Tim O'Brien | Nov 16, 2008

Friends, have you ever met the man who was troubled by ‘too much sex’? Not me, can’t say such a man exists. Like, consider if you will this scenario (in a darkened downbeat bar, wistful strains of southern blues hanging in the Bourbon-etched smoke haze):

“Hey what’s up man, you look really down?”

“Yeah… I got problems man… too much sex…”

“Sheesh, no… hey fellas, Lennie here is getting too much sex…”

“No way… poor guy…”

“Whoa, bummer mate…”

“Yeah… what a fizz…”

No, doesn’t happen.

Of all the abundances, a surfeit of ‘sink the snag – international rules’ is perhaps the least troubling. It’s a different story with other abundances: like speed cameras (immobile revenue devices), ‘wire rope barriers’ (give me strength), discriminatory motorcycle taxes (*^@!*^), deadshits (is that one word or two, and why are there so many?), bureaucrats (by definition, too many), merchant bankers (poodle-rooters and toss-pots), newspaper editors (a pox on their houses)… you get my drift?

Answer, if you would friends, why we have such abundance of the things we don’t want or need, and too little abundance of the things we really want.

Ducati 1198

Above: 1198

All praise to Ducati then for issuing forth a worthy abundance. In the past week it has released no less than two new Hypermotards, three Sportclassics, a Multistrada 1100 and 1100s, three new Monsters, a searing Streetfighter, and a five-model stove-hot 2009 Superbike range. Like ribs, chilli sauce, strong liquor, wild women and sex, that’s the kind of abundance we like to celebrate here at the TMR Central Motorcycle News Desk.

In the past few week or so we’ve looked at the 2009 Ducati Sportclassic 1000S - GT1000 - GT1000 Touring, the 2009 Ducati Monster 1100 And 1100 S, and the 2009 Ducati Hypermotard 1100, Hypermotard 1100S; we’ll pick through the rest of the new 2009 Ducati range over the next few days.

If it’s track-ready performance you want, the new Ducati Superbike five-model range is loaded to the gunwales with race technology. From the lightweight 848, to the grunt-laden 1198 and the ultimate 1198 S and 1098 R, each carry race-level specs in their performance-built Testastretta Evoluzione engines and traction control technology from Ducati’s world championship-winning machines. Cube for cube, Ducati claims that “the 848, 1198 and 1098 R Superbikes are the most advanced, most powerful twin-cylinder motorcycles ever built”.

To celebrate his third Superbike World Championship, Ducati is also offering a 1098 R Bayliss Limited Edition. With Troy’s announcement of his retirement from racing after a gritty, hard-fought and brilliant career, the Bayliss Limited Edition is a certain collector piece.

Ducati claims each is “engineered by the stopwatch” and “designed for the racetrack”. The raw numbers friends, would seem to support that claim.

Engines

The new Ducati 1198, while visually the same as the previous 1098, is a totally new bike. Both the 1198 and 1198 S share the 1198cc liquid cooled, L-Twin, Desmodromic engine. With the same 106mm x 67.9mm bore and stroke as the factory race bike, the four-valves per cylinder twin produces 170hp (125kW) @ 9,750rpm, and class-leading torque of 97lb-ft (13.4kgm) @ 8,000rpm.

Ducati 1198

Above: 1198

For the new 1198, valve diameters have been increased by around four percent to 43.5mm for the inlet and 35.5mm for the exhaust. They are actuated by 'super-finished' racing-type rocker arms and double overhead camshafts with radical profiles that provide around ten percent greater lift than their predecessors.

The 1098 R is the sledgehammer in this lot, “a race bike, pure and simple” according to Ducati’s press release, it was built to power Troy Bayliss to victory in the World Superbike Championship.

The 1098 R is not a replica - it's the real deal. The 1098 R engine produces 180hp (132.4kW) @ 9,750rpm and brute torque of 99.1lb-ft (13.7kgm) @ 7,750rpm in standard mode, rising to 186hp when using the supplied race kit (intended strictly for track use only). Its 1198.4cc capacity is the product of a larger bore and stroke of 106mm x 67.9mm; compression is also lifted to 12.8:1. To handle the extra ergs, the 1098R utilises titanium valves and conrods, and a sand-cast crankcase.

Ducati 1098 R

Above: 1098 R

(It also sports a higher ratio sixth gear, and, unique to the 'R' version, a dry multiplate 'slipper' clutch for finer control under race conditions and to reduce the destabilising effect of aggressive downshifting.)

The 848 also packs a king-sized punch from its liquid cooled, L-Twin Desmo. At full noise it produces 134hp (98.5kW) @ 10,000rpm and peak torque of 70.8lb-ft (9.8kgm) @ 8,250rpm. (With a dry weight of just 168kg (369lb) the agile 848 is a full 20kg (44lb) lighter and 30 percent more powerful than its predecessor.)

Ducati 848

Above: 848

With 94mm x 61.2mm bore and stroke and four valves per cylinder fed by racing-style elliptical throttle bodies, the 848 powerhouse also features electronic injection, Marelli ignition system and a lightweight cat-equipped 2-1-2 exhaust system.

Ever wondered why Ducatis sound the way they do? It’s not just the big-bore pipes that provide the trademark growl. Part of the reason is in their unique Desmodromic valve system, where valve closure is activated mechanically enabling steep cam profiles and radical cam timings. It’s a system used on every Ducati motorcycle including the world-beating Superbike and Desmosedici MotoGP bikes.

To carry the increased power and torque output, the 1198 gearbox introduces 'R' model internal ratios with shot-peened gear sets machined from the same high-strength steel used in Ducati Corse race applications.


