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Ducati 907 IE
After two years, the 906 Paso was replaced by the much improved 907 I.E. for 1991. This drew on the engine and chassis technological improvements of the 851, and the resulting 907 I.E. was finally a homogeneous sport-touring motorcycle that could compete with anything on offer from Germany or Japan.
The liquid-cooled engine of the 906 carried over to the 907 I.E., but there were stronger crankcases with more extensive internal webbing and ribbing, especially around the cylinder support base. The clutch was also revised for 1991, with the 907 I.E. (like the 1991 900 Supersport) having a new 16-plate type. The intake system was completely revised, with the air intakes re-positioned up by the steering head, drawing in cold, dense air. Adapting the single-injector Weber electronic fuel injection system of the 851 Strada to the two-valve 906 engine provided vastly improved engine operation. The 907 I.E. received more reliable Veglia instruments, but all other electrical equipment was shared with the 906 Paso.
While the rectangular-section steel double-cradle frame was that of the 906, the longer aluminum swingarm and axle adjusters came from the 851 Strada. The front suspension was the same as before, but with 10mm-longer fork legs so that the larger wheel/tire combination would clear the engine on fork compression. There were also changes to the wheels and brakes, with three-spoke Brembo (3.50 x 17 and 5.50 x 17) wheels, and larger stainless-steel front discs with Brembo four-piston P4.32d calipers. At the rear the disc was reduced in size to that of the 851, with a smaller P2.105N Brembo caliper. The larger wheels (and longer swingarm) led to an increase in both wheelbase, but the steering and handling characteristics were vastly superior to those of the 906 Paso. While the style of the bodywork was similar to the 906, the solid 907 I.E. screen incorporated a NACA duct, supposedly to smooth the airflow.
The 907 I.E. continued for 1992 with only minor changes. There was a minor clutch update during the year, and the front brakes were upgraded with larger discs and gold Brembo P4.30-34 brake calipers. The 907 I.E. wasn't as popular as anticipated, although it offered improved power and reliability, plus more sophisticated rear suspension than the Supersport models. The 907 I.E.was a very well-developed all-round motorcycle, with excellent handling and comfort, but it was discontinued during 1992. There wouldn't be a replacement sport touring Ducati until 1997.
Source Ian Falloon
Road Test 1991
FOR the past ten years Ducati have strived unsuccessfully to lure significant
numbers away from Japanese sports bikes on to their own, less refined but more
Their company philosophy (Ducati is owned by the giant Cagiva corporation) also
seems to have changed. No longer poor imitations of Japanese sports bikes,
Ducati do it their own way and beat RC30s into the bargain on the track.
So, Ducati appear to have opened up a whole new market for themselves in the
1990s while retaining their essentially Italian charter and keeping the
stalwarts happy. Checkout the adverts with the Ferrari...the car company are
even helping out with the parent company's grand prix effort this year.
Ducati thought they'd cracked it with the Paso 906 in 1988 but suffered unfairly from the reputation of the Paso 750 merely a tarted up Pantah. The reaction was for Massimo Bordi (successor to maker of Ducati's famed Ing. Taglioni) to design a completely new bike from the ground up. Early Paso's were marred by carburation problems from twin choke Webers and silly, fashion accessory 16 inch wheels which hardly enhanced the Ducati reputation for handling. The answer was to scrap the carbs, fit fuel injection and up the tea trolley wheels to 17 inchers. What we have is the 907IE Paso a bike that can meet the best from Japan head-on.
THE Paso ticked over for 15 minutes at Moto Cinelli in Northampton as their veritably possessive mechanic explained a few points. As a Ducati nut myself I wondered if it would be like an old 900cc bevel driven Ducati and cough and splutter for miles.
With the parting words 'look after my baby' the Ducati pulled away with no hint of the motor feeling choked. On paper, the 907IE's performance credentials are by no means startling. Ninety horsepower from a liquid cooled 904cc (92x68mm bore and stroke) engine with only 2 valves per cylinder? Japanese sports bike fans could be forgiven for nodding off but it's out on the road that the Ducati belies its specification. That low revving motor will actually pull from as little as 2000rpm in top gear, but that's a little theoretical. Three thousand plus and there's pulling power all the way up to the 9000rpm red line and no sign of surge, or slacking anywhere.
This spread of power makes the bike a real pleasure to ride. No hunting the revs for power, no constant juggling with gear cogs. All-in-all a laid back but fast ride. Cruising at 80/90mph shows a leisurely 4500/5000rpm but pushing those huge pistons up another 500rpm and we're talking three figure speeds. A far cry from the red line of a VFR750 Honda at 11,500rpm!
Effortless to ride and effortless to start in the mean sub-zero temperatures of February. Switch on, wait for the fuel/ignition system to purr into action, one notch of choke (never full), press the starter and the engine slowly turns over before firing up. The flat torque curve, peaking at 57ft/lb at 6750rpm, and fuel injection means the engine is never searching for power or starved of fuel unlike the older 900 vee twins. Opening the throttle quickly on them resulted in carbs spitting and banging as they struggled unsuccessfully to control the petrol flow. The 907IE can also run on unleaded petrol but most Italian bikes like there dose of lead, Moto Cenili recommended I use four strar and I did, old habids die hare even amongst their dealers.
