After riding the Fizzer for "one more year" - that's what I kept saying....one more year for about three years in a row - I finally bit the bullet. It came down to an R6 or a Ducati, the Duc being more of a dream. Either one was going to have to be the right bike, the right price, the right person selling it. I jumped on the opportunity to get this Ducati 749 Dark from a guy named Sterling in Virginia.
He had the bike pretty well setup - Ohlins rear shock, Termignoni exhaust, power commander, and a Marvic magnesium rear wheel. The plastics were in tact but needed a lot of sanding and prep. It's amazing what a few cans of Rust Oleum and a sticker kit will do. I painted this bike for about $100 and my time. I also added an Ohlins front fork internal kit and a steering damper. I'm just starting to come to grips with this bike...it couldn't be more different than the Fizzer...but so far, so good.
What I mean is, the Fizzer was all about cornerspeed and taking the most sweeping line that you could so that you would maximize your drive. This bike doesn't steer as well as the Fizzer, in fact, you do need to muscle it around a bit. I had been trying to ride it like the Fizzer, and it doesn't work that well. It likes to dive hard into the corner at drive out with that V-Twin torque from the apex - that's it's strongsuit. Apex to corner exit using the power of the motor...the complete opposite of the Fizzer. So, I'm still getting used to her, getting the suspension setup to my liking, and while some of my lap times are better on the Duc than they were on the Fizzer, they're not faster by more than a second...I have a long way to go in learning how to ride this bike and push it as hard as I can still push the Fizzer.
For the record, I do not condone smoking. And no, I don't smoke either. :-) I just really like the Marlboro paint scheme. I remember seeing the Indy cars painted in Marlboro colors when I was a kid and the 1990s 500GP bikes. This is why I painted both the Fizzer and the Duc in this paint scheme. The Fizzer was modeled after any number of the early 90s bikes, in particular the ones that Wayne Rainey rode. The Duc is modeled after the 2003 MotoGP Ducati, with a few minor differences to suit my taste.
Trackdays (not all days included)
4/9/2006 - Track Day at Putnam Park with the SportbikeTrackTime group
4/29/2006 - Track Day at Autobahn with the Sportbiketracktime group
5/16/2006 - Track Day at Gingerman Raceway with the TNDC group
7/18/2006 - Track Day at Gingerman Raceway with the NITRO group
I've been riding on the track since 1999 when I first attended FAST Racing School in Shannonville, Ontario, run by ex-Canadian racer Michel Mercier. I've attended FAST three times now (and won the Top Rider award two of those times), and attended Freddie Spencer's school in Las Vegas in January 2002.
My best lap times on the Duc at local tracks: