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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys, for my first race season I am going to be riding an NT650. But eventually I know that I will move onto something bigger & faster.

I would love to hear some feedback on what you think are the best Ducati models to use as racebikes for intermediate racer applications.

I'm talking about the average man's racebike I guess. The guy who's wallet isn't wholly dedicated to spending dollars on TI frames and TI rearsets. I know building a racebike isn't cheap, but I would think that you could compete pretty decently with some conservative weight saving mods and engine work, along with good riding skill.

In my head I am thinking, 748, 749, 999, 848 models.

What would you guys choose??

Right now I have a 06 999S that I've taken on canyon/mountain runs and it is very stable through the turns, but quite heavy.(I am 145lbs).

I don't want to make this thread specific to me so any comments are welcome, even if the model is NOT in that lineup that I listed above.

Cheers!


B
 

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I bought an 848 to race, but realized it was just too dam expensive and I couldn't race against anything but heavyweights. Trust me, you don't want a heavyweight bike, that limits what you're able to do.

So I wound up buying a already-build and used 749R race bike. It was a good decision at the time because it was cheap, but I ended up spending a great deal of money working on it all season and lost a top 10, maybe even a 8th in over-all points because of all the mechanical and electronic failures. You don't think about it on a street bike, but when a battery terminal comes loose, or something starts leaking, you're out of the race. You can be as vigilant as you wanna be, it doesn't make a difference, if you race it, it will fail. I'm pretty satisfied with the 749R's performance all season and will race it again in 2010, but in all honesty, I'm looking for an alternative for 2011.

So, what are you gonna race? 749S/749R? You've gotta be one hell of a rider to make any of those bikes do anything. How about a 999S/999R? Now you're gridded with heavyweights and forget about that! These are expensive bikes to buy, fix, own and crash...

I can't give you an answer besides the simple fact; Ducati's are expensive to race. I race them because I think they make the best race thoroughbred you can buy (749R) and its taken me a year to set it up properly! EEK! :eek: Now I'm sinking another few grand in the re-build and I'm already $4k in the whole from expenses during the season due to failures! I don't mean to turn you off, but it gets expensive... Noob or pro, its all the same. My suggestion is simple; SV650, Ninja 250, NSR250, ya know... something different, a class thats not full of guys on big bikes or 600cc inline 4's. Find a class thats tame and own it, thats my suggestion. ;)



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Discussion Starter #3
Dang Tye your looking for an alternate??? what are you thinking??

That's some good advice that only someone with EXPERIENCE racing can give and I appreciate it bro.

The costs are a definite drag. Your probably right about owning a class with smaller bikes. Looks like I have a good start towards accomplishing that, at least I have the right bike, granted it is less powerful than the SVs.

So if you had to write a total for your annual cost (lump sum) on racing your ducati what would you say? this is just maintenance, or whatever you need to do to get it racing, including repaired parts from crashes etc.

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Umm... Well, I crashed 2 times and dropped the bike out of my van once, so that totals 3 crashes. Those added up to roughly $300 bux in parts/labor to fix the problems. The motor re-build will cost me in parts; $3500 bux when done. So lets say the total cost of ownership for year of racing was $4k. Thats actually pretty dam good, so there is not one complaint there. The bike is a good crasher, so in all honesty it survived due to superior design.

One VERY important thing about racing, which a lot of people don't figure out is; you've gotta have results. If you put yourself in a class where you're always going to fail, thats nice every once in a while, but you have to win at some point. The 600cc classes will always be booked solid, so I'd stay away from those "meat grinder" classes. I 100% disagree with the old adage, if you start in the meat grinder class you'll get better quicker. You'll get bloody and probably wind up not wanting to go back. What I always tell new racers is quite simple; buy a bike for a class you can win. So if you're a beginner, its pretty easy to beat other beginners in the SV650 class, especially since that class is usually empty in most series. This way, you'll have results and it won't feel like a waste of time.

I'm not going to tout my own horn, I'm not that great of a rider and have a lot to learn, but from one club racer to another... Once you become a decent rider (which takes a while) you'll eventually wanna get something quicker. At that point, perhaps you can see what classes are available and buy a bike to fit those classes. Perhaps the twins classes are empty and if thats the case a 1198S would be the BEST choice money vs performance. You've gotta remember, the higher the RPM's (749S/749R/848) the more service you'll end up doing. The 1198S uses sheer grunt to get around the track, you'll never over-rev it or for that matter, be anywhere near the rev limiter. The 1198S is fully capable of doing some damage in heavyweight twins classes and keep up with people in the other liter bike classes. But you've GOTTA be decent to move up, thats a HUGE step going from an inline 4 to a twin, its night and day riding styles.

