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Discussion Starter #1
I know a number of you run your Desmo on the track and have good experience comparing it to other bikes. I imagine the responses will be varied. I'm thinking about getting another Desmo to be used solely on the track, replacing my R6 track bike. This one would be less than pristine (missing bodywork and other minor parts) so the "binning a collector bike" factor would be greatly mitigated if not eliminated. Even with that aspect removed from the argument, running a Desmo on track has a lot of, umm, issues:

- Replacement parts don't grow on trees. The R6 has become arguably the most popular track bike so one can buy any number of rear sets, bodywork, clip ons, etc. R6 fairing stays, subframes, gas tanks, engines and the like can be readily purchased on eBay and various forums. There's an R6 being parted out every day.

- Broad experience with chassis setup is limited. Again, the R6's popularity result in a large user base. That said, the resources here are quite good.

- Not many modifications are required for the Desmo. It already has top-line Ohlins front and rear. I'd probably add Nemesis traction control and upgraded brake pads, along with aftermarket clip-ops and track bodywork.

- While a less valuable example, Desmos will always be worth something, even more so in parts. And grenading and engine will turn the bike into a paperweight.

It sounds like I've talked myself out of it, right? Is the Desmo so sublime on the track that all negatives are outweighed? I'm hoping so.

Some of you have mentioned that you're faster and more comfortable on Panigales or Aprilia RSV4s, and those options are on the table too. But again, eliminating the "crash a collectible" factor, would you feel just as comfortable thrashing a Desmo?

Or should I dismiss the notion and just get an HP4 like my wife. :)
 

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Lol. Good post man.
Cant get into a long reply right now but running a Vtwin on the track is ALOT of fun after riding inlines for so long as it sounds you have. You will not regret it after one track day out there for sure! My buddy just got a HP4 Comp and will be using his Pani for track use only now - maybe the HP on track too who knows?

If you ever need help with the stuff needed to build a track bike let me know. Where are you residing btw? Best of luck picking out what to go with my man! :)
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the reply, Gunny.

I'm actually more predisposed to V-twins but the R6 is the de-facto standard 600cc track bike. A buddy of ours bought a 1098R to run on the track this year and is lovin' it.

I'm in Northern Virginia. There's a pile of parts waiting to go on the wife's bike. My R6 will have to wait until my collarbone and thumb heals. I played Superman about a month ago. Didn't end well.
 

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I know a number of you run your Desmo on the track and have good experience comparing it to other bikes. I imagine the responses will be varied. I'm thinking about getting another Desmo to be used solely on the track, replacing my R6 track bike. T

Or should I dismiss the notion and just get an HP4 like my wife. :)
I have been riding a D16 on tracks for four years. I tracked a number of 888 Corse's (my main passion- I own five of them) for 15 years before I bought a salvaged D16 and put it on the track.

I have never ridden a R6 on the track and I do not know how fast your are, what your riding style is, and what tracks you play on-so I have no way to advise you except in a philosophical way. I assume you do Summit and VIR (perhaps with the MAD crowd) which are a mix of technical and a few straights. .

It will depend upon why you want to track the D16-- to enjoy the ride or to beat your current lap times. If you want to beat your current times- depending upon your riding style- you may be frustrated for the first few track events. It took me four track days to learn what the D16 likes in order to get lap times equal or better then what I could achieve on my Corse's which have much less power.

If you just want to experience the fun of riding the D16 on the track and do not care what your times are--then you will have a ball on the bike.

The D16 is a hoot to ride on both boomer tracks like Mosport as well as technical tracks like Gratten. It is not a friendly bike like my much softer feeling Corse's which feel much smaller and intimate--- but when you get to point where you can power the D16 out of a turn on song it is sublime. I ride the bike for the experience of it- not the lap times- which many times only come deep in the afternoon sessions.

I run Ntec slicks and have tried a number of geometry setups to get the D16 to turn in and pick up out of a turn like I was used to ridding the Corse's. I finally raised the rear a bit higher then the factory setup and changed my riding style. I was not a heavy trail brake rider with the Corse's- but now with the D16 I find I trail brake when I get up to speed. I also had to change my body position to get crisper turn in-- I was still in my '90's style of riding which the D16 did not like and the front end would be numb with little feedback. Once I got over the front end and rode faster, the bike started talking to me.

There are many other bikes that are easier to ride faster on the track then the D16. The BMW is one of them. If you just want a track weapon then there are some great ones for far less money. If you want to ride a D16 even if you could be slower on it- then buy a D16 an enjoy it.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Mark, thanks for replying.

I don't keep lap times but I like to ride quickly. I'm not just out there for the scenery. That said, it's just track days and not racing so I'm not super hard core. It's about fun and improving my skills.

I'm a fast intermediate/slow advanced rider with more to learn. One of the reasons I like the R6 is the feeling of being over the front and its immediate reactions. It doesn't ride like a bus. I'm comfortable trailing the brakes to turn the bike but I'm not experienced enough to brake all the way to the apex. I continue to work on my body position to get my chest inside and down, trying to emulate more modern riding styles without pulling a muscle.

