The end of the road

Motorcycle News (UK) - - Garage - DU­CATI PASO 750 £400

It was al­ways a stupid idea. But I now know that Au­tumn 2015 to Spring 2016 will for­ever stick in my mind as the time when I rode a 25-year-old Paso as daily trans­port, and com­pleted a seem­ingly im­pos­si­ble 750-mile blast to The Lizard and back in 35 hours with­out it break­ing down.

When I first laid eyes on the Paso it was a clas­sic case of over-ex­pec­ta­tion meet­ing stark re­al­ity. The child­ish grin slipped off my face so hard it left a mark on my boots. I’d imag­ined some­thing a lot, well, cleaner. Call­ing it a bas­ket case would have been to sug­gest that it was at least all in the bas­ket – but the truth was pretty shock­ing. And so it was that I em­barked on what you might en­dear­ingly call a ‘sym­pa­thetic restora­tion’. More bluntly, if it could be made to work, or left alone, then so be it. If not, a so­lu­tion needed find­ing. Thank­fully the main con­sum­ables were all avail­able, in­clud­ing a full clutch set to re­place the deep-sea ar­chae­ol­ogy that was re­sid­ing be­hind the cover.

Brit firms Hagon and Pipew­erx stepped in to solve two of the other big is­sues – a new rear shock to re­place the leak­ing Mar­zoc­chi, and new end cans so the holed orig­i­nals could be binned. Cor­rect tyres ar­rived from South Korea, via the Nether­lands, and a bit of work­shop trick­ery over­came the miss­ing spacer in the fork. Then fol­lowed some se­ri­ously ju­di­cious job-by-job work­shop fet­tling that even­tu­ally cul­mi­nated in a do-or-die dash – af­ter just 30 miles of shake­down test­ing – from Peter­bor­ough to The Lizard with fel­low MCNER Andy Downes, and his lovely BMW K1. It’s a trip I’ll never for­get. It was touch and go – but it felt like an epic vic­tory.

A nor­mal per­son would have left it at that, count­ing their chick­ens and be­ing happy that they all lived. But no, I de­cided to then cam­paign the Paso through Win­ter. It did it, too. Yes, there were days when I used test bikes or my own VFR800F, but we thud­ded our way through nearly 2500 miles of cold and rain – and the odd glo­ri­ous bit of sun­shine. But I’m call­ing it a day. The Paso de­serves an eas­ier life in its dotage. Sunny days and silly jaunts will see it peek its bro­ken nose out of the garage, but the daily abuse stops here. Thanks Paso. It’s been emo­tional.

It’s been epic, but the Paso is now semi-re­tired

2Leather pan­els on the in­side of both knees are not there for pro­tec­tion, but to help a rider grip a bike’s tank with their legs when they’re stand­ing up off-road.

Sus­pen­sion gu­rus MCT vastly im­proved the Tracer’s fork Heated grips can be tog­gled via the menu screen Paso and BMW K1 en route to Corn­wall Du­catis should have a dry clutch but this is daft... Rich gave the Paso a se­cond shot at life but the time has c

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