Ducati 996SPS Foggy Replica
|Engine||Four stroke, 90°Ltwin cylinder, DOHC, desmodromic 4 valve per cylinder.|
|Top speed||270 km/h / 168 mph|
|Ignition type||Digital CDI|
|Suspension||Front: 43 mm Showa shock, adjustable for compression and rebound damping |
Rear: Showa mono shock, rising rate, adjustable for compression and rebound damping
|Brakes||Front: 2x 320 mm Discs, 4 piston calipers |
Rear: Single 220 disc, 2 piston caliper
|Front Tire||120/70 ZR17|
|Rear Tire||190/50 ZR17|
|Wheelbase||1410 mm / 55.5 in|
|Seat height||790 mm / 31.1 in|
|Weight||190 kg / 419 lbs|
|Fuel capacity||17 Liters / 4.5 US gal / 3.7 Imp gal|
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It could reach a top speed of 270 km/h / 168 mph.
The engine was a Liquid cooled cooled Four stroke, 90°Ltwin cylinder, DOHC, desmodromic 4 valve per cylinder.. The engine featured a 11.5:1 compression ratio.
Power was moderated via the Hydraulically activated dry clutch.
It came with a 120/70 ZR17 front tire and a 190/50 ZR17 rear tire. Stopping was achieved via 2x 320 mm Discs, 4 piston calipers in the front and a Single 220 disc, 2 piston caliper in the rear. The front suspension was a 43 mm Showa shock, adjustable for compression and rebound damping while the rear was equipped with a Showa mono shock, rising rate, adjustable for compression and rebound damping. The 996SPS Foggy Replica was fitted with a 17 Liters / 4.5 US gal / 3.7 Imp gal fuel tank. The bike weighed just 190 kg / 419 lbs. The wheelbase was 1410 mm / 55.5 in long.
Ducati 996SPS Foggy Replica
Although Ducati's water-cooled 8-valve v-twin had been around in its original 851 and 888 incarnations for six years and had already won four World Superbike Championships, it was the arrival of the iconic 916 for 1994 that really captured the public's imagination. Styled by Massimo Tamburini, the 916 and its subsequent evolutions established Ducati as one of the world's foremost brand names. Universally recognised as icons of automotive art, Ducati motorcycles have been exhibited in some of the world's foremost museums, including the Guggenheim in New York and the Museum of Modern Art in San Francisco.
The original 916 Strada was superseded by the Biposto (two-seat) version and the higher-specification SP. The latter's engine remained at 916cc but added twin fuel injectors and bigger valves to the package for increased power and torque. The SP reverted to a single seat unit (with white number boards) while gaining superior Öhlins rear suspension. Next came the ultra-exclusive 916SPS (Sport Production Special) derivative of which only 400 examples were made. Despite the name, the 916SPS enjoyed the advantages of an over-bored engine displacing 996cc and delivering a mighty 132bhp at the rear wheel. The cost new was an equally staggering £18,400.
For 1999 the 996 replaced the 916 and one again there was a higher-specification 'SPS' version topping the range, albeit with a slightly reduced maximum power output of 123bhp, 10 horsepower more than the base 996. 996SPS chassis upgrades included an Öhlins rear shock and lightweight five-spoke Marchesini wheels. Showa forks were fitted to the 1999 model but for 2000 the 996SPS received fully adjustable Öhlins forks incorporating titanium nitride coated stanchions. The 996SPS's top speed was around 175mph and this exclusive model cost £18,650 in 1999, making it one of the world's most expensive production motorcycles.
In 1998 Ducati needed to homologate a new frame with a lowered cross brace to allow a larger airbox. Called a Kyalami frame, as it was introduced in the middle of the 1998 season at the Kyalami WSB race in South Africa, it allowed more room for a bigger airbox design that reportedly boosted horsepower considerably. To make the frame race-legal they needed to sell a street version, so the UK-only 916SPS Fogarty Replica was released. 202 were sold in Britain in honour of WSB rider Carl Fogarty; aside from the new frame, you got a set of five spoke Marchesini wheels and a race-replica paint scheme, as well as a few Foggy themed goodies, but otherwise it was standard SPS. Street bikes didnt even benefit from a larger airbox. Why 202? Because one went to Fogarty and one remained in the factory museum, the remaining 200 were sold to the public. A second Foggy replica was released in 1999, this time 150 examples were made available in Europe, and a third run in 2000 of 147. The Foggy SPS was never officially sold in the US, but we did get the Foggy Monster S4 in 2001.
