Ducati 749

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Gone in 8 seconds – Turbo Ducati 749

And You Thought a Ducati Diavel was Fast! Ducati is making lots of noise about the 2.6 second 0-60 time of its newest model. Faster than a 1198 from a standing start sure, but check this out. This Ducati Bunbury prepared turbocharged Ducati 749 has just blasted down the quarter mile in 8.9 seconds with a terminal speed of some 144mph.

And that’s just for starters!

The Diavel notwithstanding, Ducati is not normally a brand associated with getting off the line hard. After all, grabby dry clutches and a torquey, wheelie prone power delivery isn’t exactly in the list of basic ingredients in the Drag racing 101 handbook. For father and son team Wayne and Todd Patterson though, lack of pedigree is no impediment.

It is perhaps even a challenge.

Speaking of pedigree, the Patterson pair do have plenty of that on their own. Todd and Wayne have been dragracing Ducatis for 6 years and successfully campaigned a 1098 in 2008 before building a stunning Ducati 1098R drag racer with potential engine performance to keep up with the 4-cylinder Japanese machines like the Suzuki Hayabusa that are the more typical drag racing platform. In ultimate form their 1098R produced almost 200bhp at the wheel and could blast down the quarter mile at 9.6 seconds and 155mph!

Job done and on to the next challenge. And what a challenge, a turbocharged Ducati 749. The Ducati 749 was the little brother to the controversial Ducati 999 which caused the company so much drama prior to the release of the Tamburini-esque 1098 in 2007.

Stock it made 108bhp and weighed in at a portly 188kg (415lb). The goal was to get this bike to around 280bhp and whittled down to a race weight of under 180kg (396lb).  The objective was a mid 8 second pass and a terminal velocity of 170mph.

In theory at least, this long wheelbase, wheelie bar clad turbo Superbike should be fastest in its class given the engine capacity.

Almost tripling the power of the stock engine is much more complicated than simply bolting on aftermarket pieces and twisting the throttle. Proving the point, the crew had almost immediate problems getting boost to the target level. The bike simply would produce any more than 6lb of boost when the target was 22. After much head scratching the problem turned out to be due to the waste gate shaft bending.

After a repetition of this behavior, the team applied an ingenious solution – they welded it shut!

With that homegrown modification the bike went straight to 22lb of boost at 9,500rpm slamming out 214bhp. Given the bike revs to 10,500rpm there is obviously more to come but the chase for horsepower is temporarily on hold in favor of chasing the ideal clutch setting. The dyno chart below compares the turbo bike with a race prepped 749 with a full termi system amongst other mods.

Ducati 749

In a clear example of drag racing is more than just sheer horsepower careful setup and tuning of the clutch has already paid dividends as wayne explains:-

“Without playing with boost we have come down from 9.4 to an 8.9. We were doing 1.6 second sixty foot but by making the clutch springs harder by shimming them up with special alloy washers down to half mm thick were getting off the mark better with less slip and that’s giving us better times (1.3).”

When the team finishes getting the 0-60 foot times as low as possible, they plan to increase the boost through the Motec computer in the higher gears from 3 rd onwards so that clutch settings off the line are unaffected and only the top end power is increased. In other words they plan to make their wild ride ever wilder.

What’s it sound like? What’s it like to ride? Check out the videos below and see for yourself.

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