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Discussion Starter #1
Is anyone else following this? Interesting read.

Desmo 3

-dj
 

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What would be neet would be for some of the hot-shot engineers & machinest on the list to create a new head for the air cooled bikes that uses a better combustion chamber design & 3 valves, but will still use as many of the stock parts as possible. Dozens of Harley guys do this, why not us??
 

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Discussion Starter #4
What would be neet would be for some of the hot-shot engineers & machinest on the list to create a new head for the air cooled bikes that uses a better combustion chamber design & 3 valves, but will still use as many of the stock parts as possible. Dozens of Harley guys do this, why not us??
Ahh, to have so much time to play. :D I would love to do something like that. Still working on making the first million though.... :-/

-dj
 

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What would be neet would be for some of the hot-shot engineers & machinest on the list to create a new head for the air cooled bikes that uses a better combustion chamber design & 3 valves, but will still use as many of the stock parts as possible. Dozens of Harley guys do this, why not us??
You rang? :)

I can design it and do the drawings, and I know a shop that can do the machine work. Whittled from billet? I've dealt with patternmakers and foundries that can do the patterns and castings, if that's the preferred route.

It's a large project, and I don't have the capital to fund it.
I'd love to do it.
 

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Seems like if a guy could get the regular Duc 3v head and digitize it for all critical paramters (valve position, angle, comubstion chamber shape) then just whittle away the water pumper stuff and add a little finning etc. Those 3d digitizers are pretty trick and very accurate. But I'm happy enough with my 2v Monster.
 

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Ducati has made a three valve air cooled head. It might one day be sold. The problem is the days of air cooled engines are numbered. They are noisier and hard to control emissions on then a water cooled engine which is becoming more important. Ducati's three valve head makes less horse power the MBPs two valve heads and you can buy those now if you want.
 

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From a mass production standpoint, Alex, I agree wholeheartedly.
Different story for an aftermarket part...

The analogy is a bit of a stretch, but here goes. Many years ago, I was acquainted with Nigel Patrick, of Patrick Racing. He had just started making billet cylinder heads for Harleys. His billet head would flow better right out of the box than the best welded and ported stock head, and was lots better looking. He's doing rather well now.

Wouldn't you agree that a 100% performance oriented two-valve head would be nice? Bet you'd like the dyno chart on your 966 GP DUE to peak at 102 HP, right?

95 HP is a tremendous achievement, but isn't 100 the holy grail for 2-valvers?
 

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Not if it cost $6000 it isn't. There is a huge market for small block chevy heads how many air cooled Ducati heads do you think could possible be sold? Guy went through the math it just wasn't cost effective to make a new head. Hell most of you guys cry about the cost of the MBP heads then speculate about three valve heads you would never buy. You make comparisons on paper abut a 85hp motor that runs to 8500rpm being more cost effective then a 95hp motor that runs to 10,000rpm. You guy don't get it sorry.
 

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What would be neet would be for some of the hot-shot engineers & machinest on the list to create a new head for the air cooled bikes that uses a better combustion chamber design & 3 valves, but will still use as many of the stock parts as possible. Dozens of Harley guys do this, why not us??
Heh. Guy Martin already is doing this to your own heads. He looked into producing his own heads but the cost was too high due to complexity of the air cooling passages.

:) Chris
 

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The analogy is a bit of a stretch, but here goes. Many years ago, I was acquainted with Nigel Patrick, of Patrick Racing. He had just started making billet cylinder heads for Harleys. His billet head would flow better right out of the box than the best welded and ported stock head, and was lots better looking. He's doing rather well now.
What makes this analogy a stretch is the fact that the Hardley Ableson market is HUGE compared to 2V ducati market, probably more than 100 times larger. And this goes even larger when you consider the number of custom built bikes and the fact that their entire engines are aftermarket. You see none of this with Ducati. Probably never will.

:) chris
 

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I remember talking to guy about his project a couple of years ago. A blillet head with shorter manifolds, 100+ hp. He told me at the time he though the heads would cost about $4K which I think is well outside what I would spend for 20 HP. No doubt about the cost of making them, or the quality of MBP products. If I was desperate for that kinda HP I'd get an S4 or a jap bike to supplement my M900.

M
 

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Last time I spoke to Guy (several years ago) about his head design, he was starting with a casting & the main reason the retail cost was expected to be so high was that he had lots of special parts that went with it that really drove the costs up. With all the computer wizardery & the elaborate CAD machines, I would think that a design could be made from billit that would allow minor design changes at minimum expense. I agree, a bolt on set up that will produce 100hp would be the holy graill. The market - small, but maybe enough to pay for a project like this.
 

