Well after passing the VFR400 on to Alisa for track days - I needed to find a new track bike that I could use to take my riding to the next level.
I wanted something over 600cc and under a 1000cc:
600cc = too revvy and not much torque
1000cc = too fast and too scary for me on track
After a few discussions with friends and people I had met at track days I decided on the Triumph 675 Daytona. It has great engine characteristics with lots of torque for its size, plenty of power, good build quality, plenty of race parts available due to the Triumph cup - plus I already own a Triumph Explorer and like the brand.
I also decided that I wanted a bike that was already prepared for the track. I'd learned that most track riders take great care of their track bikes - it can prove detrimental to your health and your wallet if you don't. Also it can cost a fortune to convert a bike for the track as there are so many components, large (suspension) and small (quick action throttle) that soon add up to big bucks.
So I set my mind on a bike and budget and hit eBay...but after a few weeks searching I could not find any Daytonas at the spec and price I wanted.
So I browsed a little more widely, but nothing took my fancy until I happened to look at some brands that I had not considered.
As soon as I saw the ad for a shiny, sexy, bright red, ex Ducati Cup, 848 Evo - budget, bike choices and practicality went out the window.
The ad read....................................
2011 848 Evo
Bike has been race prepared and raced in the 848 cup ridden by Chris Richardson of Silly Racing.
On the clocks the bike has 7500 miles
all 3 keys and a V5
Ohlins TTX Rear Shock
Ohlins Fork Cartridges
Ohlins Steering Damper
Sigma Performance Slipper Clutch
Akrapovic Exhaust Cans
Lightech Rear Sets
Evo Tech Brake and Clutch Levers
Brembo Clubman Race Disks
Active Quick Action Throttle
Brembo Carbon Ceramic Race Pads
GB Racing Engine Case Covers
Red Samco Silicon Race Hoses
R&G Under Fairing Crash Bungs
Renthal Chain and Sprockets
Foam filled tank
Fully lockwired and ready for racing
Ducati Performance GPS laptimer (Made by Starlane and works on the dash)
Gear indicator (These are very hard to get working right, I did it on the dyno, it's perfect)
Ducati Performance fuel filler cap
Carbon exhaust shield
Marchesini lightweight forged wheels
Wets on Wheels with discs (standard 848 wheels not forged)
I have plenty of history with the bike. I also have more information I picked up recently from speaking to Wilf at Moto Rapido who built the bike from a road bike which had 1850 miles on the clocks at the time.
The bike had belts, valves, etc in June 2014, full service at Moto Rapido. It was then sent to Chris at CJS for a full remap and dyno'd at 137.8 bhp on his dyno.
I've done 7 days on the bike this year and it has performed faultlessly, always starts, always works and runs like a dream. I've fitted new Brembo Carbon ceramic pads 2 days ago, it's also had new brake fluid recently and I've given it 2 oil and filter changes this year. (Last one was 2 TD's ago).
There is I admit some gravel marks on the powder coat of the frame, but given the history of the bike and knowing it was raced regularly at BSB meetings that actually gives it a little sense of history and character if you ask me.
I fitted a brand new BT-016 pro on Saturday. The front is a medium compound Bridgestone R10 with plenty of life in it.
Price is £xxxx which even if you split the bike it would be worth a chunk more than that. But it's a bike that wants to be used, wants to be ridden and wants to be loved (as it has been).
On inspection the forged wheels were Japanese with Marchesini stickers; I couldn't verify the sigma clutch; only one key was present, but other than that the bike looked as I was expecting for an ex race bike that had been tracked and dropped in the gravel at some point.
When I arrived at the sellers place he was a little upset that I arrived with a car and no trailer...he had experienced a few tyre kickers...and also had his eye on the next bike. But we looked it over agreed on the price and I then pulled the motolug collapsible trailer out of the boot.
I drove home with a smile on my face with my 'new' Ducati bouncing about in the rear view mirror, whilst the seller, with cash burning a hole in his pocket made a call to see if the bike he was looking at was still available.
At the same time I thought "Yeah I own a Ducati!" and "what on earth have I done!"