There’s no question the 1198 SP’s brilliant 170bhp motor is a thing of dynamic and sonic brilliance, but it’s on the verge of being too grunty for its own good. In the lower gears all it wants to do is wheelie when you’re hard on the throttle, which sounds like a good thing, but in practical terms it’s not. On tight tracks and roads it can be hard work feathering the throttle and clambering over the front end to keep the front wheel down, especially between corners. With the Ducati Traction Control (DTC) on a high (intrusive) setting, wheelies make the DTC cut the power abruptly. For most riding conditions we prefer the power characteristics of the smaller-engined 848 Evo.