Home of the Ducati club of Tucson and Southern Arizona

DesmoSouthwest


Art of Ducati – new Ian Falloon book 0

Posted on July 25, 2014 by acruhl

There’s a new book available from one of the best authors of Ducati related material – Ian Falloon.

The book is called “Art of Ducati”, and here are a few photos (Click them for larger versions, sorry they aren’t great quality):

art_of_ducati_cover_500
art_of_ducati_750_sport_500
art_of_ducati_paul_smart_500
art_of_ducati_panigale_tricolore_500
art_of_ducati_back_cover_500

And there are many more bikes in the book, some of which are: MH900E, 998R, 999R, 1098R Bayliss, MHR900, Supermono, many vintage bikes, and more.

This book can be purchased here:
http://www.motorbooks.com/books/The-Art-of-Ducati/9780760345443

If you are a club memeber, read your email from July 25, 2014 before making the purchase.

Gilmour bicycles – handmade in Tucson! 0

Posted on July 02, 2014 by acruhl

red_white_black_crop_500
(Click on pictures for a larger version)
Andy Gilmour, proprietor of Gilmour bicycles, makes custom hand made bicycle frames right here in Tucson. Andy is also a long time Ducati enthusiast, and a member of DesmoSouthwest. He meets with us on his silver ST3 once in a while, and regularly watches the MotoGP and WSBK races with us.

Motorcyclists tend to be bicycle riders/fans. Most big name MotoGP and WSBK riders train on bicycles. Many of our members ride bicycles, sometimes on the same roads and the same time as our DesmoSouthwest street rides!

Gilmour has some “stock” frames (and complete bikes) he would like to sell, so I went over and took a few photos of them to try to help out. Workmanship is superb:
new_frame_crop_500
braised_seat_tube_crop_500

Gilmour frames are made for racing, and have participated in the Tour de France, among other races.

black_red_carbon_crop_500

If you ride road bikes and you’re in the market for a new one, it would be worth contacting Gilmour to see if a deal can be done. He has carbon fiber, aluminum, and steel frames in stock, although he specializes in steel and aluminum. He can build you a custom frame if you prefer of course.

Frames and bikes might start showing up on Craig’s list soon, so it would be worth looking there as well as contacting Gilmour directly.

Contact info for Gilmour is here:

www.gilmourbicycles.us

DesmoSouthwest gains not one, but two 1199 Superleggeras! 0

Posted on June 08, 2014 by acruhl

2014-06-08 07.53.00_1199SL_crop_500
As you can see above, DesmoSouthwest now has two 1199 Superleggeras in the club.

They are quite a sight. At first they looked like normal but orange colored 1199s. But as you get closer you can see the special parts pop out quite quickly. An Ohlins shock with titanium spring, when have you ever seen that on another bike? I think never (from the factory that is). Black Ohlins forks which were reserved for bikes like the 999R Xerox and Desmosedici. Magnesium wheels, which are not common at all on street bikes, come standard.

Something that is really surprising is that this bike comes from the factory with an Akrapovic exhaust. I’m not someone who trolls the internet reading every opinion about why this is the case, but I have my own. Termignoni is just not high quality stuff. Not the stuff they sell to street riders, anyway. It would be ridiculous to let this bike down with something of inferior quality, so Ducati went right to one of the top exhaust manufacturers, Akrapovic. Everything they make looks top quality. And they usually put out pretty good dyno numbers as well. The only exhaust company that makes stuff that looks better (in my opinion) is Moto Corse from Japan, but they don’t really have the racing pedigree of Akrapovic.

The owner says that the bikes work very well, possibly surpassing the Desmosedici. I find this hard to process, because I was lucky enough to ride a well set up Desmosedici and I thought that bike would not be surpassed in my lifetime as far as the sensation that you’re riding a racing motorcycle from the factory on the street. He has a few special bikes, and from what I can tell, the 1199 Superleggera is at the top of the list so far.

What a treat to be able to see such special bikes show up on our weekly rides!

DesmoSouthwest Concorso 2014 – April 6th 0

Posted on March 15, 2014 by acruhl

Our Annual Concoroso event is April 6th, 2014 at Brandi Fenton Park, Ramada A. See the Club Activities page for a map.

This is an opportunity to bring out your bikes and show them off while looking at other great bikes. Bring your Italian bikes, or if you don’t have one, bring whatever you have. Be sure to shine them up!

Lunch and drinks will be served around Noon.

