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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, guys. I've been pretty quiet due to work and the annual winter depression of gloom. But, with the trip down to Streets of Willow for California Superbike School about a month away, I figured I should give an update to let you all know what I've been doing to prep the bike for this upcoming season. Here's a brief walkaround of the bike after the last td of the year last season. Couple of corrections....


Rattled off most of the mods on the video but have a couple of things I missed and/or misstated.

-Track bodywork is SharkSkinz in Pearl White
-BMC air filter
-SpeedyMoto underbody frame sliders
-GB Racing water pump & magnet covers
-SpeedyMoto Omni bars
-'Ducati' gold tank decals and '848' black/red shadow fairing decals are from Scott @ SR Sign Design

-ASV C5 clutch lever, as I accidentally said CRG for the lever

And my 'Duc in the Snow' shot I do every winter before getting torn down. Went for a GP Winter Test look with the carbon street fairings w/ track prep (lights taped over, mirror blockoffs, no plate, front number plate)


Here are some of the changes I've been collecting over this winter in prep for the upcoming season. Mostly track-focused, but a few things regarding street as well...

Biggest change as stated above are the chassis upgrades (DucShop 30mm offset triples w/ linear rear link), and getting the suspension revalved/resprung as my skill level has evolved quite a bit since I first upgraded the suspension a couple of winters ago.


Shipped everything down to Desmo Veloce in Phoenix where he is also adding the quick change front wheel setup to the bike. He has to machine and modify the fork bottoms to add the brackets, but the result turns a lengthy process of changing a front into something as quick and painless as a rear wheel change on the SSSA...


Here it is in action on an S1000RR...

Finally joining the new age with a Translogic "Plug 'n Play" Quickshifter. Going to be amazing at some of the tracks I'll be at where bikes like to stretch their legs a bit.


A couple of fresh pieces of crash protection: R&G 1pc clutch cover, R&G carbon tank sliders, and CNC front axle sliders:


MWR 2pc air filters and Brembo Low Drag RCS-19 lever:


Scored on great deals on an MFG paddock stand and a spare OEM Diamond Black Metallic tank. Reason being is I'm not sure I fully trust the carbon street tank I currently have for the trip out to CA next month (plan on bringing my street bodywork to hit local LA and Las Vegas roads after doing CA SBK School @ Streets of Willow). I also want to do a trackday in the carbon fairings look, mainly to prove a point to myself and a few people that still call it a garage queen bike), so I'd feel safer and more responsible by having a tank on the bike that wouldn't be prone to rupturing should it contact the ground.


Fresh sets of Dunlop rubber. Rain DOT race tires so I'm not SOL if the track gets wet during td or race weekends. And purchased Q3s as my first set of street tires in about 2 yrs, mainly so I'm not wearing out the GP-As on the street between track events (like I did last year)..


And a couple of new pieces of gear. Got some Icon riding jeans, and Held Titans.


The most exciting thing though, by far is that I was lucky enough to get the equivalent of "Wonka's Golden Ticket". RideSmart announced they'd be returning to Circuit of the Americas about a week ago for only one trackday/school weekend in June. I found out about it the morning of the 5th and they opened registration at 6:01pm CST on the 6th. Asked the wife if I could do this, and she said yes! So I registered for a RS account and sat on my iPhone waiting for 6:01. Opened two windows for each day (21 & 22) hoping I could secure a spot for both days. Day 2 was sold out by 6:08, and both days completely gone by 6:20. Managed to nab an I-2 spot for Saturday and am on the waitlist for Sunday. Anywho, having the chance to ride my bike which I've had so many good times on at a world class track like CotA was something I couldn't pass up. :)


Been doing a bit of indoor training on the bicycle for leg strength & endurance for the decent schedule planned for the season:

-April: CSS 2day school @ Streets of Willow Springs
-May: ZARS 2day td @ Road America
-June: CRA race weekend @ BIR, RideSmart td/school @ CotA, ZARS 2day td @ BIR (Comp Course one day, DonnyBrooke Course the next)
-July: CRA race weekend @ BIR, ZARS td @ Road America
-Aug: MotoVid td @ Blackhawk Farms, CRA race weekend @ BIR
-Sept: ZARS td @ BIR

Still waiting on a couple of things to come in (DucaBike carbon brake lever guard & XT Racing GPX Pro 4 lap timer/data analyzer), along with getting the suspension back), but extremely excited for this season!

-Christian
 

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Jealous. As per every time you post about that diamond mine you call a motorcycle, not to mention all of the schooling you receive.
 

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Honest question here... Why is there so much love for the Duc when it is a career killer in MotoGP and it is a reliability nightmare for the avg street rider?
 

