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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Looking for some opinions… so I know I’ll get some here! 😂

I’m either turning my 900ss into a track bike for next year, or I can grab a 748 pretty cheap because the plastics are wrecked, and turn that one.

I’m leaning towards the 748…but would love some opinions or experience from you guys.

Thanks
 

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Ducati 748, Aprilia Tuono, Yamaha R3
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My opinion means nothing since I'm new to the Ducati world, but I'd vote 748. The ergos are already pretty spot on for a track bike and the bike handles itself well for its weight. Plus if you can get it cheap, you might not feel as bad laying it down and push the envelope a little more?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I had a Ducati service guy tell me today that running the 900 would be way cheaper and easier to maintain and fix.
The 748 would be more costly and a pain to maintain and service myself.

Thoughts?
 

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1997 748
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Well the 748 hasn’t been costly or a pain yet for me. For a fuel injected bike I’m not sure how it could be much simpler really. But I think your source is worried about the wrong stuff. You are talking about taking an old Italian motorcycle on the track. Who cares about cost, trouble and all that crap? Get the one that makes you feel more like a badass and screw all that reasonable BS.
 

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Only one is a “race replica”, your tech isn’t wrong about it having more parts, I would say your choice is easy/simpler vs more focused design. No wrong answer, know people who have loved both on the track
 

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1994 900SS CR, 2002 998 Trackbike
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I have a 998 and a 900 (carbureted). The 900 is FAR easier and more pleasant to work on, and to understand, so there's that factor. If i was building a new dedicated track bike, I'd probably go with the air cooled engine for that reason.

That said, the 900 will leave you wanting to upgrade the chassis components quickly, while the 748 is going to be good enough in stock form for a long time, provided everything is serviced and in good shape. It has more cornering clearance, probably crashes better (fewer parts sticking out), looks cooler.


I think the ideal compromise is a 748 chassis with an air cooled engine
 

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Other than a few tweaks to tube sizes and minor geometry changes, the 748/916/996/999/749/1098/848 was the Ducati Superbike race chassis from 1994 when it was introduced until the Panigale replaced the 1198 in in 2011. It is more complex to work on, but it is better handling on the track.

The air cooled 900SS is far simpler to maintain and lest costly to repair (half as many valves, no water cooling components, etc), but will under perform against most comparable modern bikes at the limits of track riding.

But really, when you look at them, which one do YOU want to ride the most? Which one makes you want to feel like a super hero?
 
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They're not that far apart HP wise but to ride they are chalk and cheese....
The air cooled 900 is grunty, lower red line and more relaxed ride position.
The 748 is very revvy, higher RPM rush to the (higher) redline and a more track oriented riding position.

Aside from valve clearance checks there's bugger all difference between them maintenance wise, if you can change your oil, flush your brake fluid and change a set of belts there is no difference at all. change the coolant occasionally, no big deal there (here you can run coolant at track days, water only for racing).

They're both Desmo and both injected so if you commit to doing the bulk of the work yourself leaving throttle body balance and desmo valve clearances to a shop you might be up for an extra couple of hours labour, that's really it. I'll add that the 748 is designed to be revved, if you're using all available rpm on both the 748 is engineered to do it the air cooled 900 really isn't.

Oh and the 748 will be much more fun, maybe not when you first start doing track days, but as you grow in confidence it will hold your interest and challenge you as a rider more than the 900 will, you will go much faster on it
 

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I've ridden a couple of 900SS-bikes on track, and they have a limited lean angle due to the exhaust decking out. So unless you plan to change the 900SS exhaust my vote goes to the 748.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I have a 998 and a 900 (carbureted). The 900 is FAR easier and more pleasant to work on, and to understand, so there's that factor. If i was building a new dedicated track bike, I'd probably go with the air cooled engine for that reason.

That said, the 900 will leave you wanting to upgrade the chassis components quickly, while the 748 is going to be good enough in stock form for a long time, provided everything is serviced and in good shape. It has more cornering clearance, probably crashes better (fewer parts sticking out), looks cooler.


I think the ideal compromise is a 748 chassis with an air cooled engine
Yeah.. that sounds right… but not in the cards sadly 😕
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I’ve done a bunch of track days, and I’ve owned a 748 before but never tracked it. Had a Daytona 955i that I used for that.
Overall, seems like everyone is on the same page. The 900 will go around the circuit and be easier to deal with in the home garage, but will be pretty limited with little to no growth.
The 748 will be pretty much ready to rock out of the box, can make improvements as we go, and will not likely outgrow it on the track
(I’m not racing, just track day fun).

seems like the 748 is the way to go.
It’s not like I’m trying to save money one way or the other. So might as well have a bike designed for that.

And I will look much cooler 😎
 
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The 748 is a great track day bike. You’d have to be an incredibly skilled rider to be able to ring out 100% of its potential. That said, and depending on what tracks you ride, it can leave you wanting a little bit more. That’s what 853 kits are for.
 

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1997 748
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The 748 is a great track day bike. You’d have to be an incredibly skilled rider to be able to ring out 100% of its potential. That said, and depending on what tracks you ride, it can leave you wanting a little bit more. That’s what 853 kits are for.
Yep. Prepare to be passed by the straight line heroes. On the flip side it's much harder to get in yourself in trouble with the 748, and it encourages you to learn how to actually ride if you want to be quick (and pass those guys on the brakes). That said, I have already started thinking about the 853 conversion :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
UPDATE...

Thanks to you all I made the decision and pulled the trigger on the 748! (y)
It's 100% stock, which I prefer. The guy low sided it, so the left side body work is shot stem to stern... but nothing is broken or bent. Clip on, rear set, shift lever, swing arm.. all good!
After I do the valves and belts, and maybe rockers if they're flaky (and the obvious oil change, etc...).. it's getting race fairings, and that's about it to start.
I know, it's gonna be "get Light weight wheels, light weight flywheel, better this, better that.. LOL

Thanks for all the input, really helped me out.
I know this is the right choice.

Anyone in the market for a nice 2001 900ss???
😁
 
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
UPDATE...

Thanks to you all I made the decision and pulled the trigger on the 748! (y)
It's 100% stock, which I prefer. The guy low sided it, so the left side body work is shot stem to stern... but nothing is broken or bent. Clip on, rear set, shift lever, swing arm.. all good!
After I do the valves and belts, and maybe rockers if they're flaky (and the obvious oil change, etc...).. it's getting race fairings, and that's about it to start.
I know, it's gonna be "get Light weight wheels, light weight flywheel, better this, better that.. LOL

Thanks for all the input, really helped me out.
I know this is the right choice.

Anyone in the market for a nice 2001 900ss???
😁
I'll be starting a thread to update the bike as I go through the winter with pics and all.
Looking forward to the many suggestions I'll get then!
 
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Well done! As always, if you are looking for someone to tell you to go ahead and buy another bike, this is the right place!

I started a thread a few weeks ago about what to do to the 748 with trackdays in mind so take a look there if you haven't already
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Well done! As always, if you are looking for someone to tell you to go ahead and buy another bike, this is the right place!

I started a thread a few weeks ago about what to do to the 748 with trackdays in mind so take a look there if you haven't already
going there now... thanks
 
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