Here’s a few photos of bikes that have been in the Concorso before, or are part of the club (click photos for a larger version):

2013_concorso_az-johnny-1_500
1997_Monster_750_crop_500
Chris_Laverda_best_of_show_goaz_2013_500
spaggiari_racer_rear_right_500
Bob_Chris_D16RR_Tamburini_500

Bevel drive classics from ItalianIron.com 0

Posted on November 29, 2013 by acruhl

bevels_front_500
bevels_right_500
spaggiari_street_left_500
Above we have Scot Wilson’s 2 Bevel drive 750 Sport street bikes, one as a Bruno Spaggari replica.

Below is his Spaggiari replica racer with blueprinted engine.
spaggiari_racer_tank_500
spaggiari_racer_front_right_500
spaggiari_racer_blueprinted_engine_500
spaggiari_racer_rear_right_500

[Updated]New 1199 models: Senna and Superleggera 0

Posted on October 10, 2013 by acruhl

1199-senna
ducati-1199-panigale-r-superleggera-parts
(Images from Roadracing World and MCN respectively.)
[See update near the bottom]
Ducati has announced 2 new 1199 models recently: The 1199 Senna for Brazil only, and the (alleged) 1199 Superleggera. The Superleggera is being sold by invite only, potential customers are being vetted through dealers.

Ducati originally made a 916 Senna (behind the 1199 in the top photo) by agreement between Claudio Castiglioni and Ayrton Senna, who were friends. Castiglioni was then the president of Cagiva who had purchased Ducati years before. Ducati was Cagiva’s top brand at the time, so the decision was for the “Senna” model to be a Ducati. This agreement was done before the death of Ayrton Senna in 1994 at Imola near the start of the F1 race.

The 916 Senna model was released in 1995, and then Cagiva sold Ducati to an American investment firm soon after. Castiglioni believed that the agreement between him and Senna was personal, so he later created an MV Agusta F4S 750 “Senna” model in 2002 and then again in 2006 with a 1000cc version (which wasn’t as nice looking).

Ducati made sort of a copy of the Senna in 2002 with the 748S, which might be the best looking of all of the 916 variants.

So now Ducati is back to making a Senna model again, this time with the 1199. Will MV Agusta be next?

The bottom picture (from MCN) is of the alleged “parts” of the 1199 “Superleggera” (“Superlight” in Italian). I say “parts”, because if you look hard enough, you’ll see nearly enough to build an entire motorcycle. There are many rumors flying around about specs, but it might be 40 pounds lighter than the 1199R (!) with about 10 more horsepower. If this is true, it should be by far the best power to weight ratio in motorcycling, and possibly the most powerful sportbike in terms of rear wheel horsepower. There are also rumors of more advanced electronics, although it looks possible that there is no electronically adjustable suspension.

In order to lose that much weight, it’s likely that all parts shown above will be made from carbon fiber, titanium, magnesium, and possibly forged (instead of cast) aluminum. It would be interesting to see if they make the engine cases out of something other than aluminum. Air cooled VWs had magnesium cases, but they were better known for burning than being light (but they were pretty light).

Some potential customers have already been contacted about this bike, but as far as I know, not very many details were released. 100 are coming to the US, and there will be 400 more for the rest of the world. The price is likely to be double or more than the current 1199R.

I’m wondering if this bike is an indication of changes in Ducati’s World Superbike program. This might be a homologation attempt for some parts that they can’t currently use, such as possibly a magnesium monocoque frame and revised bore and stroke, among other things. I haven’t read the recent WSBK rules so I don’t know if 500 “bikes” (or parts kits, as the case may be) qualifies. It could also be a way to stay competitive in a new rules structure that requires bikes to be less modified from their street bike versions.

UPDATE: The “Superleggera” is officially being called “Project 1201″ and not many more details have been confirmed. The frame will be sand cast Magnesium, the wheels will be forged Magnesium (not common on street bikes), the subframe is carbon fiber, the crank is lightened, the rear shock has a titanium spring, and so on.

I got an email from Ducati about it this morning (October 11th). It says it will be nothing less “..than the most exclusive and desirable Ducati ever made.” I think that’s a bold statement in the context of bikes like the Desmosedici, Supermono, 851 Tricolore, 998R, and the fabled 955 homologation racer, among others. I’m pretty sure the Desmosedici will remain the pinnacle no matter what they do to the 1199, but we’ll see.

More later.

