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Discussion Starter #1
I've searched and can't find anything definitive... If it's already been posted, then I apologize.

I've been searching for a 748 for some time now. I keep searching and saving my money and an interesting thing has happened. I have a little more money and suddenly see that a 998 could be in reach.

As I understand it, a 998 has the look that I prefer of the 916, 748, 996 series,
but has the "newer" engine of the xx9 series.

Convential wisdom says, newer is better... I'm still leaning to the higher reving 748 - kinda stuck on that.

My question is what can you guy tell me about the differences between the engines???
 

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There are a lot of misconceptions out there. With respect to the 748, newer really isn't that much better. Some people claim certain model years are less susceptible to rocker wear than others, but essentially the bike was damn near identical throughout its entire production life. Most of the issues are more of annoyance--almost a "quirk". That said, there are flaws. I love my 748, but if you have the money, the 998 really is the way to go. I don't like the fairings as much, but there is no doubt that they remedied most of the earlier issues.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks nine16. Are there major differences between the engines? Was it an evolutionary change where they looked at what they learned from the desmoquatro and then "improved" all asspects in the testastretta?
 

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Cant contribute much but I ran across the definition of testastretta which means "narrow head" in italian. Well I kind of thought they were all narrow, but who knows. I do know when I ordered my first set of spark plugs, they were narrow as well, 10mm, cute little things. Even my mower had a grin on its face when I opened the box. Ducati is above all marketing wizards.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
LOL! Does Narrower = Harder to work on????? I would think that maintenance would become easier if not more spread out with a new design... Just wonderin
 

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Thanks nine16. Are there major differences between the engines? Was it an evolutionary change where they looked at what they learned from the desmoquatro and then "improved" all asspects in the testastretta?
Desmoquattro (Desmo Four) refers to the 4 valve desmo system, so technically a Testastretta is also a Desmoquattro.

Testastretta means narrow-head and refers to the angle between the intake and exhaust valves being narrower than the old desmoquattro engine.

The narrower angle allows the engine to breathe better and make more power, the later engines also have other improvements over the older ones but the main difference is the valve angles.

Slightly O/T Desmosedici (desmo sixteen) is actually a mis-nomer, assuming desmodue (desmo two) and desmoquattro are correct terms because 16 relates to the number of valves in the engine rather than the head - by this token a desmoquattro would actually be a desmo otto (desmo eight).

Suffice it to say however that the Testastretta and newer 'Testastretta evoluzione' engines are a more modern design (evolution) and as such are more powerful, smoother and more reliable, although some people prefer the rougher, more raw, some would say 'characterful' power delivery of the older desmoquattro engines.

You are correct that the 998 has the looks of the 'Desmoquattro' era but the motor of the 'Testastretta' - the perfect Ducati in some people's eyes.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks DukeDesmo! That is the kind of info I was looking for.
 

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I've searched and can't find anything definitive... If it's already been posted, then I apologize.

I've been searching for a 748 for some time now. I keep searching and saving my money and an interesting thing has happened. I have a little more money and suddenly see that a 998 could be in reach.
Too f-ing funny, man. The EXACT same thing happened to me. Each month I put a little cash in the sock drawer for the Duc fund and when I had enough I started looking at 916s. Then 996s. Then 998s.

All along I wanted a 999 anyway and by the time the market turned around and a few appeared for sale...I had enough.
 

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Suffice it to say however that the Testastretta and newer 'Testastretta evoluzione' engines are a more modern design (evolution) and as such are more powerful, smoother and more reliable, although some people prefer the rougher, more raw, some would say 'characterful' power delivery of the older desmoquattro engines.
Absolutely true, the Testastretta engines make power in a very undramatic fashion.
 

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Difficulty of maintenance on the two bikes (998 vs 916 etc.) is similar except for the valve adjustment process. The Desmoquattro motors have individual valve covers (intakes and exhausts) as compared to the Testastretta's where the entire top of each cylinder is a valve cover. This allows better and easier access to the valves. The Desmoquattro motors require more patience and positioning of your hands to measure clearances and swap out shims.

