Brutale 910R Base runs and Arrow headers - Written Sept ‘06

Although I haven’t yet had the opportunity to dyno a base model 910, we had a 910R come in for service and header pipe fitment (the Arrow made header set supplied with the bike) so we took the chance to see what the differences were.  I was somewhat surprised to see the 910R had a 1.6M ECU, as I thought they were coming with the new 5SM ECU, a variation of the 5.9M we’ve seen on Ducati models since ’01.  As the 1.6M has a removable eprom, I took the chance to do so and read the map.  I then compared it to the base model 910 eprom, only to find they were identical.

As I was under the impression the 910R had a hotter spec engine, I rang the importer to find out a bit more.  As it turns out, the 910R has the same engine as the base 910, but with hand finished ports and it comes with the aforementioned Arrow header set to be fitted after delivery.  The Arrow headers come with another eprom to suit as well.  Keep in mind this is a header set only – the original mufflers are used, slipping onto the Arrow header set just like they did the original headers/collector box.

So we serviced this 910R, ran it on the dyno to get a base run, then fitted the Arrow header set and eprom and ran it on the dyno again.  For some reason, the RPM trace didn’t work for the before run, so the before/after is road speed based, not RPM based.  Green is all std, red is with Arrow header and eprom fitted.  Power first, then air/fuel.  There’s no torque curve due to the RPM trace problem for the before run.

As you can see, the result is a bit each way.  I didn’t get to ride the bike after the header set was fitted, but I expect the graph doesn’t show an increase in response that you often get with this kind of mod.  It lets a little more sound out too.  And the fuelling could probably be a little better overall, but it’s still quite good in terms of power output.

The next graphs compare the 910R with Arrow headers and eprom (green) to an all std Brutale 750 (red), the same 750 Brutale with Arrow collector (blue) and our demo F4 1000 (yellow).  Power first, then torque.

The F4 1000 makes much more torque than the 910, which doesn’t make as much as you would expect in comparison to the 750, given it is 21% bigger in capacity.  Maybe the Brutale airbox, which works well enough for 750cc, gets a bit overawed by 910cc sucking on it.  I’m also not sure how the heads compare between the 910 and F4 1000, but in terms of peak torque number that shouldn’t have that much influence.

The Brutale airbox does have some big rubber air directors in the airbox inlets behind the mesh panel, so maybe pulling them out would help.  Of course, you need to lift the tank to get to them and getting them back in would be a nightmare, so I haven’t tried that one at the dyno yet.

But the 910 is very much as you would expect, especially if you’ve ridden the 750 - it’s fast, sounds great from the rider’s seat even with std pipes and does stonking wheelies.  Both Brutale models are geared shorter than the F4 1000, which makes their power much more usable too.  The 750 reminds me somewhat of a short bloke with no fear who loves to come out swinging.  The 910 is a bigger bloke with the same attitude.  Most road testers will tell you the Brutale aren’t comfortable, but the 750 and 910 either suit my 6 foot frame just fine or I’m having way too much fun to notice minor details like that.  Just like the Ducati Sport 1000, they have personality by the bucket load, and are involving bikes in the way that many Italian bikes are, as much as I hate to get into that traditionalist type whimsical crap.

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