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Discussion Starter #1
I talked with the mechanic last night about some modifications but would like input on some items.

(This is an approx. 19k mileage '99 Ducati 996 track-only bike, because sportbike riding on the streets is boring; it has Ohlins rear, 520 chain, 52mm full Arrow, CF airbox, slipper clutch, CF bodywork, rearsets). I want more braking, and need it too. I want more power. I want better handling, mostly quicker steering.

Options:

Ohlins superbike forks - @$3000
Brembo GP calipers and carrier - $800
Top end engine work (DC hicomp pistons, cams, crank) - $1200
17" gold Marchesini - $1700
clutch work (needed) - $300
new slicks - $400 for race
new subframe/with AB - $? will swap some parts for this.

I don't want to spend all that money!
I'm thinking engine work, brakes, and I need new cpm clutch plates. Numerous starts do hose the plates. New or used Marchesini five spoke (most likely) within the month. Race is Feb. 26-27.

I've switched to light beer as of yesterday.

Anyhow, comments and ideas from racers would be appreciated. For instance, I thought a larger radiator would be necessary due to cooling requirements of additional HP. Mech said no, not the case; he'd be happy to install one, but he said he's never had overheating problems. Now, he's got some awesome bikes in his shop, including numerous WSBK spec'd machines (Hodgson's '01, parts from Xaus' bikes, $80k custom race 998s, etc.) and they all have the larger radiators. I trust my mechanic. But I'd like more input on worthwhile mods, worthless mods. Is a new subframe worth it? How about a full 54mm exhaust? I'll buy used. I'm not into bling, or new parts smell. As long as it's in excellent condition.

Personally, I think the best mod for me right now would be brakes and wheels. I think if I can improve my riding, the 996 has excellent power, and I'll just not race against the R1s and GSXR1000s. I realize an Ohlins front end would be excellent, but that's $3k!!! And I can't afford the $15k SB forks, I'd get the lesser ones! I'll stick with alum triples, as well.

Well, shit, just thinking about these mods worries my banker.
 
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Discussion Starter #2
Re: Worthwhile mods for a 996 racebike? (996miami)

GP calipers are a waste of money IMHO. There are pro privateers using Brembo four pad calipers, they are all the caliper you need. Brakes are pretty subjective, but I don't care for the way stainless discs bite, I am sold on iron discs.
 
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Re: Worthwhile mods for a 996 racebike? (996miami)

Number 1 bang for the buck mod you should do first is magnesium wheels. This will feel like you added power and brakes. Next would be suspension. I don,t know the history of your suspension, but maybe a simple rebuild (Ohlins internals) would do the trick for now. The stock Showa forks are a good platform with good parts and tuning. You could have the rear shock rebuilt or upgrade to a 3-way Penske. Along with the brake calipers, I agree with Phil, the new 4-pad calipers are plenty strong and with new lightweight iron rotors would be a great compliment to the wheels. As for the subframe, if your bike was a biposto from the factory the wiring harness will not reach the monoposto mount without splicing. Use your own judgement there. The 52mm exhaust will be fine if you do some mild engine work, but if you do everything else first, you may find you don't need more power. And lots of tires and track time. Good luck.



Modified by Kevin996 at 12:59 PM 1/19/2005
 
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Discussion Starter #4
Re: Worthwhile mods for a 996 racebike? (Phil 998)

This is what I would do and I just did this also.

Sell or part the bike out. Buy a new 600, or if you want a Ducati buy this 749r from BCM.

http://speedzilla.zeroforum.co...37524

I built my 996 up to about 145 hp (BCM 1036). It had plenty of power and a lot of torque, but was a handful to ride hard. Racing the 996 was like sitting on a two legged stool compared to sitting on a couch (race 999r with adjustable triples).

To make the 996 handle better would require adjustable triple clamps and the longer swingarm. Instead of doing that, I traded it for a 749r.

Don't waste your money on Ohlins forks. Have your Showas reworked by a reputable suspension guy for under $500. Lindemann did mine and they were awesome.
 
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OK, I'm not a racer but I've been doing a lot of work on my 996, so I have my own opinions.

Firstly, the prices you listed for pistons, cams and crank ($1200) is very suspect. Pistons cost a lot (Pistals are $800), cams (SPS/G) can cost between $1000-$1500, crank work varies from simple balancing ($150) to lightening/knife edging/polishing ($450).

