DUCATI 748 (1994-2003) Review

Published: 22 November 2006

Few motorcycles match its simple, gorgeous curves

DUCATI 748  (1994-2003)

Few motorcycles match its simple, gorgeous curves

Overall Rating 3 out of 5

The Ducati 748  is nearly identical to the iconic Ducati 916 but with a smaller engine (and narrower rear wheel). That means sublime handling on smooth surfaces, terrible comfort, high running costs and a feel-good experience most other motorcycles can’t touch. Few motorcycles match the simple, gorgeous curves of the Ducati 748.

Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 5

The Ducati 748's stability mid corner is phenomenal. It’s a motorcycle that makes fast cornering seem slower like the CGI scenes in a Hollywood action movie - that’s the magic of a great chassis. On a bumpy road or commuting through town, you’ll curse the tall first gear, stiff suspension and crippling wrist heavy riding position the Ducati 748 offers.

Engine 3 out of 5

For a 750cc sports motorcycle from Ducati, it’s not that fast. Around 90 genuine bhp at the rear wheel is less than a Kawasaki Z750. The power the 748 does produce it delivers in a satisfying, torquey manner which makes the most of the motorcycle's available grip. Vibration’s through pegs and bars are present but never intrusive.

Build Quality & Reliability 2 out of 5

Bought new and maintained by experts with a money-no-object approach problems might still arise with the 748. Get an abused motorcycle or skimp on maintenance and four figure bills could become reality. Check cam belt changes have been done and be aware rocker arms can fail.

Insurance, running costs & value 3 out of 5

Yes, you can get a faster motorcycle for less money. You can get a more reliable motorcycle for less money. You can also get a more practical motorcycle for less money. But you’d be hard pushed to find anything with the charisma, cachet and feel good factor as an early Ducati 748. A cherished, low mileage Ducati 748 will only appreciate in value. Find a Ducati 748 for sale.

Insurance group: 16 of 17 – compare motorcycle insurance quotes now.

Equipment 2 out of 5

The Ducati 748 scores a fat zero for luxury – but this is a race motorcycle on the road. Mirrors are terrible, comfort’s poor for most sizes of bikers – at least the instruments are clear and the fast idle beautifully crafted. Termignoni silencers (with the matching EPROM chip) are the top choice for the Ducati 748 and worth paying more for. Ducati paddock stands and dust covers add to the special feeling when you see this motorcycle in your garage.

Owners' Reviews

34 owners have reviewed their DUCATI 748 (1994-2003) and rated it in a number of areas. Read what they have to say and what they like and dislike about the bike below.

Review your DUCATI 748 (1994-2003)
Summary of Owners' Reviews
Overall Rating 4.7 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4.7 out of 5
Engine 4.5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 3.9 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 4.6 out of 5
Equipment 3.6 out of 5
4 out of 5

Stone's thoughts on the Ducati 748 SP

01 August 2016 by James Stone

Stunning looks, hairs stand on the bike of your neck when firing it up and it draw's attention every where I take it, for most its a child hood hero bike! My video review - https://youtu.be/3Jp7HnYa4Fw

Ride Quality & Brakes
4 out of 5
Feels & sounds so special, on a back road I'm hard pushed to find a bike I enjoy more in my collection but at the same time if your stuck in traffic for more than 5 minutes it certainly puts a downer on the trip as your wrists are destroyed from the aggressive riding position and heavy clutch.
Engine
4 out of 5
The sound and the way it picks up at 8,000 rpm never fails to put a smile on my face, even more so when it pops & cracks on the over run (Termi's as standard on the SP model)
Build Quality & Reliability
3 out of 5
Given the age and it being Italian it is really well put together upon taking it apart for the big cambelt service recently but the electrical connections/ loom do let it down compared to the Japanese superbikes of the 90's. Stripping it down is a matter of seconds with the quick release fairings!
Value & Running Costs
2 out of 5
The biggest downer on owning a Ducati is the Cambelt interval service.. Its not the worst job but compared to a chain driven camshaft it does make you wonder if it was simply a money making scheme. Another thing to keep an eye out for is the rocker arm plating failing, symptoms of this can be seen in the strainer when servicing.
Equipment
2 out of 5
You get a speedo, rev counter, fuel light oh and some grey foam surrounding it all... yes its basic but what more do you need with that sound track
Buying experience

