On a breezy late September day in 2007, I picked up a 2006 S2R1000 on Long Island belonging to a cop who didn’t quite have time to ride her anymore. She began her life as the dealership’s test bike, that’s the only reason she had that many miles to be honestly, come to think of it, as I’m writing this, I could see my bike was never destined for a sheltered life!
She was very reasonably price with 4444 miles on the clock and pretty much bone stock aside from a set of bar end mirrors. Since the S2R1000 was relatively new at the time, I was afraid of the O2 issues that people were talking about, but I found no real running issues with the motor when I gave her a test ride.
The very first day I picked her up, I took off the clutch cover and exhaust. I didn’t love the color, but there weren’t that many options for the S2R1000, if you could even find one at the time.
My first real outing on her was on October 7th 2007. I had less than 5,000 miles of riding experience, so everything was still new to me.
In less than a week of ownership, I managed to run off the road into a grassy field and grab a fist full of front brake. I broke my shifter, mirror, scratched my tank up and lost a ton of pride. Who would have known that this would be the first of many…MANY pains that this bike would endure in the coming years?
The crash resulted in my first tutorial on spray painting my bike as many of you cheap dirt bags have seen, yea I’m talking to you, the guy who won’t pay good money to get a good paint job! Oh wait, that’s me too. Whoops! A super high gloss pure deep black, not that B.S. Ducati off black.
In 2009, I had a minor high side at 25mph in PA. The bike stayed true on the road and cut into the opposing lane then skidded across the side of a hill, but not before putting a hole in my engine. I fixed it with JB weld and never bothered to replace the cover.
I also got my bike ran over by a pickup at home depot and the insurance covered for 1/3 of what I paid for the bike and that helped me pay off 2 semesters of school that year. The only damage was a scratched engine cover and broken levers and a scratched clip on tube. The only thing I replaced was the clutch lever. So it was a pretty cool gift that my monster gave me.
And then there was the infamous chicken grease incident. These are the only 2 shitty camera phone pics that exist of the incident since I did not own a camera for several years. Notice the chunks of grease and fat that I had gotten off by pouring a bucket of water on her. I was on a date with my gf at the time and spent the entire date cleaning my bike with kitchen soap while she ate. She was a trooper and rode home with me despite the smell. Just for that, she might have been a keeper. The haunting smell of that night took almost a whole year to wash off. Then I started using a product called bean clean which brought it all back, conveniently in a can!
I began tracking my bike and had a crash to end the 2010season with a lowside into dirt. Not a big one, but enough to do noticeable damage. I picked her up, washed her off and slapped on a new clip-on tube and got back on the next session.
Luckily I had a warranty replacement gas tank on the way. The gas tank expansion was so bad on mine I couldn’t get the tank off the bike since it wouldn’t clear the key cover. I had to remove my antenna each time I wanted to lift the tank.
I also rode her through a few snow storms. The most being 2” but only because I had no choice and didn’t want her to be buried for the next week in a foot of snow. Its not something I would highly recommend. There was also a time I rode through concrete slush. Several members here can attest to the concrete chunks that still get knocked off my bike periodically.
I didn’t like the seat much so I made a dual tone seat cover with a gel pad for both the passenger and the rider. Then I took her half way across the country from New York to New Orleans where I got hit by a twister. I95 was shut down for miles, so I rode against traffic to get to an off ramp.
Shameless plug for bellissimoto on my ride to coloardo. Monsterparts is on the right and CA cycleworks is on the top lid, my 3 favorite retailers. I carried an MSR fuel bottle with me specifically for this reason. 120 miles is just about the level of comfort of my bike. I had a top range of ~140 miles, but there was no way in hell I’d test that number out.
On the first day of the trip, her eventual fate would rear her ugly head. I snapped a clutch post en route to Columbus OH. This one particular post keeps letting go of the bolt. It happened twice and I probably should of locktited her down after the first time. Ironically this is also the zombie death bolt that must be aligned with the engine gods….I guess it’s sort of true that the zombies will kill you until you die if you fuck with the hub! The other bolts were tight so I never really bothered to double check them after I torqued them up. I believe this was what caused the untorqueing of the flywheel nut since the post got caught on the inside of the clutch cover and locked up the rear wheel.
