There’s nothing quite like riding the best there is out there and with the 2009 Ducati 1098R and the corresponsive brand new Bayliss Limited Edition you stand great chances to be doing just that, so it’s nice to get a preview of the blast that you’ll have if paying around $40K for a bike is no problem for you.
Ducati’s exclusive liter-class superbike impresses a rider with the greatest ease. You see, you cannot replace the massive Twin, bag loads of technology and sharp looks with anything. Let’s see what more.
Ever since Ducati got their chance to compete in the World Superbike Championship, they continuously worked to rule the track and the street-legal 1098R is the incredible result of the tremendous work. Virtually every unit on this bike was designed with racing in mind, especially the 1198cc Evoluzione Testastretta engine that is “harnessed” by a traction-control system.
Ducati values the engine’s impressive performance (180 hp and 99.1 lb-ft of torque) with an equally competitive chassis, which’s Ohlins suspension and Brembo braking system slightly justify the enormous price (compared to that of any Japanese contender, but not only).
Also, the dash is derived from that of the MotoGP Ducatis and offers complete information, including the traction control level selected, when this is activated.
2009’s all-new Troy Bayliss Limited Edition features no performance upgrade, but only the unique color scheme. This shows how the Italians did their very best with the standard bike in the first place and also enhances the already racy look of the 1098R.
The Ducati 1098 started being produced in 2007 as a successor for the 999 model. It was powered by the 1099cc L-Twin cylinder, 4 valve per cylinder Desmodromic, liquid cooled engine, from which the new one was developed for the 2009 model year.
From the very first year of manufacturing, the new Italian superbike was a tremendous success that is now carried on by the bigger and more powerful 1198cc version of the same consecrated engine type.
Stylistically, the new bike doesn’t differ much. Quite frankly, we’re wondering how will Ducati enhance the mean looks of the 1098R in future years.
With the launch of the 1098 and the 1098R, Ducati went against the Japanese liter-class motorcycles such as the Honda CBR1000RR , Yamaha R1 , Suzuki GSX-R1000 and the Kawasaki ZX-10R . All these models are powered by in-line fours and do look sharp, but not as sharp as the Ducati 1098R does, so it is obvious what attracts Ducati buyers.
They say a picture says a thousand words, but how many words does a picture of the 2009 Ducati 1098R say because I’m pretty sure that much more.
This is an incredibly sleek and yet aggressive demonstration of the Italian way of building superbikes. Each headlight gets its own air intake underneath it, defining the general Ducati superbike look, while the fairing and windscreen look as clean as possible. The 1098R deflects air in the same way that its racing sibling does and all units are harmoniously blended in one with the other for a compact, impeccable look of a racing bike that, through a faith’s luck, receives a pair of headlights and mirrors in the quest for street legality.
Ducati launched the 2009 Bayliss Limited Edition so that they point out even better the similarity with the race version and it all shows when looking at the two in parallel. Exclude the headlights, mirrors and the license plate bracket and try not to suffer a shock. By the way, owners of these things would have to really appreciate getting a lot of attention on the streets because the Ducati 1098R Bayliss LE does get it.
To be quite hones, you really have to be a superbike pilot in order to exploit 1098R’s full racing capabilities because this bike will always be able to outperform its rider. Our ambition wasn’t to even up the scale, but only to get the rides of our lives on what currently is one of the most popular and a very expensive Ducati model.
The first thing that you notice is the aggressive riding position and the fact that you are most likely way out of shape for this bike, just like we were. The 1098R positions its rider as an integrated part of the…bodywork and that’s also how it will make a rider feel, like the weakest link from a perfect chain.
The liquid cooled, 1198,4cc, L-Twin cylinder, four-valve per cylinder Desmodromic motor sounds, feels and performs like it is always capable to deliver more of the amazing power and torque with a single twist of the throttle. And the bike feels inviting too. The rider may be the weakest link, but it is also the one that feels in total control of the bike also due to the racing-like riding position.
Apart from the riding position and the angry motor, the dry clutch also provides an accurate impression of the ordeal that a superbike pilot’s felt fingers go through along the race. But it works very well and endures a lot of fatigue.
