The most advanced superbike models coming from the Bologna, Italy house are the Ducati 1198, 1198 S, 1198 S Corse and 1198 R Corse, all which might look like the discontinued 1098 R , but are in fact entirely different creations with enhanced all-around performance and decent price tags.
Built using experience gathered in years of racing, the 1198 series is composed of uncompromising superbikes representing the unique Italian styling and the innovative maker’s solutions to keep things safe and interesting on the track as well as on the road.
Ducati has the good custom of creating one hell of a bike and then add a special version next to it in order to address to a larger crowd of potential buyers. They do so with the 2010 1198, 1198 S and the Corse Special Edition models that come to continue the 999’s and 1098 ’s legacy in the style that consecrated the initial models.
170-hp fuel injected L-twin engine
There’s simply no other L-Twin engine that is more refined than the 1198.4cc Testastretta Evoluzione unit powering the 1198 models. Thanks to that, the four new bikes benefit of 170hp at 9,750rpm and of an incredible 97lb-ft of torque at 8,000rpm.
Not only the new engine is powerful, but it is also claimed to be the lightest ever used on Ducati superbikes. Using a new crankcase manufacturing technology, which reduces weight by a significant 3kg (6.5lbs), we have the main reason to believe that, while the magnesium-alloy cam covers and alloy outer clutch help too.
The engine’s pistons are derived from the world of racing and feature a distinctive double-ribbed undercrown in order to reduce friction. A system inaugurated and made famous on this last mentioned model is the Desmodromic system, also present in 1198’s engine configuration. This opens and closes the valves mechanically, ensuring great effectiveness at high rpm and so bringing a major contribution to the engine’s impressive performance.
For the 1198s, Ducati had the elliptical throttle bodies of the Marelli electronic fuel injection system enlarged with 13.3 per cent compared to the 1098 , while the new models get an aggressive 2-1-2, exhaust equipped with a catalytic converter and two lambda probes, ensuring smooth engine performance and helping meet Euro3 regulations.
The racy engine is coupled to a close-ratio six-speed transmission through a dry multiplate clutch, meaning riders will get a very accurate impression of what riding a racing bike actually means.
Competing in MotoGP and the World Superbike has made Ducati very perseverant in developing new systems and Ducati had the first ever production motorcycle fitted with a traction control system that was available to the large public last year. The Ducati Traction Control (DTC) is standard on the 1198 S, 1198 S Corse Special Edition and 1198 R Corse Special Edition and not even optional on the simple 1198. The system intervenes mostly during mid-corner acceleration and prevents the rear wheel from sliding. The rider will be aware of the system’s intervention thanks to a warning light.
Also, the Ducati Data Analyzer is another justification for the bigger retail prices of the S and Corse models and is optional on the standard model. The system automatically records information such as throttle opening, vehicle speed, engine rpm, engine temperature, distance travelled, laps and lap times in order to make it possible for everyone to lay back and analyze their performance to see what more can be improved. The usual answer to that is riding skills.
While all four 1198s feature the same Brembo braking system acting on two 330mm discs up front and a single 245mm one at the rear, the wheels and suspension differs much. On the 1198 it is all about the fully adjustable 43mm upside-down Showa fork with TiO and a progressive linkage with fully adjustable Showa monoshock as well as stylish light alloy 17-inch 10-spoke wheels. On the three 1198s you get the same front and rear suspension capabilities, but with the Ohlins name on as well as also 17-inch, 7-spoke in forged light alloy wheels that are veritable GP replicas.
Speaking of MotoGP derivations, the digital dash (displaying all possible information) definitely fits in this category.
Features such as the suspension and wheels set a slight weight difference between the 1198 and its more exclusive siblings. Be it wet or dry, the S and Corse models weigh approximately 5 pounds less than the standard bike.
Ducati sees the 1198 series as the perfect way of evolving from the discontinued 1098 R and the Bayliss LE model. These last two have evolved from the simple 1098, which was launched in 2007. So it is history being written with small, but fast and well calculated steps.
Being powered by the 1200cc, twin-cylinder engine, the Ducatis compete with the 1000cc in-line four-cylinder Japanese superbike models. The Honda CBR1000RR and the Yamaha YZF-R1 are among its fierce opponents, while the Suzuki GSX-R1000 and Kawi ZX-10R stand by their side in this concern.
While the four from Japan are, indeed, different blasts, they don’t offer the unique riding feel that Ducati shown it can deliver with the 1198 and that’s what buyers are looking for when prospecting the 1198s.
