1981 Ducati Pantah 500SL

SOLD FOR: $5,350

Out of stock

Sold on January 18, 2021


Additional photos of this Ducati Pantah 500SL are available here for your perusal.

Ducati has had a long and storied history, but the late 70s were not something that the Italian firm would be proud of – the square case 860s were a commercial failure, and their parallel twins were even worse, earning the not-so-affectionate nickname of “paralyzed twins” by some. Drastic changes were required, and they came in two fronts. The big bike was replaced by the instant-classic Darmah, while the twin was replaced by the Pantah 500SL.

As noted in this excellent Motorcycle Classics article, Fabio Taglioni’s Pantah was based on two existing Ducati racers. “By smartly borrowing from both examples, Taglioni’s last design for Ducati was a culmination of his life’s work, uniting virtually all his innovations into one bike that would form the basis of almost every Ducati for the next 30 years.

Specifically, the article is referring to desmo valves, the trellis frame, and belt-driven cams, many of the features that Ducati fans deeply associate with the brand. Basic specifications of the 500SL were 45 horsepower at 9,000 rpm, a top speed of 115 miles per hour, and a wet weight of 433 pounds.

But we bring up Motorcycle Classics for another reason – the bike featured in that article is the same one in front of you here today on Iconic Motorbike Auctions!

This Pantah (VIN: ZDMAP5504B66097) shows 20,816 miles on the odometer and it is stock with the exception of the air filters and seat (the seller has the original parts for both). All the electrical functions work correctly and it is equipped with a new battery.

There’s an appropriate level of wear on the engine cases for a nearly 40 year-old machine – the only two serious cosmetic issues are bubbling around the gas tank and some dents/scratches in the exhaust.

But the seller has you covered, as the sale includes a NOS tank and NOS Conti exhaust – photos of both are included in the album.

Per the seller, “the bike cold starts well with the choke on it takes a few seconds. If you research the Pantah, a lot of people put a relay on, but I didn’t find a reason to do it. After you ride and stop, it starts up super quickly.

In many ways, the Pantah defines the modern Ducati, making this 500SL an interesting piece of the Italian firm’s history.

Additional Information






Pantah 500SL


20, 816





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Shipping Information

Continental US:
Iconic has several private shipping partners that criss-cross the country for us. Please email transport@iconicmotorbikes.com or fill out the form at the bottom of this page to request a quote.

Haul Bikes will ship anything sold through Iconic for a starting rate of $750 in the Continental US (prices may increase in rural markets), and Iconic will handle the paperwork on your behalf.

Please note:

  • spares/extras will have to be shipped separately via FedEx or similar.
  • the fee includes $15,000 of insurance with a $500 deductible. Additional insurance can be purchased at a cost of $50 per additional $5,000 of value.
  • additional details can be found here

We are located in Santa Monica, California 90405. On a case-by-case basis, we can transport motorcycles in our van. Please email transport@iconicmotorbikes.com or fill out the form at the bottom of this page to request a quote.

Please email transport@iconicmotorbikes.com or fill out the form at the bottom of this page to request a quote.

We recommend TFX

$2,000 for Los Angeles, CA to Canada is a ROUGH ballpark, please contact TFX for an exact quote including shipping and customs.

Europe and Asia:
We recommend Shippio

$5,000 for US to Europe/Asia is a VERY ROUGH ballpark which includes transport as well as customs fees and duties. Please contact Shippio for an exact quote.

Australia/New Zealand:
We recommend Bikes Abroad

$3,000 for US to Australia is a ROUGH ballpark, please contact Bikes Abroad for an exact quote including shipping and customs.

Sorry, VIN Report not available.

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