One thing I do appreciate concerning the older Desmoquattro bikes, is the ease of removing the fairings and tank. I recently removed the fairings and tank on a 1098s and pissed and moaned the whole time. Seemed like a chinese puzzle. There must have been at least 30 fasteners to get the fairings and molding off. The 916 was so simple. But like any task, once you learn, it gets easier the second time around.

Mike
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I wonder about the engine character. I am a longtime Kawasaki guy. I always appreciated Honda's but never WANTED one because they (to me anyway) had no soul like my Kawi's did. I love my Moto Guzzi because of the engine and the sound it makes (Staintunes) and how it feels - Visceral I guess.
 

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I wonder about the engine character. I am a longtime Kawasaki guy. I always appreciated Honda's but never WANTED one because they (to me anyway) had no soul like my Kawi's did. I love my Moto Guzzi because of the engine and the sound it makes (Staintunes) and how it feels - Visceral I guess.
Ride both side by side - the only way.

I would say, IMO, that a Testastretta feels like you are going 45 when you are going 90, while a 916 feels like you are going 90 when you are going 45.

I wear a Shoei lid and if you crack the visor it whistles at 80mph - very often I'll be cruising along and think to myself, "Why is my visor whistling, I'm crawling along..." and a glance at the speedo shows I'm doing like 83.
 

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I wonder about the engine character. I am a longtime Kawasaki guy. I always appreciated Honda's but never WANTED one because they (to me anyway) had no soul like my Kawi's did. I love my Moto Guzzi because of the engine and the sound it makes (Staintunes) and how it feels - Visceral I guess.
Imo ducati and guzzi aren't that different. The guzzi has a bit more bottom and the ducati likes to be reved a little higher (ducati pretty much starts at 3,5k while some guzzi's ive tried started working like they should at 2,5k). Don't get me wrong it's not I4 high revving, just a tad higher then the guzzi's.
The ducati will be lighter, vibrate less (my experience with the guzzi 1100 engine), overall perform better.
The thing that's a real bonus for me with the guzzi's (especially the carbed one's like yours, only real guzzi imo :p ) is that they're even easier to work on then ducati's.

The 998 should make more power at any revs while the 748 will be down on the guzzi in the lower revs. I'd say get the 998, it's a bit more street friendly (like a guzzi) then the 748 where you have to keep it in the right part of the powerband.
 

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One thing I do appreciate concerning the older Desmoquattro bikes, is the ease of removing the fairings and tank. I recently removed the fairings and tank on a 1098s and pissed and moaned the whole time. Seemed like a chinese puzzle. There must have been at least 30 fasteners to get the fairings and molding off. The 916 was so simple. But like any task, once you learn, it gets easier the second time around.

Mike
I'm on my THIRD round of fasteners to try and ease that torture. I can't believe what a PITA this bike is when it comes to removing the fairings...

One round from Bellissimoto, one round from my dealer, and one round (D-rings, not installed yet) from KurvyGurl. Between the 147 pounds of Dzus fasteners I have in various configurations, I better get something smoothe over the winter lol!

998 is the most beautiful configuration of Superbike in the modern sense for sure. Just needs to lose more pounds than any mortal could afford:)
 

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Imo ducati and guzzi aren't that different. The guzzi has a bit more bottom and the ducati likes to be reved a little higher (ducati pretty much starts at 3,5k while some guzzi's ive tried started working like they should at 2,5k). Don't get me wrong it's not I4 high revving, just a tad higher then the guzzi's.
The ducati will be lighter, vibrate less (my experience with the guzzi 1100 engine), overall perform better.
My LeMans weighs about the same as my 999R, has the same power as my SS, and has no more vibration than any of them. OK, it's not stock (Magni magnesium wheels, Magni swing arm, FCR41s, full-floating cast iron Brembos from a Ducati F1, 4-pot calipers from a 916, aluminum tank, etc.)

Back to the original question, the TS is easier to work on.

Tom
 
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