DUCATI 1198S (2008-2011) Review

Published: 12 December 2008

One of those motorcycles that everybody should be allowed to ride once

Ducati 1198S- gorgeous

One of those motorcycles that everybody should be allowed to ride once

  • At a glance
  • 1198cc  -  168 bhp
  • 33 mpg  -  135 miles range
  • Medium seat height (820mm)

Overall Rating 4 out of 5

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.

Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 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.

Engine 5 out of 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.

Build Quality & Reliability 4 out of 5

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 & Running Costs 4 out of 5

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 group: 17 of 17 – compare motorcycle insurance quotes now.

Equipment 5 out of 5

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.

Owners' Reviews

4 owners have reviewed their DUCATI 1198S (2008-2011) and rated it in a number of areas. Read what they have to say and what they like and dislike about the bike below.

We’re currently improving the way this section works, which means we’ve had to suspend the submission of new owners’ reviews for a short period. Please check back soon.

Summary of Owners' Reviews
Overall Rating 4.5 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 4.3 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 4.3 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
5 out of 5

Awesome

12 September 2014 by ivoruren

I've had my 1198 since 2010 . It's awesome I've done over 20,000 miles on it.The only downside is the fuel capacity. It doesn't do many miles before the fuel light comes on.But I've riiden it to Mugello and back, over 3600 miles in ten days and it's... Read more a great bike for long trips. 5250 revs 100 mph.Easy cruising. The other problem was rubbish main dealer sevicing ! Eventually took the bike to a specialist and he found lots of things that were NEVER done by the main dealer. So, don't believe what everyone syas That "You must get a Ducati with full history" I think One tha's been looked after by it's owner or specialist serviced is far far better.It's the most torquy bike around and has got MASSIVE mid range grunt.

Overall Rating 5 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 5 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
4 out of 5

21st century v twin

21 June 2010 by H2pots

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... Read more 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.

Overall Rating 4 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 4 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 4 out of 5
Equipment 3 out of 5
5 out of 5

1198S

15 April 2010 by gmengelk

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. Read more

Overall Rating 5 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 4 out of 5
Equipment 5 out of 5
4 out of 5

My 2009 1198

03 February 2010 by topendz

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... Read more 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.

Overall Rating 4 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 3 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 4 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
Read all 4 owners' reviews in full

Facts & Figures

Model info
Year introduced 2008
Year discontinued 2011
Original price £17,250
Warranty term (when new) Two year unlimited mileage
Running costs
Insurance group 17 of 17
Annual road tax £80
Annual service cost -
Performance
Max power 168 bhp
Max torque 97 ft-lb
Top speed 185 mph
1/4-mile acceleration 9.75 secs
Average fuel consumption 33 mpg
Tank range 135 miles
Specification
Engine size 1198cc
Engine type Liquid-cooled, 8v Desmodromic, 90° V-twin four-stroke. Six gears
Frame type Tubular steel trellis
Fuel capacity 15.5 litres
Seat height 820mm
Bike weight 169kg
Front suspension Rebound and compression damping,
Rear suspension Rebound and compression damping, spring preload
Front brake 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

History & Versions

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.

Photo Gallery

  • Ducati 1198S- gorgeous
  • Ducati 1198S- serious powerhouse
  • Ducati 1198S- best in fast flowing corners
  • Ducati 1198S- fully adjustable suspension
  • Ducati 1198S- feels more Japanese to ride
  • Ducati 1198S- plent of room behind the bars
  • Ducati 1198S and Bayliss
  • Ducati 1198S- big lean
  • Ducati 1198S- Ducati claim 168bhp
  • Ducati 1198S- complete with traction control
  • Ducati 1198S- more character than Gandalf
  • Ducati 1198S- Ohlins suspension
  • Ducati 1198S- black side view
  • Ducati 1198S- red side view
  • Ducati 1198S- black rear three quarters
  • Ducati 1198S- black front view
  • Ducati 1198S- gorgeous
  • Ducati 1198S- serious powerhouse
  • Ducati 1198S- best in fast flowing corners
  • Ducati 1198S- fully adjustable suspension
  • Ducati 1198S- feels more Japanese to ride
  • Ducati 1198S- plent of room behind the bars
  • Ducati 1198S and Bayliss
  • Ducati 1198S- big lean
  • Ducati 1198S- Ducati claim 168bhp
  • Ducati 1198S- complete with traction control
  • Ducati 1198S- more character than Gandalf
  • Ducati 1198S- Ohlins suspension
  • Ducati 1198S- black side view
  • Ducati 1198S- red side view
  • Ducati 1198S- black rear three quarters
  • Ducati 1198S- black front view