Motorbike

Ducati 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
Details
Manufacturer:
Ducati
Category:
Sportsbikes
Price:
£ 13995
Overall
4
Average: 4 (1 vote)
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.

Seats0
Suspension FrontÖhlins upside-down fully adjustable fork with TiN surface treatment, for radial calipers
Suspension RearProgressive linkage
Adjustability RearFully adjustable Öhlins monoshock
Wheels Front3.50x17
Wheels Rear5.50x17
Wheels Made OfNew Y-shaped 5 spoke design light alloy
Tyres Front120/70 ZR 17
Tyres Rear180/50 ZR 17
Brakes Front2 x 320 mm semi-floating discs, 4-piston 4-pad callipers
Brakes Rear240 mm disc, 2-piston caliper
ChassisTubular ALS450 steel trellis
Seats0
Suspension FrontÖhlins upside-down fully adjustable fork with TiN surface treatment, for radial calipers
Suspension RearProgressive linkage
Adjustability RearFully adjustable Öhlins monoshock
Wheels Front3.50x17
Wheels Rear5.50x17
Wheels Made OfNew Y-shaped 5 spoke design light alloy
Tyres Front120/70 ZR 17
Tyres Rear180/50 ZR 17
Brakes Front2 x 320 mm semi-floating discs, 4-piston 4-pad callipers
Brakes Rear240 mm disc, 2-piston caliper
ChassisTubular ALS450 steel trellis
Cubic Capacity (cc)749
Valves8
Max Power (bhp)118
Max Power Peak (rpm)10250
Torque (ft/lb)60
Torque Peak (rpm)8250
Bore (mm)94
Stroke (mm)54
Valve GearDOHC
Compression Ratio12.7
Valves Per Cylinder4
CoolingLiquid cooled
Fuel DeliveryElectronic
Stroke TypeFour Stroke
DriveChain
Cubic Capacity (cc)749
Valves8
Max Power (bhp)118
Max Power Peak (rpm)10250
Torque (ft/lb)60
Torque Peak (rpm)8250
Bore (mm)94
Stroke (mm)54
Valve GearDOHC
Compression Ratio12.7
Valves Per Cylinder4
CoolingLiquid cooled
Fuel DeliveryElectronic
Stroke TypeFour Stroke
DriveChain
Top Speed
Top Speed
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

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