Perhaps the most famous racing Ducati of all time is the 750 that took Englishman Paul Smart to victory in the 1972 Imola 200 race. And with a machine as iconic as that, you’re going to get people wanting to copy it. One such man is German Hajo Barth, and to make life easier, the starting point was his SportClassic Paul Smart 1000. Ducati already did a pretty good job in emulating the original Paul Smart bike, but Barth wanted something even closer—not only in looks, but also performance. So he took his bike to the dealer Ducati Rhein-Sieg in Waldbröl, and they set to work.
The frame was repainted to closely match the blue of the 1972 Imola bike, and a customized fairing was given the same silver flake effect as the original. A handmade replica exhaust and seat unit complete the aesthetics. Meanwhile, the engine was completely stripped down, and balanced and lightened. Capacity was bumped up to 1100cc—100cc up on the stock motor—with race pistons fitted. Reworked intake ports and a Rapid Bike control unit make the most of the newfound grunt, and an STM slipper clutch helps put it to the ground. Power is now 101 PS (74 kW) at 7800rpm, with a thumping 104 Nm of torque delivered at 5600/min. And wet weight is a mere 172kg (380 lbs). Add to that equation uprated brakes, Ducati 999R wheels and optimized Öhlins suspension, and the performance of this machine is anything but retro. It’s the coolest SportClassic racer we’ve seen since Chris Gorel’s ThunderDuc.
Images courtesy of and © Holger van Rickelen.