DesmoSouthwest club member wins Best of Show in 1st annual Go AZ Vintage Motorcycle show 1

Posted on October 03, 2013 by acruhl

Chris_Laverda_best_of_show_goaz_2013_500Best  of Show Trophy_500Click images for larger versions
DesmoSouthwest member Chris Brown won the 1st annual Go AZ Vintage motorcycle show this past weekend (September 29th) with his 1974 Laverda 3c!

This motorcycle is exceptionally beautiful, and even better, you’ll see it on our club rides once in a while! It’s been shown in the TVMR (Tucson Vintage Motorcycle Riders) annual show a few times as well.

As promised, I owe Chris a T-shirt from one of the few that I have left.

DesmoSouthwest tech: Engine warm up 0

Posted on October 03, 2013 by acruhl

overheated_engine_piston_skirt_damageAfter reading about this subject on the internet, I can’t believe how contentious this issue is. I don’t understand why anyone would be against engine warmup?

I think part of the reason is because engine warm up is not a very well defined thing.

Disclaimer: I’m not a scientist, and I haven’t done scientific experiments to quantify what I’m writing here. Everything I’m writing about comes from experience with building engines.

Let me make it easy to start off with though…

Is engine warm up important?

Yes it is.

Why?

For the longevity of your engine.

Now it’s time to define what engine warm up actually is. I haven’t read a very good definition, I think it’s best to start out with what it is not:

o Starting the engine and immediately driving away
o Holding the engine at high rpm with the throttle just after startup (high RPM to me means anything over about 2000 RPM).
o Wildly revving the engine up and down just after start up.

Since I didn’t really find a good definition of what engine warmup is, I’m going to go out on a limb and make my own definition (relevant to the bikes at we ride):

When the engine is cold (after sitting for more than an hour or so), it’s 30 to 60 seconds of idling after you hit the start button, without touching the throttle unless it’s necessary to keep the engine running. Then drive gently for another 30 to 60 seconds or so. And it’s a good idea to not accelerate too quickly in the first few minutes after a cold start.

That’s not so hard, is it?

(This won’t be a perfect strategy for every engine, and I don’t claim that this amount of time is enough to get all engines to operating temperature. But it should be enough to get some level of heat into critical parts so that they are not operating cold.)

We’re motorcyclists, so this should be exceedingly easy to follow. Hit the start button, put on your jacket, helmet, and gloves, and you’re past the first step.

I’ve found 3 common reasons why some people think engine warmup isn’t necessary, none are very good:

1. Impatience
2. It wastes fuel
3. It’s bad for the environment.

#1 can’t be fixed. Impatience is unfortunate.

#2 is nonsense because very little fuel is used during startup. A minor amount of aggressive driving would use more fuel than a few minutes of warmup.

#3 is especially insidious though. In this era of “green is good”, sometimes the truth takes a backseat. I’d argue that having to put your car/bike into the shitheap years early because you didn’t take proper care of your engine is much harder on the environment than a few extra seconds of the engine running. If people are that concerned about the environment, they should stop driving!

So what is the technical reason for warming up your engine?

Your engine is made of metal(s), and metal expands as it heats up. It was designed to run properly when hot.

Anyone who has ridden a two stroke motorcycle and had the engine seize has experienced this first hand! The aluminum pistons got hot quicker than the cylinder bore and grew larger than the bore. The bore was too cool, and the pistons got themselves stuck.

Another reason why warm up is good is that it gives the engine a chance to distribute oil before any significant load is applied. This is a good thing.

I’ve heard from knowledgeable people that engine warmup isn’t as important anymore with modern engines. I tend to agree to some extent, but motorcycle engines are different (because they put out so much power for their size). I believe that there is some short period of time when the engine is started cold that a large load should not be put on it. I think in general this is true of any engine.

I would love to get feedback from anyone who can tell me why engine warmup isn’t important!

Sept 2013 club meeting is at McGraw’s Cantina 0

Posted on September 16, 2013 by acruhl

mc1We’ll be meeting Wednesday September 18th at 6:30PM at McGraw’s Cantina. Sorry about the week delay (we normally meet on the second Wednesday).

McGraw’s is a Tucson institution. If you haven’t been there, you should go just to say you’ve been there!

It’s under new ownership, and the owner happens to be someone who rides with us once in a while.

We’ll be sitting on the patio if the weather cooperates. The view is great, you get to see the stables below, and the Santa Rita mountains in the background.

