Ducati 848 EVO vs. Suzuki GSX-R750 vs. Triumph Daytona 675R- Road Tests

11 Jun 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on Ducati 848 EVO vs. Suzuki GSX-R750 vs. Triumph Daytona 675R- Road Tests

Ducati 848 EVO

Big Mids – Comparison Test Ducati 848 EVO vs. Suzuki GSX-R750 vs. Triumph Daytona 675R.

A 749cc inline-Four, an 849cc 90-degree V-Twin and a 675cc inline-Triple: One wag described this comparison as the “apples and oranges shootout.”

But the Ducati goes slightly downmarket for the Italian company with its $12,995 848 EVO in matte-black “dark stealth” trim, while running with the Triumph Daytona 675 and 600cc Fours in the AMA’s Daytona SportBike class. Triumph took the upmarket direction with its new-for-’11 R model (with Öhlins suspension, better brakes and a quickshifter), putting this Daytona’s $11,995 price at the top of the 600-ish range. Meanwhile, the new Suzuki GSX-R750 shares its chassis with a 600 but costs only slightly more with a price tag of $11,999.

So, while these three machines may be different fruit, they also make up the-bigger-than-a-600, smaller-than-a-1000 sportbike class, with a price-range variation less than within the 600 or Open categories themselves. As with the other bikes in this sportbike comparison festival, we spooned on Metzeler Racetec K3 Interacts to level the gripping field, and off we went to road and track to find out which is the fruitiest—or at least the best.

Ducati 848 EVO

Ducati’s been working hard to bring the 848 down into the price range of its competitors, and this all-black version helps. It really can be cheaper to paint or anodize parts matte black than other colors. The “EVO” engine was leaned on for 2011, with a retuning (hotter cams, higher compression and new throttle bodies) bringing claimed peak power up an additional 6 horses.

On the CW dyno, it laid down a 119-hp run, with strong torque between 3000 and 4000 rpm that dips slightly around 5000 and then soars smoothly to a 9000-rpm torque peak. Max power is reached just 500 rpm before the 11,000-rpm rev limit.

Ducati 848 EVO

Not only does the 848 EVO look seriously techno-menacing in its flat-black trim, the riding position is similarly dedicated. The V-Twin is as narrow between the knees as a motocrosser, if not more so. Footpegs are high, bars are low and forward—you have to support the most weight on your arms when riding this bike in anything but a full tuck.

Even on cool riding days, heat began to seep from under the fairing and seat onto the rider’s legs. On the street, the Ducati was planted and confidence-inspiring, with powerful brakes, cool looks, a torquey engine and a riding position that had thumb joints protesting after 20 minutes of city riding.

On the tight Inde circuit, the essential Ducati character of the 848 EVO came out. Designated fast guy Mark Cernicky praised the engine: “It makes great power, almost like a Four. Most Twins, you have to use the midrange, but this Ducati actually revs out—there’s a surge on top if you run it all the way to redline.” But at the same time, Cernicky had to adapt his riding style to the chassis: “The steering is heavy, and it takes muscle on transitions. With the low bars, it really works your upper body: It’s like doing pushups when you’re on the brakes.”

The new Brembo Monobloc front brakes, too, have brand-specific character. Ducati has the lightest brake-lever forces among most sportbikes, and it’s very easy to overbrake when you first start riding one.

Cernicky was a bit shocked when his 1:56.05 lap time on the Ducati was more than a half-second off his times on the Suzuki; he would have sworn he was going faster on the very direct and sharp-feeling 848.

Ducati 848 EVO
Ducati 848 EVO
Ducati 848 EVO
Ducati 848 EVO
Ducati 848 EVO
Ducati 848 EVO

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