Back in 98 Roland Brown took an enthralling ride astride the very Ducati which Carl Fogarty had just ridden to his third WSB title win. Heres what he had to say at the time about a "machine from another planet." and Foggys hatrick year. "You smash me bike up and Ill bloody kill you!"
Carl Fogarty is joking, larking about for the cameras, but behind the shades the famous Foggy eyes are burning with deadly seriousness too. One of Carls bonuses for winning his third world Superbike title in for Ducati was that he got to keep the winning bike, and hes already worked out just where its going on display in his new house near Blackburn so he doesnt want it crashed.
Twenty minutes later those words are ringing in my ears along with the delicious bark of a free-breathing 996cc V-twin race motor as I accelerate up the Mugello pit-lane on the factory rocketship that was last seen crossing the Sugo finish-line beneath a jubilant Foggy. This is a magical moment for any motorcyclist: riding one of the fastest and most successful motorcycles ever built on one of the worlds great racetracks.
Ive been expecting Foggys bike to be demanding as well as exciting, but the Ducati is so light and manoeuvrable that I get my knee down on the second bend and it feels great. It sure is intimidating, too, though. Ive just done a couple of laps on a standard 996 to check out the track, and in isolation the roadbike felt powerful, agile and well-braked. But the difference between the two is mind-blowing.
The racebike is a machine from another planet. After the 996, its a surgeons scalpel compared to a butter-knife. Trouble is, Im not making a sandwich any more, Im performing open-heart surgery. And one tiny, easily made mistake like changing the wrong way with the racer-style, down-for-up gearlever will have disastrous consequences.
At times the Ducati is totally thrilling, like the way it rips up the hill towards the Materassi chicane with a burst of second-gear acceleration, then slows with almost unbearable force as I brush the front brake lever before tipping left-right and roaring off again down the hill towards the Casanova right-hander. Its just everything you could ever want in a fast motorbike: the effortless, phenomenally strong acceleration; the impossibly taut feel from Öhlins finest suspension, the stunning braking force, the booming V-twin soundtrack.
The Duke is exciting too as it exits the last downhill left-hander onto the start-finish straight, but for a rather different reason. Im still hanging off to the left as I get back hard on the gas and the bike rockets forwards, handlebars snapping from side to side and the Ducati threatening to veer off the track as its front wheel goes light. I desperately haul myself back into the seat and have to shut off momentarily. When its back under control I tread down repeatedly to flick up through the quick-shift aided gearbox, throttle wide open as the 996cc V-twins 158 horses hurl me down the straight at breathtaking speed.
By the time I hit the brakes at the end of the straight Im doing over 170mph on this thrillingly fast motorbike (whose top speed is 190mph-plus). But I have to admit it: on an unfamiliar, technical track like Mugello the works Ducati is so powerful, responsive and just so different that in my first short session I rarely feel at home. Second time round Ive slightly more idea where Im going, and the faster I ride the better the Ducati feels. Its suspension is still set-up firm for smooth Sugo, but Mugello is bumpier and a couple of the other riders have complained that the shock is too stiff. But Im heavier and for me its fine. And if I keep the revs up Foggy rarely drops below 9000rpm and hold my weight forward as I accelerate out of that last left-hander, the bike doesnt wobble so much.
Even so, as I head back to the pits after my handful of laps I know Ive barely scratched the surface of the factory 996s potential. The increased power and smoother delivery of this years Ducati make it a faster and better-handling bike than the wayward machine that even Foggy struggled to control in 97. Finding its limits, really making use of all its performance, is something that only world champions can do. But at least I brought it back in one piece, eh Foggy?
Despite strict Superbike rules Foggys bike shares few parts with a stock 996. The factory race engine no longer contains as much exotic metal as in the past, because the Ducati can hit the 162kg weight limit without. But it still has hot desmo cams, huge lightweight valves, titanium rods, 12:1 compression ratio, special crank and too many other trick bits to mention. That claimed peak output of 158bhp at 12,000rpm means this bike is 35bhp more powerful than a 916SPS.
This years works motor began the season with a couple of advantages over its predecessor. Its fuel system gained a third injector for each cylinder, because for full-throttle running its beneficial to use an injector placed as far as possible from the inlet valves. And it had a new Magnetti Marelli engine-management system that could not only be downloaded as soon as the bike reached the pit, but also reprogrammed from a laptop computer with no need to swap an Eprom chip as before.
