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Ducati 1198 Sports Motorbike Review

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Ducati 1198S- gorgeous
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MCN overall verdict rating is 4

Nobody else has a 168bhp V-twin on its books, complete with traction control, Ohlins suspension, data-recording etc, and if they did it’d probably cost more than the £14,750 Ducati 1198S. And there’s a good chance it wouldn’t have the same devastating performance all wrapped up in a chassis that has more character than Lord Of the Rings’ Gandalf. This is truly one of those motorcycles that everybody should be allowed to ride once in their life for the experience of riding the best V-twin ever made.

Engine

MCN rating rating is 5
Owners' rating rating is 5

Figures are just figures even when Ducati claim 168bhp, but whatever figure we find smearing the rear Pirelli tyre, rest assured this engine is one serious powerhouse. 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.
The gearbox is sweeter than sugared almonds, and the lump doesn’t vibrate anywhere near as bad as you would think a mighty V-twin should.

Ride and Handling

MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 5

Since the original 1098, all of Ducati’s superbike range now feels more Japanese to ride – plenty of room behind the bars, standard seat-to-bar-to-peg dimensions etc. This bike is designed for fast flowing corners and consequently struggles to stay on line in the tightest of tight corners, but as the ride height and suspension are fully adjustable it just needs time and care to get the ride geared towards the rider.

Equipment

MCN rating rating is 5
Owners' rating rating is 4

For your money you get Ohlins road and track forks and rear shock (choice), a traction control system that is 8-way level adjustable (brilliant), facility to record, download and replay throttle postion, speed, gear, traction control activity and so on. There’s a lot to be said for the race-spec Brembo front brakes and it would be all good.

Ducati 1198S (2008-2011)

Detail Value
New price £17,250
Dealer used prices
£8,700 (2009) - £11,000 (2010)
Private used prices
£7,830 (2009) - £9,900 (2010)
  View full used price info
Engine size 1198 cc
Power 168 bhp
Top speed 185 mph
Insurance group 17 of 17
  MCN ratings Owners' ratings
Overall rating is 4 rating is 4
Engine rating is 5 rating is 5
Ride & Handling rating is 4 rating is 5
Equipment rating is 5 rating is 4
Quality & Reliability rating is 4 rating is 4
Value rating is 4 rating is 4

Quality and Reliability

MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 4

Several centuries of V-twin production should mean Ducati has reliability issues well and truly tucked in the rafters. Obviously the bike has a serious amount of electronic aids, but even so electrics are not a big issue with Ducati since a revamp of its working methods over the past four years.

Value

MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 4

Considering the 2009 1198S is essentially the £24,000 2008 homologation special Ducati 1098R but with a price tag of just under 15-grand, it’s a bargain. The standard 1198 with out all the gizmos is over £11k, so think how much more it (or any modern bike come to that) would cost to get it to the same spec. Find a Ducati 1198S for sale.

Insurance

Insurance group: 17 of 17

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Model History

2006: the 999 series is reinvented to the all new stunning 1098 range.
2006: 1098 base model, 160bhp
2006: 1098S, 160bhp, Ohlins suspension, datalog facility
2008:1098R, race-ready special, sand cast engine cases, titanium conrods,180bhp, Ohlins suspension, race exhaust and modified ECU supplied
2008: 1098 Tricolour, 160bhp, red/white/green paint, gold frame, race exhaust and modified ECU supplied

Other Versions

There is a base level version imaginatively entitled 1198. It has the same engine and output figures, but no traction control, datalog, Ohlins suspension and fancy MotoGP replica wheels. A great bike in itself all the same.

Specifications

Top speed 185 mph
1/4-mile acceleration 9.75 secs
Max power 168 bhp
Max torque 97 ft-lb
Weight 169 kg
Seat height 820 mm
Fuel capacity 15.5 litres
Average fuel consumption mpg
Tank range miles
Annual road tax
Insurance group 17 of 17
Engine size 1198 cc
Engine specification Liquid-cooled, 8v Desmodromic, 90° V-twin four-stroke. Six gears
Frame Tubular steel trellis
Front suspension adjustment Rebound and compression damping,
Rear suspension adjustment Rebound and compression damping, spring preload
Front brakes 2 x 330 discs with 4-piston Mononbloc calipers
Rear brake 245mm disc with two-piston caliper
Front tyre size 120/70 x 17
Rear tyre size 190/55 x 17

See all Ducati 1198 motorcycles for sale

Ducati
1198

9500 miles

£8,450

Ducati
1198

4087 miles

£8,999

Ducati
1198

6840 miles

£9,495

Ducati
1198

14200 miles

£8,425

Ducati
1198

9000 miles

£8,500

Owners' Overall Rating rating is 4(3 reviews)

  • 21st century v twin

    H2pots

    Average rating rating is 4

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    I've been riding v twins for quite a few year now (rsv mille, sp2) and bought a 1198 this year. The big duke really is light years ahead of anything i've had before. Acceleration when using all the revs from second gear can only be decribed as ferocious and trying to keep the front wheel on the deck is impossible. The engine is stunning with power all through the revs, as with all big twins there is a big lump of torque lower down and firing out of corners is great. The handling light, responsive and forgiving with a front end like nothing i've ever ridden, so much feedback. The brakes are 4 pot radial brembo's up front, we all know how good they are, two finger braking is enough to have your eyeballs popping out. For a race rep the comfort is surprisingly good, it's by no means a sports tourer though and motorway miles take their toll on your wrists but you don't buy a 1198 for touring do you??? The looks of the bike are by far the best in the class (in my biased opinion) with not a bad angle to see. the only bike that comes close in looks is the mv agusta f4. Overall the Duacti 1198 is a superb performance motorcycle that will excite you as soon as you open the garage door. As MCN say, everybody should experience one of these bikes once in their life.

    21 June 2010

  • 1198S

    gmengelk

    Average rating rating is 4.5

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    Absolutely perfect bike. Every detail (from brakes to frame to engine) is great and has its own character which one enjoys and appreciates through time.

    15 April 2010

  • My 2009 1198

    topendz

    Average rating rating is 4

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    I've had my white 1198 for about 9 months. It's winter now so the bike was put away 2 months ago with 12,000km on it. It's served me well so far with the only issue being a leaking radiator at the top left hard mounting point. This is a common issue with a large percentage of 1098/1198 bikes. It's failed to start a couple of times due to the flaky antenna for the imobilizer, wiggle the antenna and it seems to fix itself. Other than that is has been bullet proof so far. I don't baby it and wrote it for 15 solid hours from Toronto to Deals Gap this summer. I'll report back on season 2.

    03 February 2010

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