Ducati.org forum banner
1 - 20 of 45 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,735 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Some of you may or may not know that after last year I've done some decent mods to my 1198 to improve handling, ultimately my lap times. I switched to slicks (currently on Michelins), I got Ohlins forks, Ohlins TTX shock (all sprung for my weight and setup well, at least to my liking), 30mm offset triples, and now a quick-shifter. Several months down the road, and several races at a couple of different tracks, I finally made it back to my local track, which is what I use to sort of gauge my speed/skill level. After all of that I improved my best time by 2.2 seconds. Now, I'm not one of the fastest guys out there, so 2.2 seconds at the level that I'm at is not really all that fast. To put it in perspective, majority of fast guys are still about 3-5 seconds faster, with a few of the really fast expert racers being around 10 seconds faster. So, I'm happy that I improved, but I'm somewhat disappointed with the amount :/

Thankfully all that stuff I got was used, but still added up a good $2000+....for 2.2 seconds...is it worth it?? I tend to think not, but wondering what some of you might think. Oh and no way to tell, but I'm wondering how much of that 2.2 seconds came from the upgrades, and how much of it came from simply gaining more experience this year after getting into some club racing? I'm willing to bet almost all of it came from progressive skill improvement, rather than parts. Up until the race I did today which was at the very end of the track day, I had only improved my best time by a few tenths of a second. The race was what pushed me to go a bit faster.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,569 Posts
My first time back to the track after changing out to 27mm triples, ohlins forks, and a new ttx in the rear actually saw a decrease in lap times. Lol I was like wtf?!! But what happened as I started to push harder is that I had a lot more confidence to do so because of the equipment. I'm probably not as fast as you but as I continued to push harder I started dropping time in huge intervals. Now I'm consistently 10s a lap faster than I was before upgrades. I think the speed is there you just need to push harder and extract it!!!
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
1,501 Posts
IMO, it can be VERY tough to decipher what actually makes us faster at our levels. Especially when there are multiple changes going on (i.e.-front setup, rear setup, tire brand/type, electronics add-ons, etc) IN ADDITION to the simple fact that the majority of riders simply get better (at the very least marginally) every day they go out until they reach a "tier" or plateau in their ability that takes a while/extra effort to push past.

The fact that you are racing is definitely helping you get faster, but it'll probably be a little difficult to attribute a certain mod/change to that pace increase due to the very nature of racing: I've GOTTA get past that rider in front!!!

I wish I knew specifically what was actually makes me quicker (when my brain lets me just ride instead of over-analyzing everything), because Lord knows it's not the amount of seat time I've put in over the last 2 seasons (ESPECIALLY at my home track).

I think as your seat time increases that you'll truly start to see the benefits of the chassis improvements and increased confidence in what the tires are doing. And as a result, laptimes may all of a sudden drop a few more seconds without even feeling like you're pushing harder. :)

-Christian
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,932 Posts
I also maintain the opinion that as you modify your bike, you have to push yourself to ride the bike harder. Kinda a double edged sword, as pushing to ride harder, faster is risky cause you are going where you have never been before. Braking harder/later, trail braking into the corners, carrying more corner speed, leaning the bike further, getting on the gas earlier exiting the corner, going to more throttle as you set the bike up, really using more full throttle applications... all risky business for us in an attempt to lower our lap times... now you get to see how your suspension and your setup really works... hopefully before you run out of talent and learn the hard way.... risky business, proceed with caution, Will Robinsion....
 

·
Registered
'12 848evo, '13 Hypermotard SP, '94 CBR600f2 track bike, '06 CBR600rr track bike
Joined
·
908 Posts
Racing seems to be a good way to gain speed. If you have a competitive nature you're not going to like getting passed. You'll start to see things the guys ahead of you are doing and emulate it. It always seemed natural to pick it up the more you raced. Track days don't always give you that, many have passing restrictions and with such a diverse amount of bikes in a class it can be hard to be on say a sv650 and try to keep up with a gsxr1000. Rub you racing expert class? what organization? When I raced in WERA only experts could race above 750cc bikes
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,735 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the input guys. I wish this was all an exact science, because then I wouldn't have as hard of a time with it! haha...but it isn't. Lots of factors and variables involved. Sometimes I wonder if some of that money spent on parts would've been better off spent on a riding school/racing school. Jake Zemke came down to the track this weekend to do some shakedown laps with the TPL 1199R in preparation of his MotoAmerica race next weekend and I talked to him a bit about the Zemke Riding Development school that he does. It sounds like it would really be beneficial, because it's more of a 1-on-1 sort of school so he tailors it based on the level of the rider and what the rider wants to accomplish. Too bad it's all the way in california :/
 
