Ducati 748SP
Stage 1:
The trouble with browsing is ...
July 2005

How it arrived in my garage.

First impressions and my first trackday off.

New fairing & seat unit.
Ohlins rear shock.
Radial master brake cylinder
Alcantara seat.

Translogic Powershifter.
Alloy Tank cap.
Race numbers.

Probably more repairs or an expensive service.

The trouble with the internet and the credit card society that we live in nowadays is the ease in which you are able 'buy stuff'. We are not talking about a few loaves of bread or a malt loaf treat but 'non- essential stuff' that looked nice in the picture or screams 'bargain' at you from the whole 21 inches of high resolution display. That's pretty how I found myself with another (and my third) Ducati.

On a pretty slow morning at work, I was browsing the Ducati Sporting Club site and came across this entry:

748 BIP frame powder coated black, 748SP engine, 996 forks and front brakes, Showa rear shock, Walter moto rear sets, Harris clip ons, Race front fairing brace, lightweight alloy clutch basket, standard cans with Bora conversion, oil and filter just changed, 12 point Sprint steering damper (just serviced at Sprint) and race fairing brace, ex Ducati experience Race products bodywork, SBK3 HH sintered front pads, Renthal quick change sprocket, extensive spares package inc WOW and tyre warmers etc.

After seeing the price, I thought that it must be a misprint but after phoning Geoff, he confirmed that all was as it was described in the ad. It was a no brainer really, all I had to do was to check that it fitted in the garage but I was sure I would be able to make space. After agreeing to buy the bike, it was just a matter of getting to collect it and as per usual, I left everything to the last minute (as per usual). With a trackday at Lydden Hill booked for a Saturday, I was out in my driveway at 4am Friday morning trying to work out how to put a trailer together. This was so that could meet up with Geoff at Donnington where he was doing a trackday.

Arrived at Donnington and found Geoff no problemo - looking over a freshly binned R6. the 748 was unloaded along with the rest of the Ducati spares catalogue and all looked good. As I had a trackday planned for the following day, Geoff did a few adjustments on the suspension to take into account our different bodyweights - what I know about suspension, could be written on the back of a postage stamp. After that, a quick ride around the car park showed that all was well and apart from a little clutch slip, everything was pukka (apologies for the Jamie Oliverism).

I managed the trip back home down the M1 although it took a few roundabouts to trust that the bike wasn't going to topple off the trailer. Seeing it bouncing around in the rear view mirror doesn't do the ticker any good - I'll have to compress the suspension more next time, it still looked a bit wobbly to me. But I managed to get the bike home in one piece although being restricted to 60mph and banned from using the 'fast' lane was a bit of a drag - it was most probably a good thing as the last thing I wanted was to introduce the 748 to the tarmac along the M1!

After all that, I made it to the track day at Lydden. The day was a real eye opener into how different the 748 and the 996 are. Cosmetically identical but personalities, totally different. See the trackday write-up here.