View Full Version : racing a mille, have some questions?

12-19-2004, 03:22 AM
besides gsx-r750's and part costs, what are potential downsides to racing a mille?

from what i have seen, it looks like the pluses are:

-incredibly over-built motor
-good handling, great torque
-even though it's a heavy weight, there's still a good # of classes
-dare i say, the overall quality is better than even the honda
-seems like there's a lot of them in lrrs, which is where i'd race it
-looks to be faster than 748's and 996's.


-expensive parts (though there seems to be some ways around a lot of this)
-who makes bodywork besides air-tech and sharkskinz? (edit: looks like yoyodyne has stuff for it--looks good...)
-don't know what problems are common to race ones?
-it seems like it's a little slow compared to some of the others out there. (don't flame me, but it seems like 998/999's and rc-51's are faster and i've watched gsx-r's run both of them down on straights at summit and vir, clearly if i was fast enough for this to be a major concern, i'd be looking for a '51).

specifically, i'm looking for info on an '01 standard, but considering the slammin' deal on a new one that clarkie mentioned earlier. also is there anything to keep in mind or to look for when buying one to race. though i'm usually a firm believer that slow guys like me should buy ones that are race-prepped, like i said, there's a couple of really great mille deals that appear to be out there.

also, anyone go from racing a lw to a hw-twin? i don't think i'm fast enough for the difference to be too big for someone like me.

12-20-2004, 01:03 PM
I will take a stab at this.


those are all true, however i have seen 2 aprilia motors fail.


- I have not found parts to be all that expensive compared to jap stuff.

- problems common (these were what I encountered):
1. rear brake requiring constant bleeding (I dont really use mine, but it is needed to pass tech)
2. if it goes down, the radiators are weak and will need repair as they will spring a leak.
3. I have seen tip sensors fail, but that is an easy fix.
4. watch the rubber oil seal around the shifter. mine got old and backed out causing an oil leak.
5. I had the ignition wiring pull out of the key switch causing a shut down on the final lap of a race. was not easy to troubleshoot, but not that difficult to fix.
6. I went through 1 clutch per race year.
7. my low fuel light got wacky and would flash intermittently with plenty of fuel.

I will say that the rc51 has a better top end hit than a 01-02 mille, but the torque on the mille was better. the slipper on the rc is also superior to the mille by far. I just could not stand the handling and feel of the rc. On some corners the torque of the mille will enable it to perform better (like short hops from hard corner to hard corner) but on others the rc has an edge (long fast turns exiting on to long straights). but we are still talking a slight edge, and rider ability or mistakes made are more of a factor. my .02

the 998 is about on par, but the 05 999/ 04 999r will beat it for sure in a straightaway battle. they handle well also and track prep easier than the aprilia, but I am not made of $$$. I have seen quite a few mechanical problems equating to missed practice/races with ducatis of all models to be very wary of them as a race bike. I would take dependable over an extra 15 horses any day. I have had 3 racers whom I trust in their opinion state that the 999r was superior to my 02 by far after they rode them back to back. 2 of them quoted the 05 999r as the fastest twin they have ever ridden by far.

I dont know about the mille getting "ran down", but it does require a good exit to keep up with some bikes. It will not hang with a Gix1K or a zx10 in capable hands in terms of only straightaway speed. I think you are just watching a more skilled racer on a rc run down a mille. Dont confuse that with bike performance.

It would be my pick for a HW twin to race. It is about as expensive as an rc to purchase and maintain, and about half of a ducati pricetag. It is very competative.

I only have about 200 miles of track time on the new 04, and it was BONE stock. I can tell that the top end is more like the rc- spins up better. But in stock trim I was getting motored by good racers on 51's. I think it will be a smoking bike by the time the aftermarket gets it kitted out. ;) I think it makes a better platform for a race bike than an 01 for sure. But a properly set up 01 is no slouch.

Keep in mind that the 02 motor has the larger valves, so if you are going used, try for an 02 versus an 01.

