How Much Traction Control Do You Need?
We must admit that the Bayliss...
We must admit that the Bayliss Replica paint scheme is even better looking than the standard 1098R (which won't be available in the U.S. for '09, just the Bayliss Rep). The usual Öhlins inverted fork and monster 330mm disc/Brembo monoblock radial-mount caliper brake setup graces the front. Front brake action was much improved, with none of the grabbiness of the previous version.
Our plan was to run a session on varying levels of traction control, starting from level 8-the highest setting with the most intervention-then level six, three, then one, and finally turning off the DTC completely (we decided to skip a few levels due to time restraints). The surprising details of our findings can be found in the data section of this story, but here's a brief summary of what we discovered.
On level eight, the DTC system is obviously hypersensitive, and intervenes at the slightest hint of what it determines to be wheelspin (meaning the front and rear wheel speeds exceeding a certain difference). This makes it a bit frustrating to ride with, as it clearly pulls back a lot of power in nearly every cornering situation and the engine doesn't return to anywhere near full strength until you're nearly straight up. This setting would probably be best suited for wet conditions, but even then the disconnection between throttle and power output was difficult to deal with.
Level six was much better, but it too pulled back a lot of power in the majority of cornering situations, especially as you were in the meat of your drive off the corner. However, there were many instances where its softening of the power application as you begin your drive off the corner apex actually allowed higher cornering speeds in that particular section of a turn; it was only when you began to ask for progressively more power in the latter stages of your drive off the corner where it would fall behind the lower settings.
Level three and level one were-as you'd expect-much more selective and precise about how much power they pulled back, and a close examination of the data graphs shows that they clearly provide a better initial drive off the corner in many instances than turning the DTC off completely. It's only the final stages of the corner exit of most corners where the "no TC" bike overtakes the others. Yes, the non-TC bike ultimately turned the quickest lap time and highest top speed down the back straight, but it should be remembered that was with an expert rider at the controls; a lesser-skilled rider would surely benefit from the added safety net (and cornering drive improvement) of the DTC system.
The March Of Technology
The 6.0-inch-wide rear wheel...
The 6.0-inch-wide rear wheel on the Bayliss replica comes shod with a 190 Pirelli Diablo Supercorsa SP tire, and is painted black (versus the gold color of the standard 1098R). Note the huge diameter exhaust piping leading up to the trademark twin underseat silencers.
The advent of sophisticated traction control technology with the Ducati 1098R will surely resurrect the philosophical discussion of taking more of the riding responsibility out of the rider's hands that has dominated MotoGP, and superbike racing to a lesser extent. But even the comparatively simple DTC system is still much more complex than any current OEM traction control setup, and the added cost makes its appearance on mass-produced sportbikes still a long way off.
The 1098R Bayliss Replica is most definitely not for everyone when you consider the $43,995 entrance ticket to sampling the latest in trickle-down racing technology. But those few who can ante up surely won't be disappointed-that we can guarantee.
'09 Ducati 1098R
Bayliss Replica LE
Type: Liquid-cooled, 90-degree, 4-stroke V-twin
Bore x stroke: 106.0 x 67.9mm
Compression ration: 12.8:1
Induction: Marelli EFI, single-valve oval throttle bodies equivalent to 63.9mm diameter, twin injectors/cyl.
Front suspension: 43mm Öhlins inverted cartridge fork, 4.7 in. travel; adjustments for spring preload, rebound and compression damping
Rear suspension: Single Öhlins TTX shock, 5.0 in. travel; adjustments for spring preload, rebound and compression damping, ride height
Front brake: 2 radial-mount/four-piston monoblock calipers, 330mm discs
Rear brake: Dual-piston caliper, 245mm disc
Front wheel: 3.50 x 17 in.; forged aluminum alloy
Rear wheel: 6.00 x 17 in.; forged aluminum alloy
Front tire: 120/70ZR-17 Pirelli Diablo Supercorsa SP
Rear tire: 190/55ZR-17 Pirelli Diablo Supercorsa SP
Rake/trail: 24.3 deg./3.8 in. (97mm)
Wheelbase: 56.3 in. (1430mm)
Seat height: 32.2 in. (820mm)
Fuel capacity: 4.1 gal. (15.5L)
Weight: 419 lb. (190kg) wet; 394.4 lb. (180kg) dry
Instruments: LCD display panel for digital speedometer, bar graph tachometer, clock, coolant temperature, odometer/dual tripmeters, battery level, DTC, DDA, laps, scheduled maintenance, average speed/fuel consumption; warning lights for neutral, high beam, turn signals, low oil pressure, low fuel level, oil temperature
Quarter-mile: 9.91 sec. @ 147.95 mph (corrected)
Top speed: NA
Roll-ons: 60-80 mph/2.70 sec.; 80-100 mph/3.22 sec.
Fuel consumption: 28-36 mpg, 33 mpg avg.