  • Like
Reactions: Ducless and 219R

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,735 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Racing seems to be a good way to gain speed. If you have a competitive nature you're not going to like getting passed. You'll start to see things the guys ahead of you are doing and emulate it. It always seemed natural to pick it up the more you raced. Track days don't always give you that, many have passing restrictions and with such a diverse amount of bikes in a class it can be hard to be on say a sv650 and try to keep up with a gsxr1000. Rub you racing expert class? what organization? When I raced in WERA only experts could race above 750cc bikes
Yes, I hate being passed...but it happens a lot :eek: Which is why in my race yesterday I tried to stick with a guy on an SV650 in the twistier section of the track, and it didn't go well at all :eek:. Our lap times are very close but being that I have twice the power he does or more, it means he's way faster than me in the twisty parts of the track. He's a much faster rider....needless to say, I tried to stick with him and ran off the track right away when I went to fast into a turn. Re-joined the race behind the entire grid, and started picking them off one by one as best I could. Went even faster than I did before all the way to the end, my fastest lap being the last one. Looking at other people's times there was a group of about 4 guys that were ahead and were running about the same times as me, so it could've been a really fun race had I not made that mistake. Oh well....it's racing! :ahhh:

This race I was doing was with my local track day org. Unsanctioned, no license needed. They have 2 of them at the end of the track day and it's for advanced riders who just want to try out racing a bit and mostly for fun. But aside from that, I've been racing in CCS this year as an amateur. CCS does not have that rule that you speak of. You can race whatever bike you want as an amateur. But they always grid experts first, then there is a few empty rows, and then they grid the amateurs. Some races are also 2-wave starts.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 182 Racing and 219R

·
Registered
Joined
·
378 Posts
Here's a subject we all love to ramble on with, so here are my thoughts...next to riding skill, tires are probably the biggest contributor to lap times, even at the highest levels. When the equipment starts to hold back your performance or your confidence... And there usually at least a little bit somewhere... removing or minimizing those barriers will allow progress.

I remember playing with settings at Mead Colorado track 15 years ago, and increasing the trail on the ZX7 allowed me to go so much faster through a section called the dragon-slide that I improved almost a whole second for the entire lap. It felt like it would be suicidal to go through there anywhere close to that speed before, yet some people could probably do it with ease on the previous setup. Was it me or the bike? Another area where I was able to make some big improvement is under braking, having rock solid brakes with 1 or 2 fingers means a lot to me and it takes some time to get there. For the Ducati, the Brembo GP rotors are magical, so much better at hauling the bike down from 180+ with confidence. Spending a lot of cash on HP doesn't seem to make as much sense. Tuning for better rideability on the other hand is also huge, especially off-on throttle transitions while at full lean.

Stickier tires mean we have to recalibrate our limitations in order to take advantage of the speed they offer.

Slipper clutch, same thing, corner entries faster, more stabilized, and more confidence enabled. We have to increase our riding to take advantage of it.

For new suspension like forks and shocks, there's a curve in setup and learning how the bike behaves and how to attain more composure and traction.

Is $2K + worth it for 2 seconds? That depends on the value we put on shaving a couple of seconds of the lap times, or for me, the increased enjoyment of riding one of these wonderful machines and the enjoyment I get out of upgrading and improving things.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,735 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
What else should we spend our money on? A. Caribbean criuse, B. remodeled kitchen, or C. trick Ducati parts and suspension bits? I tend to pick C.
Hahaha! In my case it's:

A Guest bedroom furniture
B Basement living room furniture and TV
C Track days and bike stuff

It's been over a year now in my new house and the guest bedroom and basement living area are still completely empty :eek:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,932 Posts
Ramble on....Yes, this topic is as long as it is wide... and there is no beginning and no end... just goes on and on.. just jump in and start...

Had the pleasure of spending a couple of weekends with Zemke, while he was setting up his DucShop Ducati 848.... super guy, very frigging fast, a absolute DEMON on the brakes... would love to do his school!!.... but California is not in my immediate schedule!!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,181 Posts
I agree with Garett. I think those mods are more about making it easier for you to go faster by giving you more feedback, control, and ultimately confidence.