So far nothing unexpected, washing it with a pressure washer is best avoided with the electrics

5 out of 5

I'll never sell this bike

30 June 2016 by MB

I need to dispel the reliability myth. I've owned mine since 2000, used commuting in London, road trips to Ireland, France (every year), Belgium, Lux, Germany. Numerous track days. It has never let me down. Servicing is a touch pricey. I have it serviced by an indie specialist which keeps prices tolerable. But in all that time I have not needed to replace anything beyond normal consumables. It even had the original 1999 battery in it until recently and still started on the button every time. It's certainly not the most comfortable bike out there but it is still sublime to ride, not ideal for commuting but it is so small and narrow that cheeky little filtering manoeuvres are possible. And it is still the best looking bike ever made. Just seeing it parked in my garage gives a warm feeling.

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

748R the joy

24 December 2015 by ManxKarl

This is my Second 748, had Biposto in 2003 and loved it but sold it with regret. Picked up my R in mint condition in 2012, yes its an old bike and a bugger to ride slow. but when you open it up and hear it scream at 130+ mph you understand why you own one. Its the most beautiful bike to look at from every angle and becoming like hens teeth.

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
When ridden fast and hard, a 2 around town
Engine
5 out of 5
sublime
Build Quality & Reliability
4 out of 5
Keep it serviced every year and run it up every weekend . its not a jap bike it needs TLC
Value & Running Costs
3 out of 5
-
Equipment
4 out of 5
its an old bike but with all the gear of its day
Buying experience

don't buy one unless its clean and has service bills.

4 out of 5

Something about it.

05 July 2014 by Anonymous

Bought on a whim and used as a commuter. Was it a smart move? Nope. But do I regret it? Not at all. The bikes not comfortable, its engine's aggressive and unforgiving in town. Its got no rider assists and its high maintenance but my god, what a bike. Its at home on twisty open roads as its a precision cornering machine. It will not like you if you bring it into town where you'll hear it grumble and spit angrily through its pipes. Its dry 'clink clink clink' clutch acts as a reminder that you shouldnt be stationary. Throwing it around town is easy enough but be warned its got a turning circle of a bus. If you're not ready with the clutch, if it stalls randomly the rear will lock and bring you down. More points to be aware of is its high maintenance and if you skimp on it it'll bite back. So why buy a bike like this? Well you'll have to test one to understand. I think the Italians were trying to design biking perfection and they go pretty close, be it at a high maintenance cost.

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

I Smile

25 January 2014 by Elton Alwine

And perhaps that's why I rate this bike so high, it makes me smile, time and again. It's vastly underpowered compared to even the 600s of the same era, but I feel confident while turning that I am in control, hence the lean angles become sharper, and I smile. I simply enjoy riding this motorcycle, even though it was the 916 I was always after. Due to several thousands of dollars discount I opted for the identical 748. I no longer had any patience to save up the rest of the summer - and so life with a 748, and it's good. I will be either installing an 853cc kit or a 916/996 motor when one presents itself. I've traveled extensively on the 748, a 1200-mile round trip to Indy for MotoGP and back summer 2013 and I was comfy for an hourly stint before I needed to stretch; I'm 6' so maybe that tells you something about the diminutive yet capable ergonomics? I was able to simply slide back in the saddle, rest my girth on the fuel tank, relax my elbows and carry on. Remarkable. When speaking of Ducati it is almost obligatory to mention servicing, and I would caution everyone owning one to strictly adhere to the service intervals. I change belts religiously at 6k miles, and inspect valvetrain at 12k. Expensive, but the only way to ensure reliability. My most enduring memory (however fresh) of this motorcycle is the rush of excitement I would swell with after the aforementioned long journey home from Indy once the mountain roads opened up into twisty, tight elevation changing passes. Smiles abound! One of the most amazing road bikes I've ridden.

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

if you have seen it, it's already too late!

23 August 2012 by max748

If you look at this bike in a way that is at all sensible, you will get another bike. Tragically, I looked at this bike and all sence was knocked out of me, I had to have it! Now i do, I love it!!!! i will not get rid of it... I'll lose the house paying the extreme running costs before I let this bike go.