If you take the engine apart, your options are many. If you don't want to take the engine apart, you have a couple options to liven things up and improve handling quickness. Lightweight flywheel from Nichols is $200 and cuts 3.5lbs of rotating mass and lets the engine rev quicker. A lightweight slipper clutch for track use will cut weight and works well for track use. Even a non-slipper will be an improvement over the OEM setup. A new quality slipper clutch with plates will cost over $1000, but a lightweight basket with plates can cost as little as $350. You can also get the lightweight hub, but that increases the cost.

You already have a 520 final drive, which can cut up to 1.5lbs. Having the light flywheel, light clutch and 520 final drive will change the handling of the bike so it doesn't take as much muscle to transition and turn in. I did those things to my bike and the difference was night and day.

I haven't reached the limitations of my brakes yet (standard Brembo goldline 2 pad calipers and snowflake rotors), but there are some reasonable options for brake upgrades. The first thing that comes to mind is the Brembo 4 pad calipers that come standard on Ducati and Aprilia now. Combine those with a set of quality rotors (Brake Tech iron rotors or their new ceramic rotor) and a good pad and your braking capabilities will be better.

You can also get a radial master cylinder for $220-$400+ if you want.

Lightweight aluminum subrame (OEM) can cost from $250-$450, although I have a custom aluminum race subframe for 1.6ecu that I'm trying to get rid of.

If you can't swing the cost of forks, a revalve/respring job will cost a pretty penny, but will be cheaper than a set of new forks. I have yet to do this to my 996, but I've never heard anything but praise for having the suspension reworked from a quality place (Traxxion, GP Suspension, LE, etc....).

FWIW, I'm not a racer and I'm not a guru. I just live for my 996 and have done some stuff to mine. I'm currently rebuilding the engine (everything but porting the heads) due to an engine failure so I have a good handle on the cost of things. Since the engine isn't done yet, I can't tell you if it's worth it. It sounds like you're in the cost vs. benefit stage, which is smart if you don't have a money tree.
 
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Discussion Starter #6
Re: Worthwhile mods for a 996 racebike? (Kevin996)

<TABLE WIDTH="90%" CELLSPACING=0 CELLPADDING=0 ALIGN=CENTER><TR><TD>Quote, originally posted by Kevin996 »</TD></TR><TR><TD CLASS="quote">Number 1 bang for the buck mod you should do first is magnesium wheels. </TD></TR></TABLE>

Yup.
 
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Re: Worthwhile mods for a 996 racebike? (Kevin996)

<TABLE WIDTH="90%" CELLSPACING=0 CELLPADDING=0 ALIGN=CENTER><TR><TD>Quote, originally posted by Kevin996 »</TD></TR><TR><TD CLASS="quote">Number 1 bang for the buck mod you should do first is magnesium wheels. </TD></TR></TABLE>

I concur. and after that I would go for the top end work.(don't forget to have the heads ported while there off) Don't worry about the Ohline forks, GP calipers, and carrier yet. I still run the stock forks (rebuilt with valves and springs) and my front brake system is stock exsept for the pads. and my bike has good stopping power, and handles good.
 
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Discussion Starter #8
Re: Worthwhile mods for a 996 racebike? (Mike996)

A pc3 and custom mapping may also be money well spent.
 
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Re: Worthwhile mods for a 996 racebike? (Tornado-rider)

Excellent replies. Thanks.

I already have the slipper clutch, erik996. I just need new plates now. I've had trouble with braking in certain areas, where the fade is very bad. I've tried EBC HHs and now using Carbon Metallic from Performance Friction, but I've had a few 'perpendicular to apex' get offs (noncrashing) which REALLY pisses me off, and to this day is a topic of laughter among friends and colleagues. I maintain I'm too fast for most tracks!


Well, I think I will revalve and set the front forks. The subframe I could do, but I think I'll get the mag rims first, and brakes. I do believe in best quality braking. I trail brake, maybe more than others, or more than I should. I'm pretty sure that my biggest problem is not enough track time on a bike. I'll have a talk with my mechanic regarding porting the heads.

Light weight f/wheel is on the back burner, as I want to spend money on other things first (vacation, whores, liquor, chicken wings); the Brembo master cylinder I didn't think was worth the money yet. I've asked plenty of experts, and they mostly concur that the reason they use one is they got it for a good price, or something lame. I realize they increase volume and modulation.

