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New Pantah 696 On the Way?

The latest from designer Oberdan Bezzi’s rumor mill: Ducati is planning a more “basic range of motorcycles” to complement the Monster, SportClassic, Superbike and other model lines. If you knew Ducatis back in the early ’80s when the brand was struggling to survive increased competition from Japanese brands, you’d remember the Pantah, a modern design with belt-driven cams and desmodromic valve operation. (Read more about the Pantah motor here.) Why not re-introduce that name with an inexpensive, high-style, simple sportbike, using the Monster 696 motor, premium brakes and bodywork evocative of the original Pantah?

Why not indeed? If it happens, you read it here first.

* * *

MD Readers Respond:

  • If Ducati were to ever release a Pantah 696 then I think it would have
    to be cheaper than (or the same price as) a Suzuki SV650. We’re
    talking ‘entry level’ here. I don’t think the market’s big enough for
    a premium sub-70HP crotch rocket – most potential buyers are probably
    more interested in the Monster 696, given the riding position of the
    Pantah.

    It would probably make more sense if it was sold as a bodywork styling
    package option for existing SportClassic models as a bolt-on
    modification. Kelvin

  • This is a great idea, just like the Triumph Tiger Cub that has yet to ever make it to the market place. Manufacturers always ruin good ideas like this by releasing it as a 1000 for $15000 and not the 696 for $7500 like it should be. Why not do both? Probably they’d find that they sell twice as many 696s as 1000s and have to take less of a margin on the smaller bike. Though I don’t have any money, it would be near the top of my list. -todd

  • The low bars are ridiculous for the street. A friend had a 1098 and is selling it for a KTM Duke because it was so uncomfortable to ride on. No one should be going so fast on the street that they need to be that far over the front end. I’ve taken corners plenty fast on standard street bikes and they were fine. Only when I was really going too fast and the front suspension was horrid on my Kaw ZR750 did I need better suspension and lower bars. But I was taking an exit at 60 mph that should have been 35 mph, so I was going too fast anyway. The ZR did it but it pushed way wide. Love the looks of the bike though. And I like small motors. I just bought a Zuma 125. Neil

  • As many others have commented, I don’t want 170hp on the street. It just isn’t fun when you have that much power and so little opportunity to use it. I love light weight, flickable, street bikes that pull out of 2nd gear corners and have enough comfort to endure 2 hours on the highway if need be. Rob

  • That’s almost exactly what I want in a street sport bike – visible engine, classic architecture, simple and light. Let’s hope they have the good sense to make the ergonomics work for adults that are willing to pay more money for less performance. Or incorporate the ability to make it less of a torture rack into the design. Joe

  • I would buy this immediately. My Ducatis sit in the garage and I only ride my SV on the street. No one needs 170hp for weekend riding. I would love a 325lb sport Vtwin. Michael

  • If you build it, they will come. Sweet looking bit of computer design.
    Too bad the target audience doesn’t fold that well anymore. Edward

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