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

Track bike through and through

31 May 2011 by JohnPierre

Ok so i've had it a year and a half and i've only had it up and down the drive. up until last week when i track dayed it. So this is purley a track bike perspective. To be honest, it would struggle to cut it as an everyday bike, i'll explain why during this review. Ok so first things first, the bike looks stunning, there is no denying that! it has been well designed dimensionaly and functionally. all the cables and parts are easy to access and beautifully manufactured (a bit like alfaromeos). On getting on the bike you will immedaitely notice the padding (or lack of) on the seat, this is emphasised by that rock hard suspension (similar to the set up i have on my race worked ZXR, thats how hard it is) the bowed seat almost forces you into an arched racing postion, my bike 'had' cam adjustable rearsets this coupled with the ride hight adjustment allowed me to set ride postion up nicely (even for a tally) the instruments are clear and nicely made with little touches of italian art to remind you your straddling a piece of exotica! Starting the bike: The key sits nicely into its slot by a recess in the tank surrounded by lush carbon. in its little hidey hole it stays without presenting distraction. turning the key you here the fuel pump charge the system with a powrfull buzz. clicking the fast idel on the bars is a pleasure in its own right, its beautifully made and effective. My bike starts up first time every time and doesnt splutter, choke or groan. Now, dry clutch . . . ., the bike sounds like an old spitfire on start up. to be honest i like that dry clutch rattle. but any one stood by would think your bike was knackered. if you tune your ears to listen over the rattle or just feather the cluth you can listen in to that sweet twin again bubbling over in a rythmic manner. after a few minuets you can flick off the fast idel and let the bike tick over. Pulling away: Its the first thing lee noticed, and i dont know who designed it, but that sidestand is a accident waiting to happen, its spring loaded and apparently prone to snapping. My trust in it is minimal and im over catious putting it on the stand! Once your comfy, pulling the hydraulic clutch in and pushing it into gear is very smooth, no jolting or banging. I've had hydraulic clutches on trials but never road, in a word its cracking. Putting the revs up and letting the clutch out is a task, first time you do it, you'll stall, second time, you squeel that dry clutch. once you have the knack its still a task and slow riding is never going to be achievable in fact below about 10mph is really jolty and very uncomfortable. The engine: the second best part of the bike, once your going you'll get a shock at how freely that V twin revs. and with 70ft lb of torque it pushes and pushes. now i cant help but feel an inline 4 750 would be faster, but it would lack the torque, which ultimately gives fantastic drive out of a corner. Its linear to apply which so the back wheel never tries to fight its way out on you mid turn, but then you can feel that risk ever present as it puts all 100BHP down on the track. swtiching gears is lovely and smooth and the ratios were perfect for cadwell, That clutch has a massive part to play in that. wheelying in the first 3 gears, the bike red lines at 13,000rpm, even at these crazy speeds that desmo set up makes the engine feel so repsonsive and composed (very different feel to spring assisted valves). Frame: stiff as you like, im a big fan of tubular frames. they offer fantastic mid corner composure, the down side is you get streams of feedback from the bike, too much to process some times. bottom line is handling is the bikes best feature (by a country mile) Suspension: No good for the road, its rock hard. the setup of the bike makes squatting and diving minimal. getting that mid stroke shock travel both front and rear was a fairly easy and the steering dampener helps soften some of the endless feedback. Brakes: them brembos have some immense stopping power, and i found that over taking pre corner entry on the brakes very easy and composed. the feel was progressive and certainly not aggressive. the back break was light and could be snatchy, i kept rear braking to a minimum. Overall: an awsome trackday package, tooled up to the nines to benefit a hard rider in every way. Engine outright power lacking slightly, but this is more than made up in torque. A tall order to get away with this bike on tho road, and personally I wouldnt bother unless its your 2nd weekend in july blaster. solid, composed bike with attitude, what more can you ask from ducati twins note: i had prielli diablo super corsas fitted to mine and they offered immense grib and feedback. definately a harder compound for the road. Written for my forum Read more: http://teessidebikers.proboards.com/index.cgi?board=bikereviews&action=display&thread=9093&page=1#ixzz1Nw0sUnlw

