Remember the irresistible Ducati SportClassic PaulSmart 1000 LE? Sporting the same silver livery as the Imola-winning racer, it was a classy addition to the SportClassic line.
The 1972 Imola 200 race was a defining moment for Ducati. The 750cc Desmodromic engine had yet to prove itself, so Ducati needed a talented rider to take it forward. Enter Paul Smart, who signed on after being convinced by his wife, Maggie—sister of the late Barry Sheene.
Paul would go on to win the race (on his birthday no less), beating the likes of Phil Read and Giacomo Agostini. Ducati’s successful SuperSport era kicked off, and the iconic Smart-Ducati legacy was born.
But when the SportClassic was dropped from Ducati’s range, the Paul Smart theme went with it. So Ducati Thailand’s Managing Director, Apichat Leenutaphong, decided to revive it. Apichat approached Paul last year, and urged him to redesign the Scrambler.
Once again it was Maggie that gave the necessary nudge, and a new partnership was born. The next 11 months would see the couple travel to Thailand extensively—to lead the design and oversee the production of the Scrambler Paul Smart.
Being a ‘factory’ custom, the changes are mostly cosmetic—but they’ve ramped up the Scrambler’s vintage appeal tenfold. The requisite silver paint job is present, with a period-correct logo on the tank. And a gold stripe that mimics the translucent fuel level window on the original race bike.
The frame and swingarm have been redone in the distinctive Sea Green hue. And the Scrambler now wears gold anodised fork legs and an aluminum front fender.
The real kicker—and the bit that required the most effort—is the racy tail section. The Ducati Thailand team modelled it out of clay, and then 3D scanned it. The seat’s been upholstered in brown Alcantara, and the removable cowl proudly wears Paul’s famous 16 race number.
Another notable change is the Scrambler’s right side cover. It’s a huge improvement over the stock plastic part, so it’s marked with Paul’s signature.
Only twenty-four units of the Scrambler Paul Smart have been produced. And if you want one, you’re out of luck—they sold out shortly after the official unveiling.
Still, it’s fantastic to see the Paul Smart theme return to the Ducati fold, and the Scrambler certainly wears it well. And with a few more tweaks, this would make a strong case for a Scrambler-based factory cafe racer.
We’re looking at you, Bologna…