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Fri, 29 Jan 2016

JHP Pierobon F042

Pierobon are Italian aluminium specialists and have been manufacturing frames and specialist equipment for Ducati Corse and many other factory teams for many years. The quality of their products is regarded as some of the best in the world and if you ever see it up close you will see why. In 2006 Pierobon launched the F042 concept, an aluminium frame and chassis components kit designed to accommodate the Ducati 1000/1100cc DS 2-valve engine. The principal idea is that the customer supplies the engine, forks, wheels and all other running gear and can therefore build a truly unique and bespoke ultra lightweight sports motorcycle to their own specification for road or track use.

In the summer of this year I sat down our good customer and friend James Thompson, together we compiled a specification for his F042 that would result in what is set to be the best Pierobon F042 in existence. The brief was to create a motorcycle designed to not only look fantastic, but to also aid and develop its owners rider ability and technical understanding using the very best MotoGP and Superbike parts and technology available. With full engine and chassis data logging included in the project specification, this F042 looks set to fulfil this criteria and even exceed it!

JHP Ducati Coventry offer a comprehensive engine and chassis tuning service for both road and track Ducati motorcycles. We use and recommend only the highest quality parts which are expertly fitted by our Ducati factory trained technicians. Call David Reilly on 02476 335 300 or email to discuss your Ducati tuning requirements.

JHP Ducati Coventry are the sole UK importers of Pierobon products.

The Pierobon F042 aluminium frame as it arrives in its natural finish straight from the factory in Italy.

We painted the frame in high gloss Ducati red, black anodised the rear aluminium Pierobon subframe and choose the magnificent Ohlins forks as fitted to the Ducati Desmosedici to complete the front end. We re-valved and re-sprung the forks to suit both the rider and the F042.

 We treated and black anodised the Pierobon aluminium swing arm to match the rear subframe. Pierobon also supply their own brake hanger kit and billet chain adjuster kit. Note the Ohlins race shock with hydraulic pre-load adjuster.

 The Ducati 1000cc 2V donor engine is stripped down to the bear cases and specially treated ready to be rebuilt to its race specification.

Work begins on the 1000cc DS (dual spark) engine to take it to 1100cc, a complete JHP strip down and rebuild was a must. The specification includes big bore cylinders, Pistal Racing 98mm high comp pistons, lightened & balanced crank, Ducati Corse lightweight gear selector drum, Ducati Corse super-finished close ratio gearbox, Ducati Corse lightweight generator and flywheel, Ducati Corse racing slipper clutch and magnesium engine cases. The cylinder heads were gas flowed to perfection by John Hackett and the engine was soon complete ready to be installed in the F042 frame.

Note the JHP specially finished heads and cases complete what is a truly stunning engine built to the very highest standard using some of the finest racing parts available. It is now ready to be installed in the F042 frame, which is also starting to come alive as the project takes shape and grows by the day.

With the comprehensive Superbike data logging system we are installing on the F042 we had to accommodate the data logging hardware components safely and securely, for this we chose an original Ducati Corse Superbike carbon front subframe which was ideal for this purpose and also fits the lightweight criteria perfectly. The Digitek Falcon dashboard is now fitted as are some of the data logging hardware components. Note the Brembo GP specification radial clutch master cylinder fitted to Pierobon clip-ons and billet fork clamps. Top and bottom billet yolks are Pierobon's own although we had to machine them especially to fit the Ohlins Desmosedici front forks. The OE air box is now also fitted, you can see the Nemesis ECU now in place behind the air box, the Nemesis ECU is fully reprogrammable and allows the user to switch maps whilst riding the bike, the Nemesis ECU is available for most Ducati models and is ideal for road and track use.

 It was time to install the JHP tuned 1100cc engine in the F042 frame, with careful attention to detail the engine soon slotted in to place and the combination of the engine and frame now together looks out of this world. With this stage of the project complete, work really starts to move forward at a pace as we can now take the necessary measurements to build the custom lightweight race wiring loom.

The first of the bespoke chassis data logging kit installation begins with the fork travel potentiometer been fitted, this measures and records the amount of travel the forks produce whilst in action. We also had to make the bespoke billet aluminium fork brackets to mount the data logging potentiometer.

With such a high specification front end on the F042 we decided only the best would do when it came to brake lines so we opted for MotoGP and WSBK spec 'dry-break' connectors in a kevlar brake line, this allows the brake lines to be split and thus separates the caliper from the master cylinder without any loss of brake fluid or brake pressure, ideal for fast and efficient pit garage work.

Having seen one or two other F042's around the world fitted with Pierobons 2-1 stainless steel exhaust, we chose this purpose made full titanium open pipe race exhaust system by Italian manufacturer 'Zard'. With its superb build quality and awesome looking carbon silencers it complimented the F042 superbly with its combination of performance and aesthetics. The exhaust system has been built with lambda pick ups in both the vertical and horizontal manifold pipes to facilitate engine and dyno set up.

just like the front fork data logging potentiometer, we had to fabricate purpose made aluminium mounting brackets for the rear shock absorber potentiometer also, this measures the amount of travel the rear suspension is subjected to during use and provides the data required to maximise suspension settings.

