Canyon Stan's Ducati 749 Site

Meet Duchess, my Ducati 749!!

Vanishing Point

June 2009

I finally got a Ducati

mood: Happy

We'll this is my first entry for Duchess. I decided it was finally time to get something with a little less engine displacement. Let's face it, you don't need 150+ RWHP motorcycle for the streets . . or even some tracks. So, I traded the R1 in for a 2006 Ducati 749.

So far, I've been quite impressed with the handling of the Ducati. It's got to be the best handling bike I've ever owned. big grin

For reference, here are the bikes I've owned in the past:

Here are some pictures of my last bikes:

Old Super Hawk
Old '98 Super Hawk
Old RR
Old '03 CBR600RR
Old R1
Old '05 R1

My 1st Bike
Old '82 SECA 750
My 1st bike
Old FZ-1
Old '01 ZR-7s
Old FZ-1 StreetFighter
Old '02 FZ-1
Old F4i
Old '01 CBR600 F4i

Stan on 04.01.09 @ 10:02 PM PST [link]

Ducati Group Ride gets a new member

So, about a week and a half ago I helped Matt, a co-worker and friend, pick up a 2003 Ducati 999s. He's been salivating over Duchess since I picked her up and has always wanted a Ducati himself. He'd been debating getting a Speed Triple (he being a Brit and all) but the allure of the Ducati was just too much, plus he got a smokin' deal for it (practically stole it, he did).

Since I was out of town last weekend, we didn't get a chance to ride. So, for this weekend, I planned to get together with Chris and maybe a few of his closer friends for a smallish group ride. I find these rides allow for everyone to really get to talk more and stay together.

So we got together in the usual spot, and we weren't alone. Another fairly large group ride was planned to meet at the same spot and time.
DucGR2_01 (57k image)

Despite Matt just getting the 999s, he sure did seem to be eyeing Chris's Hypermotard awfully closely wink
DucGR2_02 (59k image)

The group consisted of Ducati:
Matt (999s), Chris (Hypermotard), Sandy (999r) & myself
as well as some non-Ducati:
Brandon (CBR600RR), Matt (SuperDuke 990) & Sicko (R6)

I led the group up Hwy 9 to Hwy 35 (aka Skyline) and then on to Alice's. Chris decided to be photographer for this ride and get out in front of the group and get some shots of us rounding a pretty nice corner on Hwy 9.
DucGR2_03 (45k image)

Unfortunately for Matt, he was a bit to close to the rider in front and wasn't able to get his first shot of him riding the 999s. I'm sure he'll have plenty to purchase from the photographers that stand trackside at most track day events soon enough.

We then stopped at Alice's for a bit, at which point Sicko decided there were too many corners for him and bailed out. We then took Hwy 84 to Pescadaro Rd (aka Pescy). I really like Pescy, it reminds me a lot of the more technical roads in the Santa Monica Mtns. We then regrouped at a gas station at which point Sandy had to had home.

We then took Cloverdale down to Hwy 1. We rolled down Hwy 1 and looked for another good spot to get some pictures.
DucGR2_04 (23k image)

The boys and their bikes:
DucGR2_05 (24k image)

At this point we were hungry and headed to a little spot in Capitola for some fuel for the bike and the boys. Once we finished eating, the serious riding began.
We took Porter St/Soquel San Jose Rd to Summit Rd. We then took Summit Rd to Old Santa Cruz Hwy where we made the customary stop at the Fire Station.

At this point, Brandon and Matt (KTM) had to get going since they had long rides home. The 3 remains Ducs just had to get some more curves in (to make up for all the freeway stuff we were doing before lunch). We took the 17 to 9.

At this point, Matt was obviously feeling more comfortable than his mornings phrase "I'll just stay in the back" and decided to lead. We did a 'lap' on 9 and then Chris had to head home. Matt and I did 2 more laps before we finally decided to call it a day.

Good times. Nice to see Matt getting into his groove on the 999s. We were carrying some nice "street sane" corner speed through most of our after lunch ride on 9.

