So we took the motor on my '96 Monster 944 apart this week. A little history: The bike had 7000 street miles on it when I bought it in '04. I did 3 track days that year (my first); on the last day, it was smoking on decel, so that winter, we installed a DP 944 kit and new con-rod bearings, massaged the heads a bit, and threw on a set of 39mm flatslides and a lightened flywheel and called it a day. Since then, I've done 7 seasons worth of trackdays and racing on the bike, including 2 BHF, 2 RA, and 1 Daytona Team Challenges. It was my only bike in '08; in '09 it was my backup to the S2R, but I still rode it every weekend (Actually, now that I think of it, the S2R wasn't sorted out until the 3rd event. So there.) The bike really felt down on power this year in the RA TC, so we thought it might just be a good idea to have a looky-see. Really, we were mostly concerned about eventual piston failure...
The verdict? Greg over at MCC said it looked excellent. In fact, he said that if we could get rings (we probably can't, not that it matters) he'd be tempted to just put it back together. Even the cylinders were fine. So, a new set of Pistal pistons from DucShop in 1-2 weeks (they just sold their last set yesterday - Dammit!), new con-rod bearings, and new belts, and we're back in business - yippee!
My point? Well, every year, there are like 8000 discussions on here about how Ducatis are ruining the lightweight classes, and how only us rich guys (Puh-leeze. I am but a lowly turd-herder) can afford them, and so on. Now admittedly, this is not a DS 1000 motor, but I'd guess that it puts out around 85 HP (I'm finally going to dyno it when we're done - I simply must know), and it was a damn fine & very competitive Amateur level ride, and with this kind of longevity (did I mention a COMPLETELY STOCK, ORIGINAL BOTTOM END???), I think it kinda blows the whole $$$ argument outta the water. Furthermore, I think it'll be an excellent Expert bike, especially on shorter tracks. I'm fairly sure (extremely hopeful) I can eventually drop a coupla seconds on it at BHF...We'll see. Furtherfurthermore, I built the motor in the S2R to a comparatively similar state of tune, so I'm looking forward to that bike lasting 4 or 5 or even more seasons. Again, we''ll see. Anyway, yes, the buy-in absolutely can be higher for the Ducs, but over the long run, I think it really balances out, especially if you neither overbuild or overrev them. At least, that has been my experience.
OK, go to town, you little imps. Oh, and see you MW/GP guys in Topeka.. I'm looking forward to hanging with you all!
PS. I'll update with the dyno #'s when I get them, probably 2-3 weeks. Peace.