My thoughts on the 748... ever evolving thread
Thought this would be a good place to describe some of what I did with the 748 over the long track weekend at Jennings. The bike is bone stock except for race bodywork.
A few things in no particular order.
Damn it's uncomfortable. The reach to the clipons and upper body angle really makes it feel tiny, the proverbial monkey humping a football. Can't help but put some weight on your wrists and constantly have to remind yourself not to. Tiring to ride. Hanging off is difficult due to the shape of the tail and seat. I didn't even touch a knee the whole time on the bike and was turning in the low-mid :30's after I started pushing it. I'm 5'11" and about 210lbs all geared up.
4th gear has a problem, caused some false neutrals, had to meter the thottle after shifting into 4th to be sure it caught instead of grenading the engine. When Carlos laid it down he might've been in 4th (coming out of t12 setting up for t13) and the shifter mechanism did have to be replaced. Maybe a shift fork or something is tweaked in there. I don't know enough about Ducati transmissions to make a diagnosis.
There are no drop in cartridges available for the forks (that I'm aware of), so to setup properly might require new forks, the stock Showa forks have no rebound adjustment. Bike bounces like a pogostick until you really push it but the riding position doesn't inspire confidence with all the bouncing.
It's a strange bike to ride, you have to get past the crappy ride and keep pushing it harder and harder (all the while feeling like it's about to wash out on you at any second) but the harder you push it the more it settles down and does the job. Lower speed turns are where the feeling is most evident, you just have to use your legs and get up off the bike and keep pushing it. A full session and your leg muscles are feeling the burn from carrying your body weight. It never did anything scary, just un-nerving to push a bike you don't have confidence in. Almost like having some blind faith that it will do the job, even though it might not feel like it.
Engine pulls very nice and power delivery is predictable - lots of fun to pin it through 6 leaned over and let it spin, but kept banging the rev limiter approaching t12. Solved that by short shifting at entrance to t11 and powering through 12. Ran wide a few times at t14 onto the straight - right to the edge of the rumble strip, attribute that mostly to not having any (I mean no) rear ride height dialed in. Plus I prefer lefts to rights and had to force myself to carve the turn turning it into one long right hander with a shift midway through.
The Brembo brakes feel anemic compared to the BMW, yes the BMW's are power assisted linked Brembo and the GS is usually traveling slower but still felt like I needed to get on the Duc's brakes early and hard. Wanted a little more initial bite, found myself deep trail braking on t1 and t13 a few times, again not something I'm totally comfortable with.
Have to say that the bike only came into it's own when I reached that psychological point of "if I throw it down I throw it down" and just pushed it harder and harder. At that point it's on rails but getting there is a mental debate over risk vs. reward.
Bike has about 1250 miles and I'll change the oil at this point. Can't say that I'd recommend this as a full blown track weapon just yet, it has some shortcomings that would need to be dealt with. I'm not convinced I don't want to give it a shot myself, the exhaust note is intoxicating with stock cans, can't imagine how some fat termi's would make it feel/sound. Power delivery is a little better than expected for a bone stock midsize twin. A part of me says yes, buy it and run the piss out of it, another side says it's not the ideal choice and a SV650 or Triumph 675 would be far more practical.
Next step, dial in some rear height and see what that does. It's at the minimum setting right now so I'm thinking start with 8-10mm and go from there.