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

Wow

27 June 2010 by dazw22

I had an 848 which I had to sell to help fund a conservatory. Bit of money left at the end with which I bought my 748. I was worried about the lack of power, the brakes, weight and age after my 848. Need not have worried, yeh it's not as fast and its a bit heavy, but this bike like my 848 eats corners, stops on a sixpence and has enough power to have you grinning like a loon. Mine has a few extra's which the previous owner purchased, Leo Vinci SBK exhaust, open clutch and a few bits of carbon. So far (touch wood) she has been utterly reliable and ok servicing is dear, but what would you rather have, a beautiful Italian superbike or an anonymous Japanese inline four.

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

748r

26 March 2010 by ckrepsol

Had a 748e (loved it),then a 600rr(ok),then a zx9r(well ?). Now ive got a 748r amazing bike so much character,handling is sublime,looks amazing,noise awsome,grin factor 10

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

My Best Bike!

10 April 2009 by antz748

My 2002 748s will never be sold! Brought New and covered 31000 miles this bike has never let me down. Its spends a week in France every year and had a long hard journey to Imola and back. If your thinking of buying one, give it a go. You wont regret it.

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

Got To Have Ridden One, To Appreciate

25 March 2009 by wezfred748

What Can I say about the 748s it's absolutly fantastic, the handling of this bike is something else, i dont think i'll have anything else now other than a ducati, everything about it just oozes with class, great looks still, great handling, a good racing feel, only bad point i'd say was through town bit crampy, overall im impressed with what ive got, very rewarding.

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
-
Engine
5 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
4 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
-
Equipment
2 out of 5
-
5 out of 5

Go on... look at it!

20 March 2008 by 101mphlammy

Just turned 20 and brought one of these. Served my apprenticeship on various bikes from a 500cc Royal Enfield to a 125cc Lambretta scooter. I have to say the Ducati brings a smile to my face every time I see it let alone ride it. If you pull your finger out and look after it you will have no problems. Comfort is terrible (even for a young un')and mirrors are for aesthetics, but just look at it! Is there a more beautiful motorcycle? (excluding my Lambretta) Sounds great too....

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

Take A Chance!

05 July 2007 by Scooboo81

I've owned old & new sportsbikes, including a gsxr 600 k4 bought new,lovely bike....then ten months later I saw this 748 for sale, my head said no, but my heart said yes! I took a chance, and I've never regreted it yet. If your looking for a bike that makes you feel special, take a chance with the ducati 748....you wont regret it!!

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

Have had Jap' inline fours from 17 years old now in mid 40's, my first Ducati

15 September 2006 by woodsz

Having had various bikes including a harris 2 1100 my recently acquired 748 has performed better than most including the harris and i now want to buy a 999 anyway the 748 has excellent road handling and the termis make it sound as good as it looks. Strengths: Delivery of power from the twin is excellent & the handling is second to none with excellent front brake makes me grin from ear to ear. Weaknesses: Back brake poor, lights not the best and perhaps the need to work in the higher end of the rev range to get her moving but thats fun.

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
-
5 out of 5

It's got the looks, speed and style you want.. but at a cost.

02 September 2006 by karlos359

In 2004 I took my Ducati Sport 900 in for its annual service and decided to take a 748S out for a test. 200 metres down the road and I knew I had to have one. I traded and bought her later that day. Every time I look at her in the garage I know I made the correct decision. She rides as good as she looks too. Plenty of usable power, handles beautifully. Its only my bottle that holds her back, or lack of should I say. More than enough grunt and speed. Had an early teething problem with frayed wire shorting the rectifier regulator out but since then she's been trouble free. You buy this baby though with your heart not your head because you know that she's not going to come cheap to run. If you love Italian looks then this is the baby for you. Strengths: Stunning looks, handling and that lovely grunty torque as you pull away. Weaknesses: This baby is not cheap to run, you're never going to have a standard service cost and there's no point in scrimping or cutting corners. Ducati service costs are more expensive to start out with anyway but you know it's worth it.