Most likely, the first thing that attracts the eye is the distinct Italian style that sets every single Ducati Superbike model apart from the crowd. Ducati owners plan to stand out from the crowd and that’s what these two bikes are here to make possible.
Ever since the introduction of the 1098 back in 2007, Ducati proved it was up to something big and the original fairing brought in a look that was to stay and spread on all future models. The 1198s make no exception and this is how we end up contemplating at those same sharp headlights and overall smooth fairing and low windscreen. This is probably the cleanest looking motorcycle we’ve seen, but it also receives an aggressive note in the form of the air intakes, which are found under the headlamps. The front fender is as sharp as the bike’s nose and overall defining lines, making it easy for everyone to spot Ducati’s style with a single glimpse in the rear view mirror.
The tail section is tall and introduces us to the 32.2-inch high seat and the fairly robust, but definitely stylish 4.1 gallons fuel tank. The reason why the rear end aims for the sky is the underseat exhaust, a Ducati characteristic. So is the single-sided swingarm, which allows the rear wheel to stand out both in the case of the 1198 and the 1198 S. We appreciate the standard 10-spoke wheels even though the GP replicas look much better and sharpen the overall aggressive look of the bike. Also, fans of the S model will know where to look and spot the carbon fiber front fender and Ohlins suspension in order to make it clear to everyone this is no regular model that they’re looking at.
Mentioning the color options requires a little bit of Italian practice because (ok, wish me luck on this one) the 1198 comes in Rosso or Bianco Perla (both with Nero frames and Grigio wheels) while the 1198 S model adds Midnight Black apart from the first two schemes. Ok, that wasn’t so bad after all.
If there’s one chapter where the 2010 Ducati 1198 S Corse Special Edition and Ducati 1198 R Corse Special Edition stand out best, this has to be styling. Featuring factory team-style aluminium fuel tanks, carbon fiber front fenders and carbon fiber muffler kit by Termignoni, not to mention the exclusive Ducati Corse liveries, we’re not wrong in saying these are homologated racing bikes.
"At 168bhp and 169kg the power-to-weight ratio is close to 1,000bhp per tonne, or like driving a family car with a couple of F1 engines fitted, and with the torque spread generously, acceleration is crushing and immediate, whatever the revs." – telegraph
“The increase in horsepower is evident when hurtling down the front straight, but it’s the increase in torque that really gets your attention when you twist the throttle. Power comes on from as low as 3,000 revolutions, but the Testastretta Evoluzione engine really hits its stride when the tach passes the six marker.” – sportrider
“This thing has so much torque. Just when I though they couldn’t make a bike with more low-end grunt than the 1098 they went and did it with this bike,” – motorcycle-usa
"Torque alone gets the Ducati 1198S shifting the earth backwards on its axis, and then the power takes over to make point-to-point roads seem like a Scalextric course." – MCN
"After I got to know the track, the feedback and grip provided by the front tire gave me the confidence to tackle late apex corners aggressively. The 1198S allowed me to establish a smooth and consistent rhythm and (for me at least) good lap times." – motorcycledaily
"Why the experience of limited activation by DTC in our 4-session track day? The best educated guess by some salty track vets was that with such sticky tires, DTC simply didn’t come into the picture despite a claimed 170 hp and 97.5 ft-lbs" – motorcycle
The 2010 Ducati 1198 starts at $16,495 and the corresponsive S model has a $21,795 MSRP. Compared to the starting prices of the 1198 S Corse Special Edition ($24,995) and 1198 R Corse Special Edition ($39,995), you’ll think that’s cheap.
When it comes to their superbike lineup, the Italians from Ducati sure know how to upset the Japanese four by offering a different kind of engine blast and chassis refinement, making their bikes the Ferraris of motorcycles and the others, ordinary competitors. Also, with exclusive models such as the Corse Special Edition ones available in 2010, those willing to ride on the exclusive lane can start doing just that. Good luck!
Engine and Transmission
- Type: L-Twin cylinder, 4 valve per cylinder Desmodromic, liquid cooled
- Displacement: 1198.4cc
- Bore x Stroke: 106 x 67.9mm
- Compression Ratio: 12.7:1
- Power: 170hp - 125kw @ 9750rpm
- Torque: 97lb-ft 131.4Nm @ 8000rpm
- Fuel injection: Marelli electronic fuel injection, elliptical throttle bodies
- Exhaust: Lightweight 2-1-2 system with catalytic converter and lambda probe. Twin stainless steel mufflers
- Emissions: Euro3
- 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
Chassis and Dimensions
- Frame: Tubular steel Trellis frame in ALS 450
- Wheelbase: 1430 mm / 56.3 in
- Rake: 24,5°
- Front suspension: Showa 43mm with TiO fully adjustable upside-down fork / Ohlins 43mm fully adjustable upside-down fork with TiN
- Front wheel travel: 127 mm / 5 in; 120 mm / 4.7 in
- Front brake: 2 x 330 mm semi-floating discs, radially mounted Brembo Monobloc calipers 4-piston, 2-pad.
