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‘05 749R, ‘89 851/926, 749R/999RS project
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Hmm. That’s an interesting question. I guess that’s part of a bigger philosophy. I don’t really like tracking the new new fast bikes. I like these mid power bikes that are really competent. From 125hp to maybe 160hp at the wheel are my sweet spot, maybe? These are the bikes I can ride the best and enjoy riding the most. I love the trellis frame machines that you can really send fast into the turns and lean way over and they just track gracefully while leaned way over.

What about this particular bike? It’s hard to say exactly what. I have three 748RS’s and a 996RS, plus a 916 Corsa and an 848 race bike built for Daytona. I don’t have anything like this. I always felt that it would be hard to find a nicely sorted one and I don’t want something that’s a moneypit or real pain in the ass to sort. But they’re really beautiful and there has always been an appeal. I’ve thought about an 888 Corsa or 900SS track bike too but this is a different era and has a special appeal.

So when I got on it, I didn’t know what to expect. But it was immediately clear that this was not some rickety piece of junk. It was tight from the start and accelerated so cleanly. And it is so light, you can just rip it. I don’t have anything like that: a lightweight air cooled 2v Ducati that just rips. And the more I would fling it into turns and zing out of them, the more I realized that this is a very unique and thrilling experience. Between the weight, the small feel, and the more than ample power, it is just right.

And even though on paper it doesn’t sound like it has a ton of power, it’s plenty fast enough. I was passing guys coming out of corners fast enough that it was surprising. Not so fast that I felt like I was taking their paint off but certainly not to where I thought the bike could use any more power

I didn’t know what I would use it for as I have a hard enough time figuring out where and when to use my other bikes, but I figured it was a problem worth having. Again, I’ve thought about adding something a little older like an 888 Corsa or 900SS race bike.

I don’t know if I need any more race bikes. I am kind of at the limit of what I can use. That doesn’t mean I won’t buy another one; it’s just that I’m really at the point of diminishing returns.

Anyways, I hope that answers that a little
Great answer Sherp, thanks for taking the time.

And I hear you: my first Ducati 20 years ago, a ‘94 916 Strada built to SP spec (right bike at the wrong time, took me a while to get back here) and I remember thinking “this bike, with 150hp, would be perfect” This being the era of the game changing R1 and GSXR1000.

Fast forward a few years, I’d fallen in love with the track, and raced an HRC’d CBR1000RR: I’d never been a “Honda guy” but the damn thing just worked. I eventually upgraded to a later, supposedly superior, Yoshi’d GSXR1000.... only to find it didn’t “just work”. It taught me a hell of a lot but it wasn’t always pleasant. As they say failure asks many more questions than success.

Sick of Superbikes eating tyres the way a Labrador eats breakfast I found myself with a 749R, and falling back in love with Ducati’s. Fuck me if the the thing didn’t “just work”: it gave so much confidence, the perfect balance of poise, power and braking.

These days I find myself chasing more of that “just works” feeling. If I had a 165kg bike with 150hp and faced with a choice of -10kg or or + 10hp I’d take the -10kg every time.

It’s been a while since I raced (intentions to do more with 851/926 classic build) but 2 images spring to mind : neck and neck with another superbike alongside, wheels lofted as we accelerated alongside each other. And chasing a National level 600cc rider on my superbike: so frustrating watching him slowly eke away as he cornered faster/got on the gas earlier as I couldn’t find anywhere to unleash the extra hp I had at hand. I’d just be making inroads as we got to the next corner: aaaargh!

So yep, completely understand: accessible performance is far more important than something difficult to use.

Thanks again for your thoughts
 

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Sick of Superbikes eating tyres the way a Labrador eats breakfast I found myself with a 749R, and falling back in love with Ducati’s. Fuck me if the the thing didn’t “just work”: it gave so much confidence, the perfect balance of poise, power and braking.

These days I find myself chasing more of that “just works” feeling. If I had a 165kg bike with 150hp and faced with a choice of -10kg or or + 10hp I’d take the -10kg every time.

So yep, completely understand: accessible performance is far more important than something difficult to use.
Agreed. And one of reasons why I have all of the RS bikes is because they’re that sweet sweet intersection of light weight, power, and sublime handling. But they’re each a little different so I can kind of have the complete spectrum of experiences. And since I’m not a particularly fast track guy, I just ride for the fun of the experience, not the lap times.

I am going to use a 996RS for this year which is still not much compared to these new 225hp monsters but exactly where I want to be at the moment to find that sweet spot.

