749R (2003 - 2007) review

I’ve ridden every new 2004 bike and the 749R is the one I really want to ride again. I’d love to own one; it looks ace, handles great, has a mint motor and is good off track, too. I’d take a 749R over any 999 anytime

Ben Cope's picture
By Visordown on Wed, 1 Jan 2003 - 12:01

Details
Manufacturer:
Ducati
Category:
Sportsbikes
Price:
£ 13995
Overall
4
The 749R allows you to push harder than ever - a nearly perfect bike
Too focused for the road and that slipper clutch is just more trouble than it's worth

The 749R makes you feel invincible on track, and allows you to push harder than ever before. So what makes it so good? For a start, the chassis is simply brilliant. The Öhlins front and rear on the R combine with the traditionally superb Ducati chassis to make the bike perfectly balanced in a corner. Through the fast left-hander of Donington’s Craner, the R allowed me to carry so much corner speed in total confidence I was overtaking other riders round the outside at one of the scariest corners on the track.

The motor, which is a true 749cc rather than 748cc like the other models in the 749 range, feels really punchy and strong low down. It doesn’t have the lumpiness of a 999 and revs cleanly from low in the range, picking up strongly in the mid-range while still having a decent kick at the top near the 12,500rpm redline, or when the yellow shift warning light starts to flash.

But there is a slight problem. During the wet launch of the 749R at Valencia, the slipper clutch didn’t seem to be working quite right and the bike felt like it was selecting false neutrals on downshifts. This problem became even more apparent in the dry. I found that the Ducati often slipped into a false neutral when downshifting more than one gear at a time – not good when you’re going fast on track. Speaking to Ducati, they say no one else has reported this as a problem, but for me it ruined a nearly perfect bike. If anyone out there has bought one, let us know if yours does it.

The 749R makes you feel invincible on track, and allows you to push harder than ever before. So what makes it so good? For a start, the chassis is simply brilliant. The Öhlins front and rear on the R combine with the traditionally superb Ducati chassis to make the bike perfectly balanced in a corner. Through the fast left-hander of Donington’s Craner, the R allowed me to carry so much corner speed in total confidence I was overtaking other riders round the outside at one of the scariest corners on the track.

The motor, which is a true 749cc rather than 748cc like the other models in the 749 range, feels really punchy and strong low down. It doesn’t have the lumpiness of a 999 and revs cleanly from low in the range, picking up strongly in the mid-range while still having a decent kick at the top near the 12,500rpm redline, or when the yellow shift warning light starts to flash.

But there is a slight problem. During the wet launch of the 749R at Valencia, the slipper clutch didn’t seem to be working quite right and the bike felt like it was selecting false neutrals on downshifts. This problem became even more apparent in the dry. I found that the Ducati often slipped into a false neutral when downshifting more than one gear at a time – not good when you’re going fast on track. Speaking to Ducati, they say no one else has reported this as a problem, but for me it ruined a nearly perfect bike. If anyone out there has bought one, let us know if yours does it.

The 749R makes you feel invincible on track, and allows you to push harder than ever before. So what makes it so good? For a start, the chassis is simply brilliant. The Öhlins front and rear on the R combine with the traditionally superb Ducati chassis to make the bike perfectly balanced in a corner. Through the fast left-hander of Donington’s Craner, the R allowed me to carry so much corner speed in total confidence I was overtaking other riders round the outside at one of the scariest corners on the track.

The motor, which is a true 749cc rather than 748cc like the other models in the 749 range, feels really punchy and strong low down. It doesn’t have the lumpiness of a 999 and revs cleanly from low in the range, picking up strongly in the mid-range while still having a decent kick at the top near the 12,500rpm redline, or when the yellow shift warning light starts to flash.

But there is a slight problem. During the wet launch of the 749R at Valencia, the slipper clutch didn’t seem to be working quite right and the bike felt like it was selecting false neutrals on downshifts. This problem became even more apparent in the dry. I found that the Ducati often slipped into a false neutral when downshifting more than one gear at a time – not good when you’re going fast on track. Speaking to Ducati, they say no one else has reported this as a problem, but for me it ruined a nearly perfect bike. If anyone out there has bought one, let us know if yours does it.
Seats 0
Suspension Front Öhlins upside-down fully adjustable fork with TiN surface treatment, for radial calipers
Suspension Rear Progressive linkage
Adjustability Rear Fully adjustable Öhlins monoshock
Wheels Front 3.50x17
Wheels Rear 5.50x17
Wheels Made Of New Y-shaped 5 spoke design light alloy
Tyres Front 120/70 ZR 17
Tyres Rear 180/50 ZR 17
Brakes Front 2 x 320 mm semi-floating discs, 4-piston 4-pad callipers
Brakes Rear 240 mm disc, 2-piston caliper
Chassis Tubular ALS450 steel trellis
Seats 0
Suspension Front Öhlins upside-down fully adjustable fork with TiN surface treatment, for radial calipers
Suspension Rear Progressive linkage
Adjustability Rear Fully adjustable Öhlins monoshock
Wheels Front 3.50x17
Wheels Rear 5.50x17
Wheels Made Of New Y-shaped 5 spoke design light alloy
Tyres Front 120/70 ZR 17
Tyres Rear 180/50 ZR 17
Brakes Front 2 x 320 mm semi-floating discs, 4-piston 4-pad callipers
Brakes Rear 240 mm disc, 2-piston caliper
Chassis Tubular ALS450 steel trellis
Cubic Capacity (cc) 749
Valves 8
Max Power (bhp) 118
Max Power Peak (rpm) 10250
Torque (ft/lb) 60
Torque Peak (rpm) 8250
Bore (mm) 94
Stroke (mm) 54
Valve Gear DOHC
Compression Ratio 12.7
Valves Per Cylinder 4
Cooling Liquid cooled
Fuel Delivery Electronic
Stroke Type Four Stroke
Drive Chain
Cubic Capacity (cc) 749
Valves 8
Max Power (bhp) 118
Max Power Peak (rpm) 10250
Torque (ft/lb) 60
Torque Peak (rpm) 8250
Bore (mm) 94
Stroke (mm) 54
Valve Gear DOHC
Compression Ratio 12.7
Valves Per Cylinder 4
Cooling Liquid cooled
Fuel Delivery Electronic
Stroke Type Four Stroke
Drive Chain
Top Speed
Top Speed

Score Breakdown
Overall
4

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