We were spoilt this year with some amazing custom projects but the Turbocharged Ducati Diavel was a stand out as it gave Justin a chance to showcase his fabrication and performance skills.
The owner visited us back in July, it was something he had been wanting to do for a while, every time he had mentioned it to someone they had replied with "Call Pro Twin". At the time we advised the owner that due to scheduling commitments that we wouldn't be able to commence the project until later in the year but if he wanted to bring the bike in sooner we could start making a plan. Once the bike arrived we couldn't contain our excitement and it immediately started to progress overnight.
The objective, to create a turbocharger kit that had been completely fabricated in house, to build a motorcycle that felt strong, smooth and still very rideable, to eliminate the turbo lag and create a bike that could become an instant beast with a twist of the throttle.
The process began with an evening bonding with the bike and mapping out a plan mentally, we were fortunate enough to have a turbo close by as this wasn't our first experience working with turbochargers. Once the perfect plan was in place it was time to commence fabrication.
The fabrication process began with a call to the local stockist for Garrett Turbocharges to enquire about size options, we were lucky enough that they had exactly what we wanted. Once we had the turbo in our hands we were able to work out what diameter header pipe we required and it was now time to place an order for the stainless steel mandrel bends. Once we received the bends it was time for the fun to begin.
Justin entered the fabrication room and we left him in the zone for the rest of the week, by the rest of the week I mean it was safe to assume that he wouldn't be home for dinner most nights. When he finally resurfaced it was time for a mock fit up. Those who know Justin know that he doesn't do things by halves and what is a 100% perfection to others is always a challenge for Justin to push it to the next level so we watched him re-enter the fabrication room again for some additional tweaks. Once he was satisfied with the pipe work and had fitted it all to the bike it was time to move on to the intake plenum.
Justin had an idea of how he wanted the intake plenum to look and perform so it was time to bounce ideas with Mitch. Utilising Mitch's idea to create a cardboard template of how we wanted it to appear and fit we were able to complete a design for intake plenum. From here Justin was back to the fabrication room to fabricate the intake plenum utilising aluminium sheet metal.
Those who have followed our other projects will know that appearance is always important to us so we wanted to keep some of the kit discreet. For example, the Tial blow off valve has been mounted to the plenum and disguised under the Ducati factory side cover. We wanted to create the same discreet appearance for the Tial waste gate. Once this process was complete it was time for installation of the intake plenum and we couldn't have been happier with the results. From here the next step was to fabricated the pipe between the turbo and the intake plenum after a mock fit up of this section it was time for our final build step, plumbing.
One of the most important steps was to plumb the turbo for water and oil. This process was timely as again we wanted too keep the design sleek by concealing the fittings. We also needed to consider the fuel delivery system, utilising an upgraded fuel pump and injectors we were able to keep the fuel system simple but effective.
Now, it was time to play with the electronics. Over the years we've built a great relationship with Wayne from Tuneboy so when we told him what we were doing he was excited to be a part of it. Justin explained to Wayne his ideas for the software and with the same plan in mind it was time for Wayne to start programming. The great thing about the way we developed the kit is that it was still able to utilise the standard ECU which eliminates the need for piggy back modules there for keeping the the electronics tidy and dependable. The Tuneboy software has always allowed us to unlock the standard ECU, program features such as cruise control, launch control, quick shifter and auto blip down shift on this model. By working with Wayne we were able to incorporate all these features along with an ECU that now recognises a boost reference. Once the EFI and software was taken care of it was time to play on the dyno.
Once we were on the dyno we tuned the bike for off boost, mapping both front and rear cylinders separately. Once we finalised this side of it, it was apparent that we had nailed the fabrication work and turbo sizing as the bike was already getting big results at 1PSI, it was already making a 24HP gain over standard. After we finished celebrating our excitement and ushered Justin back to the dyno room it was time to really open this beast up and see what it could do. We were able to start increasing boost, with a maximum boost pressure of 8PSI we were able to make another 100HP over standard increasing the initial 136HP to 237HP with 122FT-LBS of torque. Once we completed the time on the dyno we were able to road test and make some final tweaks.
Given the nature of the beast it's fair to assume that it's more than capable of spinning the rear tyre and/or pulling the front wheel off the ground. It was evident that the bike was still very rideable off boost but when twisting the throttle it came alive and gave us one of the most exciting rides of our lives. Although the bike feels extremely strong and fast, it doesn't feel like a turbocharged bike due to the way it applies the power, it feels more like a strong natually aspirtated bike, the power curve reflects this feeling.
The bike is now back with it's owner and it's fair to say he's in love. It will spend the next few weeks doing a few km's before it comes back for a minor service, general inspection and few tweaks.
We cannot thank the owner enough. He dropped the bike off and let us do what we do best. Every time we ran an idea by him, his reply was "Whatever you guys reckon". He let us treat the bike like it was our own. We're not going to lie, it felt like a break up seeing it leave like most of our projects do. It was definitely a bitter sweet moment.
We hope you enjoy the final results as much we have. We'll post a future update once the bike has spent some time on the road.
Stainless Steel Mandel Bends
Initial Fabrication Stage For The Rear Header
Initial Fabrication Of Exhaust Pipe Flowing From Turbo
Bottom View Showing Front & Rear Header Pipes
Final Fabrication Ready For Ceramic Coating Before Assembly
Turbocharged Ducati Diavel