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Honest question here... Why is there so much love for the Duc when it is a career killer in MotoGP and it is a reliability nightmare for the avg street rider?
MotoGP is irrelevant to us mortals. This bike has nothing in common with any GP bike except for both having two wheels.

As to the second part of your question.... Care to cite your sources? I've not heard any bad things about modern Ducati reliability. In fact, I've had more personal bad experiences with Honda electrical systems than I've heard of anyone having with Ducati products in general. F-series regulator/rectifiers are shit.

The love for the Duc is not because it's "perfect," but because it's a beautiful assault on the senses.
 

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MotoGP is irrelevant to us mortals. This bike has nothing in common with any GP bike except for both having two wheels.

As to the second part of your question.... Care to cite your sources? I've not heard any bad things about modern Ducati reliability. In fact, I've had more personal bad experiences with Honda electrical systems than I've heard of anyone having with Ducati products in general. F-series regulator/rectifiers are shit.

The love for the Duc is not because it's "perfect," but because it's a beautiful assault on the senses.
That's a fair question. Honestly, my sources for my opinion are other Duc owners from local bike forums. They all seem to repeat that Duc's separate riders from bikers because Ducs require much more attention to maintain and ride. I've never owned one so I'm accepting their experience and opinion.

That being said... Ducati is a superior machine to any of the other bikes in its class in what way? Motogp is absolutely relevant and representative of a manufacturer's competence and it is exactly why manufacturers choose to participate in MotoGP.
 

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A guy on a scruffy bike
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Honest question here... Why is there so much love for the Duc when it is a career killer in MotoGP and it is a reliability nightmare for the avg street rider?
MotoGP is not real life. And Ducatis are not "reliability nightmares". They are great to ride in the real world; a sporting twin is a fantastic ride on the road, and Ducati makes some of the best in that configuration.

Indeed, they're back to being almost the only ones again. Honda had the RC51 for a while, but don't make a sport twin anymore. Suzuki had the TL bikes, but they're gone; the closest they have now are the SVs, which don't compete with Ducati on the sport side. Yamaha and Kawasaki never made serious 2-cyl sportbikes. Aprilia has gone to 4-cyl. BMW went to 4-cyl for their full sportbike. Buell got killed, and EBR isn't quite rolling yet. No one else makes a genuine top-flight 2-cyl sportbike.

I think your local Duc owners are tooting their own horns. The only part of a Duc that takes any more maintenance attention than any other bike is the desmodromic valvetrain, and that really isn't that big a deal. (And it's getting even easier with each new model.) They don't take any more attention to ride than any other sportbike; that's just silly. Being a twin, they have a different torque curve, so they might feel weird and take a little extra attention for a little while when you first switch to one (and likewise switching back), but that's not about it being a Duc per se.

PhilB
 
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Giant on a Motorcycle
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Wow good work on the bike. There won't be a stock part on that thing soon. You are encouraging me to to attend more track schools in the future.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I seriously appreciate the love, guys. To say 'that escalated quickly' over the past couple of years would be an understatement, lol. I've just been pretty fortunate with an initial good deal on the bike itself, and then some ridiculously great deals along the way on most of the higher dollar mods.

As far as the training, I'm more jealous of all of you that actually get to ride as much as you do on the street. You get to enjoy your bikes for the most part when you want, and that's pretty freaking awesome! Most of the time it's like I've got to "schedule appointments" in order to ride, outside of random street rides on the weekends or when I happen to have the bike in full street dress so go can ride & park it at work.

To answer 'browardboy', the ONLY streetbike Ducati makes that is in any way relevant to the MotoGP bikes is the D16RR from back in the mid-2000s. I guess you could call the newer 899/1199 platforms 'trickle down' GP technology with their frameless design, but that's where the comparison stops.

The 848 has been far from a maintenance nightmare, thus far. While not having covered a fraction of the mileage that Phil has on his Monster, mine has lived a decently tough life during the 3-4 seasons I've had it. Not a ton of miles as it's only gone from 4k to 21k during my time on it, but something like 20 or so trackday weekends, 1 race weekend, and a few impromptu pavement/grass naps should've turned this thing into a heap. The only issue I've ever had was the infamous radiator leak of the upper left corner (due to the mount). Pretty scared when I brought it in because it was well outside the warranty, but because it was a known issue they repaired it under what they called "Goodwill". An OEM radiator is $1k+, they only charged a couple of hours labor to switch it to the updated 1198 radiator. AWESOME service and great looking out for their customers. We're VERY fortunate to have a main dealer that actually encourages owners to bring their bikes to the track, and doesn't crucify them for it when it comes to servicing when they know the bikes are most likely tracked.

I had more written, but the screen refreshed twice on me while writing this and go forgot what else I typed, lol.
 

