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Old Oct 4th 2017, 05:01 AM   #1
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Converting a 1299 S to track bike

Hi all,

Forgive me if this has been discussed here before, but I'm keen to gauge opinion from other people's experience.

I've had my 1299S over 2 yrs from new. Weekend blasts on the road only. I've starting doing some track work on hire bikes (stock 959 and stock R1M, full rider aids on both). I'm mulling the idea of converting my bike to a track bike (using a local Ducati garage who build BSB bikes).

Options I have are spending 5k-10k converting my bike or buying a ready made second-hand track bike (not necessarily a 1299).

Question: for those who have converted their Panigale's for track only, WAS IT WORTH IT?

cheers.
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Old Oct 4th 2017, 06:53 AM   #2
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Why do you have to spend that much, a set of bodywork ($850), some protection sliders ($300), and go have fun.

I bought the Ducati OEM track bodywork as there wasn't anything else available at the time. It's exactly the same as the OEM bodywork, so it can double as street bodywork as well.

I swap my 1200S from track to street in about an hour or two, although it mainly lives as my track bike as I have a couple of other street bikes. That means removing the headlight, taillight and mirrors and fitting the OEM block off's.

A dedicated track bike is nice, especially if you are running race tires, but you also buy a set of used wheels for the race tires.

Ducati OEM track Kit


Painted by me on my homemade paint booth






On the Track


On the street
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Last edited by ChrisE; Oct 5th 2017 at 05:24 AM.
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Old Oct 4th 2017, 03:35 PM   #3
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Yeah, I'm on the same page as ChrisE. Some track bodywork (relatively cheap) and some other bits and pieces here and there. Shouldn't have to spend much to go play on the track.

You CAN spend 5-10k, but I've probably spent 2-3k between brakes, MC, rearsets, sliders, bodywork, TL shift rod, rad guard, lithium battery, tire warmers and tires.. lots of tires. Removed headlights, tail lights, emissions can etc.
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Old Oct 4th 2017, 07:16 PM   #4
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Even in my case, I am doing a full race conversion (removal of headlights, tail lights, cooling fan, non-essential electronics, stock fairing stay, etc...) and I won't even spend 5k.

I had the same discussion before hand...either sacrificing my 1299 to have a single purpose, or buying a 2nd race bike like an R6 or something.

I miss the ability to ride a motorcycle on the street, but I don't necessarily miss riding the 1299 on the street. It's a completely irrational and unusable machine on the road, so I decided it would be purposed for track days and racing and I would then save up for a 2nd road bike later on. Best of both worlds....


In your case, if you just want to do track days on it, you really don't need to do much. I chose to start club racing after years of track days, so it required a larger commitment. Don't do or spend more than you need to.
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Old Oct 5th 2017, 12:26 AM   #5
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All great advice, many thanks.

@NW1299 - funnily enough I also thought about getting a track day R6! I think I'm going to get KTM Superduke R for the everyday street and start slowly with the conversion to track as you guys suggest. If I decide to take up low level club racing then I can always up the ante.

Cheers.
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Old Oct 5th 2017, 05:41 AM   #6
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OP, answering your second question, I find Ducati's, ridden on the track, an absolute blast.

Since starting to do track days back in '95, my track bikes have been my Bimota DB2 (Street & Track), a 996 (dedicated track), 1098S (dedicated track) and my 1299S (95% track).

In that mix, I've run an Aprilia RS250 and a '98 R1.

I've also raced a kawi 250 and ridden most of the modern 600cc bikes at track days.

The big difference with the Ducati's, it's a lot more relaxing to ride than the 600's and my 250's. To keep up a decent pace on the 600's you have to be on your toes and keep them in the power band which means rowing the gearbox and being in the right gear all the time.

On the Ducati, especially the 1299 and 1098, you can be a gear too high and still get very respectable drive, so you don't have to be quite so precise.

I found my RS250 would wear me out mentally after several sessions, it's exhilarating trying to ride it fast in a 1800rpm power band, which lasts about 3-4 seconds, but it gets mentally exerting after several hours.

An R6 needs to be kept on the boil like this as well, between about 12K-15K and it takes a little getting used to riding a bike screaming like this after riding a Ducati.
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Last edited by ChrisE; Oct 5th 2017 at 07:40 AM.
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Old Oct 5th 2017, 06:14 AM   #7
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That's a great perspective @ChrisE, thank you very much.

I always imagined that riding a smaller bike like a 600 would be 'easier' vs a 1000cc bike (I guess it depends on the spec of that big bike) simply because they're smaller, lighter and less powerful. I'm not planning on racing (yet), more looking for fun on a track in the fast group. I reckon a half decent prepped 1299 will give me that and with all the electronic aids, allow me to be as aggressive or 'relaxed' as I want.
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Old Oct 5th 2017, 08:02 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by hu8742 View Post
That's a great perspective @ChrisE, thank you very much.

I always imagined that riding a smaller bike like a 600 would be 'easier' vs a 1000cc bike (I guess it depends on the spec of that big bike) simply because they're smaller, lighter and less powerful.
The biggest difference between the two classes for me is the amount of time you have to process information. That difference makes the 600 the more confidence inspiring bike to learn/experiment on.
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Old Oct 5th 2017, 08:07 AM   #9
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Just my personal opinion here, worth what you paid for it. 1000's are easier to go fast on, 600's are easier to be fast on. It just depends on what your reason for being on the track is. I started on a thousand and thought all was good until I realized I was getting my ass kicked by people on SV650's. When I first started doing trackdays, I just wanted to open the bike up and have more fun. If that is your reason for being out there, then I don't think it matters to much. Now if you ever find yourself keeping track of laptimes and trying to seriously improve the actual skill aspect of being out there (or go racing as I eventually did), then you are likely much better off on a 600 or smaller. Some people say it "forces you to learn good habits", which is true. I also think it simply gives you more time to figure things out. I notice that most trackday folks are coasting for a bit headed into corners on liter bikes, they simply don't have the ability to go from gas to brake immediately as it's all happening 30 mph faster than on something smaller. So they have to park it to get it turned. Then they are waiting forever on corner exit to actually open the throttle, because they can't process the smaller throttle movements that are needed to get a decent exit. Fast guys on 1000's are ripping the throttle in the same manner as fast guys on 600's, so the idea of it being easier as you get faster kinda goes right out the window when your skill/pace picks up.

You likely know already which camp you fall into, and I don't think there is a right or wrong answer truthfully. Just go out there and enjoy the sport in any way that you see fit. I've seen people on Multistrada's at trackdays having the time of their life just as the people on decked out race bikes are.
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