i need to go a little faster... - Sportbike Forum: Sportbike Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-11-2002, 05:18 AM Thread Starter
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Question i need to go a little faster...

so what do you guys...and gals think i could do to make my 748 keep up with my friends on their gixxer 6's and r6's, BUT keep my reliability?

i was thinking maybe slighty changing the gearing on the rear sprocket but i havent read enough info to sway me to either do it or not do it. the bad things i have heard is:

-increases revs...which is bad on a duc
-increases mileage
-gives an inaccurate speedometer reading

but...i hear that acceleration is noticably improved, is this true? also, i know that this has been asked 10 million times, but what would be the ideal upgrade as far as chain and sprocket combos go? what is the best brand for a ducati?

we (748's) use a 520 chain right, well would anyone go higher or lower <---- also, what does that number mean, it's the weight right?

also, can i expect any real power gains from upgrading my exhaust/chip?

sorry for the essay question, but i am bored at work, would really like to know the answers, and am sure others would also like to know.
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-11-2002, 06:49 AM
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Go up a couple of teeth in the back. You still may not be able to keep up with those guys until you are more comfortable with your bike.

Aftermarket exhaust and reprogramming the FI will give you a little more power but the current 600cc bikes raised the performance bar these last two years and Ducati didn't quite follow.


The sheep need love too but they lie.
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-11-2002, 07:00 AM
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Depends, are you trying to keep up in the straights or the curvy stuff? My little 75hp 900SS 2v has less power than your bike, but hangs with the best of them (and eats up some of the big boys) in the curves. I can also get on it harder and earlier in corner exits, so when the inline bikes "come on," I'm running up their tire. Now if the straight is long, it's a different story...

Gearing - My bike was stock with a 15T front and a 40T rear. I went to a 14T front, and loved the improvement. Your 748 is geared for top speed from the factory. If you're willing to give up some top end (most are, myself included), regearing is downright "normal" on a Ducati. Your bike revs another 3000-4000 rpm than mine, and I still could stand some more gearing. If I were you, I wouldn't hesitate to go up two teeth (or more) on the rear, or down one in the front. The chain will wear a little faster if you go down a tooth in front, but at our kind of power levels, it's not such a big deal as it is with the higher-powered bikes. Plus, the front sprocket is a 15 minute swap.

My SS reads the speedo off the front wheel (I'm guessing your 748 does as well), so the gearing change won't affect your speedo reading unless your speed pickup is off the gearbox. I don't have personal experience with the single-sided swingarm bikes to be able to tell you for sure.

The sprocket swap simply increases the overall torque multiplication. This is a good thing for acceleration, and the effect will be quicker acceleration and faster revs. I also put a lightweight flywheel on my SS, and the "rev-ability" of the engine was drastically improved. Like the sprockets, it doesn't change torque or horsepower - but taking significant mass off of the engine has lots of positive effects that I find truly beneficial.

I got my chain and sprockets (I put a lightweight aluminum sprocket on the rear, changed it all together) from OnOffRoad.com, they had a great price on a pair of Sprocket Specialist sprockets and a DID ERV2 520 chain.

Exhaust and chip on any otherwise-stock Duc (or most other bikes for that matter) are an incremental improvement. Part of the "Ducati Experience" is the exhaust note, so if you're running stock exhaust you're missing half the fun anyway. Don't expect truly significant gains with this mod, but on my bike the overall driveability and power delivery was a bit smoother, and the exhaust note is downright intoxicating.

For some excellent reading on real-world improvements (read: Dyno results) associated with engine, exhaust, and calibration ("the chip") mods, check out Doug Lofgren's excellent site at:


There's a shop in Austrailia with a similar collection of technical writeups that's great reading too, at:


Hey, you said you were bored, right? Hope the comments are of some help!
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-11-2002, 07:47 AM
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FWIW I heard from a reliable source that going down to a 14 on the front of an SS is a bad idea. Not sure on superbikes.

If your gonna change your gearing do it in the back.

As for going faster. Cans & Remapping
A really good valve job helps. (think optimal not just acceptable)
Lightening of flywheel clutch basket etc will help with horsepower at the expense of some driveablility.

Basically just take Duc and apply $$$$$ given to a reputable tuner and away you go.

But if you really must go faster you have 2 options
Get a 998
or get an 853 kit.

There are some things nobody needs in this world, and a bright red, hunchback, warp-speed 900cc café racer is one of them -- but I want one anyway, and on some days I actually believe I need one. That is why they are dangerous.
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-11-2002, 06:37 PM
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Originally posted by lucifer
FWIW I heard from a reliable source that going down to a 14 on the front of an SS is a bad idea. Not sure on superbikes.
Really? What is the specific issue? I've got about 1800 miles on my 14T front, and I can't find any problems to date. It would appear that the chain rubs the guide a little more, but I don't note any significant wear on the guard, so I wonder what the issue is? It is logical (and the physics agree) to say that the 14T is harder on the chain than a 15T, as it "turns harder" around the sprocket, which induces more stress. At SS torque levels, one wouldn't think this would be a problem. In addition, the 748 and its variants already use a 14T front sprocket - from the Factory. So your only real choice would be to go with a larger rear on the 748.

FWIW, I just swapped in the Nichols flywheel this past weekend, and I haven't come across any driveability issues whatsoever. I was warned about the potential for low RPM vibration, idle issues, and other hiccups, but I find my particular engine to be smoother and more responsive across the entire operating range. Second best money I've spent on my bike! (the Marvics were the best $$ - bar none)

The lightweight flywheel and clutch won't add any horsepower (they physically can't), they just allow the engine to spool up much more quickly. This increased engine response "feels" like more horsepower, and can even appear that way on some of the older rear-wheel dynos (because everything is accelerating faster), but the net actual torque/horsepower change is exactly zero. Still, a great mod from a driveability perspective IMHO.

Last edited by Stymie; 07-11-2002 at 06:40 PM.
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-12-2002, 11:36 AM
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Buy an R1 or accept the fact that you look alot cooler than they do but you lack a wopping 10 HP. I rode a 748 and therefore I decided to get a 996. 748 is slow.

I'd rather be on my Duck!
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-09-2002, 11:10 PM
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I discussed this with two Ducati dealers one in Chicago and one in Richmond... both said the same thing (in order per budget):
1) half system with cans, remove intake screens and add high flow air filters.
2) power commander programable chip (you'll never need another)
3) two teeth up in the rear with new chain

I did step one a two months ago, I felt the increase in power, it is slight, but it's there.
The mechanics at both places told me there would some minor backfiring when downshifting and sputtering/popping when cruising low rpms in a higher gear... they are right. They also told me step two takes care of that and said that I'll feel additional increase. My birthday present to myself next month is the chip, and I'm thinking my halloween treat will be two teeth up in the rear.

With the above changes, one of the mechanics had a cheesy grin and said 'wheeeelies'... the others agreed, cheesy grins and all

hope this helps

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