Frame, suspension, brakes

Each in the 2009 Superbike range feature Ducati’s lightweight Trellis frame with 34mm main section tubes with a material thickness of 1.5mm. While race-rigid, it remains one of Ducati's lightest frame solutions ever

Both the 848 and 1198 models feature fully adjustable 43mm Showa forks, with a low friction titanium oxide treatment applied to the sliders of the 1198, while 43mm Öhlins with low friction titanium nitride-treated sliders are used on the 1198 S and 1098 R.

Ducati 848

Above: 848

A lightweight single swing-arm is pressed into duty at the rear utilising an adjustable Showa single shock for the 848 and 1198, and an Öhlins unit for the 1198 S. The higher spec Öhlins for the rear of the 1098 R uses TTXR twin tube technology and offers separate damping adjustment in compression and rebound.

Additionally, to further hone handling and stability, the 1198, 1198 S and 1098 R rear suspension system has an adjustable rear ride-height, independent of spring pre-load and other suspension settings

The 848 comes with twin radially-mounted Brembo calipers, each with quadruple 32mm pistons gripping 320mm discs. The 1198, 1198 S and 1098 R deploy Brembo's Monobloc caliper racing technology. Machined from a single piece of alloy, the calipers provide higher rigidity and resistance to distortion during extreme braking.

Wheels and Tyres

Lighter wheels, besides lowering 'unsprung weight' have a lower 'moment of inertia' contributing to faster and more controlled directional changes. This is why all in the 2009 Ducati Superbike range roll on lightweight sports wheels.

Ducati 1198

Above: 1198

The 848 is equipped with Y-shaped, five-spoke wheels finished in black, while the 1198 features new graphite grey 10-spoke wheels. The 1198 S however, rolls out on new seven-spoke GP replica wheels, while the weapons-grade 1098 R comes equipped with lightweight Marchesini Y-shaped five-spokers created from forged then machined alloy and finished in 'racing gold' (matte black on the 1098 R Bayliss).

While the 848 uses Pirelli Dragon Supercorsa PRO 120/70 ZR17 front and 180/55 ZR17 rear tyres, the 1198, 1198 S and 1098 R models are fitted with Pirelli Diablo Supercorsa SC at 120/70 ZR17 up front and 190/55 ZR17 for the rear. These tyres provide shoulder areas designed to maximize contact patch area and a stiffer carcass for precision high speed cornering and heavy braking.

Ducati 1098 R

Above: 1098 R

Data Technologies

The Ducati Data Analyser (DDA) is available as an option for the 848 and 1198, and supplied as standard equipment on the 1198 S and 1098 R models. DDA records numerous channels of data including throttle opening, vehicle speed, engine rpm, engine temperature, distance travelled, laps and lap times. At the end of a ride or track session, an upgraded 4mb of data can be downloaded to a PC ready to compare, analyse and get an inside view of the performance of the rider and motorcycle.

Ducati also offers a competition-level traction control system, Ducati Traction Control (DTC), integrated into the 1198 S and 1098 R electronics as standard equipment. DTC monitors front and rear wheel speeds to detect rear wheel-spin under acceleration and electronically reduces engine power to restore traction. This system 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.


A word about the 1098 R Bayliss

The 1098 R is designed as a true 'monoposto' with no provisions to carry a passenger. This has enabled a 50 percent weight reduction of the rear subframe by producing it in aluminium alloy. The race kit mentioned boosts power output from 180hp to approximately 186hp thanks to a 102dB carbon fibre slip-on muffler kit by Termignoni and a dedicated ECU.

Ducati 1098 R

The Troy Bayliss Edition of this bike comes with a special colour scheme designed by Aldo Drudi. The livery, which was used during Troy's final race at Portimao in Portugal, incorporates the key colours of his success. Sporting the famous number '21' on the pearl white nose and side-fairing, the red and white paint scheme uses the dark blue background of the Australian flag and is completed with a subtle '1098 R Bayliss Limited Edition' graphic on the tail fairing.

It comes supplied with a full racing exhaust system including 102dB carbon fibre mufflers by Termignoni (for track use), a dedicated ECU, branded bike cover and rear paddock stand. It also features matte black wheels and carbon fibre heat shield on the exhaust.

The 1098 R Bayliss Limited Edition will be limited to only 500 units and comes with a numbered plaque on the top fork clamp. This number also corresponds to a numbered commemorative desk-top plaque, encased for safe keeping and bearing the engraved signatures of Ducati Motor Holding CEO Gabriele Del Torchio and Ducati Corse triple World Superbike Champion, Troy Bayliss.

Ducati 1098 R

You don’t need to take a tip from The Dirk on this one; it’s a monty – the 1098 R Bayliss has got ‘collectible’ written all over it.

So friends, no info to share on pricing yet; the Euro is tossing about in the same shyte-filled seas as the Oz ducat at the moment. We may not know until the new super-Dukes have landed and lined up in showrooms (or until Ducati’s bean counters can find a dart-board they can trust for longer than three minutes).

Ride free friends. The Dirk.

Colour Schemes

Tank Frame Wheels
848 Red Red Black
Pearl White Racing Grey Black
1198 Red Racing Black Graphite Grey
Pearl White Racing Black Graphite Grey
1198 S Red Bronze Bronze
Midnight Black Bronze bronze
1098 R Red Red Racing Gold
1098 R Bayliss Limited Edition Black Red Black

For more info: Niña Henderson, NF Importers, (02) 9704 2911; www.ducati.com.au