So, no one is running the big radiator?

Crap, I don't want to get in too deep, with tire warmers, compressor, a jap scooter, minions who say 'fizzzz' everytime I reenter the pits...I just want to race, go fast, stop hard, and say "I'm glad to be alive" at the end of that day.
 
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Discussion Starter #10
Most of brake fade problems come from air in the lines or bad fluid. I change my brake fluid at least (4) times a year and bleed every race weekend.
 
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Re: (trussdude)

Thanks. Brake fluid replacement: will do that this weekend.
 
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Discussion Starter #12
Re: (996miami)

Get Motul RBF 600 brake fluid. It's compatible with all your parts and nothing has a higher boiling point. I read about a 350Z Nissan driver who did track days and couldn't get a brake setup that wouldn't fade. He switched to RBF 600 and never could get the brakes to go away after. I had Performance Friction pads in my stock two pad Brembos on stock discs and compared to the setup I mentioned, it was like holding a block of wood against the tire to stop. I'm not kidding, the difference is HUGE. I also now use Carbone Lorraine sintered pads.
 
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Discussion Starter #13
Re: Worthwhile mods for a 996 racebike? (996miami)

<TABLE WIDTH="90%" CELLSPACING=0 CELLPADDING=0 ALIGN=CENTER><TR><TD>Quote, originally posted by 996miami »</TD></TR><TR><TD CLASS="quote">
Ohlins superbike forks - @$3000
Brembo GP calipers and carrier - $800
Top end engine work (DC hicomp pistons, cams, crank) - $1200
17" gold Marchesini - $1700
clutch work (needed) - $300
new slicks - $400 for race
new subframe/with AB - $? will swap some parts for this.
</TD></TR></TABLE>

Been racing my old 916 SPS for a couple of seasons, here is what I would recommend:

As you say, brakes and wheels, brembo 4-pads and a radial master are the obvious answer to good braking on a budget. throw in a pair of cast iron discs too.

Light wheels are next on the agenda. they really do transform the bike from a lumbering old bus to a much sharper tool. I found it impossible to stay on the steep fork setting after i got my marchessinis, front end started to tuck in mid-corner, never happened with the old 3-spokes. (too little trail for such light wheels I guess?)

Some setup on your suspension is nice, but it is more important to get it dialed in right and set chassie geometry right than to have flash bits.

Before engine tuning comes a slipperclutch i think, i finally got one ths last season and it was like i had controlled braking for the first time


My bike has evolved quite a bit by now.. Has front mounted computer, butchered electric harness, race footpegs, ?ns works spec rear shock, R/T front end, 955 corsa heads (milled stud holes), MPB collets, JTR sliperclutch, 54mm exhaust from a 748RS, carbon/kevlar bodywork, brembo fourpad/isr brake setup. And much more i forgot.. Ah! yes.. standard radiator, without fan..

http://speedzilla.zeroforum.co...24999




Modified by Bj.O.rn at 6:25 PM 1/19/2005
 
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Re: Worthwhile mods for a 996 racebike? (996miami)

Buy a GSXR-750 and be done with it.


I went this way starting four years ago with an ex-Pro-Thunder 748/800 that already had a lot of trick parts, and four years later I've got an awesomely trick heavily built 996 superbike that I may or may not race this season depending on how easy I find it to race two bikes (the 750 being bike #1).
It's still an awesome machine and I'll ride it at track days, but the reliability has definitely suffered as I've built it up and as I've gotten faster and more aggressive. Without a supporting team with deep pockets and a lot of time to devote, I just can't get it to last a full season without problems. Not such a big deal for a track-day bike, but really annoying if you're trying to chase championship points.

The sky's the limit on mods, depending on how much you want to spend, but personally I'd start with:
1) Rebuild the forks and shock and find someone who really knows what they're doing to help with setup. Quicker steering has it's drawbacks, in my experience - go to the gym and starting running instead.

2) 1/5-turn throttle from Redracing - it's like $35 and a huge improvement for a track bike.
3) Woodcraft clipons, so you can adjust the bar position for better leverage and whilst leaned over.edit: And, adjustable rearsets, but you already have them.
3b) Quick-change gearing, forgot about that - big help for a track bike.
4) Slipper clutch, but you already have one.