I slept well that night, ignorant of the mess that would come the following day.
Not more than 8 miles away on the next morning, my bike threw in the towel. I had her towed back to metallimonsters garage where she stayed leaned against the wall with varying parts laying all over the place for the labor day weekend. Meanwhile metallimonster showed me life in Columbus Ohio (which pretty much involved cornhole, beer and good food!). The local dealership, MotOhio opened on Tuesday and I picked up the crankshaft bolt that had its threads destroyed. Unfortunately, it was only then that I realized that the valves were bent so bad that the bike wouldn’t start. 15 minutes after the diagnosis, I picked up a ticket and flew out to Grand Junction Colorado leaving my bike behind for 2 months.
Once I touched down in Grand Junction, CO, I realized that i’ll be left without a bike for three whole months! I had my helmet gloves and a shit ton of mountains with great roads. Oh the misery! The burning misery! That’s probably a bad joke because the first 3 weeks I was in Colorado there were multiple forest fires.
I put my bike up on USHIP in July and got in contact with a shipper who gave me a great price to ship my bike back home in New York.
I told my friends that I’d ride the bike until the motor blew up and then push her off a cliff. And I did just that. Okay, there aren’t that many cliffs around NYC to push the bike off. But I honestly expected the bike to have gone through many more miles and “tests” of character.
Now came the next fate of the bike. To rebuild? Or to leave it alone and forget about her?
I tempted the thought of just leaving the bike as is, but the truth is, I realized that its more than a way to get around. A motorcycle for someone who can’t afford a car, is a key to unlocking the world. Its cheap to own and operate, its not just a vehicle, but a weekend toy. It brings people together and gives you a life time of stories to tell. In fact, I wouldn’t be half the person I am today because I am so heavily dependent on my motorcycle to get me to places. This is the reason why I chose to bring her back to life, because its only right!
Sometime in July, I was craigslisting (now an official verb) the New York ads under the title “Ducati” and came across an 1100 evo motor from the newer monsters for $1500, not to be confused with the 1100 EVO motor in the hypermotard. I emailed the guy and he gave me his number but I never contacted him because at the time I was going to just rebuild the heads.
I arrived home in Brooklyn on August 13th and immediately began taking my bike apart the next day. I pulled both heads off the bike and gave ECS, the not so local best damn shop within 2 hours of NYC, a call for an official quote for new guides, valves and valve seats. The whole shebang would cost $1500 after taxes. It was much more than I expected! I was thinking about doing the whole thing myself. How hard can it be to remove and press in new guides anyway right? But at the end of the day I decided to go with ECS since I didn’t want to deal with the head ache.
I wanted to post this picture up just because it reminds me how much I hate it when people design things in a difficult manner. If it wasn’t for this bolt, I might of actually just left the bike in the corner. Yes I was unmotivated from the start and I was looking for any reason to stop working.
There were several telltale signs of a bent valve.
1) Low compression, ive spun my rear tire with the plugs in many times before. It was much easier hence there was at the very least a terrible seal between the seat and valve lip, or a bent valve.
2) The opening clearance is supposed to be under 0.03”, instead it was closer to 0.2” with massive play.
3) The valve stem was loose on some of the indicating a bad valve guide.
After pulling the rear cylinder valves, it was evident that they were all bent.
I remembered the guy with the M1100 EVO motor for sale and gave him a rang. The price between head work and an 1100 EVO motor was hardly a contest. The EVO motor drop in would only be few hundred more, $1,000 at max, but the net gain was heavily favored on the EVO. I had no idea if the motor would fit, or if anything would even line up.
Searching the net came up with little to no information. Only two people said they have done it. A member who was both on the ducati.ms boards and on the DMF had done it with an SC1000 and one member on the ducati.ms forums said he swapped one into his monster too. Other than the fact that it has been done, I had no data whatsoever about how it was done.
After searching into the depths of digital Mordor, I figured that I would buy the motor and hope for the best. I couldn’t image Ducati changing the motor THAT much that the dimensions are entirely different. Im pretty sure most of the parts were held over from previous years. It is after all, only a 2v aircooled bike.
I called to confirm that I wanted the motor. It was a 2 day holdover before he had time to meet with me, which meant that I would have some time to take off swingarm and forks to give them a good cleaning.
