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2 reasons.
1. The trellis style / bird cage frame has become synonymous with Italian bikes.
2. Its one of the old school ways of frame design!


The Japanese design their frames on computers & the physical test ride is one of the last steps prior to final approval and manufacture.

Ducati to this day designs their frames with a test rider from the get go! They start with trellis frame with a good known geometry / rake etc and start adding or deleting tubes after each ride depending on the riders comments! Obviously more involved but basically its all old school, real world trial & error testing every step of the way on a track.

Until very recently frame manufacturing cost and weight was not high on Ducs list of must haves.

Great report BTW.
Valentino Rossi said the exact opposite in his book "What if I had never tried it". He said that Ducati relied too much on computer simulations and less on human input. That's why he liked Yamaha. They valued human input. I know many Ducati owners believe their bikes have soul, so the last thing they wanna hear is probably that the bikes are developed by computer simulations instead of human input, but that's what Rossi said. Then again, most bikes these days are probably designed mainly with the help of computers anyway.
 

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Squid
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Discussion Starter #23
So... is there any inherent advantage in weight, strength, performance specific to one frame type or another? Is the issue cost or production?
Short answer...

Either frame has its advantages and disadvantages....

IMHO not cost or production....difference between sushi and pizza.....





..
 

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Being an owner of an R1 and a 999. Your write up is excellent and as close as someone can get to the truth. Describing the differences between the two design philosophies, without showing bias, or getting emotionally tied up into the differences between the European and Japanese schools of design and engineering. Great job!:riding
 

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Squid
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Discussion Starter #26
Being an owner of an R1 and a 999. Your write up is excellent and as close as someone can get to the truth. Describing the differences between the two design philosophies, without showing bias, or getting emotionally tied up into the differences between the European and Japanese schools of design and engineering. Great job!:riding

Man, thanks for the compliment!

Having read many of your other posts, it means something coming from you.
 

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I rule at the interwebs...
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First, thanks for a great write-up. However I do have a couple of things to point out.


By looking at dyno graphs the CBR 1000 seems to have about 5 lb-ft more torque on average. Furthermore, even at the RC-51s torque peak which seems to be at ~7500rpm the CBR 1000 has it beat.

It's the same if you compare the Ducati 999 to the GSX-R 1000. The GSX-R makes more torque practically everywhere in the rev range.


This is really not true. The inline four cylinder sportbikes easily beat the V-twins in top gear roll-ons. So, while the inline 4s could just roll on the throttle in 6th gear, the twins would have to downshift a gear or two to be able to stick with them. Even the 1098, like the one you rode, can't match the 1000cc inline 4s when it comes to roll-on acceleration. And it's cheating with 10% extra displacement...

CBR 1000 RR -08
60-100km/h 3.5s
60-140km/h 6.4s

GSX-R 1000 -07
60-100km/h 3.3s
60-140km/h 6.3s

RC-51 -02
60-100km/h 4.4s
60-140km/h 10.0s

999R -06
60-100km/h 4.2s
60-140km/h 8.3s

1098 -07
60-100km/h 3.5s
60-140km/h 7.1s

Numbers from www.einszweidrei.de
Compilation of data from german magazines.
Ok, magazine numbers are as reliable as political promises around election time. The point of the twin cylinder is to take advantage of the torque earlier in the powerband and make use of the power delivery characteristics. The twin engines get you off the corner faster but take more effort to change direction. Conversely, an I4 engine will beat you down a long straightaway and turn a bit quicker. In the end, it comes down to your personal preference and riding style.
 

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:-)
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A little late :crash

But great 'article' John! :) Definitely magazine material.
 

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For no ma'am
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One BIG thing about the Ducati's steel trellis frame is feedback, there is no comparison, aluminum framed bikes have come a very long way especially in the last ten years, but you still can't beat the feel of a steel frame, I owned a 99 r6, 04 749S and 06 r6 so I had good long term side by side comparisons. The Duc you felt as if your hands were feeling the the pavement, although the 06 R6 was faster on the track that 749s made me a much better rider with out a doubt, confidence inspiring. Maintenance sucked and it wasn't Japanese bullet prof, but to this day i miss more than any bike i've owned. Oh the sound at full throttle still gives me chills :crash
 

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Ok, magazine numbers are as reliable as political promises around election time. The point of the twin cylinder is to take advantage of the torque earlier in the powerband and make use of the power delivery characteristics. The twin engines get you off the corner faster but take more effort to change direction. Conversely, an I4 engine will beat you down a long straightaway and turn a bit quicker. In the end, it comes down to your personal preference and riding style.

its also apout power pulses..... traction on the gas.... you can pick up on the throttle earler and faster and stay hooked up... twins get a great drive out of a conner.... its there greatest advantage..... and the feel in the power delivery....... but this new cross plane r1 engine is wonderful.

im a twin guy.... i ride mabe fority fifty bikes a year.... mostly sport bikes.... im always amazed at how good they are...... but a well set up twin is thundering delight...... ive ridden many to most of the sport bikes made in the last ten years..... and while the jap i4's are so remarkably good... there was not one i wanted to own untill this 09 yamaha r1..... it is just a hoot... its suspension holds it back but ill through some money at that issue..... it is such a wonderful machine...... its the first jap bike ive bought since 1984 and i thank god every time i ride it for letting me have such a pleasurable thing.... honnest.... it finnishes a corner really well.... you get great feel from the rear tire and it sounds like a bloody nascar hauling ass down the road.... it gets my blood up just thinking about it....
i cant wait to pin it this weekend..... im gonna leave my budies in the last time zone..........

d magi

d magi
 

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the the thing about turning isnt a twin i4 engine deal..... thats more about weight and chassie numbers.... my aprilia rsv with its set up will turn with any bike of around its mass, or better except mabe an r6 a buel and a 675 triuph... and its a ten year old design..... right now it will out turn my r1 or any jap litter bike ive been on or any of the four valve ducati's........the 1098 out of the box...chassie numbers suck.... what a dissapointment it is....
 

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One BIG thing about the Ducati's steel trellis frame is feedback, there is no comparison, aluminum framed bikes have come a very long way especially in the last ten years, but you still can't beat the feel of a steel frame, I owned a 99 r6, 04 749S and 06 r6 so I had good long term side by side comparisons. The Duc you felt as if your hands were feeling the the pavement, although the 06 R6 was faster on the track that 749s made me a much better rider with out a doubt, confidence inspiring. Maintenance sucked and it wasn't Japanese bullet prof, but to this day i miss more than any bike i've owned. Oh the sound at full throttle still gives me chills :crash
i love the 749s like it better than the 999...... but you need to try a well set up 1100s monster...... it has the best front end feel of any street bike ive ridden..... and the motor is totally cool.... a honest ha ha ha..... motorcycle.
its the best ducati chassie ive been on.... needs higher pegs though.... my buddy goes through a lot of boots...
 
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