Ducati 996 STRADA/SPS COMPARISON OF VARIOUS BIKES

This is more of a "hmmmmm" page than anything else. I have never tried to set myself up as any kind of expert, and sometimes we get results that we don’t really expect. Often I don’t have time to get right into why either. The fact that people don’t complain once they ride the bike ( not that they usually give me any feedback ) generally means the result has been perceived by them as positive.

If you look at Doug Lofgren’s page he says the same things, just a lot more colourfully. As a side note, Doug’s "rant" in his report page is the sort of thing that I would get in trouble for saying. If you need reminding why we act the way we do sometimes, I encourage all to follow the link in the index to his site and read what he has to say.

Anyway, back to the point. Below are some graphs of 996 STRADA and SPS curves with our cam dialling showing what I’m talking about. Another point to mention here though is what we expect in the way of power outputs. I started out playing with lots of 900 SS and Monster models. These mid ‘90 bikes would all make 73 or 74 Hp day in day out. The consistancy of this I got used to, to the point that when I got a variation, I used to start to panic.

I take heart now, however, in the variation the dyno guys are seeing in things like Yamaha R1 and Suzuki GSXR 1000 models. Some of these are varying in standard output by over 10 percent. One of our apprentices bought an R1 that went 143 Hp from memory, when the average was 135 Hp. The new 600’s, from what is probably the most contested category in the market, vary quite a bit from magazine articles I have seen. We need to remember that all these bikes are mass produced, with all the issues this can raise.

The first two graphs show 996 STRADA models. The gearing is the difference between the two graphs, and not all runs have RPM reference. The RPM/Road speed relationship between them will vary slightly, given different tyres and wear, but they are close enough for comparison purposes. The power output on all bikes is pretty much consistant up to 8,000 RPM, and then some drop away. The bike I used for the 996 report on this web site was our shop demo of the time. It now has the honour of being the most powerful one I have dynod. Why I really don’t know. And without pulling them all apart and setting comp ratios, etc, there really isn’t any way to find out. As I said, I’m no expert. The owner of the blue bike said it pulled beautifully all the way to the rev limiter, so he obviously didn’t notice any drop in performance from 9,000 or so onward.


Dynograph courtesy of DYNOBIKE (03) 9553 0018

The three bikes in this next graph all had non standard air filter setups and one ( green ) had a Gio-Ca-Moto 50 mm exhaust. The blue bike was fitted with a Termi 50 mm x-over and mufflers and a Ducati Performance lightweight flywheel as well. The owner of this bike said he though it might be a bit more powerful after the work, but that it certainly got there faster, and was more responsive. This is basically all I promise people, so I was happy with that.


Dynograph courtesy of DYNOBIKE (03) 9553 0018

The same goes for the SPS. The first graph is RPM based for 3 bikes. One of these bikes ( red ) is the one I used for the SPS page. The owner of the blue bike was most upset when he came to get the bike as "they make 120 std". We asked him for feedback, so the silence that followed ( as usual ) can only be taken as a glowing recommendation. Given that this bike does see quite a bit of track work, we can only assume the cam timing settings do not effect the top end.


Dynograph courtesy of DYNOBIKE (03) 9553 0018

The next graph shows the same red curve as above. The green and blue curves are before and after for the first SPS that caused me concern. The std ( green ) curve is better from 8,500 RPM on. We asked the owner to let us know if it did feel slower at the top end, as I really like to know if I’ve stuffed something up. His reply was quite surprising in its honesty, when he said that the midrange had scared him so much that he wasn’t game to hold it open to try the top end on the road. This is an opinion that has come back from a couple of guys who own these bikes, who say it was like getting a new bike all over again.


Dynograph courtesy of DYNOBIKE (03) 9553 0018

In terms of a road bike, they are wickedly fast with acceleration up to 200 km/h that is just wild. Brings on the tunnel vision like you wouldn’t believe. I tend to go on and on about these engines ( I’m an engine guy at heart ), but they really are the best thing Ducati has built to date ( although I haven’t ridden, or even seen, a 996R yet ). Forget the "top end only" tag, they are smooth, responsive and powerful from 2,000 RPM to 10,000 RPM. Just glorious. Not forgetting the noise they make while they are doing it. A total experience that is just sooooo addictive.

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