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
-
5 out of 5

Happy days

18 July 2006 by arniej

I picked up my 748 on Saturday and have not stopped grinning sice, what a fantastic bike. I was motor cycle courier for 6 years and have riden and owned lots of bikes. Apart from a Supermoto the 748 is everything bikings about, lots of useable power and fun. It handles like its on rails looks the dogs. Strengths: Looks/Style, sound, performance. Weaknesses: None yet.....watch this space.

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
-
1 out of 5

My worst and best bike....!!!!

12 July 2006 by leepb69

I bought my bike after I had a really bad spill on my GSXR 750. Jap sreamers.... I really wish I hadn't listened to the geezer who said "why don't you get a Duke" It's a fantastic bike when it's running, unfortunately it's as temprimental as moxt women... It's now mid July, sunny, ideal biking weather. Mines in the garage, won't start so I can't get it the 50 miles to the closest place that will look at it....

Strengths

The usual.....sounds awesome, looks awesome, turns heads......when it's running!!!!

Weaknesses

Electrical problems. Lack of people who want to look at it when it's playin up...!!

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
-
Engine
5 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
1 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
-
Equipment
4 out of 5
-
5 out of 5

Had a ZX12R and a 750SS before Daisy

13 April 2006 by evertonal

After owning a 2001 ZX12R I went over to the dark side and bought a 1992 750SS,got knocked off that and with the insurance and compo' money bought Daisy, a 2000 748SPS and what a bike! Fantastic on the open road or round town, long hauls a bit of a pain in the a!*e but worth it for the grin factor. The beast all round bike I have ridden since my RD350LC Eddie Lawson rep' when I was 18! Strengths:
Fantastic noise from the 50mm Termis, Italian exotica looks. Weaknesses: NONE

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
-
5 out of 5

AWESOME - no other words!

30 March 2006 by supercerberus

Wasn't sure about the duke at first, what with all the rumours about reliability, but bought a 2001Y 748R. OK, it sounds like a bag of spanners when its idling and the slipper clutch I fitted is VERY noisy but when its going the induction roar and race termis sceaming, it sounds like its coming from hell. It was my first bike and was a great bike to learn the trade on as it inspires so much confidence. Strengths: The noise, handling, looks, exotica and the noise again, there is no other noise like it!!
Weaknesses: The neighbours dont like me starting it a 5.30 am, and I can't stop buying little bits for it!

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
-
5 out of 5

Race bike for the road. Bought and owned in that context you'll never regret it.

23 March 2006 by guyinglis

Awesome bike to own - very rewarding when pushed, and it loves to be pushed. Makes most sense on a race track where you can rev it hard and set it up. Suspension a bit harsh for the real world, crashes over square edged bumps and ridges in the road. Uncomfortable around town and requires a lot of attention to coax between cars in heavy traffic. But then it was never meant for town stuff. Strengths: Engine, style, and how it all comes together like no other bike in the twisty bits. Better than a 916/996/998 as it is less intimidating, and more rewarding in the real world - as you can rev the hell out of it and not endlessly be running out of road and into the hedge or angry police. Weaknesses: Harsh suspension, doesn't cope in traffic.

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

standard bike bought secondhand 2004

21 January 2006 by markieducati

Excellent bike had 900ss before this one and had 2 buy this 748 when it was on the market been resprayed and powder coated and added some termis too. Awesome bike in performance and looks. Watched some people getting their picture taken beside this bike just last week. What 10 year old bike can claim that! Strengths:
looks, performance . RELIABILITY. Weaknesses: none.

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
-
5 out of 5

Excellent!

07 December 2005 by rikok

Bought bike after a bike gap (back to college and a baby girl). always loved the 916 but could never afford one. chose this '98, 12k mileage beastie over a new zx 636. excellent handling, all the lads love a go on it too. it is a long term purchase though and loads of mods etc. i love it more every time i go out and it gets more looks than the usual drivel! it also keeps up well, especially the twisties. needs a new battery now. Strengths: handling looks sound ease of spares and mods. Weaknesses: service costs.

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

A piece of road going art, still gawp at it now!! IMO it's as pretty as it gets.