I was initially going to leave the frame as is but then I realized that the bearings on my front tube were completely shot. They almost snapped into place without the weight of the forks. My friend also convinced me to take advantage and paint the frame, but I had no idea what color I wanted it to be. He thought it would look sick if it was bare. I thought so too, but how bare is bare? The image in my mind was a steam punk color without all the crazy piping.
I guess all that riding in bad weather and sand wasn’t such a good idea was it?!
There were a ton of scratches on my frame and I wanted to smoothen it out with sand paper. One thing lead to another and the frame got the whole paint stripped off. The dead truth is that I wanted to see how soft the paint was so I put a little bit of MEK on it (Aircraft grade stripper). It didn’t do anything unless you let it sit for a while, and it was cool to see the paint just lift off the frame. Next thing you know, the frame was half stripped of its paint.
On August 18th, I picked up the motor at a killer price. It had a few scratches since he kept it on the floor next to his other toys, but other than that, it looked tip top. The PO said he only had the bike for several hundred miles before someone tagged him and took out the front end of the bike.
Out comes the old bearings. The races were pressed into the head tube on both the top and bottom. Be sure to get something that catches the lip and evenly knock it out. If anyone here has ever installed windows, this is the hollow tube that protects the spring. :P gotta make due with what you have laying around right?
I would recommend a dremel with a good metal disc, but I didn’t have a cutting disc and was too lazy to go buy one so I used a 125 psi air grinder with a 3” disc and went at it. You should really trust yourself enough to do this, otherwise I would not attempt this method. My goal was just to weaken the race enough to pry it off with a screw driver without touching the steering stem…ever.
I replaced the stock bearings with some roller bearings. I’m not sure who makes them, not like it matters, these aren’t high speed bearings, so I wouldn’t worry about the quality too much. The bearing race on the lower triple is a PITA to install without the right tool. But I managed to get it on with some bitching and a pipe. However I completely forgot the dust seal, so that bearing is going to fail prematurely, but I should still be able to get many miles on it before it kicks the dirt.
I also stripped the paint on my steel back up tank, but to be hoenst, I don’t know what to do with it right now. There is a dent on the right side, I was thinking about covering it with a carbon fiber plate then giving it a paint job. Not sure yet.
7 days into the project, I had a motor ready to go and the frame was completely stripped. Sanding the frame was out of the question since you would be able to see the marks and I wanted to keep the original state of the metal as much as possible so I almost had almost no options in terms of pre treatment for the bare metal.
The finish on this frame was done by using a MAPP torch to heat the frame so the moisture would evaporate and any oils would be brought to the surface of the pores then wiped away with an alcohol wipe. I then used 00 steel wool to try and give the metal some texture without scratching the frame up. Instead of texturing the bare metal, it ended up polishing it even though I switched to 0 steel wool. You can see the starter relay tab was cut from this angle.
Once the frame was completely prepped, I ran an air filter in my garage and covered everything important since the paint would get on everything otherwise. One last hit with the torch to permanently remove all the moisture right before clear coat should preserve the metal as best as possible.
I used a 3k 2 part clear coat. 20oz with reducer, clear and hardener. If you use reducer decide on how much extra clear youll need to add back to get the proper thickness on the clear coat. I don’t have a way to measure the thickness, and with the optical illusion of being thicker than it really is, I can say I have at least 2mm of clear on the frame if not more. 1 quart of clear and reducer cost $75 and I had enough left over for at least 2 more frames.
I let the paint cure for 24 hours before touching it, and honestly it takes a few days to really get it to harden up. The frame went over the motor and then I shimmed up the swingarm. I would not recommend doing what is shown in the pic, the swingarm is resting on the bleeder nipple on the rear brake. The frame was rocked forward and the shock isn’t attached so its acceptable to a certain level. But if someone else came by and hit the frame, the nipple would of snapped off and I would need a new rear brake.
I found a piece of aluminum laying around and made a new underside. I figure this would help with that raw look. It terminates a few inches from the top of the shock. I really need to buy that shift tech fender that covers the whole rear tire. It’ll help keep the pebbles from getting into the lower shock mount point.
