What do you get when you mix in italian design and engineering with german obsessive-compulsive drive for weight reduction and performance? No, you don’t get the acquisition of Ducati by Audi, you get the Durbahn 999 V2. This composite build is based on a Ducati 999, that has been extremely modified by Thorsten Durbahn of Durbahn Plastics, in Hamburg, Germany. This is a perfect example of human ingenuity, dedication, obsessive behavior as well as drive to obtain perfection, from a builders point of view. To some, this build might seem a waste of time, money and effort; to others this build will demonstrate the drive and dedication of one builder to achieve the ultimate bike.
Thorsten’s obsession with weight reduction meant a drop of approximately 128lbs/58kgs over the stock weight of the 999S. In most builds it is considered an accomplishment to shave off 10-15kgs of weight, however in this case it is ground breaking. Basically through the use of custom-made composite parts and airplane grade materials he was able to build a Ducati 999 motorcycle that weighs 351lbs/159kgs, wet. The tank, rear subframe, fairings and intake ducts are all made of carbon fiber composite. The exhaust is a 2 into 2 hand-made Titanium piece. Also all the bolts, axles and rollers are made of titanium and aluminum. Taking a look at the list of parts it seems that most of these materials should be found on the space shuttle or some secret U.S. airplane.
According to Thorsten, just the procedure of weight savings planification takes between three to six months. This build took place over a period of 3 years and it evolved based on Thorsten’s constant drive for performance and perfection. The bike is also equipped with a Nemesis traction control unit that controls the aggressiveness of the TC depending on the lean-angle, all done inside the Motec M800 engine management system. Ultimately Thorsten wants the TC system to lead also into a “wheelie height control”, meaning that TC comes on only (on the straights or slight lean angle) when the front wheel lifts too high off the ground. Do we all think by now that this guy should be in charge of fabricating for some space agency? Check out the gallery for the rest of the pics and make sure to look at the list of modification to check out the weight savings on different parts.
List of Modifications:
- Weight incl.Fuel – 350,99 lbs
- Weight reduction – approx. 128 lbs compared to 999s
- Balance – front wheel 183 lbs ,rear wheel 167 lbs (with full fuel tank)
- Dry weight – 311 lbs (including electrical Engine Starter )
- Fuel tank capacity – 3.6 gallons
- Wheels – PVM forged Magnesium 10 Spoke,front wheel special with 0,4mm thinner spokes ,rear special (for custom brake)
- Brakes – Front Brembo P30/34 , rear hidden calíper Durbahn/ISR with custom hanger
- Engine – 999s
- Engine-Modifications – Ported . Pistal-Pistons installed .
- Engine-Management – Motec-ECU with data recording, Quickshift, Lamda-control
- Ignition – Honda-RC51 CDI-Converter with RC51 Ignition-Coils
- Ignition-Timing – through 2 Bosch-Sensors (1 at crank /1 at cam-gear )
- Alternator/Flywheel – lightened from 9.02 lbs to 3.8 lbs (incl. starter-drive unit/gear)
- Tachometer – Stack
- Airbox – custom Carbon with 32 Liter Volume (8.08 gallons)
- Radiator – custom right side mounted forced (ram-) Air concept
- Fuel tank : custom Aluminum or Carbon , left side saddled ( 4.9 lbs)
- Exhaust : 2 in 2 custom Titanium with 2″diam. ( weight total 9.7 lbs )
- Suspension rear : KW special custom made shock (0,3 lbs lighter than Ohlins)
- Suspension front : QAT pure Air/Oil suspensed Fork , with QAT Triple clamps, Offset adjustable
- Steering-damper : Ohlins (but moved 2″ closer towards front-end )
- Wire-harness : custom ,additional baro and map-sensor + crank-sensor
- Tail section : Carbon-monocoque,weight incl seat pad : 3.09 lbs
- Fairing : Carbon Custom,weight incl. windshield :3.3 lbs
- Bolts and Axles : nearly 100% Titanium or Aluminum even Belt-Rolls from Titanium
- Intake-duct : custom (carbon),Air is routed between steering-stem and fork
- Clutch : Custom made converted to Wet clutch , 5.5 lbs lighter than stock .
- Transmission : Corse , modified for wet-clutch
- Declutch-Sytem : Durbahn cable clutch conversion
- Rearsets : custom Aluminum (2″ shorter than stock)
- Rider Positioning : 2″ closer to handlebars, 1 3/4″ higher vs. stock
- Frame : modified stock
Photos: Durbahn Plastics Hamburg