- Front wheel: 10-spoke in light alloy 3.50 x 17 / "GP Replica" 7-spoke in forged light alloy 3.50 x 17
- Front tire: 120/70 ZR 17
- Rear suspension: Progressive linkage with fully adjustable Showa / Ohlins monoshock. Aluminium single-sided swingarm
- Rear wheel travel: 127 mm / 5 in
- Rear brake: 245 mm disc, 2-piston caliper
- Rear wheel: 10-spoke light alloy 6.00 x 17 / GP Replica" 7-spoke forged light alloy 6.00 x 17
- Rear tire: 190/55 ZR 17
- Fuel tank capacity: 15.5 L (of which 4L reserve) / 4.1 US gal (of which 1 US gal reserve)
- Dry Weight: 171 kg / 377 lb; 169 kg / 372.5 lb
- Seat height: 820 mm / 32.2 in
- 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, scheduled maintenance. Warning lights for: Neutral, turn signals, high-beam, rev-limit, oil
- Warranty: 2 years unlimited mileage
- Versions: Dual seat
Features & Benefits
- The incredible valve performances of our engines are only possible because of Ducati’s unique Desmodromic system, where valve closure is activated mechanically.
- At high rpm it would be almost impossible for the valve to follow the steep closure profile of the cam lobe if it were relying upon a normal valve spring. With the Desmo system, the valve is closed mechanically with the same accuracy as it is opened, enabling steep cam profiles and radical cam timings.
- This system is used on every single Ducati power unit including our world-beating Superbike and Desmosedici MotoGP engines.
Magnesium alloy covers
- The weight-saving cam covers in magnesium-alloy are evident by their gold colour.
- Its race-developed fairing design ensures perfect integration with the cooling system by providing efficient flow through the advanced, large surface area coolant radiator, which is assisted by lightweight, high flow electric fan assemblies and oil coolers.
- Incredibly lightweight, the exhaust system has been engineered with a power-increasing symmetrical 2-1-2 layout that uses 52mm-57mm diameter tubing with a wall thickness of 0.8mm (0.30in). It is equipped with a catalytic converter and two lambda probes for optimum engine mapping and Euro3 conformity. The system terminates with Ducati’s trademark twin under-seat silencers, delivering that unmistakable signature sound of the big bore Desmo 90° L-Twin.
1198 Testastretta Evoluzione
- The Testastretta Evoluzione engine is the crowning glory of our development and the perfection of the L-Twin engine. World Superbike dominance for almost two decades is the result of continual commitment to our twin-cylinder configuration. We now share the reward for that commitment with World Championship-winning technology constantly flowing from the factory race team into our production engines.
- Volumetric efficiency through the four valves per cylinder is optimised with valve diameters at 43.5mm for the inlet and 35.5mm for the exhaust.
- The 1198 Testastretta Evoluzione engines are the lightest ever used in Ducati Superbikes, thanks to Vacural® technology, a crankcase vacuum die-cast manufacturing process yielding weight reductions of 3kg (6.5lbs) compared to the 1098 Superbike cases. The process ensures consistent and precise wall thickness and increased strength from absolute material purity.
Power & torque curves
- The 1198 engine produces 170hp (125kW) @ 9,750rpm and a class-beating 97lb-ft (13.4kgm) of torque @ 8,000rpm.
- The 1198 capacity is achieved using exactly the same 106mm x 67.9mm bore and stroke as the factory race bike.
Elliptical throttle bodies
- To keep the highly efficient Testastretta cylinder heads breathing to their full potential, the injection system uses MotoGP-derived elliptical throttle bodies with an equivalent diameter of 63.9mm.
- The 1198 engines all share the same attention to race-derived details.
- Race-designed 1198 pistons have a distinctive double-ribbed undercrown to achieve high strength and reduced friction by using minimal piston wall surface area. Using technology developed for the Desmosedici MotoGP project, the design enables reliable operation of the 106mm diameter pistons when performing at high rpm.
- Racing-type rocker arms are ’super-finished’ for reduced friction and fatigue at high rpm.
