217km/h
Wet weight: 202kg
Fuel capacity: 18L
Suspension: Front – 38mm Marzocchi telescopic forks Rear – twin shock swing arm
Chassis: Steel tube with the engine as a stressed member
Brakes: Front – two 275mm hydraulic discs Rear – a 230mm hydraulic disc
Wheels: 3.50 x 18, 3.50 x 18.
Exclusivity, heritage, sweet engine and chassis and excellent handling.
Lighting, switchgear and high purchase price.