Next up was the airbox mod. I don’t like open airboxes or pod filters because they are FREAKING LOUD. Its great if you don’t commute, but I like to listen to music while I ride and can’t have that noise in my face. I’ve put 1,000 miles on pods and over 10,000 on open airbox lid. I would have kept it covered, but the reality is that I don’t have any space to mount things like an HID ballast or the horn (I chopped off the tab for it). So the airbox lid was the only thing that I could let go, except I still had to deal with the noise issue. Aside from that, the 1100 motor apparently is very restricted on the m1100 to pass noise, emissions and the airbox for the frame. So giving it the right amount of breathing room is probably a good idea too.
Stock airbox. You can get back up to 3” of space if you cut the lid.
And fully chopped airbox. I would recommend using a hot knife or a buzz saw…not a metal cutting disc on a 125psi grinder. I used a dremel with a regular red disc, but that thing is WEAK!. It was hard to control and left really bad cuts. You should probably mark off the lines to help instead of free handing it like a dumbass. I want to make an airbox out of fiberglass or carbon fiber eventually. Perhaps with ram air ducts.
I also used JB Weld to hold the meta plate l in place. Mind you, I am just doing this to get the dyno numbers and test the idea. Underneath the metal sheet is sound absorbing foam (not shown) that I picked up for $15 bucks for 2 sq ft. It’s a very breathable material so there should be no real issues with blocking the filter even though it sits right ontop of it. I also think it will help stabilize the air going in. Who knows! I’m not an engineer…YET!
The sound absorbing foam sits directly over the filter. The inside of the gas tank is going to get the treatment as well.especially the exposed sides. I'm thinking about covering up the rear hole in the air lid so it acts sort of like a duct. But I also think it will be useless since the foam will stabilize any turbulent air.
Next up was to deal with the small wiring issues. I forgot to take out the oil temp sensor on the 1100EVO motor. Is located dead smack in the middle of the rear cylinder and I wanted to see if I could swap it out with the DS1000 sensor that is located next to the oil filter. No joy because its going to be a PITA to access it without removing the throttle bodies and airbox. That’s something for the first valve adjustment. For now, the wire is tied to the frame and ill be picking up a manual gauge that threads into the oil fill hole.
Now to build a new starter wire since the starter relay is being relocated to where the original S2R1000 has its coil mounted to ( under the left side of the airbox)
I bought 3ft of 4AWG stranded wire for at $1.35/ft. I couldn’t find any of the original styled connectors, but I did manage to find these puppies for $3.00 at autozone.
You need a special type of crimp to get these guys to stay on. A crimp that I couldn’t find, so I figured I would just bust a lead nut into her and then stab the wire into it. Be aware that these connectors contain lead for some reason and is found by the state of California to cause cancer. :\ why is there lead in this connector?
There isn’t a soldering iron big enough to do the job, so I busted out the torch. Okay, maybe MAPP gas was overkill, but that’s all I have, that was the only reason why this project got done so quickly. I just used what I had laying around. Luckily I do have a lot of tools laying around so that helped greatly.
It took several feet of solder to fill her up ¾ of the way. I would suggest NOT using plumbing solder because the electrical solder is a different mix. This is solid solder, non flux core type. All standard copper soldering techniques apply here. Sand for a clean surface, then apply flux and solder.
Then I used the table vice to give it a crimp. Then give it a quick heat to reset the solder, slap some dielectric grease on the whole copper head and slip a heat shrink wrapper around it and youre done.
The looped wire is the oil temp sensor which will be attached to old sensor once I install it.the I’m going to tear apart those rear sets another day, bead blast them and give it a new shiny powercoat. Those were back when I first tried to powder coating. I didn’t know anything about outgassing then and there’s tons of orange peel as a result.
Almost wireless through the throttle body.
New taylor spark plug wires. These were a gift from my buddy Eric. Unfortunately they aren’t 90 degree boots, but they are free so I’m not complaining! I reused the S2R1000 valve cover so I could mount the oil cooler. I had to rerun the clutch line since I wanted to keep zipties off the frame. I still need frame plugs, and if you notice the udder isn’t mounted to the engine. The engine mounts were removed after the S2R series of bikes. I will need to pick up some steel sheets and cut out a tab to connect it to the rearset mount. Again the rearsets are coming off to get a new finish later so im not too concerned about how they look right now.