[UPDATED]Panigale replacement for the 848? 0

Posted on August 21, 2013 by acruhl

899_crop_500Image shamefully lifted from www.motorcyclenews.com
The UK’s Motorcycle News has a short article about the new Ducati “899″ here:
http://www.motorcyclenews.com/MCN/News/newsresults/New-bikes/2013/August/aug2013-899-panigale-spied/
They are calling it the 899, and I haven’t seen any confirmation that this is actually what it would be called. I’d be much happier with something like 990 or so :).

So what can we see in these pictures that is different than the 1199? Quite a bit, actually.

The most obvious thing is the conventional swingarm. I have no problem with conventional swingarms. They obviously work very well on many bikes, including the 999. It should be possible for this one to be both lighter and stronger than the one on the 1199, but you probably won’t hear anything about that if it’s true.

Other not so obvious things are the smaller diameter forks without any fancy coating (maybe the same ones as the 848), possibly cast and not forged front brake calipers, smaller front brake discs, narrower rear wheel with a similar design as the current base 1199, smaller rear tire, possibly different cylinder heads (that’s a stretch), and probably a smaller diameter exhaust. I don’t see magnesium engine covers, this would be an obvious way to save money. I don’t see any ABS gear. And that’s all I can see from this photo.

The rear tire looks pinched a little bit, and that wouldn’t be possible with today’s tire sizes on a 6″ wheel. So it’s probably 5.5″ like the current 848. That might be a 190/55 tire, which isn’t an ideal fit on a 5.5″ wheel. Maybe it will use the 180/60 from the 848 Streetfighter?

The forks look very similar to the current 848, which isn’t a bad thing. Based on the flat caps, they might be Marzocchi or possibly “Big Piston” Showa.

Smaller front brake discs and cast calipers are not a problem either. Smaller discs could mean quicker steering, and cast calipers are fine for all but the fastest riders. The cast calipers on my 998 work just fine, and that bike is definitely heavier than this one.

The current 1199 motor has a shorter stroke than the 848, so they could retain the same crank as the 1199 and still maintain a pretty oversquare design. This would save some money, and possibly make for a flatter power curve than the 1199. It doesn’t make much sense to build another radically oversquare engine for this class of bike, it wouldn’t really need it. This bike doesn’t fit into any current racing classes at the world championship level like the 848.

It likely wouldn’t save much money by not including electronics such as traction control, engine braking control, and stuff like that. Hopefully the quickshifter is included. Electronics are sort of expected on sportbikes these days.

There isn’t much evidence that this bike would be lighter than the 1199, but it’s possible. That’s another thing that probably wouldn’t get much publicity, at least not in the context of the 1199.

I make it no secret that I’m a big fan of these “in between” sportbikes. 600s are too manic, and the 1000cc fours are pretty nutty. My 1199 is great, but it’s scary fast and a bit hard to deal with if you’re not careful. By contrast, my 998 is much easier to deal with and still feels pretty fast, even if it is lagging behind newer bikes. Same goes for my MV F4S 750. I’ve raced many GSX-R750s, and I’ve never ridden one I didn’t like. I’m also a big fan of the current 848 and past 999. MV is now back in this “in between” range with the F3 800. I’d be really surprised if this new Panigale isn’t as good or better than any of these on the track.

Update:

So this bike was introduced a few days ago. One of our members sent a mail to the Google group email list, and I replied with this:

Wow. Some of my speculations were correct:

Cast calipers
Showa BPF forks
180/60 rear tire
Non magnesium engine covers
Less oversquare engine (but still a pretty short stroke)

But I got a few wrong too, such as no ABS. This one comes with ABS, no option to remove it.

Some surprising stuff:

Steel gas tank. You have to go back a ways to find one on a Ducati. My good tank bag would work again though. No more plastic tank fiascos I guess.

Steel tubular subframe. The one on the 1199 looks both cheap and correct for the job to me, I’m surprised that they would change it. Steel is still cheaper than vacuum formed Aluminum I guess.

Black and white LCD instead of color display. Probably done for money reasons, but it would be interesting to see if it’s an improvement. Probably isn’t based on what I see.

So in the end:

ABS + steel tank + steel subframe + no magnesium engine covers = 12 pounds heavier than my standard 1199.

Still pretty light though, all things considered. It’s lighter than most 600s I think.

Also funny that they call it a “Supermid”. I had said that I’m a fan of “in between” sportbikes. Ducati has seen fit to invent a new word for them.



↑ Top