DUCATI DESMOSEDICI RR Review & Ratings
- 17 February 2018
- Author: Nikolas Perseputto
This stunning piece of motorcycling history, Scott Windsor’s Ducati Desmosedici RR, is perhaps one of the most exclusive and venerated motorcycles that money can buy. You’ll remember Scott from issue 90 of Rapid Bikes where we featured his stunning Turbo Ducati Diavel, boasting 300hp – a bike which Scott toured extensively on before having the turbocharger build done by Jamie from S&R Pro. As a life long motorcyclist Scott owned a huge range of motorcycles but was battling against Motor Neuron Disease, a battle he tragically lost earlier this year. Scott had recently aquired this bike from legend Troy Bayliss. It was Troy’s personal bike… When the Desmo first hit the headlines, we were lucky enough to ride one…
AT THE TRACK Every now and then things happen that become a reference point in your life. It could be a disaster or the joy from the birth of your first child. These are the moments that categorise your life, and you will most definitely know when they occur. I had one of these experiences with the Desmosedici RR. It was at Phillip Island with one of the most exclusive and technically advanced motorcycles Ducati had ever created for sale to the public. I am talking, of course, about the D16RR, or Desmosedici RR. This motorcycle exudes Ducati’s wealth of racing experience and represents a landmark in the history of motorcycling. Every component was selected for its performance benefit. Compromises were unacceptable.
There had never been a machine this close to the equipment used to win GPs made available to regular people. Don’t forget, Casey Stoner had just won the world championship on a machine only marginally different to the D16RR and here I was preparing to ride it! As we listened to a Ducati engineer’s Desmosedici presentation, Craig McMartin flew past at speed, the tremendous note of the D16RR echoing through the pit garage, sending a shiver up my spine and leaving me tingling all over. Now it was my time to ride the Desmosedici. That internal shake was now a visible one as I attempted to stay calm. It wasn’t fear, just an intense excitement caused by the stream of adrenalin pulsing through my veins. The Italian technicians looking after the D16RR fitted fresh Bridgestones, and wheeled it out.
I sat astride the exclusive kit and held the ‘bars. My hands felt huge and the bike felt tiny, most likely a consequence of all the adrenalin. Exiting pit lane, I gave the D16RR the berries into Doohan Corner and Southern Loop. I was acutely aware of the new tyres, and didn’t want to throw $110,000 down the road, so I kept it very smooth and careful for the first lap. The suspension was very rigid at lower speeds and the straight-line speed was awesome but what impressed me the most was the way it drove off turns.
The traction available from the specially created Bridgestones was stupendous. Heading down Gardner Straight for the second time, I was going almost as fast as I dared when I selected top gear. The power surge pushed me back into the rear of the seat. I’m sure I saw 300 on the speedo, and the D16RR was still pulling like a bullet train on Red Bull. My forehead started hurting due to the wind pressure on my helmet. At this speed the suspension was working properly and going into Doohan Corner, the D16RR felt as stable as Uluru. Then, as I approached Lukey Heights, it happened. It was like I left my body and imagined I was Casey Stoner for the briefest of moments. I thought, “So this is what it feels like”, at the very least it’s as close as I will probably ever get. And it was sensational.