5) In order (stop when you're happy or run out of money
), Ferodo XR pads, steel lines if you don't have them, Brembo 19x18 master, 4-pad calipers (need new matching pads, of course), Braketech iron rotors. I went all the way and have truly awesome brakes.
6) Shift light. Dynatek makes a nice one.
7) O.K., the gym isn't enough, get the mag wheels - but if you do, make at least the rear 16.5" so you can run the best slicks, which you'll want if you start doing a lot of motor work.
8) Quick-shifter. A nice mod, but a continual pain to keep set up properly - you'll also tend to chew up gears more quickly. edit: it's also a potential source of really annoying electrical gremlins

Now you're into the big-$$ stuff, like the long swingarm + AMS clamps (gotta do both), Ohlins forks (some say you can modify Showas to do just as well), and motor mods. Again, stop when you run out of money.



Modified by JeffKoch at 11:17 PM 1/19/2005
 
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Re: Worthwhile mods for a 996 racebike? (JeffKoch)

Professore!

Perfect advice...
 
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Re: Worthwhile mods for a 996 racebike? (JeffKoch)

Motorwork or handling? I think it depends some on the track you are riding/racing on the most and what your competeters are running. It can be demoralizing to "ride your ass off in the infield to be passed down the front straight". If the track has got a 1/2 mile straight, there is nothing worse then having a Kawa 636 come by.
Unlike Jeff, I have had a built up 996(racebike) for years and haven't had anything major happen. When you add high-comp race pistons is when things start to get hot and a bigger rad might be needed. I'm talking 13-14:1,tuned edge of lean, must run race gas pistons.
 
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Re: Worthwhile mods for a 996 racebike? (Webman)

Thanks for the help JK, Webman, Bjorn.

I'm going to compile a list based on these and other ideas, including funds. I have enough money, but I don't believe that money is the first solution to fast riding. To me, adding bits to the bike is like cooking, and adding too much all at once ruins the flavor. If things change radically, such as steering head angle/wheels, as Bjorn mentioned, can screw up your ride. I've heard this from numerous, very fast, competent racers, but people like AZScott mentioned - and a few other racers - that the tighter angle is a must. I don't think I'll be dropping the lettuce for a magnesium swingarm or such high cost items soon, unless I buy them off one of the numerous schwag poseur richguys who want to sell or part out their pimped out rides. Yeah, around here, several 996/998 ppl have magnesium swingarms on their street bikes. It's so wrong.
 
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Discussion Starter #18
Re: Worthwhile mods for a 996 racebike? (996miami (twentyninedollars))

Oh.. forgot, wider clipons and renthal soft or medium full diamond grips makes wonders for slow stearing and cramping right hand.
 
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Re: Worthwhile mods for a 996 racebike? (Bj.O.rn)

Are you a first time racer? I seem to be in the minority here, but if so, I'd make sure the bike is going to crash well (sliders, clipons, rearsets, bodywork), put in some high quality brake fluid and pads and that's it. Spend the rest of your money on track time, track time, and more track time.

As an amatuer or novice, those extra mods aren't going to mean much. Races are mostly won on rider ability alone (in the am/nv classes), and until you bump up to expert, I wouldn't worry about spending all that money on your bike, it's going to make little difference in your results.

Besides, once you've raced a while, you'll have a better idea of what you really need to be competitive.

If you've got money to burn or you want a winter project though, by all means spend some money!
 
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Re: Worthwhile mods for a 996 racebike? (cakake)

generally:

more power may make you faster
light wheels and suspension work will make you faster.

unless you've got a big engine budget, i'd reset the cam timing to fill out the power curve under the peak, machine down the std flywheel and, if you're really keen, pull the heads/cylinders and replace the 0.6mm std base gaskets with 0.2 or 0.25mm ones from the 996rs catalogue. tune it and go. for an experiment get a 45mm std system and some mufflers to suit and see if it's faster with that. might surprise you.

the 4 pad calipers are just so nice, i'd go them almost for the sake of it. but even the old calipers with fresh fluid and good pads work well.

>>8) Quick-shifter. A nice mod, but a continual pain to keep set up properly - you'll also tend to chew up gears more quickly. edit: it's also a potential source of really annoying electrical gremlins

that's very true. using the clutch doesn't cost much time.
 
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