2006 Ducati Superbike 749R
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– 2006 Ducati Superbike 749R
2006 Ducati Superbike 749R
This uncompromising sports machine is only available in the single seat version and is the perfect bike for all those who want to own a real middleweight racer. The Testastretta engine is more highly developed than ever before to maximise performance and minimise weight. Chassis components have obviously been selected for maximum competitiveness on the track, and special materials like magnesium, carbon fibre, and titanium abound to make the 749R unbeatably light and mean.
Everything about the 749R’s chassis is designed for maximum efficiency on the track, from the trellis frame which allows adjustment of the steering head rake angle to the brand new aluminium alloy box section swing arm like that used on the 999 Factory in 2003.
The R’s engine has been specially developed for efficiency on the track. It develops 121 HP at 10,500 rpm and 62 ft-lbs of torque at 8,250 rpm.
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MSRP $21,995 USD
2005 has been an exceptional year for Ducati Superbikes, the range having been completely revolutionised with a series of stylistic and functional refinements and, above all, with a general upward shift in terms of power ratings and performance in both engine displacements and all versions. The 749 and 999 machines have been made more aggressive, edging closer to the dividing line between the street bikes and the official machine used on the world’s racetracks.
For the Superbikes manufactured in Borgo Panigale, 2006 will be dedicated to digesting the generational shift, which has taken place just two years from the launch of the new series, with the numerous innovations and refinements introduced in 2005.
The decision to revolutionise the machines was driven by the return of Ducati to the North American AMA Superbike Championship, which has more stringent rules than European championships with regard to modifications to mechanical parts and chassis: the new model is a result of the efforts aimed at creating a machine that would be race-ready straight off the production line, with a large number of adjustments for attitude and riding position, while also being suitable for use on the road. The result is a superbly contemporary range that is highly sophisticated and able to meet the most demanding sports rider with the basic equipment of the 749 and 999, and gradually approaching the S and R versions in a series of evolutionary steps. This brings us to the current state of the art, with the top of the range position occupied by a 999R packing a massive 150 HP, proposed for 2006 also in a Xerox replica version, sporting the colours of the “official” SBK ridden by James Toseland and Regis Laconi.
The Ducati sports machines share aesthetics based on the concept of racing aerodynamics, with fairings that are highly effective also at extreme speeds. That’s the thinking behind the development of a new upper fairing, designed to protect the rider’s head and shoulders and eliminate air turbulence. The fairing, which is higher and wider than its predecessor to increase the level of protection, joining a tapered lower section of the body, equipped with a pair of sweeping wrap-around and highly effective deflectors. Protection of the rider is one of the key concepts of the latest generation of Ducati machines: the absence of air turbulence makes the cockpit more comfortable – an important factor when riding in traffic and offering significant benefits on the racetrack because stress and fatigue levels are reduced, allowing riders to achieve consistently fast lap times for longer. The unforgiving stopwatch has amply proved this theory.
The styling and aerodynamic strategies adopted are just two of the factors used to achieve the close relationship between competition and series production machines. The box-section swingarm – very light and with very high torsional strength – comes from the world championship experience in the Superbike class and is the most evolved solution for road riding and for the racetrack, apart from adding to the already mean appearance of the 749 and 999. Style and function are also reflected in the exhaust silencer, which is integrated into the rear fairing and protected by a black anodised aluminium cover, and also in the ergonomics of the machine and the multiple possibilities for adjusting rider position. Since their introduction in 2002, the current Ducati Superbikes have been characterised by the ability to modify the positions of the handlebar levers and footrests, and also the facility to adjust steering head rake to two positions, a feature that is unavailable on any other sports machine on the market.
There’s also one final detail worthy of note: fore-aft adjustment of the seat-tank unit on single-seater versions of the machines. These unique features make the 749 and 999 the production machines that, of all the bikes currently on the market, are the closest to the thoroughbred race versions.
The sports personality of these machines are also reflected in the engines, with the impressive twin cylinder engine bringing sheer performance prowess to all equipment versions. These results have been achieved while keeping a close watch on environmental concerns: all the twin cylinder engines, including the 150 HP mounted on the 999R, comply in full with stringent Euro2 regulations.
Just a glance is enough to recognise a no-holds-barred solo machine, designed expressly for use on the racetrack at the highest level of competition. The engine hails from the Testastretta series, while the solutions adopted for the chassis equipment are among the most evolved and extreme in the world of Superbikes, meeting with the approval of the most discerning racers. The 749R is built making ample use of prestigious materials such as magnesium and titanium to achieve the lowest possible overall weight.
Original and totally aggressive, like all Ducati Superbikes, the 749R adds a numbered silver plaque on the top fork crown, making each machine absolutely unique. But apart from all the sheer guts it delivers on the racetrack, the most sports-oriented of the 749 machines is produced to ride on the street too, complete with mirrors with integral turn indicators. Apart from their elegant styling, these unique turn signals have the advantage of being quickly removable when the bike is being prepared for a race.