I'll be honest, I can't ride an inline 4. So my "threat" to quit Ducati's simply means; RSV4 baby! ;)



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Hey guys, for my first race season I am going to be riding an NT650. But eventually I know that I will move onto something bigger & faster.
First bike I ever owned.

Man I must have dropped that thing 50 times.
 

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Sv650.
 

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hard to beat sv650 or 2 valve ducs
just depends on what classes you are wanting to race and what organization you'll be racing with.
 

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If your running a 999 now, the best bet would be to get a 749 or 999. Main reason is that you "know" the seating position and the bike.. And a well setup 999 can hang with most racers if the pilot knows his business.

//amullo
 

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Ducs are tough to race except against other Ducs in Super Twins-type classes. The big-bores have a hard time keeping up with 1000's and 750's, the small-bores have a hard time keeping up with 750's and 600's, and if you build up the motor for more power you will run into maintenance issues that are very tiresome and expensive. They are fun bikes, and if you don't care so much about results (as you shouldn't if you're just starting out, you need to build up race experience before caring too much about where you finish) then it doesn't matter, but if you continue for a couple years you'll eventually find yourself handicapped.

I raced a 748-turned-996 for 6 years in AFM, and I wouldn't recommend these bikes if you want results. My 996 is a helluva lot of fun to ride, but it was never competetive - by the time it was a 996, I was racing against 999Rs and built Hondas. If you must race a Ducati, get the latest, fastest, and most reliable bike you can find, expect to spend a lot of money, and expect to focus on Super Twins-type classes unless you happen to be racing in a club that has sparsely-populated grids where you have a better chance of results against I4s.
 

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How Expensive Is Racing

Out of curiosity how expensive is it to go racing? I know it depends on your racebike and on a thousand other things, but when you factor in the bike, maintenance, travel, entry fees, etc. how much are you guys spending?
 

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Out of curiosity how expensive is it to go racing? I know it depends on your racebike and on a thousand other things, but when you factor in the bike, maintenance, travel, entry fees, etc. how much are you guys spending?
just a bit more than all of it.

3-race weekend
practice 125
gate fee 25
3 sprints 220
tires 275-425
fuel 50-120
food/beer 100

of course you still have to get there, sleep somewhere and get home
 

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Ducs are tough to race except against other Ducs in Super Twins-type classes. The big-bores have a hard time keeping up with 1000's and 750's, the small-bores have a hard time keeping up with 750's and 600's, and if you build up the motor for more power you will run into maintenance issues that are very tiresome and expensive. They are fun bikes, and if you don't care so much about results (as you shouldn't if you're just starting out, you need to build up race experience before caring too much about where you finish) then it doesn't matter, but if you continue for a couple years you'll eventually find yourself handicapped.

I raced a 748-turned-996 for 6 years in AFM, and I wouldn't recommend these bikes if you want results. My 996 is a helluva lot of fun to ride, but it was never competetive - by the time it was a 996, I was racing against 999Rs and built Hondas. If you must race a Ducati, get the latest, fastest, and most reliable bike you can find, expect to spend a lot of money, and expect to focus on Super Twins-type classes unless you happen to be racing in a club that has sparsely-populated grids where you have a better chance of results against I4s.
Agreed. If you want to be competitive and race twins being on a new Duc is the way to go which really means 1098R or maybe 1198S.

I would say the best starter racebike is not a Duc but more like a EX250, EX500, SV650, etc or a vintage (i.e. 1992 CBR600).

The criteria I would use for the best race Duc "for fun" is:
1. the one where spares are plentiful
2. the easiest one to work on (Testatretta)
3. the cheapest one to buy
4. the one that is already a racebike

The 749/999 are hard to beat in the above categories.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Hmm probably a newer 1000rr would be a better bike to race..
By the time I get there new bikes will be available though.

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Money spent for a weekend of racing is around 500 bucks. That includes Three races, transponder fee, fuel to get to the track and while there, food and gate fees. that doesn't include race tires or parts need for those bad weekends.

If I wasn't racing a SV I would like a 800 SS. Great bike for Light-weight twin class.

Check the WERA BBS posts Theres a 749 on there for $4,900 obo. that would make a great track bike. I saw two 800 SS on there too.
 

