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Mayor of Simpleton
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Discussion Starter #1
Had my 1998 748 for a couple years and spent a lot of money improving the handling (full Ohlins, magnesium wheels). I've had more powerful bikes over my 17 years of riding but really didn't miss it on the 748 much, except for the rare occasions when I've had a passenger. I've had plans for an 853 kit on the back burner for a while now. Unfortunately I made the mistake of taking a friend's Pistal-pistoned 853 for a ride last night.

Holy crap.

The claims of 12-15 HP don't do it justice. Either that estimate is conservative or the delivery is amazing.

Must do now.

I've been researching this for a while and unfortunately the complete Pistal and Bucci kits I've seen run $1500 (with cylinder exchange). I have a spare set of cylinders to bore/plate (and massaged heads, but that's another story). After checking out JE with a few sources, they come highly recommended. They don't have an off-the-shelf kit. However, they do custom pistons, complete with rings/pins/clips very reasonably. However, there is a 4 piston minimum. It would be $650 and takes 3 weeks. Anyone interested in the extra pair for $325? All you need then is gaskets and a bore. BTW, since they are going to be custom, I'm planning on 12.5:1 compression which should give great performance while maintaining reliability on pump gas.

Who's coming with me?
 

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Well, the 853 kit does make a difference, but your bike is probably not running right if you felt THAT much of a difference. A lot of people claim to get excellent results out of the 853, but thats because to do the kit, you've gotta do so much work to the motor, everything is clean and like new when your done!

I've had an 853 and 748R back to back and yes the 853 was pretty good, but the 748R blew the doors off it.



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Mayor of Simpleton
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Discussion Starter #3
I completely serviced my bike in March. Belts, valve adjustment (couple new rockers). I have 45mm Arrow slipons and a PC3. It has perfomed well at my 3 trackdays this summer and in rides with the local Ducati club. I consider it to be very representative of an average 748.

The 853 I rode was very healthy and well tuned, no doubt, but it does have 30,000+ miles and the only other hardware differences are a light flywheel, the chip, and 50mm Arrows instead of 45.
 

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I've installed both a 853cc and a 890cc bore kit in bikes with 6k and 20k original miles on the bottom end, their still running today with more than 25k miles on each.

You do not need to do a complete "case-splitting" tear down to install one of these kits. Yet I suggest that you have your heads inspected, and of course check all rockers/valves.

Precision, clean assembly with of course checking/adjusting the squish.

I dyno'ed a 1997, 748 totally stock, 72rwhp. Same bike, same dyno with a 890cc kit, mufflers, air cleaners it made 104rwhp......This was a very conservatitve dyno.

Oh yeah, very little difference between the 890 & 853 HP levels.....
 

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Mayor of Simpleton
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Discussion Starter #6
I already have extra heads ready to go. New guides, bigger valves (30/34 over 29/33), adjustable cam pulleys, and G cams which I wasn't planning to use but am now going to try since everything is fresh and ready to go--plus I couldn't find reasonably priced intermediate spec (like SPS) cams.

The bike will be properly set up, squish and all. I'm going to do the nuts and bolts of the install, but taking it to Travis at Corse in Milwaukee for cam timing and fuel mapping on their dyno.
 

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I'm glad to hear that you've found a good source for the pistons. The shop I work for has a working relationship with JE Pistons and they are top notch equipment (we use off the shelf and custom application pistons for the drag racing industry).

I checked into a big bore setup for my S4 (916) and I was quoted right about $1500 for a set of replated cylinders and pistons w/exchange. Then I found out who made the pistons, it was Wiseco. Well, perusing their catalog, their pistons range from $100 to about $250. So, if a set costs at the most $500, that puts coating the cylinders right at $500 each. I checked on replating cylinders, and with a piston, to strip and recoat per cylinder is between $300 and about $400. So I think there is some gouging going on because something has the name Ducati printed on it.

Does anyone else have any parts sources to by-pass the surcharge to send someones kid to Stanford or MIT?
 

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I already have extra heads ready to go. New guides, bigger valves (30/34 over 29/33), adjustable cam pulleys, and G cams which I wasn't planning to use but am now going to try since everything is fresh and ready to go--plus I couldn't find reasonably priced intermediate spec (like SPS) cams.

The bike will be properly set up, squish and all. I'm going to do the nuts and bolts of the install, but taking it to Travis at Corse in Milwaukee for cam timing and fuel mapping on their dyno.
I wish the extra displacement was legal for the class I bought my 748 for!!

Travis does great work up at Corse....though I wish they were actually in Milwaukee and not another 25 minutes to the north!!
 

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I already have extra heads ready to go. New guides, bigger valves (30/34 over 29/33), adjustable cam pulleys, and G cams which I wasn't planning to use but am now going to try since everything is fresh and ready to go--plus I couldn't find reasonably priced intermediate spec (like SPS) cams.

The bike will be properly set up, squish and all. I'm going to do the nuts and bolts of the install, but taking it to Travis at Corse in Milwaukee for cam timing and fuel mapping on their dyno.
I love oversized valves, but have tossed my G cams for cherry SPS cams, much easier on the valve guides and adjustments........

Enjoy!!!
 

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Have you looked into DucShop down in Atlanta? I got my 924 kit from them. I think they use Pistal pistons.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Yeah, Ducshop is $749 for a pair of pistons (w/rings, pins and clips) and those are off the shelf, not custom. The kit is $1325 with exchange.

As I said, all things being equal I would have liked a milder cam but they don't show up often for reasonable money.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I was planning on boring my extra set of 748 cylinders and just realized it might be cheaper to just get a set of nice used 916 cylinders (also 94mm, right?). Am I missing something? How much are places charging to bore/hone/nikasil a pair of cylinders? Will good used 916 need any honing or plating in preparation for the brand new 853 pistons and rings?
 

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I wish I could help you more with your search. I actually had the luxury of a great local shop, to help me out. My knowledge base isn't that great. But I'm sure there's got to be some great minds on here who have done that extensive stuff to theres. But if you want some info, just call up DucShop, they will help you out a lot, even if you don't buy anything from them. They're great minds to pick.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Parts accumulation phase;

In possession
Heads (1mm oversize valves, G cams, adjustable pulleys)
Oil cooler

On the way from Gotham
Oil cooler lines/fittings
Stock 916 (94mm) cylinders (later style for non-fibrous head gaskets)
New factory Ducati head gaskets

ETA three weeks, from JE
4 custom (minimum order) 94mm pistons (853cc), 12.5:1 compression, 30/34mm valve pockets, weight to be less than stock 748 pistons but not greater than 10% lighter (rebalancing not required), complete with rings, pins, and locks.

If someone wants two of those pistons, you can have them for $360 shipped. You'll lose just a hair of compression if you have standard valves. Otherwise I'll list them on eBay when they arrive.

I think with some three bond I'm all set unless I need to adjust squish significantly. Then it's off for cam timing and dyno tuning. Anyone have a Power Commander III map for the 853 as a base setting?
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Small hiccup. There was only one head gasket left. I'll have to track down another (without paying full retail + 10% Chicago sales tax) or go with copper. I know they are reusable, inexpensive, and readily available in custom thicknesses if desired. They also need to be retorqued, but anyone have an opinion on copper head gaskets?
 

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I had a little over 20k on the 748 when I found some cash under the mattress. Scott and crew at Desmoto Sport (in the city) did the install. Can't say enough good about those guys and gals. I found the bottom end coming off a corner to be the greatest improvement. Torgue is increased by a butt-load (not sure how much that is..butt). Little less use of the gearbox is always a plus.
Dolph eley
 
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