13 January 2005 by Freez

Bought as first bike after a gap of a few years, mainly on looks rather than performance. Cornering is superb, very well balanced and forgiving, oodles of torque and the cans throaty burble attract admirers in towns. Straight line top end OK but don't place any bets, but for a fun A road blast I can't get the shit eating grin off my face. Strengths: It looks superb and handles the same. Headturner and peeps ask you about it wherever you stop. Weaknesses: Tough clutch, long runs can get a bit "knees round your ears" stiff but at 40 that could just be me!!!

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
-
5 out of 5

Ducati 748.......... Dream Machine

10 January 2005 by markfire

Bought in 2003 as a summer ride out and track day machine. Unfortunately this dea turned out to be flawed as the attraction of the little 748 has taken over and I love to be on it all the time. I have respayed all the panels and given it the foggy 1999 rep kit treatment. Looks and sounds fantastic with twin termis at the rear. Been caught out in the rain many times on it and the italian elecs were fine. Naff sprung sidestand and lack of lock in traffic slightly lets this bike down. Useless headlights, but who wants to ride in the dark on this great bike. Luvvin it!!!! Strengths: Handling, V-twin, Sound. Weaknesses: Sidestand, Headlights, Servicing Costs.

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

Fantastic to ride, A dream to look at but too fragile for hard use.

05 August 2004 by eurozulu

Bought very low mileage SPS second hand and first wondered what all the fuss was about. Once run in and new rubber had settled, it all became apparent. Best balanced bike I've ridden in 20 years, including many superbikes. Front end is awe inspiring and turns with absolute precision. Engine pulls well and once I'd adjusted to the lower revving style of the twin the speed came with deceptive ease. However, after its first, hard days serious thrashing it broke! Top end of the engine clattered louder than the clutch! OK, I think. It has so many strengths & serves up riding pleasure by the sack load, so I can even put up with a fragile engine. Trouble was parts took so long to arrive I hardly got to ride the thing. Other owners I know have all had similar experience. Overall a bike that reminds you of what bike riding is all about, nailing the twisties! But don't expect it to be every day transport. Strengths:
Balance, precision, traction in short one of the best chassis to have two wheels bolted to it as well as one of the sexiest looking bikes ever made. Weaknesses:
Build quality on par with lots of other Italian exotica. (looks like gold built from tin) Engine seems to by the weakest part of the machine. Not in terms of performance but durability is certainly questionable.

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

My Review

09 September 2003 by peterswanepoel

I bought the bike as a track bike in 748RS trim. The difference between this and a standard 748R is considerable. The bike was very fast -a real supersport racer. The reason i say 'was' is because it blew up... The only reason this happened was because we failed to maintain our schedule of a rebuild every 1000 kilometres. Despite this I loved the bike... sticking it to bigger bikes on track was extrmemely satisfying... even though you have to ride like a maniac to do so!

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
-
Engine
5 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
2 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
-
Equipment
4 out of 5
-
5 out of 5

My Review

03 August 2003 by Yorksher

Resisted writting report until now. Hunnymoon period over and still love her! The strange thing is that the 748 I find bloody comfortable? Only down side is servicing cost.

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
-
5 out of 5

My Review

03 May 2003 by chuckle748

It's the first bike ive ever owned & ridden, seems quite comfy to me but I have no bikes to contrast it with! Looks &sounds like nothing else. A stone smashed a headlight and cost me over £ 300 to get fixed! The 749 is out now, so my one is one of the last 748s made I think. Body coloured mirrors, smooth fairing, and braided brake hoses all standard on the 2002 model. Is it a good first bike ? I don't want my money back. I do wonder about the sanity of any willing pillion riders on bike.

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
-
5 out of 5

My Review

08 July 2002 by fuzzhead

You know what it's like when you see the girl of your dreams and think 'I've got to have her', well that was what it was like with my 748. All my spare cash goes on little trinkets for her and touch wood the wife hasn't noticed yet. Come in with a new pair of shoes and she goes off on one, pop an Ohlins damper on the bike and she doesn't bat an eyelid. The bike's everything I wanted and more. Most Jap bikes I've owned I've wanted to change after a year or so but the 748 is here for the duration. Get one.

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
-
Engine
5 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
2 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
-
Equipment
4 out of 5
-
5 out of 5

My Review

01 July 2002 by RedDuke748

The first time I rode it, I thought it was broken, it clattered and crunched like it was going to blow, but now I'm used to it it's the most amazing thing I'v owned, it handles better than any bike I have ever ridden, it pulls like fu*k, everyone, and I mean everyone, notices you, and when you get home you just want to go straight back out again.

