Ducati 906 Paso

 

 

 

Make Model.

Ducati 906 Paso

Year

1988 - 90

Engine

Four stroke, 90° “L” twin cylinder, SOHC, desmodromic 2 valve per cylinder, belt driven

Capacity

904 cc / 55.2 cu in

Bore x Stroke 92 x 68 mm
Compression Ratio 9.2:1
Cooling System Liquid cooled

Induction

2x 44mm Weber 44 DCNF 116 carburetor

Spark Plugs 

Champion RA6YC

Ignition 

Marelli Digiplex variable advance

Battery

12V 19Ah

Starting

Electric

Max Power

64.7 kW / 88 hp @ 8000 rpm (at rear tyre: 56.8 kW / 77.2 hp @ 6500 rpm)

Max Torque

85 Nm / 8.7 kgf-m / 62.7 ft-lb @ 5000 rpm

Clutch

Dry, multiplate

Transmission

6 Speed

Primary Drive Ratio

2.000:1 (31/62)

Gear Ratios

1st 2.466 / 2nd / 1.764 / 3rd 1.350 / 4th 1.091 / 5th 0.958 / 6th 0.857:1

Final Drive Ratio

2.666:1 (15/40) or 2.533 (15/38)

Final Drive

Chain

Front Suspension

42 mm Marzocchi M1R oil-dynamic fork provided with external adjusting system of the extension brake

Rear Suspension

Swinging fork with oil-dynamic adjustable mono shock, Marzocchi Duoshock

Front Brakes

2 x 280 mm Discs, 2 piston calipers

Rear Brakes

Single 270 mm disc, 1 piston caliper

Front Tyre

130/60-16

Rear Tyre

160/60-16

Dimensions

Length: 2032 mm / 80.0 in
Width:     665 mm / 26.2 in
Height:  1150 mm / 45.3 in

Wheelbase

1450 mm / 57.1 in

Seat Height

780 mm / 30.7 in

Dry Weight

205 kg / 452 lbs

Wet Weight

222 kg / 489 lbs

Fuel Capacity 

22 L / 5.8 US gal / 4.8 Imp gal

Consumption Average

6.0 L/100km / 16.6 km/l / 39 US mpg / 47 Imp mpg

Braking 60 km/h - 0

13.9 m / 45.6 ft

Braking 100 km/h - 0

39.6 m / 129.9 ft

Standing ¼ Mile  

12.1 sec / 173.3 km/h / 107.7 mph

Top Speed

213.4 km/h / 132.6 mph
Colours Red, blue, black

The Paso 906 was a significant bike for Ducati, their first to really aim at a slice of the mass market dominated by the Japanese. Although firmly committed to the merits of a V-twin, Ducati realized that the days of their air-cooled, two valve, Desmo were strictly numbered. They needed more power and efficiency, and they also needed to pass increasingly stringent emission controls. Their bikes were too noisy. Worse still their exhausts pumped an awful lot of damaging hydrocarbons out into the atmosphere. Ducati needed to clean up and refine their act, attracting new customers while hopefully not alienating traditional Ducati enthusiasts.

The Paso 906 was their answer to this challenge and is in many ways a transitional offering between the fabled Dukes of old (like the 750 and 900SS) and the truly fabulous bikes yet to come (like the 851 superbike). Although it looked like a million dollars, the 906 Paso received a fairly cool reception from road testers and buyers alike. If was too different from the old Ducatis to attract the cognoscenti (or Ducotisli), yet it wasn't different or fast enough to attract buyers of big Japanese sports bikes. It was certainly a brave move on Ducati's part, but it didn't quite come off.

With the benefit of hindsight, it's easy to see now that it was a convenient halfway house, a bold step between Ducati's past and future. In the language of the market though, the Paso looked better than it cooked.  

Designed by the then technical director, Dr Massimo Bordi, the 906 engine is actually 904cc (the factory obviously didn't feel that 904 Paso had the right ring to it). It was a new engine, sharing some of the development that would later be seen on the 851 - both have the same slim crankcases, six-speed gearbox and dry clutch. But whereas the 851 would carry twin cams and four valve heads, the Paso was stuck with a traditional Ducati valve-train - a single cam and two valves, Desmo operated of course. The new engine was water-cooled and incredibly over-square, the 92mm pistons being much larger than anything Ducati had previously fitted. Fed by a big twin-choke 44mm Weber carb, the engine made good power with lots of torque and a new-found appetite for high revs. The carburetion and ignition seemed particularly well-sorted. Between 3000 and the 9000rpm redline, there were no flat spots or huge steps, just straight up, linear power. About the worst aspect of the new motor was its lack of noise.

The water-cooling handily absorbed any mechanical clutter but the new exhaust system restricted the distinctive V-twin rumble to a muffle and doubtless stifled some of its low-down power too. The box section steel frame, the Marzocchi/Öhlins suspension and Brembo brakes performed in the time-honoured Ducati fashion, giving redoubtable handling and a stiff, taut ride. They made a mistake in fitting 16in wheels front and back though.

The fashion for quick steering 16in front wheels had stemmed from the 500cc GP bikes of the mid-1980s, but had been superseded by the development and undeniable all-round merit of 17in wheels long before Ducati unveiled the Paso. Arguably overtyred with a 130/60-16 front radial, the steering needs to be firmly wrestled with to prevent understeer and the bike tends to stand upright if braked when heeled over. In its favour, the steering response and front wheel behaviour becomes quicker, predictable and more acceptable the faster you go. But then there's the problem of the riding position, which is not exactly comfortable or adaptable and has most riders looking down on the bike unable to fully tuck in behind the low screen. 

The lovely, fully integrated bodywork created by Italian craftsman, Massimo Tamburini and finished in traditional fire-engine red, gives the bike forceful visual impact. But for too many die-hard Ducati enthusiasts, the Paso lacked character. It may have looked like La Dolce Vita on two wheels but really it was a harbinger of greater and more potent motorbikes yet to come.

Source: The worlds fastest motorcycles by John Cutts & Michael Scott