I just can't get enough though, so Duchess and I will be out for a "Mellow Group Ride" tomorrow bright and early. smile
Stan on 06.20.09 @ 09:08 PM PST [link]

Mid-week Lunch ride

I missed out on getting some miles on Duchess last weekend for a great reason. I went to SoCal to attend my youngest son's 8th birthday party. I also got some early Father's Day presents smile

But, I finished my project at work, had no mid-day meetings and the weather here was perfect for a lunch time ride to Alice's.

I got in contact with a long time moto-friend, Andy, the admin of SBR. He actually helped me move in here months ago and we had never gotten a chance to ride together since I moved here. Considering he only lives 15 minutes away, is one hell of a rider, knows some of the best roads in the Santa Cruz mountains (been riding them over 30 years) AND is a fabulous photographer . . this injustice had to be corrected big grin

I left work "early" for lunch, geared up and rode over to Andy's place. Once we got there he showed me THE best route to get to Page Mill rd from his place. He gave me plenty of demonstrations of just all the different places you could "wheelie for safety"
Andy_Wheelie4Safety (65k image)

Once we got to Alice's, we had some lunch with some other SBR members that happened to be taking their lunch break at Alice's.

One of my own selfish goals for the ride with Andy was to get some pics of me on Duchess. wink So, after lunch Andy and I decided we were going to hit up a couple of roads I'd been on before, get some pictures and then head back. Marci decided to join us on her GSXR-600. She has had a knee replacement surgery and this was her first ride after the surgery. I could certainly sympathize with her having had a surgery on my knee not so long ago.

We got some great pic that I simply can't capture all of here . . and why should I when Andy's done such a good job of it in this thread on SBR.

CS&Duchess_3_Blog (39k image)

Needless to say, it was a great lunch break. Thanks Andy and Marci big grin

Andy_Marci_Stan (76k image)
Stan on 06.18.09 @ 11:10 PM PST [link]

21st Mod: Carbon Fiber-look Billet Aluminum Bar Ends

I did it again. I exercised my right to stumble across something new. wink

My 21st mod should have taken about 10 minutes to install, but instead, the installation took about 4 hours. angry, grr

Here's what happened. I bid on a pair of Carbon Fiber-look Billet Aluminum Bar Ends with Ducati engraved on them that I found on Ebay (how could I pass these up).

So, I win the auction and send my PayPal payment off immediately. The Seller communicates well and send me notification when they ship. It's all good right? Once they arrive, I skip happily back from the mailbox and start to put them on immediately.

As I'm putting on the bar ends, I notice that I can't get the end of the bar end that is supposed to fit in the end of the clip-on to go in (you following me here). I take a quick measurement and notice the hole at the end of the clip-on is 16.5mm but the end of the bar end that's supposed to go in that hole is 18mm? confused

I sent the Seller and email 24 hours ago and still haven't heard a response. Looks like I'll have to give some Neutral feedback to this Seller. plain

Since I don't have a lathe, I called my buddy Steve (ApexMolester on SBR) and he suggested I get ahold of the SBR admin Andy. Andy then pointed me to Nichols Motorcycle Shop.

After calling and talking to Jim, he told me to go ahead and bring them in with the bike. Once I got there, met the Family-owned and run shop with YEARS of experience servicing and making parts, mostly for Ducatis, I knew I was in the right place. big grin

Jim and co hooked me up for just $20. Now the bar ends fit PERFECTLY, thanks to the gang at Nichols.
Duchess_Billet_CF-look_Bar_Ends (46k image)

Let that be a lesson for you boys and girls, when life hands you lemons . . make lemonade big grin
Stan on 06.04.09 @ 10:54 PM PST [link]

20th Mod: Billet Aluminum Brake Pedal Lever

So, I exercised my right to stumble across something new. wink My 20th mod took about 25 minutes to install, mostly because I had to take the right side fairing off. I won a Black Anodized billet aluminum brake pedal lever made by the Gas Cap Dude in an auction on Ebay.
Duchess_Billet_BrakePedalLever (40k image)

I was a bit skeptical about bidding on it at first, because I did need the extension piece that was sent with the Ottimoto rearsets. I emailed the Gas Cap Dude and told him about my needs and he said they make a extension piece that he could add for $5. That's all I need to hear to "Buy It Now".

