Nostalgia sells. Yesterday’s legends still influence today’s purchasing decisions: just look at the enduring influence of Steve McQueen, who died over 35 years ago.
In Ducati circles, Paul Smart is one of the biggest legends. His win at Imola in 1972 is often credited with launching the SuperSport era, and the sea green and silver livery of his 750 Imola Desmo is iconic.
Ten years ago, those classic hues appeared once again on a Ducati—the SportClassic PaulSmart 1000 Limited Edition. But although we love Pierre Terblanche‘s design, we’ve been aching to see the colors on a bike with SuperSport genes.
This 1994 900 SS/SP from Moto Studio hits the spot perfectly.
Moto Studio was founded by sculptor Bruce McQuinston, a man with a background in road racing and racecar engineering. His Miami, Florida workshop is all about Italian motorcycles, particularly Moto Guzzi and Ducati builds.
Bruce and his crew are also obsessed with saving weight, citing the improved performance. So all their bodywork is sculpted from carbon fiber.
Bruce has perfected his process with help and coaching from Gary Belhamy of Comprent Motorsports. It starts with hand-formed, high-density foam forms; molds are then built using fiberglass and epoxy, before the final parts are produced.
On this Paul Smart Ducati, those parts include the fairing, seat cowl and front fender, and even the reverse cone muffler. The rest of the exhaust system—a bespoke two-into-one job—is stainless steel. The subframe has been reworked to accommodate it, and new Woodcraft Ducati 916 rearsets fitted.
This 900 is no show pony though: like Bruce, its owner is a former motorcycle and car racer. The bike was barely broken in when it went onto the bench, but it’s still been treated to a top end rebuild and a set of 41mm Keihin FCR carbs.
The stock Showa suspension was sent off to Race Tech to be re-valved, and is now set up for the client’s weight and riding style. And the wiring was completely redone, with a full complement of Motogadget bits. It’s a very slick cockpit.
There’s a lot of detail to appreciate—from the front fender and faring braces, to the carbon fiber clutch cover and leather seat. But it’s that unmistakable Paul Smart color scheme that ties it all together, punctuated by just enough black and exposed carbon to bring the look up to date.
More power, less weight and improved suspension sounds like a winning combination to us. Add those famous colors, and who can resist?