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

My Review

12 April 2002 by marshalljota

Stable handling, incredible brakes, great on bumpy roads, suprisingly quick. Similiar style to my old Jota's, heavy clutch,loads of character, prefer my Hayabusa for general use. This bike is too good to use. Will keep indefinately.

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

My Review

04 March 2002 by 748Essex

Sounds like a sack of spanners when you start it, except for the exhaust note (still ace on stock cans)... Pulls away cleanly, very balanced, and pulls strongly unlike anything I've ever ridden before... Doesnt have the same "sledgehammer shove" like a 4 pot rice burner, and as a result is deceptively fast... The sound of the engine rattles soon fades and you get sucked in by the induction "WHHAARRRRPPPP" and the sound of the exhaust... the only other sound is the metallic thwap of the valves being slammed shut desmodromically. Comfort has been massively improved by removing the roll pins in the bars so I can tild the brake levers away from me a bit (at 6 foot 5 inches my arms were all in the wrong place...) bent elbows has taken all the weight off of my wrists and overall its as comfy as my zx6r so far... Things I dont like? its stalled twice on me at roundabouts while slowing down, amy just need the tickover raising, other than that just the cleaning, with something as stunning as this, even the slightest grubby mark means it has to be cleaned...

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
-
5 out of 5

My Review

26 December 2001 by ric7481

The harder you ride it, the better it gets...The front end has inspired more confidence than any other bike in my 11 years riding. Despite religious cleaning, the fairing fasteners are losing their finish and will be replaced soon. The single seat looks trick and different as it's plain yellow, not SPS replica.

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

My Review

17 August 2001 by stevehughes

Bike feels much more stable and predicatable in turns than my 1999 GSXR600. Handling is superb, I am riding smoother and faster than before. Torque can be a bit of a handfull in the wet!

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
-
Engine
5 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
2 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
-
Equipment
4 out of 5
-

Facts & Figures

Model info
Year introduced 1994
Year discontinued 2003
Original price -
Used price £4,000 to £8,000
Warranty term (when new) Two year unlimited mileage
Running costs
Insurance group 16 of 17
Annual road tax £85
Annual service cost £300
Performance
Max power 103 bhp
Max torque 54 ft-lb
Top speed 150 mph
1/4-mile acceleration 11.8 secs
Average fuel consumption 41 mpg
Tank range 150 miles
Specification
Engine size 748cc
Engine type V - Twin
Frame type Steel trellis
Fuel capacity 17 litres
Seat height 790mm
Bike weight 196kg
Front suspension Preload, rebound, compression
Rear suspension Preload, rebound, compression
Front brake Twin 320mm discs
Rear brake 220mm disc
Front tyre size 120/70 x 17
Rear tyre size 180/55 x 17

History & Versions

Model history

1994: Ducati 748 Biposto launched. Original base, two seat motorcycle.
1994: Ducati 748 SP launched. Racy version of the Biposto. Single seat, Ohlins suspension, carbon bodywork plus more.
1997: Ducati 748SPS launched. More racy version of SP – titanium con rods, lightweight frame and more.
2000: Ducati 748E launched. Replaced the Biposto as the ‘base’, two seat model.
2000: Ducati 748S launched. Racy version of the E. TiN coated forks, 5 spoke wheels, single or dual seat.
2000: Ducati 748R launched. Even racier than the S. Same frame as the ‘Foggy Rep’ 916.
2002: All models of Ducati 748 discontinued.

Other versions

See model history

Photo Gallery

  • DUCATI 748  (1994-2003)
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  • Ducati 748 motorcycle review - Side view
  • Ducati 748 motorcycle review - Riding
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  • Ducati 748 motorcycle review - Side view
  • Ducati 748 motorcycle review - Side view
  • Ducati 748 motorcycle review
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  • Ducati 748 motorcycle review - Riding
  • Ducati 748 motorcycle review - Brakes
  • Ducati 748 motorcycle review - Riding
  • Ducati 748 motorcycle review - Brakes
  • Ducati 748 motorcycle review - Side view
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