I really like the looks of this pedal lever vs. the cheesy looking extension that was provided in the Ottimoto rearset kit. Ottimoto would be smart if they got the Gas Cap Dude to make this brake lever pedal for them to include in their rearset kits (which do include a shifter pedal lever). Ottimoto? Hello? Are you listening?
Stan on 05.28.09 @ 11:04 PM PST [link]

Ducati Group Ride

Today I went on a ride with some fellow Ducatisti (Ducati fans). The ride was actually posted in several Ducati forums as well as some of the Bay Area Riders Forums, including the one I just joined B.A.R.F. (which stands for Bay Area Riders Forum). From what I can tell, BARF is the biggest riders forum in the Bay.

The early morning risers all met for some coffee at the Starbuck in Saratoga before we headed up Hwy 9:
DucGroupRide_01 (50k image)

Hwy 9 was actually really clear and nice. Except for the LEO who was walking towards the center line with his arms out when we went by. We weren't quite sure wanted us to stop and decided not to take our chances. Those bringing up the rear of the pack were merely given the "slow down" sign by the LEO.

Once we got on Skyline there was still a lot of fog and the roads were still wet in not just a few places.

Once we got to the 2nd meeting spot in Woodside, we all headed up back up towards Skyline hoping it the fog had burned off. It hadn't. As we all stood there, cold and slightly wet; we decided if we wanted the ride to continue the ride it would be best to find warmer climates and head east.

We eventually decided to head up Mt. Hamilton. Despite the technical switchbacks on the way up to the Observatory, it was well worth the ride for the warmer weather.
DucGroupRide_02 (33k image)

DucGroupRide_03 (39k image)

DucGroupRide_04 (19k image)

DucGroupRide_05 (30k image)

I think the real fun began after I took these pictures, going down the backside of Mt. Hamilton to the roads leading to this motorcycle hangout called "The Junction" were a blast. We had lunch at "the Junction" and then had even more fun on some roads I don't remember the name of, but I got into a good rhythm on these roads.

Great Day with a great bunch of Ducatisti. big grin
Stan on 05.24.09 @ 09:59 PM PST [link]

19th Mod: Pazzo Racing Levers

My 19th mod took a little over 30 minutes to install. I won a set of Pazzo Racing levers on Ebay. What I really like about the Pazzo levers are the options available. I go a set of black shorty levers with a silver adjuster.
Duchess_PazzoLevers (41k image)

At this point, I consider Duchess 'Motorcycle Makeover' complete. She now looks like the vision I had in my minds eye when I first bought her. I still reserve the right to stumble across something new, but at this point, there are no more parts on order.

It's time to ride . . tomorrow I'll be going to a Ducati Group ride, so it looks like I finished Duchess just in time. wink
Stan on 05.23.09 @ 06:19 PM PST [link]

Suspension Setup by Evolution Suspension

This really isn't a mod, per-se, but I think this is some of the best money you can spend (on the motorcycle itself) to help make your riding better. Get your suspension properly setup for YOU. You can't really do this by yourself, you need at least a couple of friends and someone that's got some experience or knowledge of how to set the suspension.

I have both, but didn't really have anyone around to hold the bike for me, so I took it over to Rob at Evolution Suspension.
EvolutionSuspension_Sign (20k image)

EvolutionSuspension_Duchess (38k image)

For a mere $40, he was able to determine I didn't need new springs (luckily) and setup my suspension for me. Turns out, Duchess didn't have enough preload in the front or the rear, but it was really bad in the rear with an extra 10mm of static sag. Apparently, the previous owner never set it.
EvolutionSuspension_Work (41k image)

Big thanks to Rob for getting my suspension dialed in for me. big grin
Stan on 05.21.09 @ 01:05 PM PST [link]

18th Mod: Carbon Fiber Cam Belt Cover

My 18th Mod took about 45 minutes to install, thanks to the help of a great Step-by-step write-up on how to do it that I found on I won a Carbon Fiber Cam Belt Cover made by Pit-eck in an auction on Ebay.
Duchess_CF_CamBeltCover (45k image)

Overall, it looks really good, but I'm not quite as satisfied with the fitment as I was with the other Pit-Eck Carbon Fiber parts I've order. The bottom 2 holes on the cover don't properly line up, so I consequently went without putting them in. Since they are hard to see and the cover fits tightly without them.
Stan on 05.21.09 @ 12:27 PM PST [link]