Ok so i've had it a year and a half and i've only had it up and down the drive.
up until last week when i track dayed it. So this is purley a track bike perspective. To be honest, it would struggle to cut it as an everyday bike, i'll explain why during this review.
Ok so first things first, the bike looks stunning, there is no denying that! it has been well designed dimensionaly and functionally. all the cables and parts are easy to access and beautifully manufactured (a bit like alfaromeos).
On getting on the bike you will immedaitely notice the padding (or lack of) on the seat, this is emphasised by that rock hard suspension (similar to the set up i have on my race worked ZXR, thats how hard it is) the bowed seat almost forces you into an arched racing postion, my bike 'had' cam adjustable rearsets this coupled with the ride hight adjustment allowed me to set ride postion up nicely (even for a tally) the instruments are clear and nicely made with little touches of italian art to remind you your straddling a piece of exotica!
Starting the bike: The key sits nicely into its slot by a recess in the tank surrounded by lush carbon. in its little hidey hole it stays without presenting distraction. turning the key you here the fuel pump charge the system with a powrfull buzz. clicking the fast idel on the bars is a pleasure in its own right, its beautifully made and effective. My bike starts up first time every time and doesnt splutter, choke or groan.
Now, dry clutch . . . ., the bike sounds like an old spitfire on start up. to be honest i like that dry clutch rattle. but any one stood by would think your bike was knackered. if you tune your ears to listen over the rattle or just feather the cluth you can listen in to that sweet twin again bubbling over in a rythmic manner. after a few minuets you can flick off the fast idel and let the bike tick over.
Pulling away: Its the first thing lee noticed, and i dont know who designed it, but that sidestand is a accident waiting to happen, its spring loaded and apparently prone to snapping. My trust in it is minimal and im over catious putting it on the stand!
Once your comfy, pulling the hydraulic clutch in and pushing it into gear is very smooth, no jolting or banging. I've had hydraulic clutches on trials but never road, in a word its cracking. Putting the revs up and letting the clutch out is a task, first time you do it, you'll stall, second time, you squeel that dry clutch. once you have the knack its still a task and slow riding is never going to be achievable in fact below about 10mph is really jolty and very uncomfortable.
The engine: the second best part of the bike, once your going you'll get a shock at how freely that V twin revs. and with 70ft lb of torque it pushes and pushes. now i cant help but feel an inline 4 750 would be faster, but it would lack the torque, which ultimately gives fantastic drive out of a corner. Its linear to apply which so the back wheel never tries to fight its way out on you mid turn, but then you can feel that risk ever present as it puts all 100BHP down on the track. swtiching gears is lovely and smooth and the ratios were perfect for cadwell, That clutch has a massive part to play in that.
wheelying in the first 3 gears, the bike red lines at 13,000rpm, even at these crazy speeds that desmo set up makes the engine feel so repsonsive and composed (very different feel to spring assisted valves).
Frame: stiff as you like, im a big fan of tubular frames. they offer fantastic mid corner composure, the down side is you get streams of feedback from the bike, too much to process some times. bottom line is handling is the bikes best feature (by a country mile)
Suspension: No good for the road, its rock hard. the setup of the bike makes squatting and diving minimal. getting that mid stroke shock travel both front and rear was a fairly easy and the steering dampener helps soften some of the endless feedback.
Brakes: them brembos have some immense stopping power, and i found that over taking pre corner entry on the brakes very easy and composed. the feel was progressive and certainly not aggressive. the back break was light and could be snatchy, i kept rear braking to a minimum.
Overall: an awsome trackday package, tooled up to the nines to benefit a hard rider in every way. Engine outright power lacking slightly, but this is more than made up in torque. A tall order to get away with this bike on tho road, and personally I wouldnt bother unless its your 2nd weekend in july blaster. solid, composed bike with attitude, what more can you ask from ducati twins
note: i had prielli diablo super corsas fitted to mine and they offered immense grib and feedback. definately a harder compound for the road.
Written for my forum
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