As for tracks, we've been riding NC Bike (NCCAR) quite a bit and prefer it to Summit. I also like VIR North but, sadly, have only ridden it once this year. NJMP Thunderbolt is fun to but the traffic can be "interesting". Last year we rode a bunch more tracks but stayed closer to home this year. Crashing has limited the number of days this year too.

I don't know if this answers your questions, or mine for that matter. I'd planned on taking my current D16 out a few times to see what it's like but this opportunity arose before I could do so.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Well, I pulled the trigger last week and have acquired #125. I should see in a week it it's as good in person as in the pictures.







 

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Congrats on the purchase mate!! Has all the early number issues been rectified on it? Better off being sure before you give it a thrashing! Treat yourself to track bodywork, some sliders & protectors, a PC V & get it set up properly...you'll love it!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Congrats on the purchase mate!! Has all the early number issues been rectified on it? Better off being sure before you give it a thrashing! Treat yourself to track bodywork, some sliders & protectors, a PC V & get it set up properly...you'll love it!
That's pretty much the plan with the addition of Nemesis TCS. I already have a set of track plastics. :smoking: I'll have a local dealer run the service history.
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
The salvage Desmo was delivered this morning. I was only able to look at it briefly before going to work. It didn't start, the dash didn't even come on which I believe indicates the battery was disconnected for shipping. I hope. Quick points:

- I think it was totaled because the paint on the frame got chipped.
- Nose has a little ding and the belly pan a couple scuffs.
- The tail isn't correct for the bike (it should be solid red) but it's in great condition.
- It has the "street" exhaust with catalytic converter and matching ECU. Hopefully I'll find someone who wants to part with the "race" exhaust because they upgraded to the GP7.
- Brake levers, front fender, front wheel, mirrors and foot pegs are all non-original. No biggie because it's a track bike.
- Front wheel is dinged. The bike will need a new set of wheels, the front to replace the dinged one and the rear to allow running 17" rubber.
- It's missing the foot guards which double as mounts for the belly pan. I'm pretty sure there's a set on eBay somewhere or I'll fab aluminum brackets.
- Counter sprocket cover is missing. I'll either source a replacement or fab something up.
- WTF is with the ugly-ass stickers? Maybe they're covering up scratches.

The important stuff all seems fine - forks, frame, swing arm, carbon subframe and tank all seem straight and unmolested. Engine condition to be determined.

In general, the bike was unloved. It's filthy, the belly pan full of greasy dirt and some clear carbon finish is peeling. On one hand, it's sad to see it in this condition. On the other, I won't feel too bad turning it into a track rat.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
The battery was completely fried and wouldn't hold a charge so I've been unable to start it. While I wait on a Shorai battery, I've been disassembling the fairings and cleaning underneath.

While on the charger, I managed to get the dash to come alive. But instead of scrolling "D16RR", it read "DUCSHOP". Hmm. Today I found a Microtec ECU in the nose. Bonus.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I also have a question for those of you running race plastics, how did you fasten the upper/nose to the fairing stay? Mine is drilled with two holes for fitting to the mirror mounts.
 

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Kudos to you for bringing her back to life. Thats gonna be fun on the track once you get it out. Sad to see someone who had such a unique/cool/expensive bike not take care of it at all before you. I hope you get it all worked out fine. Keep us updated with pics and how everything goes. Interesting write up/blog/story you have. Thanks for sharing
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Run a TyWrap through the holes.
That was my original thought but I figured Desmo riders would use something a little more elegant. :)

The Sharkskinz on my wife's BMW have a nice quick-release with a W clip that fits though the mirror mounts on the stock fairing stay.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
A little update. A new Shorai battery brought the bike to life Saturday the 20th of September. At which point it blew blue smoke out the tail. This lessened somewhat but never went away.

Startup Video 1

Startup Video 2

I rode it around a bit before having to head to the airport for a week-long business trip. It rode fine, shifted crisply and seemed to pull about the same as my "good" Desmo.

I've since called a local dealer (Ducati Winchester, aka Duc Pond) to get the service history of the bike. There are no outstanding recalls and 14 warranty claims (odd vibration, wind noise, "reduced efficiency"). So piston rings should be correct and valve assist springs replaced. Supposedly all service was performed by Motoveloce, Inc. located in Los Angeles, California but I can't find any phone number for them.

Any thoughts on the smoke? It's been sitting a while so that could account for the blow-by at first. I might mount a GoPro to the tail to see if it smokes under load. In any case, I think I'll have compression and leakdown tests done and a dyno run to assess the general condition of the motor. Otherwise, I'll start cleaning it up and getting it track-worthy.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I drained the oil this weekend. Nothing metallic came out and the drain plug magnet was clean. The oil itself was pretty dirty but I didn't note anything unusual; it wasn't a chocolate milkshake, flowed with some viscosity and smelled normal.
 
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