It’s definitely not the low-down grunt fiend we all expected, but is a very capable motorcycle that makes a Honda CB1000R look like a soft girl’s bike and would give a Speed Triple a run for its money. It hasn’t got the grunt off the bottom end to match a KTM, but at higher revs the Ducati will undoubtedly clear off.
On the throttle the fuelling is perfect. Clean delivery, no hesitations, and every millimetre of twist being dialled into the rear tyre. But it takes a bit of revving, and that’s a real surprise. Maximum torque is at 9500rpm, the same place that it makes maximum power, which means you have to rev it to really ride it. On the road, that won’t be much of a problem, but why Ducati didn’t change the power characteristics beats me. One theory is that the bike would almost be too grunty and then it would run wide in corners, the other is the cost associated with redeveloping the engine from scratch. There’s plenty of power available from 7000rpm but it’s in a much narrower window than you would expect with a bike of this kind, eventually bouncing off the limiter at 10,250rpm in a blur of LED dash.