The Story of the Paso Limited

discussions specific to the 750 Paso

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The Story of the Paso Limited

Post by NV-Bob »

Hi Folks!

I'm posting this only about 4 years late after telling our fearless leader here that I'd tell all I know about the Paso Limited.

Life does sometimes get in the way and for that, I apologize.

As I'm planning on selling my motorcycle, I thought that this would be a good time to tell the story as I know it.

My Background
During the period 1987 to 1993 I worked for a small Ducati dealer in an Eastern U.S. metropolitan area as a parts and sales person. We had very good communication with Ducati N.A. and it was a great time to be a Ducati guy!

My Paso Limited
I purchased the motorcycle in 1989. Our dealership had negotiated a deal with a finance company who had repossessed it from a failed dealer in the area. I was very lucky to find it.


The battery had leaked all over the swingarm, left foot peg and stock (small-hole) mufflers, that's why the aluminum parts are polished.

I do have the Silentium "big-hole" mufflers that were originally delivered with this bike, however they saw a great deal of service on a race bike owned by the prior dealer and they really look it.

I replaced the mufflers with carbon units from Yoshimura in 1990 (the only available at the time).

And as any good parts guy would do, I started to dig into the microfiche to see just what was different between a Limited and a Standard Paso.

What Makes a Limited a "Limited"
I'll start by saying that, in my humble opinion, the Paso Limited is the single most rare "Customer" Ducati produced in that period, or any since.

It is a U.S.A only model, made in numbers between 25 and 75, with extensive engine modifications not seen on any other model, including the legendary F-1 Montjuich and Santa Monica.

The mechanical differences include:
1) Ported Cylinder Heads
- Including special tapered Valve Guides
2) Flat-top Pistons (same compression ratio) allowing unique Combustion Chamber
3) 40mm Exhaust Header
4) Special "Off-Road Only" Silentium Silencers
5) Different Spec Webber Carb

This can be verified by looking at the Ducati Microfiche for "1988 U.S.A. Model Paso" This will list the separate part numbers for:

1) Cylinder Head, complete and bare
2) Valve Guides
3) Pistons
4) Carburator, complete and bare body
5) Exhaust System

Of course, we disassembled the motorcycle to verify what the rumors and parts microfiche were showing. In fact they were correct!

Here's a picture of the intake tract:


You'll note the tapered guides. It is difficult, however to judge the size of the intake port without something to compare it to.

The Mystery
So why were these modifications not more widely published and why was the Limited imported?

There my friends, lies the true mystery.

During the time, the Limited was sold as a "Special" by virtue of it's color and exhaust modifications. There was never a mention in official literature of the extensive engine modifications. However, rumors circulated among dealers and enthusiasts as to the true extent of the changes.

In fact, the 40mm exhaust is stamped with what I recall is the number for the Standard Paso part. Perhaps someone here could confirm this..?


The Number is also seen here along with the "Dimple" to clear the rear shock'


Very odd, indeed...

I asked a famous US tuner (Reno Leoni) at the first WDW what the story was. He seemed reluctant to comment other than to say that the concept was designed to provide Jimmy Adamo with a production based machine to race in U.S. Battle of the Twins Competition. Apparently they found the F-1 to be more suitable and the Race Paso concept was dropped.

Another oddity I have seen is a 1988, Pearl White Paso in Standard Spec. without "Limited" badging and also a 1988, Pearl White Paso in Standard Spec. with "limited" badging placed over the clear-coat.

So in relation to production numbers, I believe that the "Under 75" number we were told at the time was for the entire production in Pearl White, and that a far smaller number of true "Limited" Paso's were produced.

I suspect that the true Limited motorcycles were imported in containers with the similar, but not the same, motorcycles and perhaps were not really, you know, "exactly" compliant with U.S. DOT and EPA regulations of the time.

An official "Gray Market" race special, perhaps?
The Ducati of the late 1980's is not the same company of today, and the same is true with Ducati N.A., so we may never know the true story. But I've told all I know and can now move on with a clear concience.

Oh, and this in response to another post I saw here
The flywheel on a "limited" is the same as a Standard Paso. The lighter flywheel offered in the "Paso Performance Kit" was from the F-1 Montjuich.
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Post by streetsurfer »

Thank you Bob! Good to hear some details from someone involved at the dealership level. I am trying to recall... and want to say that I was told 50 were limited's with the balance being pearl white standard models.

