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32 MOTOR CYCLE NEWS MARCH 10, 2004ROAD TEST>> CONTINUED FROM PREVIOUS PAGEWHAT DOES AN EXTRA £5000 BUY YOU?AT close to £5000 more than the base model, and£3800 more than the ‘S’ version, what do you getfor all that extra cash?EXHAUSTUNLIKE the 999R, you don’t even get a raceexhaust thrown in. The stock can is road-legal andthankfully doesn’t completely stifle the V-twin.However, a race kit will be available with a highperformance57mm bore full exhaust system. It willalso include revised cylinder heads with gas-flowedintake ports, redesigned airbox and uprated ECU,taking power up to a claimed 137bhp. Unfortunatelythe kit costs £5522.50 and Ducati UK is unsure howmany will be available.REAR SUSPENSIONTHE adjustable Ohlins rear shock is compressed by arocker arm mounted above the spring. Compared tothe 749S, it allows much less wheel travel. Thesuspension action is also nearly linear, so it doesn’tget firmer towards the end of its travel. This isdesigned to provide a consistent action in racingconditions, and because it’s a single-seater Ducatihaven’t had to worry about carrying a pillion.SWINGARMTHE swingarm is similar to the design used on World Superbikespec999Rs. The area around the pivot housing is castaluminium, while the arms are made from two pressed, boxsection metal sheets welded together. The arm on the chain sidefeatures a triangulated strengthening supportunderneath. The distance between the rearwheel spindle and the swingarmpivot point can belengthened whenfine-tuning chassisgeometry.SWINGARM isvirtually WSB-specFRAMEDUCATI has unrivalled experience when it comes to the tubular steel trellis frameand the 999R superbike effort has given them excellent racing data for thechassis and set-up. The engine acts as a stressed member and, because theairbox is not sealed by the top of the fuel tank (which at 18 litres is three litreslarger than on the 749S) the frame is only 345mm at its widest point.Fork rake is adjustable between 23.3-24.3° and trail 91-97mm. With the 749Rfork offset is also adjustable through two fixed settings, 30 or 36mm, via aneccentric steering stem housing. But Ducati is keen to point out that this level ofadjustability is for racing applications only.BRAKESTHE pair of Brembo radialbrake calipers up frontfeature four 34mm pistonseach and work on 320mmfloating discs, much like the999R. You also get fourindividual pads per caliper.The rear twin-piston calipergrips a 240mm disc.DUCATI 749RIN DETAILA LIMITED-EDITIONhomologation speciallike this should bedripping in beautifultouches – if only to justifythe price tag. This latest raceorientedbike from the Italianfirm doesn’t disappoint. The749 is about show as wellas go, and has plenty todistinguish it from astandard 749TIMING belt cover helps with coolingTOP-SPEC rear shock is from Ohlins ROAD-LEGAL can is shrouded in carbon THAT little ‘R’ after the 749 says it all

MARCH 10, 2004 MOTOR CYCLE NEWS 33749R TESTASTRETTAV-TWIN MOTORSHORTER strokemeans the 749’srev ceiling hasbeen hikedWHEELSBOTH front and rear Marchesiniwheels are made from forgedaluminium alloy, which means thatthey’re both light and strong.The 749R is approved for roaduse, but only as a single-seater. Thismeans the 749 can run lighterwheels than they would have on apillion-friendly machine.DUCATI 749RPRICE: £13,595Available: MarchContact: 0845-1222996Power (claimed):118bhp @ 10,250rpmTorque (claimed): 60ftIb @ 8250rpmTrail: 91-97mmRake: 23.3-24.3°Wheelbase:1420mmWeight: 192kg (wet, no fuel)Seat height: 810mmFuel capacity:18 litresFRONT SUSPENSIONTHE 43mm upside-down Ohlinsforks are adjustable for pre-load, aswell as rebound and compressiondamping. The fork bottoms havebeen designed by Ohlins to acceptthe radially mounted