As of early April 2023, the Daytona has come home, but it’s not quite done….
As per the norm, the Daytona went to MC Tech for its annual spa treatment. This time it was a little more involved than last time. Besides the usual suspension refresh and tweaking, it got some new bits and some repairs. I’d added the L74 captive rear caliper / quick change rear axle kit. This kit bypasses the rear ABS (which is fine, I don’t use the rear brake anyway so the likelihood of me needing rear ABS is pretty low). This kit wasn’t quite as straightforward as I’d have hoped as I needed new captive spacers because the sprocket carrier was rubbing on the swingarm once tightened up. Then we had to switch to different pads that needed some material removed to prevent dragging. In hindsight, I’m not sure I’d do the kit again. Perhaps the Fast Frank kit is more elegant.
Next upgrade was a full exhaust. For the past several years, I’d been using the 2013-17 Triumph/Arrow OE slip-on exhaust. These were fine at first but as I’ve picked up pace, these slip-ons are failing at an increasingly rapid rate. Early on I’d been able to find used or new old stock Arrow cans at good prices so when one failed (typically rivets break and I’d get hot-spots on the body and the titanium would eventually crack and split). I was down to my last one and in only a few months it was showing signs of imminent failure. Wanting a longer term solution, I selected a Bodis P-Tec II full exhaust (headers and can). This had to be ordered from Germany and it took a good month or so to arrive. The exhaust headers are larger and nearly come into contact with the radiator hose so Mike at MC Tech had to get creative to avoid the hose melting. I’ll have to keep an eye on that and will probably replace with silicon hoses at the end of this season. It may also require loosening the header for oil changes. There is a bit of weight savings, though not as much as a full titanium system but it’s 1/2 the price and stainless steel is highly serviceable. We also did the block off plates and cleaned up some of the stuff under the tank. BTW, a huge thanks to Sordo on the Daytona765.com forums for his guidance on this, he answered a lot of Mike’s and my questions based on his first hand experience. While the bike was on the MC Tech dyno, Mike did comprehensive testing with hardware to find what provided the best un-tuned baseline. This included running it with the stock stacks and with the Venturi stacks (better with stock), with and without the dB killer plug (way better without). We stayed with the stock air filter. As far as any tuning goes with it, my goal is as linear power generation as possible. I’m not really after peak power (I won’t say ‘no’ to extra power, mind you), but just smooth, tractable power.
Then there’s the fork upgrade kit. The Daytona came stock with a NIX front fork and we’d already changed the springs out to suit my riding ability. Mike sourced an Ohlins FKR kit for the 3rd generation Daytona (and the D765 uses essentially the same forks, though the part numbers have changed). Mike also did the 130mm modification on the forks so I’ve got additional travel available. I’m not going to pretend that I understand suspension but it should offer more adjustability and greater front end feel which ultimately should help my confidence and ability to lean on the front end more. This was not inexpensive so I’m anxious to get back to pace and get a sense of it.
There’s one part remaining, which is tuning the bike. Since it generally seems that the preferred way to do this is to flash the ECU as opposed to adding a piggyback system, I have to locate someone who can work with me on this and unfortunately, I’ve not been able to find someone local. TuneECU is one of the most frequently used platforms for doing this but it’s not super-intuitive–I’ve spent a few hours learning how it works. Since the A/F ratio was lean after putting the exhaust on the bike, I did go in and adjust the A/F ratio to 13.20 in any areas where the stock was showing a higher number than that. 2 Wheel Dyno Works in Washington claims to have done a dozen of these bikes so I have an appointment with them in May the day before my first track day at The Ridge to get it dialed in. I can report that the exhaust alone resulted in +10 bhp on the top end and the bike now pulls to redline. The power curve was actually pretty good without any tuning so I’ll ride it at the two May Sonoma track days before getting it tuned but at least the A/F ratio is flashed so I don’t have to worry about burning anything up then. Last year Sonoma was one of the tracks where I had the best pace so I definitely don’t want the bike running lean there.
