First ride on the Hodgson Replica 996S

Published: 05 August 2001

Marc Potter has been riding the Hodgson Replica 996S and you can read his first test verdict here. Next week you’ll be able to see video of Hodgson himself on the bike on the Isle of Man.

And the WSB star wasn’t ever going to hang around. Look forward to video clips showing him getting both wheels a long way off the ground…

In the meantime, here’s Potter’s first impressions on the Hodgson Replica: The bike’s a 996S so it’s pretty good to start with. But it’s also got that funky GSE replica paint scheme, trick footrests, loads of carbon parts and a set of fat, loud, Termignoni cans and system and a power-tweaking chip.

It sounds fantastic and goes as well. Ride it and you can’t help looking at yourself in the reflection of cars and shop windows.

Out of town it’s stupidly fast and the handling is spot on. It gets a bit flighty on bumpy roads thanks partly to the race-spec Dunlop D207GP tyres but on smooth roads you can just turn it on and lean it in, a bit more… and a bit more still.

The decision to produce the Hodgson GSE replica was made jointly by the Italian factory bosses and Ducati UK managing director Pier Paolo Guidi who had followed Hodgson’s racing career over the seasons.

It starts life as a stock Ducati 996S, you simply go to your authorised Ducati dealer and place your order. According to Ducati UK’s Luke Plummer there will be no limit on the numbers – but they will only be produced on orders placed in August.

The bike is sprayed with the GSE Racing paintscheme in the UK and the host of parts are fitted by the dealership to transform it into what you see here. Outwardly the most eye catching feature (apart from the GSE replica paint and graphics and black painted wheels) will be the light weight Termignoni exhaust system with its twin carbon end cans.

Air box, fairing ducts and frame cover side panels will also be carbon, as will the engine sprocket cover, number plate hanger and swingarm guard. A lightweight carbon cover replaces the stock 996S’s alloy clutch cover. You also get rear-sets and a tinted screen. Engine modifications are restricted to a re-mapped fuel and ignition EPROM chip.

The factory claim that matched with the race exhaust system the modification should allow the engine to produce between 5-10 bhp more than the stock 175mph 996’s 123 bhp.

Suspension is the same as on the 996S; multi-adjustable 43mm Showa inverted forks matched with an Ohlins rear monoshock – again with full adjustment.

We’ll publish Hodgson’s experiences with the bike on the site next week, along with amazing video clips. And there will be more in the issue of MCN, published on August 15, 2001.

The Hodgson Rep 996S costs £13,500, but you can win one in a competition you’ll find in the new issue of MCN Sport magazine, out now.