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Nichols Engine Bolts ($200)

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I honestly didn't expect much from a couple of bolts, but after attending a valve-adjustment class at Nichols' (they used my Duc as the demo bike for the class), I thought I might as well purchase one of their less expensive products, as a good "gesture." But man was I in for a surprise --- I realized right away when starting the engine that the vibrations from the engine felt much more firmly planted into the entire bike, and shortly after, during a canyon spin I also felt how differently the bike handled. So why is this..? Well, apparently the contact surface of the stock engine-bolts are less than a tenth of the Nichols bolts, i.e. only holding the frame at its edges, while the Nichols bolts have a snug fit along the entire bolt. However, the more miles you have on your bike.. the more difference you will experience. Click here to contact Nichols Manufacturing. The following I wrote for the Ducati On-Line regarding the bolts:

The Nichols engine bolts make huge a difference, especially if the machine has a high mileage. I got mine at 29.000 miles, and I felt it right away when starting the motor, as everything became much more responsive. It also improved handling etc., and they do all my dishes as well (oops.. that's a different product, sorry). If you've more than 15k miles on your Ducati, I'd definitely go for those bolts. If comparing the factory bolts with those from Nichols, you'll find it difficult to grasp why Ducati made them like this in the first place --- there is almost no contact surface to the frame at all.

Of course, now it's kind of amusing to see that most everyone (including Ducati themselves) tries to copy Nichols' products and innovations: First Ducati tried to copy those bolts (which Nichols started to make in '93), and then in '97 Ducati tried to copy his aluminium flywheels (which Nichols has made since '95), and now in 2002 Ducati start using dual spark-plug heads which Nichols has done for eight years!! It just shows that Ducati think the guys at Nichols know what they're doing, (I wonder how long it will take until Ducati will copy the rest of Nichols' products ;^)