Brembocalipers and the stanchions aretitanium nitride coated to reducestiction.SPECIFICATION:Engine: Liquid-cooled, 749.5cc (94 x 54mm) 8vDesmodromic four-stroke 90° V-twin. Magneti Marelli fuelinjection. Six gearsChassis: Tubular steel trellisFront suspension: 43mm Ohlins inverted forks, adjustablefor pre-load, rebound and compression dampingRear suspension: Ohlins monoshock, adjustable forpre-load, rebound and compression damping and rideheight adjustmentTyres: Michelin Pilot Race H2; 120/70 x17 front,180/55 x 17 rearBrakes: Brembo; 2 x 320mm front discs with four-pistoncalipers, 240mm rear disc with twin-piston caliperENGINETHE 90° Testrastretta V-twinhas a bore and stroke of 94 x54mm, giving a capacity of749.5cc. The 749S runs a 90 x58.8mm layout, which equates to748.1cc. But the change is aboutcylinder head efficiency.The 749R engine is built to workmuch harder than the 749S andneeds its bigger bore and shorterstroke to cram in larger diameterintake and exhaust valves. Ashorter stroke also means it can revhigher. The compression ratio is up,too. The 749S runs 12.3:1, whilethe 749R is up to 12.7:1. Ducaticlaims peak power is 118bhp, whichcompares to the 749S’s 110bhp.FUEL INJECTIONTHE Magneti Marelli injectors usedon the 749R engine – one percylinder – are not the single-holeinjectors used in the otherTestastretta engines. They use 12tiny holes for optimum fuelatomisation and improved engineefficiency, especially at high revs.VALVE TRAINTITANIUM valves are used in the749R and this is a first for Ducati.Titanium valves are lighter, whichreduces reciprocating mass, andare stronger than steel.Intake valves are 39.5mm in749R useslonger titaniumcon rodsdiameter with a lift of13mm (the 749S is 38mmand 11.4mm), and exhaustvalves are 32mm with11.5mm of lift (749S is 30.5mmand 10.2mm).CRANKSHAFTA SMALLER, tapered crankshaftflywheel shape shaves weight whileproviding enough mass to balancethe crankshaft assembly.CON RODSTHE 749R’s top-end assemblylength is identical to that of the749 and 749S motors. However,since the ‘R’ engine uses a shorterstroke, slightly longer titanium conrods from Pankl are used.TIMING BELTCOOLINGTHE timing belts driving theDesmodromic valve gear get a goodhammering in such a high-revvingmotor. Ducati racing engines havetraditionally dispensed with anysort of belt cover to aid coolingefficiency. However, the 749R usesa carbon-fibre cover which draws incooling air, and protects the timingbelt mechanism.SENSORTO gather consistent informationon engine revs and strokesequence, a sensor has beenmachined into the camshaft drivegear, Coupled to a magneticinduction sensor this generates astrong signal for the ECU withoutfear of interference at high revs.ELECTRONICSTHE wiring system that the MagnetiMarelli ECU and instrument panelare connected to has been greatlysimplified, saving a significantamount of weight.SLIPPER CLUTCHHIGH-COMPRESSION racing V-twinengines produce a lot of backtorque under hard deceleration,which can easily lock up the backwheel. The 749R uses a ramp-styleslipper clutch, which stops the rearwheel from locking up on harddown changes, but it can take somegetting used to.DEEP SUMPTHE 749R’s crankcases, identical tothe 999S Testastretta’s, have beenmanufactured by pressure diecastingwith a lower ‘V’ shapedsump with increased oil reservoircapacity. This feature is importantin a racing engine because in alltrack situations – cornering, heavybraking, hard acceleration andwheelies – the oil pump always hasa reserve of oil available.TITANIUM valvesare a first forDucatiPROS ● Brilliantly involving engine ● Superb Ohlins suspension ● Even more fun than a 999RCONS ● Race exhaust isn’t included ● You could have two Honda CBR600RRs instead96%

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