If you noticed the SSR offset GP shifter, youll also notice that I don’t have a toe cap on it. The e-clip fell off and the toe slider went with it. SSR wants $20 for the part since they only sell the nub and coushin as a set. I am just going to buy a rubber cork and cut one out.
The kickstand bolt is also a different thread from the old to new gen bikes. So the bike cant stand on her own 3 feet just yet.
I still need to powdercoat the risers, I didn’t think of it when I was doing the triples. There is a shop selling billet risers for $50 but they are total of 1.25” rise. I haven’t measured what the stock is, but if it isn’t more than ½” im going to pick them up instead. The steering damper needs to be serviced soon.
I’d also love to make new pee cup brackets. The stock ones look fugly. The center bar has a GPS mount and there’s a female usb port there. I can plug in any adapter and charge pretty much anything I want.
On the throttle is a cruise control device. All you do is use your fore finger to push it forward when you’re at speed, then the friction holds the throttle against the brake lever. Just roll off when u need to and youre back in normal mode. It’s better than the bar end ones and doesn’t mechanically interfere with the user and has absolutely 0 risk of getting stuck. My favorite cruise control device so far!
Theres Velcro on my gaguges to hold the EZPass and a new crack has developed on the lens. I’m going to get glass replacement lenses cut and installed later and maybe get those gauge facings ive wanted to print out.
I cant, for the life of me, get that lower baffle out! I’ve used all sorts of lube, even hit it with a MAPP torch and candle wax. That thing is IN there. I sanded the lip to get it smooth. I might have to take the exhaust out entirely and try to knock it out from the back end.
The rear end.
A view from the right. The rear wheel needs to get the powdercoat reapplied. Lots of knicks on it from the tire irons ive had to use to get an inside patch on my previous tires. My last tire had 5 of them! I might go at the udder with some steel wool and some WD40. If anyone notices there is no key hole for the seat, someone jammed the lock with a wood stick and I just took it off. I’m going to get one of those frame mounted helmet locks instead.
There’s a massive gap between the tail light and the seat. I actually need that gap because whenever a passenger sits down the seat flexes and if it was pressed up against the light, the mounting tabs on the light would break off. Its unsightly but there’s nothing I can do about that except bend the light upward to keep the same angle, but then the LEDs don’t work so well since they aren’t pointing at drivers eyes.
A view from the left. The starter cable is sticking out a bit, just need to tuck it in and ziptie it to the other wires. I am going to pick up a new sprocket hub to replace the god awful mess of that one. After 3 years of not cleaning it, the powder coat and road grime have become one. Not quite sure what color to pick. AEM makes a titanium colored one which is pretty bad ass looking. But I am broker than broke after paying for the motor and the tuning. I threw 3 threads onto the ride height bar to get the rear to sit up a little higher. When I get some more cash, the rear shock is going to get swapped out for an Penske shock.
All I need to do is wait for the dyno tuning and then I’m back on the road. This whole thing would of cost me under $2500. About the same cost to build the upper end of the motor with high comp pistons, bigger valves and all that other stuff. Guess I did get that big bore kit I always wanted!
UPDATE NUMBER ONE 03SEPT12
Finnaly installed the S2R oil screen bolt. This bolt is threaded for oil temp probe for the gauges.
Now the left side of the motor needs to come off to get the timing gear replace. The reason it needs to be replace is because they are different and the ECUs are not the same for both motors, and unless I write a new line of code to make up for that sensor (which I will not even attempt to do), I can keep it simple and just swap gears. I can only hope that the gear is replaceable with my S2R1000 gear...
The cases were also significantly lighter. The EVO uses a process that includes vacuum suction on the molds. This is the same as vacuum bagging carbon fiber. It makes a lighter and stronger casting, less porosity in the aluminum = stronger and thinner section. The difference in the left cover is easily close to a pound of lost mass with the alternator assembly in there as well.
UPDATE NUMBER 2 07SEPT12
It turns out the S2R1000 timing gear is not compatible with the EVO1100 motor. The only applicable replacements are the Magnetti Merrelli ECU timing gears for the 848/1098 and the HyperMotard. That means 2007-2009.
