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Top 200 Current Motorcycles: Best Or Worst? - Ducati 848 & 1098, S & R

Updated on June 2, 2009

The Ducati 848, the 1098 standard, the 1098 R and the 1098 S from a strictly aesthetic standpoint are all pretty well clones of each other. Strip off the identifying decals on the leading edge of the central fairing underneath the level of the handlebars, and you'd be hard pressed to tell what model you're looking at. However, a quick peek under the hood and you'll quickly notice that there is an enormous difference between these models.

The 848 has an 849.4 cc (ok, close enough...) engine which cranks out a completely mind-blowing 134 horses. Graduate up to the 1098 standard and the 1098 S and you'll find a motor just one cubic centimeter shy of 1.1 litres and which will hustle your butt down the road with the thrust of 160 rocket powered ponies. When you look at the 1098 R's engine you don't find a 1.1 litre... no... you find a 1198.4 cc megamotor in there which generates one hundred and eighty horsepower (gasp!) and that calculates out to an almost unheard of 2.02 pounds per horsey. Unheard of outside the NASA rocket lab, anyway.

Hey, we Italians like to do things a bit out of the ordinary... that is the secret to our charm and appeal. And, yes, I do have to agree that naming an entire series of bikes as 1098 while two of them are that size but one is a 1.2 litre engine is definitely out of the ordinary, and you could also say damn near inexplicable. Did Ducati order too many 1098 decals and felt like using them all up, regardless of whether they accurately described the motorcycle or not?

There have been many cases in the past when motorcycle manufacturers exaggerated their actual displacement up, but this is the first time in memory that a factory understates the size of the motor, by almost 10%. Very very very strange.

Oh well... we Italians like to be mysterious too!

Some say just crazy...

So what do I think about the aesthetics? I hate hate hate hate hate the dual squinting headlights. It looks like the bike needs to visit an optometrist. The rear grabbars / ducts / whatever the hell they are on the seat seem to only serve the function of fart pleats, so I can live without them. Otherwise (and remember, I'm not a real sports bike styling enthusiast) I am just barely on the BEST side of this Duck styling exercise on these four (on the surface clones)... but believe me... it was very very very close!

Verdict: BEST!

Ducati 848

This motorcycle is powered by a powerful 849.4 cc, liquid cooled, l-twin powerplant engineered with a bore and stroke of 94 mm x 61.2 mm and a compression ratio of 12:1 which endows the bike a stunning 134 horsepower (98.6 kW). When we calculate the overall weight of the bike equalling 370 pounds (168 Kg.), and factor that into the powerful horses available the result is 2.76 pounds per horsepower, a figure that approximates the power to weight ratio of an IROC car.

Ducati 1098

The cycle is driven by a strong 1099 cc, liquid cooled, l-twin motor designed with a bore and stroke of 104 mm x 64.7 mm and a compression ratio of 12.5:1 which gives the model an impressive 160 horsepower (117.7 kW). When we compute the riderless weight of the cycle tallying up to 381 pounds (173 Kg.), and factor it into the speedy horsepower we get a result of 2.38 pounds per horsepower, a figure that is not overly different from the power to weight ratio of an Indy Racing League car.

Ducati 1098 R

This bike has a mighty 1198.4 cc, liquid cooled, l-twin engine set up with a bore and stroke measuring 106 mm x 67.9 mm and a compression ratio of 12.5:1 which confers upon the motorcycle a staggering 180 horsepower (132.4 kW). When we consider the basic weight of the motorcycle being 363 pounds (165 Kg.), and factor it into the muscular power generated the result is 2.02 pounds per horsepower, a number that is within the range of the power to weight ratio of a Formula One car.

Ducati 1098 S

This motorcycle is driven by a fleet-footed 1099 cc, liquid cooled, l-twin powerplant with a bore and stroke of 104 mm x 64.7 mm and a compression ratio of 12.5:1 which gives the bike a total of 160 horsepower (117.7 kW). When we factor in the core weight of the bike being 376 pounds (171 Kg.), and factor that into the vigorous horsepower generated we get a result of 2.35 pounds per horsepower, a figure that is quite close to the power to weight ratio of Jay Leno's 1000 HP Toronado.

Read all about each and every Top 200 Current Aprilia, Benelli, Bimota, BMW, Buell, Ducati, Harley Davidson, Honda, Kawasaki, KTM, Moto Guzzi, MV Agusta, Suzuki, Triumph, Victory, and Yamaha Motorcycle Model!


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    • Tom Schumacher profile image

      Tom Schumacher 

      5 years ago from Huntington Beach, CA

      Ducati's 1098 R is just an amazing and gorgeous piece of machinery. I really enjoyed your hub. It made me think of getting another bike. Thanks!


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