It is very hard not to be impressed by the instant throttle response and by the fact that the 1198R will go up to the 10500 rpm redline faster than the rider realizes that it needs to shift. The twin engine is mated to a very precise and fairly easy to use close-ratio six-speed gearbox, which leaves virtually no room for error.
The 1098R carves corners with extreme sharpness, helping the rider skid the asphalt and improve his/hers riding skills. The suspensions are very hard and reassuring while introducing the rider with all of the road’s imperfections, but that’s nothing to compare with the traction control system that intervenes whenever necessary. The DTC prevents the rear wheel from losing grip, especially when opening the throttle during corners. We had it set at level four out of eight (for professional riders) and felt completely satisfied with the immediate interventions that we experienced.
This Ducati also features a DDA (Ducati Data Analyzer) system, which’s settings are managed through a handlebar-mounted toggles switch on the left bar. The system gathers data during rides and track sessions and help improves the rider’s technique so that it can exploit the 1098R at its true capabilities.
As fast as a bike might be able to go, it still needs to stop and the Ducati 1098R does it with great ease. Relying on Four-piston Brembo Monobloc calipers squeezing two 330mm discs up front and on two-piston caliper working on a 245mm disc at the rear, the bike benefits of a lot of stopping power. The brakes are highly performing and allow riders to hit them late before corners and still provide great results.
Overall, the 2009 Ducati 1098R will provide a totally different riding experience compared to that of the Japanese liter bikes, or is that just us knowing how much this beauty costs? Less likely!
Both beautiful and high performing, the standard 2009 Ducati 1098R comes with a $39,995 MSPR, while the Bayliss LE has a $43,995 price tag. This positions both models well out of the average superbike buyer’s financial reach and shows why the Japanese alternatives are so popular.
Nevertheless, the Ducati 1098R and the Bayliss Limited Edition remain potent and competitive, real Italian alternatives always ready to offer a unique riding experience as long as you are willing to pay big bucks.
Engine and Transmission
Type: L-Twin cylinder, 4 valve per cylinder Desmodromic, liquid cooled
Bore x Stroke: 106 x 67.9mm
Compression Ratio: 12.8:1
Power: 180hp - 132.4kw @ 9750rpm
Torque: 99.1lb-ft 134Nm @ 7750rpm
Fuel injection: Marelli electronic fuel injection, elliptical throttle bodies.
Exhaust: Lightweight 2-1-2 system with catalytic converter and 2 lambda probes. Twin stainless steel and titanium mufflers
Gearbox: 6 speed
Ratios: 1st 37/15, 2nd 30/17, 3rd 27/20, 4th 24/22, 5th 23/24, 6th 22/25
Primary drive: Straight cut gears, Ratio 1.84:1
Final drive: Chain; Front sprocket 15; Rear sprocket 38
Clutch: Dry multiplate with hydraulic control slipper clutch
Chassis and Dimensions
Frame: Tubular steel Trellis frame in ALS 450
Wheelbase: 1430mm / 56.3in
Front suspension: Ohlins 43mm fully adjustable upside-down fork with TiN
Front wheel travel: 120mm / 4.7in
Front brake: 2 x 330mm semi-floating discs, radially mounted Brembo Monobloc calipers 4-piston, 2-pad.
Front wheel: 5-spoke in forged light alloy 3.50 x 17
Front tyre: 120/70 ZR17
Rear suspension: Progressive linkage with fully adjustable Ohlins TTXR monoshock with top-out spring. Aluminium single-sided swingarm
Rear wheel travel: 127mm / 5in
Rear brake: 245mm disc, 2-piston caliper
Rear wheel: 5-spoke forged light alloy 6.00 x 17
Rear tyre: 190/55 ZR17
Fuel tank capacity: 15.5L (of which 4L reserve) / 4.1 US gal (of which 1 US gal reserve)
Dry Weight: 165 kg / 364 lb
Seat height: 820mm / 32.2in
Instruments: Digital MotoGP derived unit with displays for: Speedometer, rev counter, lap times, time, air temp, coolant temp, battery voltage, A trips, fuel reserve trip, DTC level selected (if activated) scheduled maintenance. Warning lights for: Neutral, turn s
Warranty: 2 years unlimited mileage
Versions: Dual seat