Paton S1 Strada Review. Classic Styling, Modern Poise.

The Paton S1 Strada was unveiled at EICMA in November last year.  It was to be the first ever road legal bike from Paton, an Italian manufacturer of motorcycles that has a rich heritage in Road Racing and Grand Prix racing.  The Paton S1 Strada promised to be a classically styled bike but with thoroughly modern engineering.  Yes, it looks beautiful.  But does it actually have the go to match those looks, both in a straight line and in the curves?

Thankfully, the answer is yes.

That this isn’t a show pony for cashed up try-hards with more ego than ability was demonstrated at this year’s Isle of Man TT, where it placed a highly commendable 6th out of a field of 38 competitors in the Lightweight category (it was book ended by Kawasaki ER6’s, which have the same base engine).

The Paton S1 Strada has all the styling cues of Paton motorcycles of the 60’s and 70’s, but under that svelte green metal fairing its all 2014 technology.  The motor is the exact same unit you’d find in a Kawasaki Ninja 650 (or ER-6n) – a 649cc parallel twin making 72 bhp and 64 nm of torque at 7,000 rpm.  It’s a solid engine and it was supposedly chosen by Paton because it most resembled the characteristics of the four-stroke engines that the company used in the 1960’s.

While to many it may sound like an uninspiring engine to be using on a bike like this, take note that it sits in a bike that weighs a massive 110 lb less than those aforementioned Kawasaki’s.  That propels the bike to a maximum speed of 134 mph and 0-60 mph in around 3.8 seconds.

Stopping ability is equally as modern, with twin 295mm Brembo’s up front and a 190mm single on the rear.  Suspension quality is certainly a high priority for the Milano firm, with both front and rear fully adjustable, and Ohlins shocks at the back.

This all translates into a wonderful bike to ride.  Turn in is quick and the steering is light, though not too much.  Perhaps its greatest strength is its predictability – this is a very stable bike that communicates with you extremely well.  You never feel at any stage that you and machine are ever anything but in alignment.

As this is designed essentially as a road legal race bike, don’t expect to be feeling refreshed after a long ride.  The seat sits low at only 810mm, so taller riders may feel a little cramped.  The overly sculpted windshield deflects a lot of wind right at your helmet unless you’re tucked, too.  The seat thankfully is well padded and comfortable.

Perhaps my only real criticism is the dash.  It doesn’t look modern and it doesn’t look retro classic either, more like a piece of technology from the late 80’s or early 90’s.  Given how the rest of this bike oozes Italian flair, surely they could have done better here.

The Paton S1 Strada starts at €16,000 for the ‘Standard’ version and goes up to €23,000 for the 1° Factory Signature, which for the massive price increase, only gives you higher range Ohlins plus some nicer paint.  You can also choose between a full and partial fairing, and one bug headlight or two.

Visit Paton for more information.


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