With the new 996S engine being basically that of the old SPS, we simply set the cams on this S using our SPS cam timing specs. We had played around with a couple of chips based on our SPS chip that Duane made for trials, but then we got the chance to map a bike with this cam timing.

Pete Skov, who works at RED’S DUCATI in Penrith, bought his 996S down to Duane’s just after New Year for a few days. After a couple of days playing with the bike in standard trim, I went down for the day to set the cam timing ( and that on a 900M ie of one of Duane’s friends ) to our specs. After a few hours playing in Duane’s shed, the bike was back on the road. After a few runs we had the map we were looking for. I guess I wasn’t surprised with the minimal changes to the map at the top end, as the bikes never want more top end fuel on the dyno either. The midrange additions were a touch less than I expected, but more than anything it was interesting to see what point by point changes were made to the map.

Back at work, we tried the new ‘std cam timing’ UM231 chip in a couple of Ss. Based on these results, we made a couple of small ( idle area ) changes to the ‘cams dialed’ UM239 chip, and tried it in a bike we had in the shop at the time. I didn’t really notice too much difference from my short ride around and to the dyno and back, but the owner certainly did ( as did the dyno ). Lots more controllable and smoother than the previous chip. I was quite relieved, and happy to just have a properly mapped chip for one of my combinations.

The graph below shows std and modified for this bike. Frankly, the std power output seems a bit on the low side to me, but that’s the way it was. Red is cams dialed, Termis and FIM UM239 chip, green is std cam settings, Termi and FIM UM231 chip. I didn’t have a RPM trace for the std run so the graph is against road speed, but the power hits 120 and goes flat at 8,500 RPM.

Dyno graph courtesy of DYNOBIKE (03) 9553 0018

As a side note. The after line is almost identical to the final curve from the 996 with SPS cams and 52mm exhaust report. This new chip ( UM239R4 ), which previously had upset the WOT performance of that particular bike, has now been refitted to it, along with a new fuel filter, for an excellent overall result. Which just goes to show, you should never ignore the basic tune stuff. This bike has only done 8,000 km or so km, and the fuel filter had been in there since 1999. Due to fuel sitting in the tank for long periods and condensation, it was well and truly blocked. Which was what had led to the original "that new chip’s no good" comments (that I knew where incorrect), due to the fact the UM239 chip is leaner than the chip that was previously fitted. Now, with a clean filter allowing good fuel flow and a chip with the correct fueling, the bike runs just as I expected it to.

It’s a real pity that this bike was only available for one year. Putting the hottest engine ( and the SPS is such a good engine ) into a Biposto chassis has been an obvious sales winner for years, but it all happened too late for the original quattrovalve. Then again, I guess 15 years and 8 world championships from one engine ( cylinder head really ) design isn’t too bad.

Ducati are continuing the S model for the 998 Testastretta series, and the new 998S, with last years 996R engine, should be a real goer. I’ve been told the 996R engine is good for at least 130 Dynojet Hp.

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