I have one 748RS that is 100% per the rules minus the bored throttle bodies. It refs completely differently and while it doesn’t have that much power (about 119 at the wheel), it’s so nice to ride because of how smoothly it revs to 13.5k and how nicely it goes. Another one of my 748RS’s has 129 at the wheel but it’s had some extra done during the last engine rebuild. It’s been pretty amazing and I realized that I can go up a little from there so now I’m adding a 996RS to the mix.

Again, it’s not crazy power by today’s standards but to have about 155 rwhp in a lightweight 916 gen racer with fly by wire, no traction control, no abs, and nothing else to get in the way of carving big turns with your knee skimming while you use your perfectly weighted throttle to make these little micro adjustments to your line is exactly right.

It’s never about the out and out power. It’s, as you said, about what “just works.”
 

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Bon Vivant
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11,124 Posts
In the spirit of small, light (and likely uncomfortable) race bikes, today I'm lusting for a Duc single cylinder race bike.

View attachment 999636
That is a spectacular bike and the only thing Ducati about that is the engine. Not sure what frame that is but Wow! super cool.
Is that a museum?
 

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Bon Vivant
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11,124 Posts
In the spirit of small, light (and likely uncomfortable) race bikes, today I'm lusting for a Duc single cylinder race bike.

View attachment 999636
I ran across another custom Ducati with this same frame. The owner says it was made in Japan by Mr. Murayama, the Ducati authority in Japan. Looks like one of our members here is also building something similar...

999754
 

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I wonder if one of those ^ is as fast or as nice handling as an old 1990 1000 GT...?

 

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Bon Vivant
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Happy to see Moto Guzzi is putting some more oomp loompas in the new 2021 V7 850. Really liking the looks of the "Special" model:

I've always liked the looks of the retro Guzzis but with an output of about 48HP I've never considered buying one. The 850 bumps that up to about 65 - Sorry, still not enough poop for the beef (over 500lbs wet). But they do look great...

Give me 90HP, 80 ft/lbs and 420lbs wet and we can talk.
 

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I've always liked the looks of the retro Guzzis but with an output of about 48HP I've never considered buying one. The 850 bumps that up to about 65 - Sorry, still not enough poop for the beef (over 500lbs wet). But they do look great...

Give me 90HP, 80 ft/lbs and 420lbs wet and we can talk.
You want an engine that redlines in the 6-7000 range??
 

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2007 Monster S4RS
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16 Posts
So a few post back I was lusting for a Husaberg 570 I actually bought one from a friend but changed my mind was at the Triumph dealer yesterday to look at the 1200xe . I bought one today. I might need to borrow someone's couch I will trade couch time for ride time.
View attachment 999063
Congrats on the new bike JD. This is the bike I have been lusting over for sometime now both in this spec and colour scheme. What’s she like to ride.

super envious...
 

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2007 Monster S4RS
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16 Posts
I have been lusting over the Ducati Sport Pro 1100.

Not as quick as my S4RS but I think it would be great flying down some country roads on an air cooled 1100 with some Termis. I think it would be a heap of fun and very rideable. I absolutely agree with the thoughts of others that maximum horsepower does not equate to the best riding experience.
999793
999794
 

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2016 Hyperstrada 939, 93 900ss, 2017 CRF250L RALLY, 2003 F650GS DAKAR, 1993 KLR250, 1986 HONDA TLR20
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213 Posts
Congrats on the new bike JD. This is the bike I have been lusting over for sometime now both in this spec and colour scheme. What’s she like to ride.

super envious...
The weather here sucks but I did manage 100 miles towards break in. No gravel yet I have to say in the short ride it does not feel as heavy as it is I was impressed with its road manners for a 17-21 tire combo. The juice is right in the middle of the rev range lots of torque now mind you I am not ringing it out at only 100 miles it has lots of pull around local roads 55-60 mph I think you would be hard pressed to be higher than fourth gear. Suspension feels stiff it did feel better after a few miles but that stiff feeling was just in the garage before the first ride, it softened up a bit after a few miles and ride quality was superb with just how it came, I still need to get it all adjusted for me. I was bump hunting and it soaked up everything I could find. I wouldn't count this as a review more of a test ride but I think they nailed it as a 50/50 bike there wasn't
anything I didn't like except for no storage space and the tool kit is one L shaped screwdriver. You will need to get a small bag for your essentials and maybe a tire plug kit. My ride was in the 40's so it was hard to judge the exhaust heat on the legs. I have read the Decat helps I am not touching a thing until at leas 1500 miles I here it gets better after break in. Overall VERY HAPPY.

JD
 
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