The next step for many people in the Ducati mod process is a larger exhaust. On a 996 Strada, this involves replacing the std 45 mm exhaust with a 50 or 52 mm system. Whether or not this is worthwhile is something I have been trying to find out for some time.

All the dyno tests I have done or seen show a power drop all thru the rev range. This bike was no exception. As you can see from the curve below, the large exhaust led to a power drop of between 2 and 5 hp. Green is std 45 mm system, red is 52 mm Giacomoto system. This brings this bike, on the dyno at least, back closer to the 996 SPS it was compared with in the previous report. Other popular systems used include the Arrows 50 mm and Termignomi 50 mm ( std SPS ) systems.

As a side note at this point, nearly every bike I have tested with the larger exhaust has a lump in the power curve between 5,000 and 7,000 RPM. The previous report comparing this bike to an SPS shows this in the SPS graph. From what I have been told, this is also present in the 748R power curve when fitted with the larger kit exhaust. Exactly why I don't know.

Anyway, we took this bike to the dyno, set the fueling as required and got our graph with the power loss. This was as expected so I wasn't concerned at this point. What I really wanted to know was how the bike rode. I couldn't try it myself, unfortunately, due to a broken arm and leg. So we gave it back to the owner to find out what he thought of his rather expensive new addition.

(dyno graphs courtesy of DYNOBIKE, (03) 9553 0018)

His first reaction, on the road, was that the bike was slower. This we expected. Also that it was a little easier to ride ( softer maybe ). His first session at Phillip Island confirmed this. However, instead of spitting the dummy and going home, our man changed his approach. When this bike first went together with the SPS cams, we told him to change up at 9,000 or so RPM as there was no point going any higher. This would put him back in the fat part of the torque curve and make the most of what was there. It would also be much nicer on the engine, but that's something many people overlook.

So he moved his shift point much closer to the rev limiter, using an extra 2,000 RPM. At this point the value of his purchase showed through. The bike now pulled cleanly and strongly through to the top end, unlike before. This was the info I was after. I have heard before of the top end improvement that a larger exhaust had brought, but never first hand. At least now I had some confirmation.

At this point our man was happy. Even the R1's have trouble catching him down the front straight now.

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