Ducati 750SS Paul Smart Replica: Get Smart
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Ducati 750SS Paul Smart Replica: Get Smart

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By JeffWare - 21 December 2020

WORDS: Jimmi Walker, JPMedia PL PHOTOGRAPHY: Tony Wilding, JPMedia PL

HISTORY

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.

Even sportsbikes had centre-stands in the 1970s.

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.

Every red blooded racer wanted a 750SS.
 
They don’t come much more collectable than the Green Frame, valued at over $185 – $200k these days. 

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.

Lockheed rear caliper and 230mm solid rotor.
The round case engine is 748cc with a compression ratio of 9.3:1

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.

Right-foot shift and kick starter.
 
Four-stroke, 90-degree L twin cylinder, SOHC, two-valves-per-cylinder, bevel gear driven.

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.

With a wheelbase of 1530mm and 750SS was long.

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.

Ceraini conventional forks are 38mm.

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’.

The bike that just keeps on going up in price. If you can find one of these and afford it, you would be mad not to grab it. 

OWNER

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.

Twin 310mm cast iron rotors with Lockheed Ducati two-piston calipers.
Twin Marzocchi three-way adjustable shocks.

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 example is one of two 750SS Green Frame models in the Gallur collection.

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.

Fibreglass fuel tank with clear strip for level.
Twin Dell’Orto carburettors.

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

Torque: 7.3kgm@5500rpm

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.

Racing clip-on and short pull throttle.
Cable-actuated wet clutch and clip-on.

THE GOOD

Exclusivity, heritage, sweet engine and chassis and excellent handling.

THE BAD

Lighting, switchgear and high purchase price.

Just over 23,000km on the clock, amazing for 47-years-old.

Protect your motorbike. Call Shannons Insurance on 13 46 46 to get a quote today.