From Ducati's press material:
Unmistakeable and aggressive, the outline of the 749 has quickly become the Superbike styling standard, making all other sports bikes suddenly look dated. In addition to its balanced design with the front end dominated by the stacked headlights and the integrated exhaust in the tail, the chassis has been designed to allow various adjustments, thus improving the ergonomics and performance. For example, the brake and clutch levers can be positioned to four different settings to maximise control and comfort.
The 749 begins with the advanced Ducati trademark tubular trellis frame. This chassis has been specially developed and tested to work in combination with the engine of the series, the Testastretta. Its performance is defined by high rigidity, lightweight and confidence inspiring road holding.
The frame is combined with high quality suspension components including a Sachs shock absorber and Showa upside down forks that allow damping and pre-load adjustments, enabling the rider to attain the perfect set-up for individual riding style and road conditions.
Testastretta engine technology has only recently been applied to the midsize Superbikes in the range. The 90 fuel-injected L-twin is directly derived from the one fitted to the 999. The liquid-cooled four-valve benefits from a more compact combustion chamber, made possible by the smaller angle between the valves. This solution was named the Testastretta ("compact head") by the Ducati engineers. This highly sophisticated design allows the 749 to produce an impressive 103 Hp at 10,000 RPM with 7.8 kgm of torque at 8,500 RPM.
This bike looks very similar to the 749, with the main difference being the racing look of the even more advanced suspension system. The 749 S series also features ergonomic details typical of the 999, including the ability to modify the position of the foot rests, in order to obtain an ideal riding position.
The specifications and general characteristics are the same as for the 749 chassis, but numerous ergonomic and chassis adjustment features make the 749S even more suitable for track use. Fork angle is adjustable via an eccentric in the headstock that allows the forks to be set to 23.5 for quick turning or 24.5 for high stability. Foot peg height is also adjustable to one of five preset rest positions, varying from a high racing stance for aggressive riding to a more comfortable lower position for road riding. These are in addition to the fore and aft movement of the seat-fuel tank assembly (on the single seat version). The 749S is fitted with a steering damper, specifically designed by the Ducati engineers to improve stability and ease of adjustment. High quality suspension components complete the 749S performance package. In the front the Showa fork features TiN coated 43mm upside down stanchions and rear suspension is handled by a premium Showa rear shock absorber, both adjustable for compression and rebound damping as well as spring preload ensuring racing performance whether on the track or road.
For 2004, the 749S introduces an engine specially designed for this model. The twin cylinder Testastretta engine has been completely updated in numerous details in order to obtain a marked difference in performance compared to the 749. The modifications include the crankshaft, which has been made lighter with modified journals and newly designed flywheels. The diameter of the intake valves have been increased from 37 to 38 millimetres, to enable greater volumetric efficiency, and the opening rocker arms have been made lighter.
At the same time, a different connecting system between the valve stem and the closing rocker arm adjuster has been adopted, taken directly from racing versions and used on a standard model for the first time. The overall lightening of the valve train parts, including the opening rocker arms, has enabled the development of cams with more extreme profiles. The intake valve lift has increased from 10.1mm to 11.4mm, while that of the exhaust valves has increased from 9.1mm to 10.2mm. The result of all these modifications is evident in the 749S engine's output, which has increased to 110 Hp at 10,000 rpm, with 7.96 kgm of torque at 10,000 RPM.
Every 749R is "signed" with a numbered silver plate on the steering head, which adds yet another exclusive touch to one of the most original bikes on the current worldwide motorcycling scene.
The lines are the familiar ones, developed in the wind tunnel, that have led to the success of the 999, in a rigorously single-seater version, with carbon fiber body parts.
The 749R also includes elegant rearview mirrors with built-in direction indicators, which combine style with practicality by making it easy and quick to remove extra parts prohibited from use on motorcycles in competition.
Every chassis detail of the 749R is designed to ensure maximum control on the track, starting from the trellis frame that makes it possible to adjust the angle of the steering head, coupled to a brand-new aluminum alloy swing arm, replica of the one used by the 999 Factory during the 2003 season. In addition to its uncompromised racing proclivity, this swing arm has the advantage of ensuring a much better ratio between weight and rigidity than standard equipment. Like the other elements in the Superbike range, this one comes with a chain adjustment system that uses sliders rather than eccentric cams. This means that changes to the final drive tension do not have any affect on the set-up of the suspensions, since they do not change the height of the back of the motorcycle. Also brand-new is the suspension mechanism, with FLAT progression, quite similar to the one used on Ducati Factory models. It ensures the necessary rigidity to take full advantage of precision in competitive riding. This rigidity is also achieved by means of a different spring and a shortened stroke (from 71 to 56 millimeters) of the Ohlins shock absorber, clearly adjustable in the pre-load, compression and rebound stages.
The R version maintains the exclusive solutions that make it possible to adjust the ergonomics by changing the seat position, shifting the seat-tank unit lengthwise up to 20 millimeters and adjusting the position of the footrests. In this case the choice is limited to two positions, compared to the five offered by the other 749 models, due to world Supersport championship regulations that prohibit removing fixed parts from the standard frame. Thus the dimensions of the footrest fitting plates have been reduced to allow room for the exhaust manifolds, larger than those used on the road versions. The front suspension is also very high quality: an Ohlins upside-down fork with tubing 43 millimeters in diameter, with titanium nitride treatment for smoother sliding. In addition to being fully adjustable, the fork has a special foot to allow radial fastening of the brake calipers. Calipers with four pistons and four triple bridge pads, coupled with discs 4.5 millimeters thick mounted wider than normal to ensure adequate cooling.
All components are thus derived straight from the racetrack, including the well-known Brembo/Marchesini wheel rims of forged and machined aluminum alloy. The special tooling shaves off 3.2 kilos compared to a pair of rims for the 749 and 749s, without affecting rigidity, thanks to the five "Y" spokes with 10 anchor points on the inside of the rim, compared to the five of conventional spokes.
The starting point is the same as the other 749s, but the twin-cylinder of the Testastretta series was also developed to encourage the racing use of the 749R. The 116 HP at 10,500 rpm, and 8.16 kgm at 8,500 rpm are the result of a long process that begins with shortening the stroke and increasing the bore, to ensure that the engine can run at higher rotation speeds than the 749 and 749S. The new slipper clutch, which has been specially developed for racing use, stps the rear wheel locking up under extreme braking cinditions typicalof track riding. The power values may be increased using a Racing Kit optional to bring the maximum power to the absolute landmark values in the field of competitive motorcycling.
The timing has undergone important upgrades, with specific racing cams as well as titanium valves and valve guides. But the use of important materials to build the R version of the Testastretta twin-cylinder is not limited to timing. Also made of titanium are the connecting rods, while the head covers are made of magnesium and the belt covers are carbon fiber, equipped with forced ventilation to aid in cooling. The extra-light crankshaft and high-resistance aluminum alloy pistons complete the special equipment. While maintaining excellent performance ratings, the 749R engine remains faithful to the Ducati policy of offering only environmentally compatible models. So this twin-cylinder is also equipped with a catalytic exhaust system in compliance with Euro 2 standards.