Cagiva GRAN CANYON (Updated)

Fitted with the small valve and cam 900 fuel injected Ducati engine, these bikes don’t go as hard as they could. Following reports from others that this was a worthwhile mod, we fitted some 900SS FI cams to a Gran Canyon and sat back to bask in the glory of the new power curve.

Unfortunately, the increase was not as much as I expected, climbing from 66hp to 73hp. The graph below shows before ( green ) and after ( red ). Sorry, but no RPM signal on this graph. The curves separate at just under 6,000 RPM ( 70 MPH ), with the big cam engine making power all the way to 8,000 RPM. The identical bottom ends were not what I was expecting though. I must say I was disappointed with this. The bike was more responsive to the throttle down low than before, and certainly went better at the top end, but with a price tag of $2,000, it’s expensive power. Fitting the larger valves would make a difference, but the Gran Canyon also has a very different exhaust length for the two cylinders and a rather restrictive and hidden air inlet. These points would also need to be considered for the bike to make lots of power. The cost would stop many people well before this point, however.

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

We had this bike come back in for service, which gave me a chance to get some good feedback from the owner. He felt the power now came in a little lower in the rev range, and certainly held on better at the top. He was still looking for more, so given we had it all apart I thought we could try taking off the airbox lid. The hacksaw was put to good use for this, and then off we went to the dyno. Once again, we came back with our tail between our legs. Don’t know if this bike just dislikes me, or if, as I now suspect, the small valve heads simply won’t go any further. I have ridden 944 kitted small head 900M that have felt pretty lame also.

I’m not even going to bother putting a graph up. Just see the above. I really can’t believe that removing the airbox lid didn’t make more power. The under tank area is quite restricted on the Gran Canyon, so removing the lid didn’t open up a whole lot more area I guess. The owner is quite keen to try some large heads next, so he is off looking for some second handies to fit at a later stage. Whether or not this will work I don’t know. I can only imagine it will work wonders, but, as I said to him, I’ve been wrong with this bike before. Hopefully, some of the 12 or so hp this bike is below a comparable 900SS ie will then show up. Comparing the power and torque curves from this bike with the 900SS ie equivalent, as shown below, shows just how much is missing.

Dynograph courtesy of DYNOBIKE (03) 9553 0018

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