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Easy, Alex, sorry if my last post came across a little flip. Didn't mean to get you riled up.

I haven't 'done the math', so I can't accurately comment on what the cost would be. I know it would be expensive. How expensive depends on how many custom parts you're going to use. As Norm stated it, his concept is to use as many stock parts as possible.

If I did a set of heads that used stock moving parts, except for new/different valves and a reground cam, maybe it would be cost effective. Maybe not.

Gotta point out that 'cost effective' depends on how you evaluate a product. Is my S4 cost effective as transportation? No, it sucks big time. I'm stretching it to get 3500 miles out of the rear tire, and may get 5000 out of the front, before they're done. Those tires were $300 three months ago. The last set (of 4) of $300 tires on my car lasted 60,000. Is my S4 cost effective as a toy? Absolutely! It'll stomp all over $13,000 cars all day long.

Was it cost effective for me to spend half of my free time over a 12 year span, along with modest money, all to get a Bonneville record over 200mph? No. Was it a hell of a lot of fun? Definitely.

Obviously, it's not cost effective by Guy's business model to do heads from scratch, as he envisions them, with the resources he has available. If it was, he would be doing them now.

Maybe I'd do the design myself, make the patterns too, and sell a couple handfuls of heads at cost + 25%, just for the fun of it along with the small money. I don't imagine that's Guy's business model, but I could be wrong.
 

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Maybe I'd do the design myself, make the patterns too, and sell a couple handfuls of heads at cost + 25%, just for the fun of it along with the small money. I don't imagine that's Guy's business model, but I could be wrong.
I think you are underestimating what is entailed. You do realize there is an air passage that goes through the head underneath the SOHC cam? The heads are not trivial. If you make it easy to manufacture, then there are many pieces to bolt together, as layers. I think that may wreak havoc on rigidity.

I think Guy would be happy with 25% markup on bolt on parts that didn't consume hundreds of hours of his time. :) You should talk to him. www.mbpducati.ca Tel 514-694-9695

:) Chris
 

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Chris,

Definitely, it's no idle undertaking. Compounded by the two heads being different. I haven't had a set of 2-valve Duc heads in my hands to look at, but I've seen quite a few air-cooled bike heads. They are complex castings indeed.

I've done many one-off projects, taking a basic concept all the way to a finished, fully functional prototype. I did one that worked very well, especially considering that the company that I worked for failed when they tried to do it. That company is selling lots of the production version of that concept now. They wouldn't be selling d!ck if I had accepted the 'can't be done' statement they laid on me.

I could well be underestimating what is involved. Wouldn't be the first time.
 

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A lot of times it's better to start a project like this with a certain amount of ignorance. Knowing 100% of what lies in front of you can be both intimidating & discouraging. Best to just wade into the water & start swimming when you have to. That being said, one of the major complaints on stock heads is the valve angle. I know several people modify the heads by welding everthing up & then redrilling the valves. If you have the equipment & time, & are serious about this, contact Guy @ MBP, as well as Nichols & VeeTwo. They will all have knowledgable input. I have a set of extra heads if you would like to play with them for awhile. Contact me off list if interested.
 

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Well an easy 100HP is the holy grail, but do we ever find the holy grail......

How about taking a stock set of heads and porting etc. This may be an easier (although not as fun) route? With a little research the ideal port profiles could be determined for everyone else to follow....

Are there any performance advantages to bolting say 750 or 620 heads to a 900. Do the 750 heads have a smaller combustion chamber (higher comp)? If so, after porting and adding bigger valves this may be a cheap alternative? Food for thought?

jl
 

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How about taking a stock set of heads and porting etc. This may be an easier (although not as fun) route? With a little research the ideal port profiles could be determined for everyone else to follow.
Yes, that is exactly what Guy Martin is doing now. (As stated above) Rather than manufacture heads, he modifies the customers' heads. Even though he hass perfect recipe, I seriously believe only 5% of the engine tuners out there would bother to replicate it... or manage to replicate it.

;D Chris
 

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Alright, then. Talk to Guy. The number is in the thread.

GET TO WORK.
;D Chris

PS - we'd all benefit from that...

I've done many one-off projects, taking a basic concept all the way to a finished, fully functional prototype. I did one that worked very well, especially considering that the company that I worked for failed when they tried to do it. That company is selling lots of the production version of that concept now. They wouldn't be selling d!ck if I had accepted the 'can't be done' statement they laid on me.
 
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