Rubbish, it's funny, I actually made those EXACT mods this year as well. Unfortunately I don't have my original track to draw lap time comparisons. But I do know that I'm braking later and pushing harder because I'm more comfortable. The bike just feels easier to put it where I want it, and like its begging me to push harder. I know that's very subjective but I can say objectively that I've never lifted the rear in braking, trail braked into, or power wheelied out of corners before
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,652 Posts
I agree with Garett. I think those mods are more about making it easier for you to go faster by giving you more feedback, control, and ultimately confidence.
That right there is the important word. This is a sport that is pretty much solely based on what your head tells you. The more confident you are to push the bike, lean more, brake harder etc. the more your lap times will drop. All the items you throw at your bike are intended to do exactly one thing: improve your confidence.

Is there a common denominator for everybody? Nope...the same suspension might provide a 5 second advantage for someone else. There are people that run circles around me on pretty much stock bikes...compared to my fully tricked out track bike (I have a problem of going overboard when I build them). Most of the friends I go to the track with can take my bike out and run drastically faster than I currently can (mainly because the have cleared more mental hurdles). The only takeaway for me right now is that the bike is definitely not the problem... ;)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,317 Posts
You've gotta be pretty quick to begin with for the bike to be the thing slowing you down. At my level (or lack thereof) my 25mm Ohlins cartridges, TTX, Dan Kyle link, and steering damper probably mean jack shit.;)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
555 Posts
Hahaha! In my case it's:

A Guest bedroom furniture
B Basement living room furniture and TV
C Track days and bike stuff

It's been over a year now in my new house and the guest bedroom and basement living area are still completely empty :eek:
When it comes to the guest bedroom, You need to make it as nice looking and as uncomfortable as your budget allows. When it comes to the bed, firm is bad. You're looking for hard. As hard as possible. If you can, position the headboard against a wall adjacent to a room containing a noisy appliance. If you don't have a noisy appliance, you can find one on Craigslist. Chairs should be made of wood, and look nice while forcing the sitter to mantain a ridged up right posture. Stay away from recliners. Closets in guest rooms are a bad idea. If you have a guest room closet,seal it off or fill it with shit from tha garage or attic...Oh, is this off topic... oops
Seriously Rub, if you are having fun, it's worth every penny. You seem like one of the most enthusiastic people here. And every modification ive ever done has initially cost me time. You said in a pm that you're trying different tires. Pick your favorite and stay with it, learn it, and set up around it. Relax, and as you get accostomed to the changes your lap times will plummet
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,735 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I agree with Garett. I think those mods are more about making it easier for you to go faster by giving you more feedback, control, and ultimately confidence.

Rubbish, it's funny, I actually made those EXACT mods this year as well. Unfortunately I don't have my original track to draw lap time comparisons. But I do know that I'm braking later and pushing harder because I'm more comfortable. The bike just feels easier to put it where I want it, and like its begging me to push harder. I know that's very subjective but I can say objectively that I've never lifted the rear in braking, trail braked into, or power wheelied out of corners before
Well that's the weird thing...ever since I made the upgrades, it felt like it handled better and that I could push it more, especially on corner entry and trail-braking. With the improvements I saw at other tracks, ones that I don't frequent that much, I was really expecting to see at least a 4-second improvement at my home track.

The other thing that baffles me is how in the hell did I do my fastest time ever on the very last lap of the race where I felt so exhausted that I almost thought about waving the guy behind me to go through and just give up :eek: I honestly felt like I was going 4-5 seconds slower and it turned out to be my best lap. Guess from now on I need to do like 30-40 pushups right before getting on the bike to get myself tired :ahhh:

^same for me, except no one ever takes me up on my offers to ride mine. *sad lol*

Really want a seasoned Duc rider to take mine out for a session or two just to see what it's really capable of in the right hands.
You don't need a seasoned Duc rider. Just give it to Kaleb or Scott Stall....crazy fast racers...what could go wrong? :D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,735 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
You said in a pm that you're trying different tires. Pick your favorite and stay with it, learn it, and set up around it. Relax, and as you get accostomed to the changes your lap times will plummet
Yes, that's the plan. One more left on the list...the Pirelli Superbike slicks. And conveniently enough, my local dealer/tire supplier just announced that starting later this month they will be a Pirelli distributor as well! :yo:
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
1,501 Posts
You don't need a seasoned Duc rider. Just give it to Kaleb or Scott Stall....crazy fast racers...what could go wrong? :D
Lol, you mean other than Kaleb being brainwashed into thinking Ducs are deathtraps and Scott pretty much only mentally wired for "checkers or wreckers"? LMAO
 
1 - 20 of 45 Posts
Top