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Ducati 1098 Sports Motorbike Review

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MCN overall verdict rating is 5

Ducati is back to its decadent best with the exotic, reassuringly expensive new 1098R. Built in limited numbers so the Italian firm can race it WSB, the 1098R forms the basis of their F08 factory racer. In fact, never has the road bike and the racer been so close, thanks to ever tightening rules in the World Championship. Aside from different pistons and a smattering of detail changes the 1099R is exactly the same as the bike Troy Bayliss will ride this year. The 1098R is incredibly rapid, thanks to its new 1200cc engine, and its party piece is its full traction control system, the first time such a system has ever been fitted to a road bike. The DTC (Ducati Traction Control) is just like one used on Ducati’s factory Superbike and MotoGP machine.


Watch the first ride of Ducati's 1098R



MCN rating rating is 5
Owners' rating rating is 5

What a masterpiece! Compared to the 1098, the engine is lighter, stronger and has a bigger bore and stroke, taking the capacity up to 1198.4cc, bang on the WSB limit for twin-cylinder machines. Peak power is 180bhp, which rises to 186bhp with the carbon fibre racing Termis and race ECU fitted (supplied). This makes the 1098R the most powerful production V-twin ever produced. Torque is a staggering 99.1ftlb, which gives the Ducati the best torque to weight ratio of any road bike. Compared to the standard 1098 or 1098S the ‘R’ is an animal. It’s almost impossible to keep the front wheel on the floor in the first three gears and it keeps on pulling hard for as long as the road or track allows. Throttle response from the twin-injector fuel-injection system is perfect.

Ride and Handling

MCN rating rating is 5
Owners' rating rating is 5

With its new fully adjustable TTX twin-tube Ohlins rear shock and 43mm forks the Ducati’s ride quality is superb. The suspension action is plush while still offering up lots of control when the tyres are loaded up during cornering, acceleration and braking. The riding position is unapologetically racy with high-set pegs and low clip-ons, the slim-line fuel tank helps you move around the bike with ease on track, but doesn’t give you anything to grip onto when the ferocious Monobloc Brembo radial caliper brakes are applied. You just have to hang on for dear life.


MCN rating rating is 5
Owners' rating rating is 5
Loaded with all the usual goodies you expect from a limited edition Ducati, the 1098R comes with a carbon bellypan, tank infils and front mudguard. There’s the Ohlins suspension and steering damper, Marchesini forged aluminium wheels, single-sided swingarm, an on-board datalogging system, MotoGP replica dash…the list goes on. The piece de resistance, of course is the traction control system. With the race pipes and ECU fitted the traction control is enabled and you’ve got eight modes to choose from. On setting ‘eight’ there’s full-on traction and on number ‘one’ the system allows a fair degree of wheelspin. We tried the system on the track at the launch in Jerez and was blown away with how good it was. Once the system kicks in the ignition retards and it feels like you’ve run into a rev-limiter. On the number ‘eight’ setting we reckon it would be impossible to highside!

Ducati 1098R (2008-2011)

Detail Value
New price £24,000
Dealer used prices
£8,040 (2008) - £9,960 (2009)
Private used prices
£7,240 (2008) - £8,970 (2009)
  View full used price info
Engine size 1198 cc
Power 180 bhp
Top speed 185 mph
Insurance group 17 of 17
  MCN ratings Owners' ratings
Overall rating is 5 rating is 5
Engine rating is 5 rating is 5
Ride & Handling rating is 5 rating is 5
Equipment rating is 5 rating is 5
Quality & Reliability rating is 5 rating is 5
Value rating is 5 rating is 5

Quality and Reliability

MCN rating rating is 5
Owners' rating rating is 5

This is a limited edition motorcycle built to racing standards, so build quality is beyond question. Remarkably it has the same service intervals as the standard 1098, which, thanks to the increase of the quality and reliability of components is far longer than the old 999 and 916-range of bikes.


MCN rating rating is 5
Owners' rating rating is 5

£24,000 for a motorcycle can never be called good value for money, but in a way it is. The 1098R represents the most technologically advanced sportsbikes ever built and most importantly serves the role of bedroom wall dream bike. Not since the demise of the old 998R has a Ducati been so lusted after, until now, because riding the 1098R is every bit as good as you dream it would be. A truly sensational machine. Find a Ducati 1098R for sale.


Insurance group: 17 of 17

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Model History

2008: Ducati 1098R launched.

