Ducati Pantah 'Road Runner' by Maria Motorcycles


Luis Correia, of Maria Riding Company, based in Lisbon, Portugal says: “A client came to us with a bike that he bought in the UK, completely broken and missing most of the original parts. It was a Ducati Pantah 500, a difficult bike to find nowadays.”
“It wasn’t much more than a frame, wheels and an engine. We had no idea how long it had been in that state, but we accepted the project, and embraced it as a real challenge.”


During the design phase Maria Motorcycles decided to aim for a vintage race vibe look.  “We thought it should be very exclusive and edgy, so we came up with the idea of gold, white and petrol blue.”

The V-twin engine was sent back to England to Ducati Technical Services, and the engine came back bored up to 600cc.
The Welsh company TAB II Classics, custom made the tank to give it an Imola look designed to fit the Pantah frame. All unnecessary supports and brackets was removed from the frame, and then it was powder coated pure white.

The fiberglass fairing was modified to suit the design look, and an asymmetrical headlight hole was added. A simple Motogadget speedo was tucked behind the fairing.

The original Marzocchi front suspension was used, and a set of Biturbo shocks were installed.

“We kept the original narrow wheels,” Luis points out, “because we had no interest in fitting large tires. Vintage race bikes have thin tires, so that´s what we wanted. The triple trees are beautiful old parts, so we decided to restore them as much as possible, and polish them.”

The braking system has been completely overhauled, sandblasted and restored.

The tail unit is made from a single piece of fiberglass to match the fairing. The seat is covered in vintage-look leather to give a premium final touch.

A new wiring system is hidden under the frame tubes, and the lithium battery and major electric hardware is concealed under the tail unit.

A stainless steel custom made exhaust system, made by Maria Motorcycles, was fitted. The hand-made exhaust with small welded-together segments rather than complete bends added to the vintage look and was topped off with a Spark muffler.

“It’s an aggressive bike to ride,” says Luis, “due to the riding position, laid down on the tank. So it’s not a bike for the city. It’s a very good bike for highways and mountain roads though, for enjoying the curves and going through the gearbox.”

“It’s agile, light and fast. The old Ducati engines are a surprise when you ride them: Even an old bike like this has lots of torque.”

Source Maria Riding Company & bikeexif