The all-new six speed gearbox is a definite improvement over the old five speeders. First gear feels lower no need to slip the clutch in first as on the old 900 vees. Top feels about the same as the old five speed box but the best point is that now neutral can be found at a standstill pure lux,ury for died-in-the-wool Ducati freaks.
Another plus point is the clutch. Always the weak link between crank and back wheel the cable operated contraption was often heavy with a tendency to slip. The 907IE gets a hydraulic multi-plate dry clutch which removes both problems. Vibration has never been a problem with the 90 degree vee-twin but the 907IE is even smoother. What Bike? designer Anthony Swain took his first ride on a Ducati and reckoned it was as smooth as the Norton rotary.
DUCATI have always enjoyed a reputation for fine handling. Even when the Japanese went over to box section frames and mono-shock suspension the old twin shock, tubular steel frame Ducatis were a hard act to follow on fast bends. Now Ducati have had to move on and are building box section, double cradle, monoshock frames and no longer use the engine as a stressed member. Despite this turnaround the 907IE retains the solid, taut, Ducati feel and revels in twisty A roads where fast work is effortless. Steering is quicker than on its predecessors. The 17 inch wheels and more generous steering lock makes the Paso easier to handle around town as well but it's no commuter bike. Half an hour of town work had my wrists aching from the clip-ons.
The cast wheels are of monstrous proportions, the radial tyres even more so. The front Michelin 120/70ZR17 looks bigger than some rears and the fat 170/60ZR17 rear is amazing. The grip they provided was exemplary at speed but bimbling out of our estate over poor surfaces had the rear squirming a little as it searched for flat tarmac.
Mention Italian bikes and someone will always say (probably justifiably) 'hard suspension'. Ducati seem to have got their sums right with the 907IE with rear suspension which is firm without being harsh. It is the same as on the race replica 851 Super-bike with adjustment for both compression damping and spring pre-load.
Front suspension also uses 851 kit with 42mm Marzocchi MIR forks with four
position anti-dive settings. These offer ample adjustment for damping to soak up
most bumps. No complaints about the Brembo brakes. Two four-piston calipers
operate on 300mm drilled discs and are well up to scratch. They also give a good
amount of feel at the lever which lends to confidence. The rear 245mm disc with
two piston caliper provides back-up.
The gauge is accurate but the light is hopeless, starting to flash at half tank level. Then again, the highly rated ZZR600 Kawasaki has TWO lights which also flash prematurely. There is even a clock but I found it difficult to read under that solid red 'screen'.The Paso doesn't so much have a fairing as bodywork. The 'screen' portion offers some protection but at over six feet the wind was directed straight into my neck. Forget the magnetic tank bag, the petrol tank is only a bodywork cover.
The Paso styling is something of an acquired taste but it looks better in the
flesh than in pictures. A lot slimmer and tastier to look at in reality but that
solid red screen takes getting used to.
Spares prices are something of a lottery. Consumables start at a lowly £6.76 for an oil filter, rising to £7.35 for a set of rear brake pads, £12.75 the air filter, £37.74 the final drive chain, jumping to a massive £55 for the front brake pads. Accident damage is a similarly mixed bag. Damage the fairing and the bill will be for £200.56 for either side and £119.01 for the screen/fairing. Looks expensive, until recalling the four figure sum for a ZZR1100 fairing. A new seat costs a mere £75. After the front brake and clutch levers at £19.62 each, things get a little extravagant. Handlebars £74.76, integral mirror/indicator assembly £81.08 (I), front mudguard £83.66, headlight £105.41, complete front forks £500.30. After that £176.25 for each silencer sounds cheap. (All prices retail plus VAT.) Fuel consumption from that 21 litre tank was a little disappointing, averaging 45mpg. The aircooled vees used to return 50-55mph and I had imagined fuel injection would improve on this. Though in its defence, the 907IE never went anywhere slowly! The £7599 price tag knocks a star off the ratings. It tops the Ducati 900SS by £350 but that model might be too sporty for the Paso rider. Comparable Japanese sports/tourers all fall in the £6000-£7000 price bracket.
Okay, the Ducati may look like a Japanese bike now but it still seems to have a different character. I was even a little apprehensive when riding it not because of the bad weather or the £7599 price tag, but because I fell in love with it! My first reaction was how light it feels due to the low centre of gravity, a real shock after riding the GT550 Kawasaki. The Ducati is so easy to ride. It has a slight shudder under 3000rpm but nothing like that on the Moto Guzzi. The 907 excels with its torquey delivery. There are no powerbands to wait for, the power is there whenever you need it. In fact it even took me by surprise when overtaking a Bedford van along a greasy country lane.
At relatively low revs I opened the throttle gently to cruise past but the massive torque at the back wheel had It stepping out and I had to ease off. I would love to ride the Ducati to its full potential in good weather greasy lanes aren't really its territory. The only criticism I'd have is that the petrol cap doesn't lock so I'd be constantly worried about someone swiping it or sabotaging my pride and joy. If I had the money I wouldn't hesitate shelling out that £7599. a Maybe one day...
Source Which Bike 1991