The biggest boost came in mid-season, when for the Kyalami round Ducati introduced a larger airbox and revised intake system. (This required homologation of a re-routed frame tube, achieved by incorporating the change in the limited-edition 916SPS Fogarty Replica.) The breathing mod added 7-8bhp, putting the Ducatis level on speed with Honda. "Its worth between three-tenths and half a second a lap the biggest single improvement weve made to the bike in the last few years," says race team engineering chief Claudio Domenicali.
Chassis changes were less dramatic, although the improved handling of this years bike, largely due to its smoother power delivery, was crucial in Foggys victory. There were no major frame modifications although the Duke benefited from a more tuneable steering head assembly, plus more sophisticated 46mm upside-down Öhlins forks. The Swedish firm also produced a new-generation TT4 shock, which Foggy used at some rounds.
Foggys Hat-trick Year "The mistake we made early in the season was changing too much on the bike," says Foggy, pointing to the mid-season Laguna Seca round as the turning point in his third World Superbike Championship winning season. "After that I said, Right, thats it. We know what the base settings are, now lets leave the bloody bike alone. For the last four meetings we didnt change much at all."
Fogarty came good in style towards the end of the season, never finishing outside the top four in the last eight races as his rivals fell by the wayside. "Even at Brands [the following round] the bike wasnt 100 per cent, but I got two good results there, and after that it was perfect. From then on I was so strong, compared to the other guys. I finally got the bike and me working together. It took so long, but we finally did it in the nick of time, really."
It had been different at the start of the season. "At Monza [Round 2] the Hondas were so much faster it was ridiculous. But after Kyalami the bikes were very close, very similar on acceleration and top speed. My bike was good in the corners, too. It stayed on line, which is what I want in the middle of corners, and was very smooth when I turned on the gas."
Foggy reckons his riding is just as good as ever, too. "When Im out there racing I feel as strong as in 95, definitely. The motivation goes a little bit sometimes, especially with the testing and travelling. If Id finished second or third Id be thinking, Oh friggin hell, here we go again. But now Ive won the championship again Im really motivated. "I feel Im going to be stronger than ever in 1999. This year we had a lot of problems and just about got them sorted out in time to win the championship. Next season well be a lot stronger from the start. I just cant wait to get the No.1 plate on the front of the bike and go down the pit lane with my head up in the air, saying: "Youve got to come and get this off me!"
|Make Model||Ducati 996 SPS Foggy Replica|
|Engine Type||Four stroke, 90°Ltwin cylinder, DOHC, desmodromic 4 valve per cylinder.|
|Displacement||996 cc / 60.8 cu in|
|Bore X Stroke||98 x 66 mm|
|Cooling System||Liquid cooled|
|Engine Oil||Synthetic, 15W-50|
|Induction||MB1 fuel injection|
|Spark Plug||Champion A55V|
|Max Power||90.5 kW / 123 hp @ 9500 rpm|
|Max Torque||99 Nm / 10.1 kgf-m / 73 ft-lb @ 8000 rpm|
|Clutch||Hydraulically activated dry clutch|
|Primary Drive Ratio||1.84:1 (32/59)|
|Gear Ratios||1st 2.466 / 2nd 1.765 / 3rd 1.350 / 4th 1.091 / 5th 0.958 / 6th 0.857:1|
|Final Drive Ratio||2.4:1 (15/36)|
|Front Suspension||43 mm Showa shock, adjustable for compression and rebound damping|
|Front Wheel Travel||127 mm / 4.9 in|
|Rear Suspension||Showa mono shock, rising rate, adjustable for compression and rebound damping|
|Rear Wheel Travel||130 mm / 5.1 in|
|Front Brakes||2x 320 mm Discs, 4 piston calipers|
|Rear Brakes||Single 220 disc, 2 piston caliper|
|Front Wheel||Alloy, 3.50 X 17 in.|
|Rear Wheel||Alloy, 5.50 X 17 in.|
|Front Tire||120/70 ZR17|
|Rear Tire||190/50 ZR17|
|Rake||23.5o - 24.5o|
|Dimensions||Length 2095 mm / 79.1 in Width 690 mm / 27.2 in Height 1090 mm / 42.9 in|
|Wheelbase||1410 mm / 55.5 in|
|Seat Height||790 mm / 31.1 in|
|Dry Weight||190 kg / 419 lbs|
|Fuel Capacity||17 Liters / 4.5 US gal / 3.7 Imp gal|
|Consumption Average||6.1 L/100 km / 16.4 km/l / 38.6 US mpg / 46.3 Imp mpg|
|Standing ¼ Mile||10.5 sec|
|Top Speed||270 km/h / 168 mph|