Ducati’s 2009 SportClassic lineup features what can be presented as a café racer fitted with a classic style half fairing. Still, the bike is as modern as Ducatis get nowadays and this makes it a modern classic on which we were eager to jump. We did so and came across the best power-to-weight ratio of the category as well as over the refreshed, but still unique riding characteristics of a café racer.
This is the kind of bike that you enjoy staring at for hours, but which excludes all the technical disadvantages of riding an original classic piece of two-wheeled machinery simply because it is brand new. While the style is immediately recognized as being consecrated decades ago, the 992 cc, air-cooled, two valves per cylinder Desmodromic engine is all about performance. Fed through the 45 mm throttle body of the Marelli electronic fuel injection system, the unit develops 92 hp at 8,000 rpm and 67.3 lb-ft of torque at 6,000 rpm. Also, this is coupled to a six-speed gearbox with fairly tall ratios, managing to meet Euro3 emissions regulations.
Like all SportClassic models, the Sport 1000 S comes with Marzocchi 43mm upside-down front forks with classic brushed aluminum surfaces, while rear suspension works with twin high performance fully adjustable Sachs shocks.
Given the facts, it is not easy to underestimate this Ducati, especially when knowing that it has its roots buried deep into the Bologna, Italy house’s history.
In the 1970s, it was all about removing all the unnecessary bits of a motorcycle and increase performance as much as possible and by all means available then. It was the golden age of the café racers and Italy wasn’t eschewed. Also, racing bikes of the time were characterized by the half fairing and windscreen wrapped around the round headlight. That’s exactly what Ducati intends to recreate with this new model and we reckon that it succeeds.
Italians are a bit special in everything, especially when building cars and motorcycles. So while the SportClassic Sport 1000 biposto dueled with the Triumph Thruxton , Ducati was searching for ways to change things in their benefit. The answer came with the all-new 2008 SportClassic Sport 1000 S, but as good as this would look, the British bike manufacturer stands a good chance to still get its fair share of the market, especially now that the biposto is no longer available.
Ducati is definitely up to something here with this double sport classic motorcycle, which looks pretty much like its name says. Being a classic bike, you expect the 17-inch spoke wheels with black aluminum rims, but not the large diameter brake discs. Also, the 3.9 gallons tank features the right shape and size, but looks kind of rudimentary, while the fairing, windscreen and headlight are all faithful to the period that they’re inspired from, almost too faithful.
You really have to be a fan of the specific period in order to immediately notice and enjoy the presence of all the features that distinguish a café racer. In this case, apart from the previous mentioned ones, the 32.5-inch high seat and even the two-into-two exhaust add on to the classic look of the Sport 1000 S, preferably when the tailpiece cover is on the bike.
The engine type itself is a reminder of the period and the fact that Ducati uses this motor on a variety of 2009 models shows how the Italian manufacturer has followed a natural evolution throughout the years.
2009 color schemes are: Red with white stripe and Black with white stripe.
When it comes to sacrificing the riding position for good looks there’s nothing quite like the Ducati Sport 1000 S. The seat is taller than you expect, you need to stretch in order to reach the handlebars and hand commands, while the footpegs arch your legs like nothing you’ve experienced before. This makes it a veritable killer around town and bags of morphine won’t make the pain go away.
So what’s the big deal about this bike anyway? The thing is that it looks incredible and sounds sick. In other words, it’s an invitation to ride, one that many people might take, but not all enjoy. Combine the riding position with the firm suspension and you’ll find that the retro looks also stand for a retro riding feel.
Ducati created this bike to be ridden on short distances and preferably by riders who don’t miss gym training. This scenario sounds plausible for the Sport 1000 S’s 992cc air-cooled engine to start showing off. Not only this sounds great, but delivers impressive amounts of torque just above 2,000 rpm, while the 92 horsepower is not a figure to be ashamed of, considering the 398 pounds dry weight and the fact that any more power wouldn’t have been valued and only make riders frustrated. Don’t get me wrong; your average Ducati Sport 1000 S rider will be very frustrated, but by the fact that he won’t be able to ride the bike continuously for more than half an hour.
The six-speed gearbox is slick, but I’m afraid that we can’t say the same thing about the clutch. The thing feels heavy and, by the time you reach fourth gear, annoying. Looking at the bright side here, at least this bike provides an accurate impression of how the original machines worked and felt.
The modern chassis ensures fast and sharp cornering, but each bump will shorten the already short ride with at least a few minutes. Quite frankly, there’s nothing else on the market that would provide a bumpier ride on not so bumpy roads. But, at least it makes a rider one with the bike and that feel is incomparable.
Looking good on a bike always required sacrifices (just ask any chopper rider), but I guess we didn’t thought at it this way.
Nostalgics pay a $12,995 MSRP for this SportClassic Italian motorcycle, which is the fair price as long as not expecting from it more than it can deliver.
If buying the 2009 Ducati SportClassic Sport 1000 S as a fast, sharp and enjoyable motorcycle to polish during the week’s afternoons and ride like a maniac in the weekends, you stand small chances to waist your money, but if you look at it as an everyday ride, it’s better to start reconsidering your options because this one is just not it.
Engine and Transmission
Type: L-twin cylinder, 2 valves per cylinder Desmodromic; air cooled
Displacement: 992 cc
Bore x Stroke: 94 x 71.5 mm
Compression Ratio: 10.01:1
Power: 67.7 kw - 92 hp @ 8000 rpm
Torque: 67.3 lb-ft - 9.3 kgm @ 6000 rpm
Fuel injection: Marelli electronic fuel injection, 45 mm throttle body
Exhaust: Black exhaust system with two mufflers r.h.
Gearbox: 6 speed
Ratios: 1st 37/15, 2nd 30/17, 3rd 27/20, 4th 24/22, 5th 23/24, 6th 24/28
Primary drive: Straight cut gears; Ratio 1.84:1
Final drive: Chain; Front sprocket 15; Rear sprocket 39
Clutch: Wet multiplate with hydraulic control
Chassis and Dimensions
Frame: Tubular steel trellis frame
Wheelbase: 1425 mm / 56.2 in
Front suspension: 43 mm upside-down fork
Front wheel travel: 120 mm / 4.7 in
Front brake: 2 x 320 mm semi-floating discs, floating caliper 2-piston, 2-sintered pads
Front wheel: Spoke wheel with black aluminium rim, 3.50 x 17
Front tyre: 120/70 R 17
Rear suspension: Twin fully adjustable shock absorber
Rear wheel travel: 130 mm / 5.1 in
Rear brake: 245 mm disc, 1-piston floating caliper, 2- sintered pads
Rear wheel: Spoke wheel with black aluminium rim 5.50 x 17
Rear tyre: 180/55 R 17
Fuel tank capacity: 15 L (of which 3.5 L reserve) / 3.9 US gal (of which 1 US gal reserve)
Dry Weight: 181 kg / 398 lbs
Seat height: 825 mm / 32.5 in
Instruments: Electronic panel: speedometer, rev counter, warning light for low oil pressure, indicators for high beam, fuel reserve, turn signals, LCD clock, immobilizer
Warranty: 2 years unlimited mileage
Body colours (frame/wheels): Red with white stripe (Black / Black) - Black with white stripe (Black / Black)
Versions: Dual seat