- The gearbox’s carefully calculated specification allows the use of a high ratio 6th gear, fully enabling the speed increase achieved from additional performance modifications (suggested for track use only). Also with performance in mind and because of its high resistance to fatigue, the gears are machined from the same high-strength steel used in Ducati Corse race applications and are subjected to a shot-peening treatment that further ensures their strength.
- Developed in cooperation with Ducati Corse, the lightweight Trellis frame features 34mm main section tubes with a material thickness of 1.5mm. The result is an incredibly rigid construction that remains one of Ducati’s lightest frame solutions ever.
- Through decades of racing and development, Ducati has proven that innovative chassis engineering and evolutionary frame advancements win races. The tubular Trellis frame, used on every Ducati motorcycle, is a signature design element.
- This unique Ducati frame is light, rigid and beautiful thanks to its ingenious Trellis design and use of high quality ALS 450 tubing. Each tube is mitred and micro-fusion welded in a complex triangulated pattern and our incredibly strong L-Twin engine cases are functional ’stressed members’ of the chassis.
Brembo Monobloc brakes
- Machined from a single piece of alloy, Brembo’s powerful Monobloc callipers achieve a higher rigidity and resistance to distortion during extreme braking. The resulting increase in hydraulic efficiency not only delivers incredible braking power, but also provides an enhanced and precise ’feel’ at the brake lever. The twin Monobloc callipers each have four 34mm pistons that grip huge 330mm discs to help achieve spectacular brake performance. The weight of the discs has been kept to a minimum by employing racing-style narrow braking surfaces.
- Carefully designed for aerodynamic efficiency and to hug the sleek lines of the chassis, the Superbike bodywork enables the rider to blend effortlessly into the correct riding position.
- Its race-developed fairing design ensures perfect integration with the cooling system by providing efficient flow through the advanced, large surface area coolant radiator, which is assisted by lightweight, high flow electric fan assemblies and oil coolers. Aerodynamically shaped air ducts positioned just below the headlamps are precisely calculated to provide ample air delivery to the pressurised airbox.
- The lightweight bodywork contributes considerably to overall performance by reducing weight, protecting the Testastretta Evoluzione engine’s power output, and assisting the rider to effortlessly ’tuck in’ from the wind stream and reduce drag to achieve maximum straight-line track speeds.
Magnesium front sub-frame
- Producing a front subframe in magnesium underlines the attention to weight-saving detail in the Ducati Superbike range. Its construction provides secure support for the headlamp, instruments and fairing, and the weight-saving around this high, forward position contributes considerably to overall ’feel’ and control of the machine.
- The high performance, fully adjustable 43mm Öhlins forks, which sport low friction titanium nitride-treated fork sliders, respond effortlessly to every imperfection in the tarmac. Beyond their advanced engineering solutions, one of the most important characteristics of Öhlins forks is their ability to communicate the condition and quality of the tyre-to-road contact patch, a feature that puts you in superior control.
Ohlins rear suspension
- The suspension set-up at the rear features a fully adjustable Öhlins rear shock equipped with a ride enhancing top-out spring for outstanding drive and traction. An adjustable rear ride-height, independent of spring pre-load and other suspension settings, enables the perfect set-up for personal riding style or track conditions.
Ohlins steering damper
- The front-to-rear Öhlins suspension package is completed with a control-enhancing Öhlins adjustable steering damper.
Aluminium fuel tank
- The new beautifully formed factory team-style aluminium fuel tank comes in a bold red, white and black colour scheme. It weighs 1kg (2.2lb) less than the original tank and boosts the bike’s fuel capacity by 2.5 litres (0.66 US gal) to 18 litres (4.75 US gal). The tank is formed in 2mm thick aluminium, brush finished and clear-coated to maintain a factory race tank feel and proudly displays the new Ducati Corse logo on top.
Marchesini 7-spoke wheels
- The lightweight front wheels used on all Ducati Superbike models substantially reduces the moment of inertia, enabling a faster change of direction and enhanced acceleration and braking performances.
- The ’S’ and ’R’ rides on beautiful black 7-spoke lightweight, forged-aluminium, machine-finished wheels by Marchesini, and are fitted with Pirelli Diablo Supercorsa SC at 120/70 ZR17 for the front and 190/55 ZR17 for the rear. These tyres have shoulder areas that maximize the contact patch and carcasses specially designed for stiffness under heavy braking and precision during high speed cornering. This precision in tyre construction enabled Ducati technicians to create extremely fine programs for the Ducati Traction Controls systems used on the bike.