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Out of curiosity how expensive is it to go racing? I know it depends on your racebike and on a thousand other things, but when you factor in the bike, maintenance, travel, entry fees, etc. how much are you guys spending?
Every series has their own pricing, so there isn't one price fits all. Plus, some series have kickbacks for doing well, that reduces the price.

The most expensive part in racing is traveling, so the least amount of traveling you can do, the better. Actually going on the track and riding, isn't that expensive, its sometimes less then doing a track day.

On average its $600/day for entry, tire's, fuel and food. Add a simple lowside or a 10 hr travel expense and you could be upwards of a grand!

Hmm probably a newer 1000rr would be a better bike to race..
By the time I get there new bikes will be available though.

B
Big inline 4's are a bitch to ride. You'll make it to a certain point and then not know where to go. I see it on a regular basis, really good riders, who just can't get their game on with the inline 4 1000's. At least on a twin, the throttle isn't a light switch, its more of a dimmer. You can very easily control the throttle and how it effects the rear wheel because there isn't a boost of power anywhere in the band, its pretty flat. The inline 4 1000's are getting flatter, but they do still have a unique upper end which when comes into play, can be pretty scary. Having spent a great deal of time watching and racing against guys on these big bikes, I can tell ya, everyone gets frustrated. "I bought the big bike, but my laptimes are slower!!!" LOL :D

Agreed. If you want to be competitive and race twins being on a new Duc is the way to go which really means 1098R or maybe 1198S.

I would say the best starter racebike is not a Duc but more like a EX250, EX500, SV650, etc or a vintage (i.e. 1992 CBR600).

The criteria I would use for the best race Duc "for fun" is:
1. the one where spares are plentiful
2. the easiest one to work on (Testatretta)
3. the cheapest one to buy
4. the one that is already a racebike

The 749/999 are hard to beat in the above categories.
Only problem is, even a built 999R, doesn't stand a chance in any heavyweight classes. One squeeze of the throttle by your opponent on a 1198S and they're gone. Maybe on a super tight track, where power doesn't mean too much, the 999R might be competitive, but as you well know, you've gotta be one hell of a rider to make these things go anywhere. The newer bikes are a LOT easier to ride quick, thats no doubt.



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Agreed.
The criteria I would use for the best race Duc "for fun" is:
1. the one where spares are plentiful
2. the easiest one to work on (Testatretta)
3. the cheapest one to buy
4. the one that is already a racebike

The 749/999 are hard to beat in the above categories.
I didn't pose this question but I feel better about my decision to buy a 749S
I don't know about Racing but:
Track Days Alone cost me
$110-$185 for the Sessions
$100 Fuel(360 Miles Roundtrip to Closest Track 10MPG =36 Gallons x 2.75)
$10-$15 Track Gas (2.75x5=$13.75)
$0-Tent=Free Nites Stay, or the MotorHome
$0-Food=well you have to eat, so this is a wash as far as I'm concerned.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
So tye are you racing in the big grid againt the large bikes with the 749??
There is a really good chance that I will try and sell my 999s here soon. It's an awesome bike but a recent speeding ticket has put me in a position where my insurance rates and costs of owning it will not be worth it to me. I want to race more than ride on the road so I will pursue riding in my smaller class and then moving up on a bigger duc when the timing is right. Thanks for the feedback tye!
 

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Out of curiosity how expensive is it to go racing? I know it depends on your racebike and on a thousand other things, but when you factor in the bike, maintenance, travel, entry fees, etc. how much are you guys spending?
I budgeted 10K per year including periodic maintenance, parts, occasional crash damage repairs, and track days for extra practice. You can spend less with a smaller bike that doesn't need so much maintenance and doesn't eat tires.
 

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A lot of good info listed in this post. I have raced a 900 SS, 996 and currently ride a 999 R on the track! If I had the R when I was racing I have no doubt I would have a national championship under my belt! But as Tye said stay away from the meat grinder class! I also raced a R6 along side racing the 996 and hated the 600 class! You need enough power in heavywt twins to be competive or it is no fun being out gunned! You can hang with them in the corners but they will go off and leave you on the straights! Racing was a blast because you meet so many good people and develop your skills. I loved the big duc class because we all had to go to work on Monday so we had very few idiots racing the class! Pick a bike to ride but if it is not a R or a 1098/1198 you will probably be out gunned! So have fun and learn on whatever you ride!

Mike
 
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