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Honest question here... Why is there so much love for the Duc when it is a career killer in MotoGP and it is a reliability nightmare for the avg street rider?
Last year I convinced myself that I don't want one of these due to comfort/reliability etc issues.
Then one day I pulled alongside an Termignoni and dry clutch equipped 1198 at a stop light.The gnashing,rattling,crackling noises coming from the exhaust and engine both made me forget what I was thinking and almost led to a change of pants.:eek:mg
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
^Same here. ALWAYS kinda thought it was marketing fluff/owners justifying their purchase with the 'presence' a Ducati Superbike has. First time I heard one in person (1098 w/ Termis....not even sure if they were only slips or a full system) was seriously a life changing moment.

I'd never heard such a mechanically angry sportbike before. The aftermarket exhaust'd/open covered dry clutch bikes are quite amazing to hear in the flesh.
 

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A guy on a scruffy bike
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I seriously hate the dry clutch sound. Sounds like shit. Termi's on the bike sound great, but that clutch is horrible.
I like to think of it as "festive". It's playing "Jingle Bells" for you, like it's always Christmas. :D

PhilB
 

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Mexican Hard Shell Taco
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I seriously hate the dry clutch sound. Sounds like shit. Termi's on the bike sound great, but that clutch is horrible.
Agreed, the exhaust note is nice, but the clutch sounds broken...
 

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my Ducati 848 tried to hurt me twice and that was enough for me to sell it.
the engine would cut out while accelerating for a split second. it wouldn't totally stall and didn't give any check engine lights. luckily both times it happened to me i was going straight. i don't know what would have happened if i was in a turn.

i did meet a guy whose friend had it happen to him while leaned over and he dumped it.

it was a cool bike though.
 

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Mexican Hard Shell Taco
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A friend's 848 had a similar problem, it would die out of the blue and it wouldn't want to start. It ended up being the main wiring harness that rubbed into the frame. Replaced under warranty.

Other than that he hasn't had any problems with it, but he is the stereotypical fair weather starbucks bound rider.

Other friend does rode his 916 hard, and the only problem I recall him having was when the dry clutch, with an open cover, ingested dirt in a lowside at the track. Everything else has been pretty much routine maintenance.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
my Ducati 848 tried to hurt me twice and that was enough for me to sell it.
the engine would cut out while accelerating for a split second. it wouldn't totally stall and didn't give any check engine lights. luckily both times it happened to me i was going straight. i don't know what would have happened if i was in a turn.

i did meet a guy whose friend had it happen to him while leaned over and he dumped it.

it was a cool bike though.
I still think that intermittent stall issue was a TPS issue. Mine did kind of the same thing: sputtered leaving a stop, laaaaaaggy throttle response....like crusing at 60 with the same maintenance throttle application and then it drastically loses speed, wrap the throttle to the stop and -nothing-, downshift because I thought it popped out of gear and just didn't trip the neutral light, then pin it again...-nothing-...then 4 seconds later it comes on full bore from the 30mph you're now doing....

TOTALLY forgot about that. That's what made me do the ECU reflash the next day and the bike hasn't had that issue since. I thought the same thing..."WTF if that happens going thru T2 @ BIR??!!??"

That issue WAS responsible for my first wheelie ever, though. So at least some hooliganism came from it....

O.O

That fiasco was just as scary as when my GSX-R600s regulator/rectifier went night-night on me @ 70 mph in the fast lane of I-35W S traffic right outside of downtown Minneapolis in Friday rushhour.....
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
A friend's 848 had a similar problem, it would die out of the blue and it wouldn't want to start. It ended up being the main wiring harness that rubbed into the frame. Replaced under warranty.

Other than that he hasn't had any problems with it, but he is the stereotypical fair weather starbucks bound rider.

Other friend does rode his 916 hard, and the only problem I recall him having was when the dry clutch, with an open cover, ingested dirt in a lowside at the track. Everything else has been pretty much routine maintenance.
I'm pretty much astonished I didn't cause the same thing to happen when reassembling the bike after the frame-off-for-paint teardown last winter, as the only way I remembered routing all the wiring/cables is from pics I took of the bike during disassembly. Probably wasn't the best idea for the "shakedown test ride" after doing something like that to be a 2day trackday at Barber, lol.

Only casualty was an exhaust heatshield bolt that vibrated loose. Literally was amazed it didn't completely fall apart on me. :)

+1 @ the "cons" of open dry clutch. I kinda chuckle when an 848 owner does the dry conversion. You KNOW they'll never track the bike, because if they actually knew that a down on the right side into the kitty litter or grass is now much more expensive than it would've been with the OEM wet clutch, they'd have never done the conversion to begin with.
 
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