Product Reviews: Ducati 1098/1198: The Superbike Redefined: | Motorcycles catalog with specifications, pictures, ratings, reviews and discusssions

Product Reviews: Ducati 1098/1198: The Superbike Redefined:

12 May 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on Product Reviews: Ducati 1098/1198: The Superbike Redefined:
Ducati Superbike 1098

This review is from: Ducati 1098/1198: The Superbike Redefined (Hardcover)

This is a sequel to the author’s earlier work (with Alan Cathcart), Ducati 999: Birth of a Legend, which covered the evolution of the predecessor to the recent 1098/1198 sportbike leaders in the Ducati lineup, now superseded by the Panigale. The 1098/1198 was a radical step forward for Ducati in power, torque and weight, thus ‘redefining’ the sport motorcycle and creating the book’s theme. It was as radical a departure for Ducati as the beautiful 916, and replaced the 999, a machine that many considered an exercise in ugly that was completely atypical of the Bologna manufacturer.

Marc Cook, a highly experienced motojournalist with excellent credentials and uncommon skills, is clearly the ‘go to’ guy for publisher David Bull when considering Ducati as a subject. Bull’s over-all business model is effective: feed hard-core enthusiasts for specific makes and models of car and motorcycle, and iconic figures, books that are beautifully produced, slathered in detail, great photographs, quotations of key individuals. the heart and soul of the matter.

In the case of the two Ducati books, it’s like an intimate, guided tour of the factory, including time spent with all the key individuals involved. Bull’s GSX-R book was similarly motivated and executed.

Few significant details of the 1098/1198 are left uncovered. Cook starts logically by analyzing Ducati’s basic business, showing that the 1098 (as it started out, before SBK rules permitted a capacity increase) formed the basis for Bologna’s sales growth and became its flagship machine.

He also shows, through interviews with CEO Gabriele del Torchio and product-development manager Claudio Domenicali, how Ducati had to rationalize its product line and reduce the number of models to manage the proliferation of SKUs. Interesting stuff, presented thoughtfully.

He moves on to analyze the styling exercise, the development of the over-all motorcycle, the engine with its greatly enhanced performance, the frame (which he, like some other writers, calls a ‘chassis,’ a designation more suitable for cars), riding impressions (including material on the great Troy Bayliss), and a detailed comparison of the 1098 vs. the 1198R. This is material that could only have been obtained through close cooperation with the manufacturer.

By now Cook no doubt has an employee badge, a room set aside for him at the local inn, a permanent table of his own at several trattorias and a string of Italian lovelies at his beck and call. Lucky man.

Cook devotes an entire chapter to the 848, a motorcycle that many sensible riders consider preferable to the 1098/1198 unless you’re racing in SBK. On the highway, the 848 is a more balanced, accessible machine that delivers less power and torque but does so in a much more manageable way.

The 848 does not generate the occasional omigod-I’m-about-to-die sensation delivered by modern Superbikes, not just the 1098/1198, when ridden near their limits on highways occupied by walls, fences and other vehicles, vs. the much safer track. He concludes with a chapter on the manufacture of the motorcycles and a brief epilogue.

Ducati Superbike 1098

The photographs and illustrations are magnificent, worth the price of the book alone, and include CAE (Computer Aided Engineering) images of various core components. The index is detailed and useful. Missing, sadly, are power and torque curves, an absence about which this reviewer whined in the case of the 999 book. This is, for the genuine aficionado, a serious omission that is mystifying to the serious reader.

Ducatisti want to know but David Bull does not tell us.

In sum, Cook has done it again, indeed has exceeded his earlier effort with the 999. This is an irresistible book for any 1098/1198/848 owner, or for any of the numerous Ducatisti who revere this iconic marque. It shows that Ducati is not just another motorcycle manufacturer but a wonderful idea created by passionate Italians (with help from some auslanders) that takes root in the hearts and minds of enthusiasts.

All the book lacks is a CD or DVD that would convey the magnificent Ducati v-twin rumble, preferably through race pipes. Now Cook has to go back to Bologna and do the job on the Panigale, and include power/torque data. They’re waiting for him.

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Ducati Superbike 1098

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