Other Versions



Top speed 185 mph
1/4-mile acceleration 9.27 secs
Max power 180 bhp
Max torque 99 ft-lb
Weight 165 kg
Seat height 820 mm
Fuel capacity 15.5 litres
Average fuel consumption 34 mpg
Tank range 100 miles
Annual road tax
Insurance group 17 of 17
Engine size 1198 cc
Engine specification 8-valve, V-twin
Frame Tubular steel trellis
Front suspension adjustment Fully-adjustable
Rear suspension adjustment Fully-adjustable
Front brakes 2 x 330mm discs
Rear brake 245mm disc
Front tyre size 120/70 17 in
Rear tyre size 190/55 17 in

See all Ducati 1098 motorcycles for sale


20486 miles



8355 miles



12000 miles



8200 miles



6000 miles


Owners' Overall Rating rating is 5(1 review)

  • Awesome and the rest


    Average rating rating is 5

    Show Details

    Ride and Handling
    Quality and Reliabilty

    Words couldn't explain how good this bike is. Okay I will write a review.

    06 September 2008


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I am a middle-age rider. I started with a Vespa 50cc at the age of 14. I then owned SWM, Benelli, Morini, Honda, Yamaha and several Ducati. From a 748 to a Monster SR4, a Multistrada 100SDS (which I still have) to the magic 1098R...

I'm too old and too kill myself doing something that my brain is not programmed to do, or my physical condition of a 46yr old sedentary job person. Nevertheless what I get out of this bike is unique. It's faultless. Adrenaline pumps in fast when I'm on it. Emotions, music, excitment complete the experience.

I am not intending to to win any race. I ride the pace I feel comfortable at and push the limits further every time I ride. It's enough for me. We're getting to know each other fast and it's been love at first sight.

When I then am too old to face the ageless power of this secret lover of mine, it'll stay in my garage for ever.

31 December 2009 14:01



One of Ducatis finest moments

Handles like a 250 and pulls like the vicars daughter. Just make sure to live in a country with corners.


25 July 2009 12:03



Beautiful and Extreme

I got this bike a year ago in Canada. I was completely sold on the hype having had a cbr600rr for years before and as my main track toy, this was quite a step up and one I certainly wasn't ready for. This is not an easy bike to ride and we all know litre class bikes are out of the league of most people who ride them. Well if this is the case then this bike is surpasses all that. Forget about it as a road bike for the occasional track day, you'll be wholly dissapointed  - it sucks round town (heats too easy and you can't sit on it)  and is lethal on highways unless you get the extended mirrors and have the nerve to suffer that 'ducati' wobble when in the jet-stream of an 18 wheeler. On the track it is exquisite..the power and torque is come out of corners thinking, 'ill take this easy because i'm cautious of the power, and , at 160kmh - the front wheel still comes up.  And as for traction control, its like business class, once you've tried it you never ever want to go back.

In terms of reliability the bike has been back four times in twelve months - and we don't ride in the winter here. That's four times more than the three CBRs I've had..Stupid things, fan breaking, no charging ( hard to bump start with slipper clutch), suspension issues, not fully resolved (making a noise but should be OK on the track! - sez Ducati). And you dare not park this bike anywhere for fear of it being lifted.

So I sold it. My love affair with Ducati, this being the first I one i owned, was over. It was fun while it lasted but all that kinky crap dies off after a few months and you are left wishing you could simply spend more time with it. The best bits of a 1098R are now on the that makes for a more realistic option. Its certainly better suited to Britains winding, smooth roads than the potholed straight lines of Quebec

I now know 'why' in essence, people love Ducatis, in the same way people love Ferraris. The 1098R is a truly legendary machine but not for mere mortals so ask yourself if you have the cash for an ornament you dare not leave out of your sight and will never even come close to realising it's potential OR do you want to ride?


29 June 2009 03:24




I just read this review and noticed no 1098R owner has put a review up on the site. At first i took out a 1098s for a few times to see how good the bike was and to understand what the reviews were saying about this bike. Okay, the bike was amazing and then i heard that in 2008 Ducati were looking to bring out a R version so they could race them in the BSB. I waited and collected my 1098R a few months ago. I have to say that this bike isn't a 1098, it's something completely different. Its like someone has secretly done something to this bike and tried to cover it up, its kind of suspicious in a way. I can't fault this bike, you think you are getting to know it and all of a sudden you get a punch from Mike Tyson and you realise you are riding something special. Save, borrow, steal, do whatever you need to do to own this bike, i did and its amazing.

06 September 2008 20:55

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