Mike at Wicked Racing in Pennsylvania got me hooked up with the new AiM SmartyCam 3 GP 84° FoV camera so I’ve installed that and built the overlay for it. The control unit is a little bigger, the camera is smaller. I’m playing with some additional overlay items that I still need to test out when I ride the bike at Sonoma, namely the TC intervention and Bias graphs. The camera brings resolution to 1080p and is capable of 60 fps but there is a warning that the controller might run hot. I’ll probably try it out a couple of times in 60 fps mode but I’m not sure that there will be a ton of benefit there. I’ve been using the SmartyCam 3 Sport camera on the Tuono and I really like that. I may work with Trailbrake.com to do more customization yet but we’ll see how that pans out. I really wish that the Daytona had an IMU because the Tuono does and I’m able to add an infographic for the lean angle from the bike’s IMU. I’ve ordered an external microphone for this camera that I’ll mount closer to the exhaust.
In my brief afternoon of riding the bike at the track, I can say that it sounds ferocious and it definitely has more top end. Previously the top speed I saw at Thunderhill East was 140-141 mph. Even though I wasn’t up to pace this last time I was seeing 145 mph. I also let a trusted friend take it out for a session and hearing it rip around Thunderhill was awesome. Unfortunately I only thought to do an audio capture when he was on his way back in so I don’t have anything with it at full throttle.
BBT-Racing in Germany had a really attractive sale on moto2 bodywork for the bike last year and that kit arrived. I don’t plan to install that for a bit yet because I want to get it painted and make it look pretty before doing that. That will likely be a 2024 upgrade. I also got a great deal on a brand new fuel tank from a Street Triple so when the bodywork gets painted I’ll bring that in at the same time and I’ll finally be able to retire my well-work 2013 Daytona tank (maybe I’ll get it cleaned up and re-sprayed). The MotoXPricambi kit has held up really well but the tail section is showing some stress fracturing in the fiberglas but I have a spare Armour Bodies tail piece if it gets worse this season and I already have the BBT rear so I could do that if needed.
I’m anxious to get some seat time on the Daytona–my last real time on it was mid-October 2022. I’ve done 8 track days so far this year, mostly on the Tuono V4 and I’ll ride the Ninja 400 this coming weekend at Thunderhill West. While the Tuono is great fun and exiting corners with the front end wiggling under power, I’m excited to continue working on my own development with the Daytona. In no way was I at the limits of the Daytona so the upgrades over the break are functional improvements and logistical in the sense that I need to address the slip-on consumption rate and will have more flexibility and feel in the geometry and front suspension. I’m planning to ride the Tuono a bit and at some track days and when I have both bikes, I’ll ride it for the first session or two. I did ride it for 3 sessions in April at Thunderhill after spending the morning on the Tuono and doing it that way made the Daytona feel slow so that approach might work for me to maximize my Daytona potential. The Tuono is primarily a road bike but it will also be my coaching bike. I used it for two days for that purpose already and it worked great for that.
For 2023, the Daytona will go to the two Sonoma days in May, then at the end of May I’ll drive it up to The Ridge and leave it up north for the Track Time events so I can fly-and-ride. I even purchased a Pirelli tire allotment for my Track Time days. Over the winter I sourced some deals and built a second set of riding kit so I don’t even need to deal with gear. I’ve got a season pass with Track Time and the prospect of track days in the Pacific Northwest during the summer months is a lot more attractive than 100° (F) days at Thunderhill. The NorCal schedule is a bit wonky this year, much of that likely being due to the repave at Laguna Seca so the car clubs have hijacked a lot of the days that have typically been available at Sonoma and Thunderhill East. I’ll bring the Daytona back home early September after the last Track Time event and ride it at the NorCal track days. Over the 2023-24 winter break I’ll do the moto2 bodywork and MC Tech will likely upgrade the rear shock.
BTW, my Pirelli tire allotment for The Ridge (unless I’m going through them faster than this):
3x SC2 120/70 17
4x SC2 180/60 17 (also have a fresh one on a mounted wheel already)
1x SC1 180/60 17