Ducati 1098 R: Ducati’s twin peaks — Telegraph

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Ducati Superbike 1098 R Bayliss Limited Edition

Ducati 1098 R: Ducati’s peaks

12:01AM GMT 02 Feb 2008

Ash tests the most powerful bike with a V-twin the monstrous Ducati 1098 R

it seems, is not content with a bike which is the closest ever to a road-legal grand machine, the shatteringly quick RR. Now, the small but enormously Bologna factory has done the with its World Superbike the 1098 R. And even aside the handy £16,000 you’d by opting for the V-twin instead of the (not that you can order a new RR anyway as its 1,500 production run has out), for plenty of riders the R will offer an even experience.

Replica hardly the 1098 R justice: new WSB rules for allow twins up to 1,200cc to with the 1,000cc fours, only minor changes the road bikes the WSB machines are on. The idea is to allow the twins to on level terms without the costs incurred in previous when all engines were to 1,000cc, but the twins were a much higher state of Ducati could easily get four or five engines per in a weekend, where a Honda might last half a

The consequence is a showroom 1098 R is different from the WSB race in terms of pistons, rebalanced lightened flywheel and gear With the lights removed, it. So, for your £24,000 you get the most street-legal twin ever — 178bhp at 9,750rpm and the lightest superbike too, at dry.

With it comes a kit, a remapped ECU and race so slip those on, swop the and go superbike racing, out of the box.

of which says anything the glorious experience of riding state-of-the-art motorcycle, and no small is played by the first full system to be fitted to a production Okay, Honda added a traction control to its Pan European in the 1990s, but all that was good for was a spin when pulling on gravel. The Ducati’s traction system, DTS, is from a century and it is spectacular.

Our ride was at the Jerez grand circuit in the south of Spain, a mix of low- and high-speed corners two straights and some difficult Yet by the end of the pit lane the 1098 R has shocked you its violent thrust, the 1,198cc (the name’s the same, the new) stabbing and punching every nuance of throttle.

On the the midrange torque is obscene, so much muscle that in third gear the bike lift the front wheel on the alone. Pirelli fitted of its track compound Diablo Corsa tyres for our test, the as the 1098 R’s stock aside from having a compound, and these were As always with Ducati the deep, booming exhaust and almost lazy delivery are in reality, the bike is blisteringly

The traction control has eight ranging from early designed for safety more speed, to a full-race level one lets the rear tyre just enough to steer the without spitting the rider the Armco. I tried level and revelled in the confidence and performance it You can just open the throttle and let the electronics get on with it, exactly as WSB and MotoGP riders do, which is no surprise as the 1098 R’s is the same.

More inexperienced riders most from the earliest as it banishes that fear of traction while leant hard that wimps-out throttle use in corners. Track day will do best to experiment level four, then to the faster ones with at which point nothing, but will beat them out of But everyone will battle the mental barriers screaming do it as you try to turn the twistgrip wide your knee on the deck.

The is hugely sophisticated, measuring gentle creep rather outright spin on the lower while looking at the throttle gear selected, front and wheel speeds and taking account of the wheel-speed changes undergo as they change — the rolling diameter of the reduces as a bike leans. It allows the bike to wheelie, from the mathematics that the wheel is slowing because in the air.

You could see it as a downside that DTS be used on the road (it’s activated by the race ECU), as the first retards the ignition to power, then with throttle openings cuts sparks altogether, which send unburnt fuel to the exhaust catalyst and ruin it. But if riding that fast on the the catalysts would outlast you

The rest of the bike is phenomenal. The is the highest specification Öhlins, a new twin tube rear with reduced static while the brakes are the fierce Monoblocs that have scaring standard 1098 for the last year. If the bike has a on the track it’s that the tank is hard to grip your knees when hard, throwing a lot of weight your arms, which becomes tiring.

But it’s the whole feel of the that really impresses this is pure race twitchy, agile, bar shaking and responsive to the most sensitive absolutely alive in your and razor sharp. On the road it be too lively, although it should be to calm the steering with suspension adjustments, so really is first a track-day machine and bike, second a street That’s why the 1098’s irritants as the tiny fuel tank enlarged on the 1098 R to 3.4 gallons), mirrors and extreme riding no longer matter — on the R part of its performance purity.

no more at your missed RR order; the 1098 R offers the race track experience the seductive temperament of a high-performance on top of which comes that traction control. And it’s not a edition, in any sense.

Ducati R [tech/spec]

Price/availability: £24,000 on the road; on now. Contact: Ducati UK, 1222996 (www.ducatiuk.com )

Engine/transmission: V-twin four-… with valves; 178bhp at 9,750rpm, ft of torque at 7,750rpm. Six-speed chain final drive. top speed: 180mph (est), fuel consumption n/a.

We Engine, looks, handling, sound, traction control

We like: Narrow tank braking hard work

Ducati Desmosedici RR, £40,000 the video on Telegraph TV). 1098 S, £13,995. MV Agusta F4 £14,750.

Ducati Superbike 1098 R Bayliss Limited Edition
Ducati Superbike 1098 R Bayliss Limited Edition
Ducati Superbike 1098 R Bayliss Limited Edition
Ducati Superbike 1098 R Bayliss Limited Edition

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