If you want some opinion about going from a LW twin to HW, talk to clarkie or Aprilia94. I went the opposite way. Also follow the progress of Bill Erzal who will be riding a 04 Mille for Mototek in 05 at CMRA. He just came off some seasons on a rs250 and I have been talking to him on the phone about his transition. I think he posts under berzal.

12-20-2004, 03:51 PM
thanks for the reply, it's been really well, both helpful and also clouded the issue as well (as far as trying to decide between a great deal on a used one or an awesome deal on a new one and the problems that go with a slow guy taking a REALLY nice bike to the track).

just to clarify, i've never watched aprilia's on the track with ducati's or rc-51's. i'm only going by what i saw people here write about the '51 and the ducati and what i've seen at summit and vir with gsxr750 running down the other twins (exception to note is that guy that races the red bull ducati in am f40, hwsb, and some others). i'm sure riding talent plays heavily into that as well. it just looks like a gsxr has some legs on the twins.

once again i appreciate the honesty. it's a great to see people who are honest with their own equipment. i really appreciate it and i'll try to look for early warning signs on the 01 i'm looking at.

also is there any kind of frame slider or anything to help the radiator in crashes. i guess i better make sure the summer mixture is completely rid of the winter mixture, huh? :D

12-20-2004, 05:29 PM
Originally posted by Scooter

6. I went through 1 clutch per race year.

damm dude, something wasnt right if you were doing that :confused:

as for the radiators, if you zip-tie them on instead of using the bolts you will not crap the mounting tap in a crash ;) Harris make frame sliders for the 01-03 bikes

12-20-2004, 08:53 PM
NOW Clarkie tells me about the zip tie trick..... that is good advice.

Yeah- that makes sense.. that was where I was having problems- the mounting tabs.

Clarkie I tried to abuse that clutch and couldnt fry it. I dunno- maybe I should have tried more 2nd gear starts to really burn it?? Maybe i'm lucky? I thought you were going through about 1 clutch every 2 races with the STM kit, no? Should my clutch life been about 6 months?
Or are you saying longer?

12-20-2004, 09:00 PM
yeah an STM kit will do 1 clutch every 1-2 races but a stock clutch should last most of the year, it you do 2nd gear starts it would be about 2 a year :)

Jet City Racer
12-20-2004, 09:03 PM
I'm think he is trying to say that he goes through one clutch per race year, not one clutch per race. :confused:

Even I'm not that hard on a clutch.

Thanks for the zip tie tip. :cool:

12-20-2004, 09:13 PM
it's funny, but i started doing the zip tie thing with my 400 (it has a 600 radiator) a couple of years back after bending brackets beyond repair. i've always thought it was pretty ghetto, now i feel like i have something in common with the fast guys. :D

i take it that the generic gsx-r style frame sliders don't fit the mille.

again, many thanks all.

12-20-2004, 09:17 PM
:p: having trouble with that reading thing again, must be because it is only 5'F outside at the moment :eek:

Jet City Racer
12-20-2004, 09:34 PM
Oh, you mean it's about this <______________> cold? :D

No thanks. Been there, ain't doing it again.

I guess that's why even a crackhouse costs $500,000.00 here. :(

12-20-2004, 10:01 PM
i know what you mean about the house prices, one of the reasons i am not in Cali ;) what makes me lagh is when people see california on tv and move out to live by the beach and end up 100 miles away living in the high desert :D

the snow isnt all that bad, afterall, when else can you hang a rear wheel drive vehicle out siddeways going down main street :D and yeah both our vehicles are rear wheel drive for that reasons, the BMW has traction control for the wife in teh snow but i can always turn it off :cool:

Jet City Racer
12-21-2004, 12:21 AM
Yeah, and I can't do this anymore either. :(


Snocross on an RM250~:banana: :banana: :banana:


12-23-2004, 04:29 PM
If I knew where i could post video then I'd share the video of that maniac on a couple of different road bikes on ice....frightening

12-29-2004, 10:45 AM
If you are interested in a race-prepped '01 with an Ohlins and that's been computracked, then email me at motomon at pobox.com

Chris Brown