- The dual construction technique used for the single-sided swingarm allows the main operational components to use individual aluminium castings so as to ensure strength around the pivot points, wheel hub and suspension links, while lightweight, fabricated aluminium sections are used to complete the construction into a single, beautifully engineered component. The swingarm is finished in natural aluminium to match the new factory team-style aluminium fuel tank.
- All 1198 models are fitted with a passenger seat which can easily be changed in seconds with a single-seat cover supplied with the bike. The colour-matched part gives the bike an instant racing-style rear-end.
- Included with the bike is a race kit consisting of a slip-on carbon fibre muffler kit by Termignoni with a dedicated ECU and a Ducati Performance rear paddock stand.
- The digital display is programmed with a stopwatch function that, when enabled, can be triggered by using the high-beam flash button and each recorded time stored in a memory. After your journey or track session, the times or lap times can be recalled from the memory and scrolled through by using the instrumentation buttons on the left-hand switchgear.
- Ducati Superbikes are equipped with adjustable levers that operate Brembo radial-type master cylinders with remote reservoirs. Add easy-to-use switchgear with stopwatch function and DTC and DDA management and it becomes clear that functionality plays a major role alongside performance.
- The horizontal twin headlamps, a signature Ducati style from the iconic 916, are modernised with the latest lighting technology. Two polyellipsoidal units light the way with a powerful beam while maintaining an aggressive look to the front of the machine in pure Ducati Superbike tradition.
- The rear light employs a specially designed strip of LEDs enhanced by a high diffusion lens shaped into the sleek lines of the tailpiece. The same LEDs are intensified for brake lights.
- The directional indicators also use the latest in LED technology for illumination. The frontal indicators are beautifully integrated into the rear view mirrors.
Mirror extension kit
- All Superbike mirrors come with an optional spacer kit enabling an extension of 30mm over the standard mirror stem length.
- The Ducati Data Analyser (DDA), which includes PC software, a USB-ready data retrieval card and instructions, enables you to review and analyse your performance and that of the bike’s, and to make comparisons between various channels of information.
- The system records numerous channels of data including throttle opening (A), vehicle speed (B), engine rpm (C), engine temperature (D), distance travelled (E), laps and lap times. It also automatically calculates engine rpm and vehicle speed data, enabling it to display gear selection (F) as an additional channel of information. An additional channel of information is now dedicated to recording the DTC index (G) which can then be viewed as a graphic trace and indicates the amount of DTC interaction during wheel-spin (Subject to model).
- At the end of a ride or track session, up to 4mb of data can be downloaded ready to compare, analyse and get an inside view of the performance of both you and the bike.
- Weight saving is further enhanced with the application of a carbon fibre front fender.
- This pure racing digital instrumentation originating from Ducati’s MotoGP project has no switches or buttons to compromise its clean, minimalist lines. Instead, information additional to the default read-outs is managed from the left-hand handlebar-mounted switch gear, allowing the rider to scroll through and select from various menus.
- The display, which has a bright white LED back lighting, presents rpm and speed, with the former displayed across the screen in a progressive bar graph. Optionally, the rpm and speed can be displayed in numeric values. Additionally, it displays lap times, DTC level selected (if activated on 1198 S, 1198 S Corse and 1198 R Corse) time, air temperature, coolant temperature, battery voltage, two trips and a trip that automatically starts as the fuel system goes onto reserve.
- Warning lights illuminate to signify neutral, turn signals, high-beam, rev-limit, low oil pressure, fuel reserve, DTC intervention (if activated on 1198 S, 1198 S Corse and 1198 R Corse) and scheduled maintenance. The instrument display is also used as the control panels for the DDA (DDA kit supplied as standard on 1198 S, 1198 S Corse and 1198 R Corse) and DTC systems as well as listing lap times recorded by using the high-beam flash button as a stopwatch.
- Ducati were the first manufacturer to introduce a true competition-level traction control system on a production motorcycle. The Ducati Traction Control (DTC) system further underlines Ducati’s technology flow from racing to production and demonstrates how solutions developed for the track can be applied to enhance performance safety on the road.
- DTC uses the same software logic developed and used by Ducati Corse for their World Championship-winning MotoGP and World Superbike motorcycles and offers a choice of eight settings developed by their professional test riders and racers.
- Accessible from the left-hand switchgear and displayed on the digital instrumentation, the system offers a choice of eight profiles, each one programmed with a wheel-spin tolerance matched to progressive riding levels of skill graded from one to eight. While level eight administers a confidence-building, high level of interaction from the system by activating upon the slightest amount of wheel-spin, level one offers a much higher tolerance and, therefore, much less intervention for highly competent riders.