Did you find any difference in the numbers for the intake runners? I was under the impression they were a larger bore also.
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Post by redpaso »

"The Ducati of the late 1980's is not the same company of today..."

Never a truer (does that look right???) word spoken.

Thanks for the info very interesting, not just a paint job like I had believed.
"My favourite peice of Ballet is a long sweeping corner"

Post by NV-Bob »

streetsurfer wrote:Did you find any difference in the numbers for the intake runners? I was under the impression they were a larger bore also.
Yes, you are corrct. All the intake plumbing is different.
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Post by helge-seins »

Hi Bob,
my bike is an 750 Sport. It`s an "old" love... But in fact i`m dreaming of an Paso. May i have some more pictures of your bike, details and in "full" ?!
Thank you ....
der Helge :thumbup:
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Post by persempre907 »

Great bike :thumbup: .
Let us know, what you'll find out.
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Post by davidhughrose »

Absolutely stunningly beautiful machine; preserve it well and don't ever sell it. A Paso, particularly one like yours, is like a gorgeous woman. She can be a real pain in the a___, demanding and a hassle, but you'll always love taking her out, showing her off and riding her. Like a beautiful woman, their look, lines and character are timeless.

I generally have Yoshi cans on mine (the only Japanese parts on it, and I've buffed out any name reference) and they sound wonderful.


Post by steele »

This is a great thread there is not enough information about the LTD and early paso race attempts :thumbup: Thank you for writing it do you have any info on the paso that Reno ran at daytona ? :cool:

Post by NV-Bob »

steele wrote:This is a great thread there is not enough information about the LTD and early paso race attempts :thumbup: Thank you for writing it do you have any info on the paso that Reno ran at daytona ? :cool:

I don't have any info on the Daytona Paso...

Add it to the mystery, I guess.

Post by alexdesmo »

Hi folks,

I am going to repaint my Paso 750 in white, as the limited edition. Is there anyone who can tell me what kind of paint I have to use and send me some pictures as well ?
thanks for help

Post by Leo »

Hello to all, I have a Red paso and a Limted Paso and the part number on the Limted header pipes is correct with the above and with the dimple to clear the mono shock and on my Silences it does state for closed circuit competition use only. Mine has Braided brake and clutch lines and have seen other Limited's with that also so I guess thats another Limited option. My standard Paso has smaller header pipes with no dimple. This was definately a big help and im really happy to know my Limited is the genuine article. I love my paso's and will never part with them ever. My plan is to restore them fully and have them in my lounge room for display and only use them on special occasions. Anyone living in Adelaide South Australia who has a paso or knows of someone who has one id love to hear from them. Cheers Leo :neener:
Last edited by Leo on Fri Aug 10, 2007 11:45 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by paso750 »

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Post by Desmo_Demon »

paso750 wrote:and off it went, to ebay ... ... enameZWDVW
I just got over here from surfing eBay. I think I saw a new record for Paso listings. There are eight Pasos listed right now.....and three are "Limiteds".....I'd guess this is a popular thread. :laugh:

Here are the other two Limiteds that are listed....

1) ... dZViewItem

2) ... dZViewItem

You know, I don't care how rare something is, but when three of them show up on eBay at the same time, it makes the unknowing think it's a bunch of smoke being blown up their butts.
2002 Ducati 748 monoposto
1998 Ducati ST2
1996 Suzuki GSXR-1100
1994 Bimota DB2
1988 MegaPaso 916 project
1987 Ducati Paso 750
1985 Harley FXEF
2001 Ducati M900ie (wife's)
2000 Yamaha YZF-R1 (wife's)
1998 Ducati ST2 (wife's)
1994 Suzuki GSX-750R (wife's)

Post by Leo »

I cant see why anyone would want to sell a Limited? let alone seeing 3 for sale... Im sure in the near future they will be recognized as will all 750 paso's and will be worth alot more than they are now. I wish I could buy all 3 :sad:
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Post by paso750 »

I wonder if No.3 is really a Limited or just a white 750.
At least there`s no "Limited" sticker no it.
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