I paid a heft price for express shipping for one of the only 2 gears I could find on ebay....and I wasn't even home to get the package. But that was alright. It was the NFL kickoff week, so I got home pretty late anyway. Early next morning, i did end up getting the Russian Package...
And then realize that if its too soft, the damn thing will PUNCH right through the penny. In hindsight, the penny should of been placed in a position where it is more likely to be pinched instead of punched.
This thing was fun to get out. The gear wouldn't pull out ,the flywheel nut was red loctited in and a total pain to remove. And then finality, the MAPP torch came out.
I'm using Permetex Sensor Safe Gasket Sealant. $10 bucks and I've used it on 4 bikes. works just as good as the duciati OEM stuff.
Then, all of a sudden, a giant flash of light illuminates my garage. There is a horrible sound and smoke everywhere... an underground transformer zapped itself.
And Behind me, in the distance, are the twin tower lights, in memory of those who have fallen.
I finally got her to fire up with the DS1000 ECU. She idles and runs, but stumbles and stalls, expected for the motor and ECU mapping. But atleast i know it does work!
In a twist of things, as i get the van ready to load up for the next mornings drive out to the ECS, my van dies. The van wont hold an idle and dies under load. I am suspecting a clogged fuel filter since the tank was run near empty just a few days earlier.
UPDATE NUMBER 3 13OCT12
After some fussing around, the bike finally made its way to
The drive out there to pick up the bike was absolutely horrendous. It took nearly 3 hours to get there due to traffic, bridge closures and overall dumb drivers. It took several minutes just to get off my block while the garbage guys moved all this trash. The old guy was carrying one bag at a time taking his merry time! I was cringing!
When I finally make it up there, the shop was pretty busy and I didn't have much time to hang around so I took it for a test ride and hauled her up. I did find that she was really difficult to start and there was a very terrible vibration through the handle bars. Though I suspected it was something that wasn't there fault. I trust the shop enough to have done the job right, so I immediately thought it must be a weak battery (its a 4 year old battery living through a very harsh life of discharging to the point of sulfating the plates near permanently and many harsh winters. To top it off the battery was unused for most of this summer.
With her loaded up, i headed home. Luckily it only took 1:30 to get home vs the 3 hours to even get there.
And what would this be without a dyno sheet?
First up is the DS1000 motor it originally came with. The dyno numbers were based on a well broken in motor with 24,000miles on the clock.
Now, drum roll... the EVO1100 Motor! (single spark EVO motor that is!) Conditions were nearly identical,
29.78 in Hg
She pulls like a maniac in comparison. Its about 10hp gain and 7lb-ft of torque. The numbers arent all that impressive but the smoothness from the power delivery is what makes the bike so smooth and the power so apparent. It just doesnt seem to stop pulling.
I also managed to pick a up Penske 8770 shock, unfortunately its a tad bit too long at the reservoir end. With the shock fully compressed, the shock can move a rotate a bit and you can see the rotation allows the reservoir to hit the swingarm if you have a more dynamic impact that compresses the rubber bumper. Though I highly doubt that this would occur unless i hit the pothole from hell. Its still a possibility of ruining a perfectly good shock. As an alterative idea, I could jack the bike up, but it would be more than I would like, so the shock is up for sale.
Some things that need attention so far,
-Battery needs to be replaced, I am thining about an earthx LiFePo4 battery, however I am worried that a careless discharge can damage the battery rendering it useless. An AGM battery is cheap enough that I do not have to worry about the hefty price tag and it can be somewhat repaired with a desulfating charger.
-HID Harness that I picked up off of ebay is garbage. Need to rebuild my own harness that powers directly off the battery.
-Need a Horn. this is critical for laying the fury on bad drivers!
-All the fluids need to be changed.
There is a set of GSXR AK-20 forks on ebay for $299.99 I was thinking about buying those and Brembo HP calipers and slapping those on instead of 1098 forks and a brand new AK-20 kit. The brakes would be $1200 for the set and absolute OVERKILL for a street monster. Who knows...
Stay tuned for more updates. Next up, Ill hope to have a video of the bike running.
And lastly a panoramic view of the many faces my bike has gone through. What will come next? I don’t know. Hopefully she will have many more years. I joke about selling her, but I honestly don’t think I could. I rather keep her forever then sell her, even if that meant she stays in my garage forever.