In order to enable the best possible control of the performance available from the powerful Testastretta twin, each chassis element of the 749R was selected and tested with the aim of offering the maximum performance in competition conditions. That’s why, alongside the elements shared by all bikes in the range, notably the trellis frame with adjustable steering head rake, there are several other details that have come straight from the race department. The box-section aluminium swingarm is structurally very similar to the unit installed on the 999s ridden by Toseland, Laconi and Lanzi or the Supersport raced by Nannelli, with clear benefits in terms of weight and stiffness. The swingarm is combined with a chain tension adjuster that uses sliders instead of cams, thereby avoiding the undesired effect of changing the height of the rear end of the machine and consequently the set-up when making adjustments to the final drive. The similarities of the rear suspension with the official race 999s continue with the shock linkage with flat progression, absolutely ideal to obtain the stiffness needed to obtain the necessary precision when riding at race speeds. The performance of the rear end is aided by the Ã–hlins shock, with fully adjustable hydraulic damping and equipped with a dedicated spring and more limited travel: 56 millimetres compared to the 71 millimetres of the other versions. Like the rear monoshock, also the fork is an upside-down configuration, with 43 mm sliders and, like all front suspensions installed by Ducati on its top-level machines, the sliders are TiN coated to ensure extremely low friction. Like the rear shock, the fork is fully adjustable and equipped with a special bottom lug for radial attachment of the brake callipers. These components were clearly designed for race applications, as were the brake system and wheels. The brakes feature 4.5 mm thick rotors and radial callipers with four pistons and the same number of pads, while the lightweight alloy wheels are Brembo/Marchesini units with five Y-spokes in forged and machined aluminium, offering a weight saving of 3.2 kg compared to a pair of conventional wheels, without sacrificing rigidity.
Like all single-seater versions, the 749R provides fore and aft adjustment of the seat-tank combination. It’s also possible to alter the position of the footrests, but with respect to the other versions the choices in this case are two rather than five. This decision is based on the rules of the World Supersport Championship, which disallow the removal of any parts welded to the original frame. To allow the passage of the oversized diameter racing exhaust manifolds it was therefore decided to use smaller footpeg brackets, which limit the adjustments.
The effects of a reduced stroke and increased bore, which allow the Testastretta twin to achieve higher revs, are clearly evident. On the standard equipment package the engine offers 121 HP at 10,500 rpm, with torque of 8.6 kgm at 8,250 rpm. These values can be boosted still further with the installation of the optional racing kit.
This model features the use of prestigious materials such as titanium for the valve gear, magnesium for the head covers, and carbon fibre for the timing belt covers with forced ventilation. Every detail is engineered to achieve the maximum efficiency when entering and exiting bends. Consider, for example, the super lightweight crankshaft and high strength aluminium alloy pistons which serve to increase power output, and also the slipper clutch, which prevents rear wheel chatter under conditions of intense engine braking. Even though it affords performance levels that are at the very pinnacle of the category, the Testastretta twin mounted on the 749R is equipped with a catalytic exhaust system and consequently has emission levels that easily comply with stringent Euro2 standards.
Frame: Tubular steel trellis
Wheelbase: 1420 mm / 55.9 in
Rake: 23.5° – 24.5°
Front Suspension: Ã–hlins 43 mm upside-down fully adjustable fork with TiN surface treatment, for radial calipers
Front Wheel Travel: 120 mm / 4.7 in
Front Brake: 2 x 320 mm semi-floating discs, 4-piston 4-pad radial caliper
Front Wheel: Y-shaped 5-spoke light alloy forged 3.50 x 17
Front Tire: 120/70 ZR 17
Rear Suspension: Progressive linkage with fully adjustable Ã–hlins monoshock
Rear Wheel Travel: 128 mm / 5 in
Rear Brake: 240 mm disc, 2-piston caliper
Rear Wheel: Y-shaped 5-spoke light alloy forged 5.50 x 17
Rear Tire: 180/55 ZR 17
Fuel Capacity: 18.3 L / 4.8 US gal (includes 3 L / 0.8 US gal reserve)
Weight * : 183.5 kg / 405 lbs
Seat Height: 780 mm / 30.7 in
Instruments: Speedometer, rev counter, high beam indicator, turn signals, oil pressure warning light, low fuel warning light, neutral light, water temperature, immobilizer system
Warranty: 2 years unlimited mileage
Tank and Fairing Colours: Red
Frame and Wheel Colours: Red w/Black wheels
Versions: One Seat
*=* = The weight excludes battery, lubricants and, where applicable, cooling liquid.
Type: L twin cylinder, 4 valves per cylinder Testastretta Desmodromic; liquid cooled
Displacement: 749 cc
Bore and stroke: 94 x 54 mm
Compression Ratio: 12.7:1
Power: 89.1 kw – 121 hp @ 10500 rpm
Torque: 8.6 kgm – 62 ft-lbs @ 8250 rpm
Fuel system: Marelli electronic fuel injection, 54 mm throttle body
Exhaust: Single steel muffler with catalytic converter
Gearbox: 6 speed
Ratio: 1st 37/15, 2nd 30/17, 3rd 28/20, 4th 26/22, 5th 24/23, 6th 23/24
Primary drive: Straight cut gears; ratio 2.11
Final drive: Chain; Front sprocket 15; Rear sprocket 35
Clutch: Dry multiplate with hydraulic control slipper clutch