Another billet aluminium bracket was made to locate the shock absober potentiometer to the Pierobon frame. The Ohlins race shock has a hydraulic pre-load adjuster as you can see to allow for crucial suspension set up changes. Titanium fixings are used throughout and wherever possible to help reduce weight.

After much consideration, Dymag 16.5" 7 spoke magnesium wheels were chosen for the F042. With their unique look, outstanding build quality and weight saving properties, they fitted in perfectly with the overall criteria of the F042 project. Pictured are JHP project bike builders John and Rick Hackett taking measurements to ensure correct clearances will be achieved.

The Pierobon hand crafted aluminium fuel tank is yet another example of the high quality workmanship and comes fitted with a Pierobon quick release fuel cap. The ultra-lightweight Nemesis custom race loom, made with MotoGP and WSBK spec Raychem sleeving and type 55 high temp wiring, is also in situ and will soon be fully fitted as will the data logging hardware.

The twin carbon exhaust silencers look fantastic and no doubt will sound awesome when the JHP tuned 1100cc is fired up for the first time. Notice the Galfer wavey rear brake disc and Brembo Racing HPK rear brake caliper fitted. After our successful 2008 season in BSB with Pirelli tyres, Pirelli Diablo Superbike slick tyres were chosen for the F042, various compounds will be used depending on the circuit and conditions.

In keeping with the front brake line, we fitted another MotoGP spec dry-break connector to the rear kevlar brake line, the wire attached to the brake line is for the rear wheel speed sensor. Our JHP brake lines are made in-house to suit each individu alapplication.

Having done the front and rear brake lines, we decided to fit a dry-break connector to the clutch line also to maintain the MotoGP spec theme. Note the carbon protectors to the coils too.

In order to achieve perfect fitment of the fuel tank we had to remount the Nemesis ECU as it is slightly larger than a standard Ducati ECU. The solution was to make a purpose made aluminium ECU mounting bracket and then invert the ECU. You can see the F042 is also fitted with a race spec tilt switch which cuts the ignition in the event of the bike going down on track.

One of the biggest and most time consuming jobs on the F042 was to locate the very high spec front end components. As you can see in this picture, the Brembo Racing MotoGP spec rear thumb brake is now fitted. We had to machine and re-shape the lever to achieve the correct fitment. A number of purpose made brackets and spacers were required to allow all parts to fit safely with the necessary clearance between each component to allow them to operate safely. The front end was dismantled and re-assembled more than once to achieve perfection, even new steering stop locks were measured, purpose made, and then fitted. Note the Ohlins steering damper in situ in front of the top yolk, this too required purpose made aluminium brackets and bushes to achieve correct fitment.

The blue titanium exhaust pipe is an instant give away that the Pierobon F042 has at long last been fired up and run on the JHP dyno. We spent a whole day creating dedicated engine maps and ended the day having achieved an impressive 120bhp from the 1100cc 2valve tuned engine. We have programmed a dedicated race dry map and also a wet map into the Nemesis ECU, by simply pressing the start button you can switch from one map to the other, while riding the bike! You can see the Nemesis race pattern quick shifter gear lever fitted to enable ultra fast gear changes, which all adds up to quicker lap times. You can also see the JHP billet 32.5mm clutch slave cylinder which gives a 25% lighter feel to the clutch lever action.

With the chassis build virtually complete, the F042 is now ready to have the carbon race bodywork fitted and perfectly aligned before being sent to our paint shop for its custom paint scheme. Keep watching to see how this awesome bike will look fully dressed in its carbon bodywork. Its not long now until we hand this truly amazing purpose built JHP Pierobon F042 over to its proud owner who will be giving it a shakedown on track with full track side assistance from the JHP team, we are all really looking forward to seeing the F042 in action. The UK's largest Motorcycle press paper 'Motorcycle News' (MCN) were keen to ride this JHP Pierobon F042 Cpecial and came to visit us to do an interim press feature during the build, see these great pictures below courtesy of MCN. You can now see the Pierobo carbon seat and carbon bellypan is now fitted, just the nose cone to fit and she will be ready for the track.

With the F042 having now spent many hours on the dyno in the hands of John Hackett, the custom engine map was created for the Nemesis ECU and the results produced a very impressive 120bhp from the 2V air cooled engine.
Soon after the dyno work was complete, we took the Pierobon F042 to Mallory Park Circuit for a brief shakedown and systems check prior to its first proper run, which was to take place in July at the fabulous fast and flowing Donington MotoGP circuit. 'Motorcycle News' were invited along and their senior road tester and racer Adam Child would get to put the Pierobon F042 through its paces. Owner James Thompson was first to take the F042 out on track, within a handful of laps James quickly settled in to a good pace and was soon posting some solid lap times. The sight and sound of the F042 in action was a great spectatle and just rewards for many months of work and development at the JHP Ducati Coventry workshop.

Click below to read the full MCN test report on the JHP Pierobon F042.

MCN F042 Part 1
MCN F042 Part 2

After many months of development, decision making, and painstaking attention to detail in the build process, the JHP Pierobon F042 lived up to every expectaion and ran faultlessly throughout its maiden outing. With only a paint scheme to be decided and applied, the JHP Pierobon F042 is now finished and race ready. With a successful test behind him, owner James Thompson now plans to race this superb motorcycle in the UK with support from the JHP Ducati Coventry team.